Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 9, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 30 of 55 OCT. 9, 2017 31 NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On his team's performance: "Proud of my football team. I challenged them on Monday to exhibit mental toughness, and the mental toughness is really about ac- countability to a standard that we've set here in terms of how we want to play. They had that mental toughness today, and they exhibited it right out of the gate with 45 points in the first half. … "They had a great week of preparation. It's a great group to be around. To come out knowing that physi- cally they were more talented than their opponent, to come out with that mindset was another real growth moment for this football team." On a potential missed targeting call against sopho- more running back Tony Jones Jr.: "He knocked the paint right off the kid's helmet. I really can't comment on it because I know I'll say something that gets me in trouble." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR QUARTERBACK BRANDON WIMBUSH … On mental toughness exhibited during game: "Coach Kelly challenged us at the beginning of the week to come out and not put a face to the team. To go out there and execute our plays, be mentally tough and execute at the highest of our ability. "I think we did that. I think we met his challenge this week through our preparation. We came out here and did what we had to do." On the fast start and how helpful it is: "It definitely gives us a good momentum early in the game to build off of. To be up 14-0 early in the game, it helps us mentally. "We just really wanted to keep our foot on the gas throughout the rest of the game." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR RUNNING BACK JOSH ADAMS … On the offense being able to run and play well con- sistently: "Definitely feels good to execute as a team, especially as an offense making progress and continuing to get better. We're just excited on how far we've come. All the hard work we put in, all the preparation that we did, to see if pay off is a blessing. "We're just going to continue to get better, look at the film and learn from the things we did. And come back next week and try to improve and do better than that." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR WIDE RECEIVER MILES BOYKIN … On Wimbush's struggles at times passing this sea- son: "In the purest sense, Brandon is a baller and a great leader. Every time we step out there none of us are wor- ried about him. "We know when it comes down to it, he's going to get the job done. We don't have anything to say about him and his play because it's always going to be tremendous in the end." On his 54-yard touchdown catch: "I ran down the seam and Brandon threw a great ball, a perfect ball actu- ally. I just hauled it in. I was able to stay on my feet and get the touchdown … When I saw it leave his hand, I knew it was going to be a good ball. "It was a beautiful ball. He placed it in a perfect spot where the defense couldn't get to it. I was lucky enough to make the catch." NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE END KHALID KAREEM … On what he did to put himself in position to record a sack: "Just going to practice every day and working hard, keeping the small details correct and the right way — everything coach asks me to do." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR DEFENSIVE TACKLE JERRY TILLERY … On what he attributes his uptick this season to: "I think I have a lot to play for. My parents make the trip every week, and it means a lot to me. "I want to play for them, my team, so I can reach my goals. It's been a fun year." NOTRE DAME SENIOR LINEBACKER GREER MARTINI … On teammates reaction after hauling in the intercep- tion: "They were super excited. Then afterward saying you should have gone all the way with it … I don't know [if I could have]. I've got to watch it to see really." On his confidence level being an every down player: "I have a lot of confidence right now. But, I think as a team it's an overall confidence, not just me personally. "When the defense is playing good I think the guys behind us are playing well as well." On forcing turnovers at the rate the team is so far: "That's the goal. Every week we want to create turn- overs. The fact that we're getting them is a good sign." — Corey Bodden FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Sophomore defensive end Khalid Kareem notched his first career sack in Notre Dame's 52-17 win over the RedHawks. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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