What the Fighting Irish team members said about their victory against Texas

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

Malik Zaire passed for 313 yards in his first home start, and 11th ranked Notre Dame held Texas to 163 yards of total offense in a 38-3 victory on Saturday, Sept 5. Zaire was 19-of-22 passing with three touchdowns.

The following are quotes from Zaire’s team members during the team’s post-game interviews:

 

Nick Martin – Graduate Student – Center

On the offensive line’s performance:

“We were having fun to be honest. We were just ready to play. I thought we did well.”

On the atmosphere:

“It was awesome. I mean there’s nothing like it. I’m going on my fifth year here and it’s like the first time every time we go out there.”

 

KeiVarae Russell – Senior – Cornerback

On first game back:

“It felt great. You just have to get first game jitters out of the way, and now that it’s over I feel confident as ever. I was out there today not just for me, but for my family, for the fans and everybody who has been waiting for this return.”

On the play of his teammates:

“When your guys are playing at a high level – offense, defense and special teams – it really just allows you to relax. It reassures you that we are going to be fine.”

 

Joe Schmidt – Graduate Student – Linebacker

On first game jitters:

“I’m a really loose guy, but I was a little nervous. Once we got to the stadium though, it was all good. It was just so fun to be running around out there.”

On playing Texas:

“We have so much respect for Texas as a football team and as a football program. They have a lot of great players.”

On returning to game action:

“It was just really fun to run around out there, have the guys communicating so well and running to the football.”

On Notre Dame’s defensive line:

“I just can’t say enough good things about our defensive line right now. They bullied, dominated up front and I was really, really thrilled with how they played. That made it fun tonight.”

 

C.J. Prosise – Senior – Running Back

On starting the season:

“We got out there in the first game and got a big win for the team. It’s definitely some good momentum starting the season off.”

On his 20 carries:

“I feel great. I think my offensive line did an amazing job. They gave a great push all night. We could really do anything we wanted to in the run game. I think that was a big reason for our win. We definitely did a great job, especially the offensive line.”

On playing running back:

“It definitely felt different, just being inside the tackles. It’s just something I haven’t done. I’m always just trying to run as hard as I can and be great for the team.”

On feeling comfortable:

“A great way is to just get out there and get used to what is going on, like linebackers blitzing. I think we got a lot of experience tonight.”

 

Romeo Okwara – Senior – Defensive End

On the game:

“I felt like we played a great game, especially the defense. I’m always having fun running around out there.”

On being ready for the home opener:

“We have been working since January after that last game against LSU. We’ve been ready for this season, especially after camp. We’ve been feeling really good and it showed on the field.”

On the Defense:

“Our mindset on the defensive line before the game was to attack them and that’s what we did.”

 

Ronnie Stanley – Senior – Offensive Tackle

On an impressive home opener:

“I think it was the beginning of what our offense can be and we showed a glimpse of what we can be. We still need to improve and we know that. The best part about it is that we understand how good we can be. We always need to come and improve every day.”

On the play of Malik Zaire:

“He keeps to himself and he is calm. He definitely knew the mission at hand, made it clear for everyone and kept us on the same page. He definitely got loud during the game. He was very calm during the huddle, very clear and made good communication.”

On the play of Josh Adams:

“I knew he was going to be a great running back. I didn’t know he was going to perform like he did today. I’m very happy for him and very pleased with the way he performed. He’s a very humble kid and very quiet. He is always there working and doing his job.”