Charlie Weis met with the media Sunday and gave answered some questions about Saturday’s embarrassing triple overtime loss to Navy. And by answered some questions I mean he just tried to defend some of his head scratching decisions. Anyway, just a warning, the coach-speak level of his answers is registering at about a 9.5.
On why he went for it on 4th down instead of kicking the field goal at the end of regulation
“It was going against the wind and in practice, he couldn’t make it from there. That’s why we didn’t kick it from there. That was a pretty simple one. We had a position on the field that we had to get to going into the wind. And we hadn’t gotten there yet.”
On how close the Irish needed to be to kick the field goal
About four more yards. We go by what we see, and the wind factors in. When you get to that, we weren’t at that spot. That’s what we did.
On the fake field goal in the first quarter
We had put that in situationally on that same spot. Once again, you know, we were having trouble kicking that way in pregame. We really had trouble kicking into the wind in pregame. We felt that if we got the ball the first time on left hashish, we had the one way. We were trying to get it in there. If we couldn’t, at least we could pin them back and not give them field position.
We figured maybe we could get ten yards if we didn’t make it and get them down to the 10 yard line and actually got the ball to the 15.
I’d rather, the way Navy plays, to have them play on a long field than play on a short field.
On getting Robert Hughes into the end zone
Well, I had told them — and, you know, Coach Haywood had gone to Travis to talk to him about it. I told him the first time we went down the goal line, I wanted to give the ball to Robert. I said I was going to give it to him every play whether we scored or not. He was going to get it every play until he got it in the end zone. Fortunately, he got it in on the first one. I think that was a pretty emotional time for both Robert and for the team.
When I got back a couple minutes later, I saw him on the sideline. He had that far away — those far-away eyes. You could see at the time he had just scored a touchdown, but he really wasn’t too much thinking about anything other than his brother.
On playing another option team next weekend
First of all, Air Force, I haven’t studied them a whole bunch but they are a different type of team than Navy is now.
You know, I think that obviously Navy is a grind-them-out team, two, two, two, two seven. It is just go, go, go and everything ends up changing.
Now, I think we made some plays. We made enough plays to put us in position to win the game, okay? But I think that at the end of the day when the game’s played in the 40s, we just didn’t make enough plays to win the game.
On if Clausen was close to going into the game
Well, the intent in this game was to go ahead and — was to play both quarterbacks in the game, but there never was an ebb and flow and it was not to play him as a replacement. It was, like, to substitute almost like the running back position. That was the intent in the game.
But there was never an ebb and flow in the game where making the situation was very practical. You know, so I think that there had to be a natural time to do that. Like, if we would have ever got in the situation where we were up two scores — what I didn’t want to do was replace Evan. Evan understood this, and Jimmy understood this, that this was a possibility that we were going to do that.
But it never — the right situation to go ahead and make a switch never came about.
On how the reps will be split this week between Sharpley and Clausen
We’re going to continue like we did this week, and I will have to wait and see the tape. I imagine Evan will still get more. Jimmy is getting healthier. I’m not saying he was — once again, he wasn’t injured but he has been hurting. And he’s getting better and better and closer and closer. And I think that Jimmy will continue to get more reps as well.
On Navy only have 5 sacks coming into the game yet still getting pressure on Sharpley
That’s the number that’s on the sheet right here. I will have to go back and look at it. Sacks happen for a different reason. One time we just blew it. I don’t know if people got run out. I will have to wait and go see it right there.
The bottom line is you put yourself in the position — there is only a couple plays that I was really dissatisfied on offense for the day to tell you truth. You can talk about the two-point play, but the strip sack fumble for the touchdown, obviously, was one play that sticks out for me.
You know, we dropped a touchdown pass. That’s another play that sticks out for me. But for most of the day, moving the ball was not the issue today.
On the significance of the streak ending
Time out, time out, time out. Streak doesn’t mean anything to me. I mean, this is — we lost to Navy. That’s who we lost to. Next year we will play Navy again.
I mean, the only streak is in your eyes. It is really not in the player’s eye. The streak they are worrying about is how many games — how many games they lost on the road, at home. That’s what they are worrying about. How many games we played since UCLA when last we won. That’s what they are worrying about. They are worrying about the here and now.
These kids are 17. Do you think they’re worrying about 43 years? They are worrying about right now. They would like to beat Air Force. I think that’s the streak they would like to beat on.
On if this was the low point in the season
Low point is when you get beat 38-0. That’s a low point. A low point is when the game is going okay and one team is pulling away from you and they’re making plays and you’re not making plays.
This was a — the low point for me is the fact that we didn’t win the game and I wanted Robert Hughes to be standing up on that chair singing the fight song in the locker room. You want to know what’s really important to me? That’s what’s really important to me. What you look at as important is different than me.
I wanted that Number 33 to be standing on that stool in the locker room singing a fight song so all of his teammates could be sitting there hugging him. That was really the most important thing to me today and that didn’t — that wasn’t able to happen.
And to me that’s what’s really important. So it is a little different for me because I look at it personally as well as professionally.