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Notre Dame postgame transcript: Gardner and Gallon

September 9th, 2013 by Justin Potts


(Justin Potts, M&GB)

On getting to wear Tom Harmon’s #98 jersey…
Gardner: “I appreciate that history and all the great things he did on the field, but he did a lot of great things off the field. He was a great person and a great athlete. I didn’t even know that he even played two years of varsity basketball, so that’s just the ultimate athlete and a great person. He fought for our country. For my coaches to be able to say that I’m worthy of wearing this jersey, it’s amazing that they see me as that type of person.”

On the chemistry with Jeremy Gallon and why Jeremy plays bigger than he is…
Gardner: “I mean, he’s like a little bulldog, man. We worked so hard since I got here. You guys are just now seeing it, but behind the doors we work so hard and we got the opportunity to display it in front of the biggest crowd in college football.”

On whether he has silenced doubts about not being able to win the big game…
Gardner: “Those are the games that we want, the Big Ten Championship (and) Rose Bowl games. And I feel like with the help of my teammates they helped me a lot. I made a bad turnover in our own end and the defense came out and stopped them and the offense blocked for us to get out and run the clock out. So I mean, 115,000, that’s how many people were there, but not to mention all the people that were watching on TV. It’s amazing to be able to participate in something like this, but this isn’t the big one that we really want.”

On Jeremy’s first touchdown catch…
Gallon: “It was a dig and cover-2 coverage and I was just coming down and Devin hit me. It was good to get up there and make my move and they wanted to strip the ball. I spun around and started running and I saw Jehu Chesson lay a block on somebody and I just ran in for a touchdown.”

On starting a night game in Michigan Stadium…
Gardner: “It felt great. I’ve said all week this rivalry is such a big deal, and like I said earlier to be able to play in front of so many people and to respond under adversity and under what you guys see as pressure, it was amazing for me. And my teammates believed in me the whole time, and I just want to thank all my teammates, the offensive line, the defense, and Gallon. I knew I could get the ball there when I needed to and I just want to thank my entire team for believing in me. My coaches too.”

On the interception…
Gardner:
“Coach Borges talks to us about the top three causes of interceptions and one of them is desperately avoiding sacks. That’s what I did in my own end zone which was a horrible decision, but our defense gave us a place to stand. I told them I was going to finish, ‘you give us a place to stand and we’re going to finish this football game.’ And they said they believed in me – a number of them – and that’s what happened, we finished the football game and put that behind me. I mean I’m the quarterback, I respond after adversity.”

On his injury and the chemistry beteween he and Devin…
Gallon:
“Yeah, it’s just a little hamstring deal. The chemistry between me and Devin, like he said we’ve been working with each other since he first got here and it’s been like a brotherhood and we’ll never let anything change anything. We just try to let our work off the field show on the field.”

On the potential of the offense…
Gardner:
“I feel like if I limit my mistakes we can go as far as we want. I feel like the offensive line is going to block, Fitzgerald Toussaint is going to run, and all the receivers are going to catch, and all the other backs are going to run also. I feel like if everybody does their job and if I do my job in particular we’ll be fine.”

On how he shook off the interception…
Gardner:
“I mean I just always remember that everybody’s going to look to me for confirmation that we’ll be alright. So I just tried to make sure that I stayed level. I was pretty upset with myself for the mistake – it was a horrible, horrible mistake and could have cost us the game – but like I said the defense gave us a place to stand and I went out and finished it.”

On his big game and how he will remember this night…
Gallon:
“For me, I could never imagine doing something like this. I just come out and play for my team, just play my role as a senior on this team. I mean, a good game, it’s not me, it’s the rest of my teammates, the rest of the offense and I can’t take all the credit. Those are my teammates.”

On what they will say to their kids 25 years from now about this game and the series being canceled…
Gardner:
“I don’t even know. I can’t even explain it. I’m still kind of, how I feel right now, how it felt to take that knee, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. But we still have unfinished business in the season, so this isn’t the end, it’s only the second game of the year. We have much bigger goals as Coach Hoke always says”

On the importance of diversifying the passing game as teams start to game plan against Gallon…
Gardner:
“Jeremy had a big game but maybe seven or eight different people caught passes – big passes where we got first downs or moved the chains – so it’s not just like he had a really big game. I feel like it could happen for any of them because Gallon isn’t always on the field. Even some third downs he’s not on the field and we get the first down. So I mean, it was a collective effort. Joy Reynolds, Devin Funchess, Jake Butt had some big catches, Fitzgerald Toussaint had one at the end. So I feel like we can spread it around; he just had a big game tonight.”

On the pro style offense and was tonight an indication of what it will look like going forward…
Gardner:
“Definitely. I feel like Coach Borges is in a groove playcalling. We were in a groove as an offense. We drove the ball down with some nice drives and took a lot of time off the clock and things like that, so I feel like we performed to the level that Coach Hoke would like. I mean, obviously, we’re going to have to watch the film and there are going to be mistakes, even ones that we didn’t notice on the field, overall I feel like we fought. And that’s what we talked about all summer and all winter, is fighting and finishing, because that’s something we didn’t do last year. And today we fought and we finished.”