UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 18, 2012Richmond High School
WAKE FOREST – 0
NOTRE DAME - 38
Q. Talk about what you've got on there?
MANTI TE'O: A lot of love.
Q. From a lot of people?
MANTI TE'O: Yeah, people that matter the most.
Q. So at this point, your thoughts on being undefeated?
MANTI TE'O: It feels great. I don't care about anything else other than winning and being part of this team. It feels great. Have to work on USC and beating USC.
Q. How was that senior walk? Was it what you expected?
MANTI TE'O: Oh, yeah, everything and more. There was that moment, and then when coach took me out, that was another moment. So definitely two things I'll always remember the rest of my life.
Q. Describe that moment when he called the timeout, and you and some of the other guys had to come out?
MANTI TE'O: Just Magic. Like everything's come full circle, just very grateful. For coach to do that, he could have easily taken us out and not even put us on the field. But it was a TV timeout, and he said I'm going to send you guys out there, and then I'm going to call a timeout, and one by one I'm going to sub you guys out. So that's the type of coach that Coach Kelly is. I'm just very lucky to play for him.
Q. Is it a relief to finally get a game like this at home on Senior Day?
MANTI TE'O: It's just a relief for us to win in the fashion that we did, you know, just clicking on all cylinders and everybody is playing with a lot of enthusiasm and energy just on all sides of the ball and just getting after it.
Q. What came through your mind coming out of the tunnel for the last time?
MANTI TE'O: I can't believe this is the last time I'll be playing here.
Q. When you talk to your dad or gave him that hug during that senior walk, was there anything he said to you in particular?
MANTI TE'O: Just said he loves me and he's so proud, and my mom, too. They're just very proud, very, very proud.
MANTI TE'O: There are no words that can describe what this place means to me. I never thought that I'd a place besides Laie could be my home, and this has been my home and more. Just the love and everything that this community has done for me and for my team and for my family, really. I'm definitely very blessed to be here.
Q. Tears coming out on the field?
MANTI TE'O: No, I was emotional, but I held it in and managed to hold it in. But I shed a few tears when I embraced my parents.
Q. Can you think of a better way to end your season than the last ten games as a shutout?
MANTI TE'O: No, no. That's the great way to end my career playing here in Notre Dame.
Q. Is it important for you guys to get a win in this manner?
MANTI TE'O: I think it was just important for us to win. We can't predict the score, but we can prepare in a way that will help us predict the score. Obviously, we wouldn't have thought that the score would have been what it was. But we went to work all week and we're going to continue to do that.
Q. Can you talk about the emotions of today and going into next week?
MANTI TE'O: Yeah, it just gives us more energy knowing this is the last time. Not only is it the last game, it's a game where we can actually do something and take this program to a place it hasn't been in a long time. We understand it's going to come down to the little things, really getting better every day. Not jumping two Saturdays, just every day getting better.
Q. What does it feel like when people chant your name?
MANTI TE'O: Like I said, there are no words that can describe this place and how I felt at that time. Just pure joy, that's joy.
Q. Looking at Facebook and Twitter, there are so many local people back home in Hawaii watching this game, and it's because of you. You wanted to have an impact, and so many little kids. Do you have a special message that you want to say to them for their dream?
MANTI TE'O: To the kids, dream big, dream big and go after it. Don't let anybody say you can't do it. If you really want to do something, go after it. There is nothing that can stop you. As long as on the way you keep proper and always listen to your parents. If it wasn't for my parents and it wasn't for my heavenly father, I wouldn't be here. So I'm just really dream big, keep the faith, and always listen to your parents and you should be fine.
Q. One last question about Robby. I saw you go next to him on the senior day alma mater, closing it out with him by your side. What was that like?
MANTI TE'O: It was the best story ever. To have my best friend here, my brother, I call him my twin. We obviously don't look alike, but we're basically the same person. To have him here and to see the joy in his eyes and to also send him out with a victory like that on his senior game was something that was really fulfilling for me.
Q. Did you get in the Gatorade bath?
MANTI TE'O: Yeah, I'm the one that actually hit Coach Kelly. I was part of the cooler that actually got Coach Kelly. There was another cooler that got me and Cap. That was our way of showing our appreciation for our head coach.
MANTI TE'O: No, just all from my family. I had a Hornet flag on, but that's back in the locker room.
Q. Can you talk about what's coming up with USC? It's a pretty special time right now.
MANTI TE'O: Yeah, we understand it. There is no next week. It's USC. There is no game after that. If we take care of USC, we'll be fine. All we have to do is take care of USC and prepare the right way. USC is a really good team, as we all know. The USC Notre Dame game is always a battle. So we understand that and we're going to prepare the way we know how.
Q. Pretty fitting for you because you started in a game between Notre Dame and USC, it comes down to that?
MANTI TE'O: I just want to do whatever it takes to help my team win. At the end of the day, whatever that looks like, as long as we win, I don't care.
Q. What was the biggest moment today for you?
MANTI TE'O: Oh, man, there were a lot. Just running out there, going on the walk, knowing it's my last time in the Basilica, a lot of lasts. Every time I hit one of those last moments, it's chicken skin.
Q. Are you going to watch Oregon tonight?
MANTI TE'O: I hope so. I'm hungry. So my family and I are going to go eat, and then hopefully I can lay down, relax ask watch the game.
MANTI TE'O: No, I saw a lot of leis.
MANTI TE'O: No, I didn't see that. That's pretty cool though.
Q. Of all the lasts that you were talking about, what was the one that got you the most?
MANTI TE'O: I think it was a tie between when I embraced my family and when I ran off the field for the last time. I entered the field for the last time, and I exited the field for the last time, those two moments.
Q. How would you sum up your four years?
MANTI TE'O: A lot of highs and lows. I wouldn't trade it for the world. These are the thing that's money can't buy this, what I'm wearing. It's just an example of love. I'm just glad that I was able to make my family proud and bring Notre Dame to where it's supposed to be. College football is a lot better when Notre Dame is good, at least that's what I heard. So it's definitely great to be Irish.
MANTI TE'O: We've got to take care of USC before we can be talking about what to do. We've got one more game to go. If we don't beat USC, there is no need to say whether you deserve it or not. You have to beat USC first. You can ask me that question after.
Q. Do you have more leis here or at graduation?
MANTI TE'O: No, at graduation, you're covered. I wouldn't be able to talk. I'll have leis on my arms too. That's very special about Hawaii.
MANTI TE'O: No, not really. Just another step in my life, and just another experience and another accomplishment.
Q. Do you have a quick prediction for (Indiscernible)?
MANTI TE'O: Man, all I can say is I love both places. Good luck to both. It's always nice. It's always going to be a good game here, you know that. I'm a local boy. Raised in Koo Koo, but I will always go with the blue and gold. I have family on both sides. I can't really say.
MANTI TE'O: It's improved. It's definitely become part of us. It's not something we have to go out there and preach like get to the ball. It's just something that's part of us. Everybody sees the ball, everybody's going to go. It's something that's really been the defense just going out there.
Q. The way you approached the game, the football part of it, how big is your preparation before the game?
MANTI TE'O: Oh, it's definitely big. The majority of the game is mental. I try to settle my nerves and my emotions. I just really settle down and relax to have that just controlled rage. That's what I try to get before every game.
Q. You have a lot of fans in Mexico. Lot of kids playing high school football, college football. In terms of football practice, do you have any special message for those kids?
MANTI TE'O: Take every day to get better. It takes every day. For me, my success on Saturday doesn't come on Saturday. It comes throughout the week. Saturday should just be a celebration, a celebration of all the work you put in throughout the week. Saturdays should be easier than the week.
So, for us, that's what we try to do every week. When they step out on the field and they notice that the game seems to be moving slow for them, that's because they've put in the game throughout the week.
Q. At the end of the week, how big is it for you to play on Sunday?
MANTI TE'O: For me, to be honest with you, I'll worry about that when the time comes. I'm more worried and focused on USC and making sure that we take care of USC. The thing on Sunday will come.
Q. How hard is it now with the BCS?
MANTI TE'O: I think personally it's easy because all that noise can't be possible if we don't beat USC. So when you think of it in that aspect, it's pretty easy to just avoid everything.
MANTI TE'O: You know, I'm not going to worry about it. I could literally just go eat, go to sleep, and wake up tomorrow and figure out what happened. I'm not too concerned.
Q. Give us the keys to the game?
EVERETT GOLSON: I thought everything came together today. There were still some things that we've got to work on collectively, and I've got to work on with myself. A couple of throws out there, like the one that Eifert did get, it could have been a pick but it actually should have been a pick. But you've got one of the best tight ends in the country out there with Eifert going up there and getting it. So I was pretty grateful with that.
Q. Coach Kelly came out of practice Thursday and couldn't wait to say your name when we were asking about guys continuing to make progress. What did you do this week to make him so happy and make him think you're ready to take the next step?
EVERETT GOLSON: Actually, Wednesday night I was kind of acting like a little like Peyton manning and stuff like that. I wanted to emulate that the next day in practice. I think that's what he was so proud about is making the correct checks and showing that we've been getting the concepts.
EVERETT GOLSON: Definitely, definitely. This is one of the most important games for us. We're not going to move ahead at all. We'll just focus on USC.
Q. After all these close games at home, what's it mean for you and the team to finally have a game like this?
EVERETT GOLSON: It means a lot. Like I said, Wake Forest presented a challenge to us. It required a lot of film study and different looks like that. But it's really as a team, we really prepared this whole week and we came out and executed tonight.
Q. How much do you think you've grown over the course of the year?
EVERETT GOLSON: That's kind of funny. Me and Theo were talking about that later on in the game. He reminded me there were times in the beginning when I wanted to grab the play clock. I wanted to wear out the play clock, and I was rushing and everything. But I think I've progressed a lot and that's with the help of these coaches.
Q. When did it click for you?
EVERETT GOLSON: I don't know. I can't really put an exact time period on it. Like I said, I think I progressed throughout the year. Just coming from where I was in the beginning to now, just working with Coach Martin and Coach Kelly. They've been very helpful.
Q. Do you feel as an offense you're starting to carry your weight and helping the defense on the field a little bit?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, being that I am on offense, but you want to kind of pull your own weight. But like I said, my development with the help of Coach Martin and Coach Kelly has come a long way. I think that comes to how we play and how we execute.
Q. With your explosiveness (Indiscernible)?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I think so. I think we've got too many athletes that can throw pitch and catch here and stuff like that. If we have the talent, I think we should come to play.
Q. How exactly do you emulate Peyton Manning in practice?
EVERETT GOLSON: I was just going through checks. Most of the checks are something that we've never gone over or things like that. But just like I said just showing that I actually had the concepts and knowing where I wanted to get the ball, that's what he was so proud of, me kind of progressing. Like I said, he saw all that progression and what they instilled in me.
Q. You're running up?and?down the line?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah.
Q. What did he say about that?
EVERETT GOLSON: He was just like I said, he was just proud.
Q. I noticed today after the interception you went straight to the sidelines and got the head set on. Who were you talking to?
EVERETT GOLSON: Usually I talk to both Coach Kelly and Coach Martin. After the interception, they basically told me?? I agree with it. But you can't look back. You've got to keep going and progress.
Q. You were trying to get every senior a touchdown, weren't you?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I actually was (laughing).
Q. (Indiscernible) that tip to Cierre, was that almost like a confidence builder?
EVERETT GOLSON: I don't think so. I think BC played that different than the way Wake Forest played it. They were kind of slow, but at the end of the day they were getting to me. Where BC they slow played it. I was able to run it.
Q. It seems like they played (Indiscernible).
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I think that's an important piece of my game. I think that's what the coaches see in me. If something does happen to break down, that I'll try to make a play and try my best to make a play.
Q. How much of a span has your play in four years or four months ago?
EVERETT GOLSON: It's tremendous. It's starting to open up a lot now. You go back to Wake Forest and like goals and slots, they're starting to open up a little bit. I guess they have the confidence in me now that I can handle all of that.
Q. Talk about not winning what you were supposed to win by or being in close games and not having (Indiscernible)?
EVERETT GOLSON: I don't really get into that. I mean this year we don't really have style points and things like that. But one thing we do is we have a way to win games.
EVERETT GOLSON: I think that was me just kind of being?? not really understanding what they wanted to do. But as the season progressed, I really kind of hung in there myself and learned that I had to kind of modify and listen to what they were doing.
Q. Do you take it to heart more? Do you listen differently? How is it different?
EVERETT GOLSON: I think it was honestly probably thinking of myself a little bit at the beginning of the season. But now it's different because I see the end results and gotten so close.
Q. What developed that habit or got the light on? What changed?
EVERETT GOLSON: I mean, I think the players, like I said, the players just building that confidence and letting me know they have my back and stuff and coaches also.
Q. Coach talked about getting offense, 31?0 in the first half, you must have been happy to live up to that?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I was pretty happy for the success. But at the same time, I was kind of mad about a couple of throws that I could have made. Talk about that interception. It was a terrible decision, really terrible decision. I kind of came to the line and looked like a rookie a little bit.
Q. As one of the young guys on the team, what do these seniors mean to you to send them out this way?
EVERETT GOLSON: Oh, it means a lot. You know, you've got on the offense, you've got the O?line, those guys have really rallied around me and really helped me. Many times we've been in the film room together and shave shown me things, and I feel like I've paid it back to them a little bit more.
Q. You guys probably embraced this one more game. You always talk about winning the next game. But do you feel like it's a little bit bigger this week?
EVERETT GOLSON: As far as I'm concerned, my head is down. My foot's on the gas. I'm never going to look up and lose focus. My thing is just keep your head down and keep pushing it.
Q. When you were a young guy and in a low?scoring game (Indiscernible)?
EVERETT GOLSON: I think it was. I think you're not in high school anymore. So I think my high school team, they were pretty good. Kind of spread the ball and put up a lot of points.
Q. When did it turn?
EVERETT GOLSON: It wasn't really a time period. It was just with the help of Coach Martin and Coach Kelly (Indiscernible) and them showing me everything I need to know.
Q. There was no frustrating examples being at home wondering what's going on? (Indiscernible.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I think it was. Like I said, my teammates are what got me here. (Indiscernible) having those guys around me, really did help.
Q. Do you compartmentalize it after you leave the game?
EVERETT GOLSON: No, not really. I do everything I can do.