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Narduzzi on the loss: 'Just disappointing'

MORE FROM THE GAME - Video: Narduzzi's postgame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Pat Narduzzi discussed the loss to Notre Dame Saturday afternoon; here’s a full rundown of what he said.

Narduzzi: I feel bad for our kids in that locker room. They fought their tails off, played hard…just disappointing. I’m disappointed for them. Just not the way you want it to go. They fought their tails off and that’s it.

What was the reasoning, the thought process behind the fake punt there?
To get a first down.

Was there something you had seen from them that you thought that as going to hit?
Yeah. The guy that was supposed to slip out of there tripped and fell.

You tried that with Jeff and thought he was the best option for that one.
Yeah, we had a quarterback in there making the call. That certainly wasn’t the game. I can tell you that.

After the first drive when you went down on almost 20 plays and 10 minutes, were you surprised that the offense wasn’t able to gain some more momentum and sustain some drives after that?
No doubt about it. The kids played hard, took that opening drive down there and I think there was three or four three-and-outs after that. So, yeah.

Did you feel like your defense had a good handle - did you feel like they were well-prepared for this game?
Yeah. They rushed for 80 yards, didn’t sore many points. They started hitting us on some, what we call, c-slants, hitting 83 on the seam in there. We struggled to stop that route on the last couple drives. They have good players.

What did you see on the final touchdown pass?
I have to watch the tape. 81’s a good football player, he’s fast, he’s big. We’ll see if Dane won at the line of scrimmage or not.

There was a third-and-2 play, a swing pass to Darrin that lost three yards; was that the first read on that play or did Kenny check down to that?
I don’t remember. I have to watch the tape. I’ll answer that on Monday.

What’s the message to your team after a tight ball game -
Tight ball game; we’re ahead almost the entire game and our kids played their tails off. The message is, guys, sometimes you can’t control what you can’t control. We’re going into ACC play - we have a week off to get healthy, we have a week off and then we move back into ACC play, which is what counts. We went toe-to-toe with a top-five team. We played two other top-ten teams and didn’t go toe-to-toe because we hurt ourselves. So we took a top-five team all the way to the wire, and for whatever reason - you figure it out, I’ll have to figure it out - we didn’t pull it out at the end. Our kids played their tails off; that’s all I can ask for. I love those guys in there. And they’ll be ready next week.

After the first two games against Penn State and Central Florida didn’t go the way you wanted, were you able to take a little bit more out of this game going forward knowing that you were able to stand toe-to-toe with such a good team?
No question about it. Our guys are never going to quit. That’s a good football team; give them some credit. But, you know…just disappointing.