Wednesday Practice Round Up

Below is the video of the Lane Kiffin presser after Wednesday's practice and his thoughts on Notre Dame, Max Wittek and other topics:

Q: On biggest concern with Max Wittek going into Saturday's game:

Kiffin: I think any time a guy hasn't started in any type of game at that position, his decision making, but especially in the magnitude of this game. We've been on it all week, we still will and he's got some time to make sure that he's making really good decisions, and doesn't let the emotion of the game, or the crowd, or his first start get to him, and play within the system.

Q: On if he sees any anxiety in Wittek:

Kiffin: He's been unbelievable. He had great command of the huddle out there, he's been working really well with the skilled guys. He doesn't seem like a freshman.

Q: On if he does anything differently to warm up Wittek:

Kiffin: We actually warm those guys the same way as if they're getting ready to play because they could be in the second snap. It won't be a change up for him.

Q: On being more physical in practice considering this is the last week:

Kiffin: No, we haven't changed anything. Just going back to work and trying to get better still. That's the whole goal - trying to get better individually in all three phases of the game regardless of what our record is or what week it is.

Q: On the lack of Wittek's experience creating pressure on other players:

Kiffin: I don't think so. We've talked about that - making sure we're playing within our schemes, within our phases and not going out of that to try and do too much on defense or special teams or the skilled positions because of a new quarterback. That's not how you win games; you still have to be very consistent.

Q: On being around Wittek and if he exudes confidence in his interactions with him:

Kiffin: Yeah, Max is really confident, which is why he's been successful and part of why he's here. We've always seen that through him through the recruiting process and watching him play high school. Even though he's young for his grade, actually, but he's very confident.

Q: On the inconsistent play of kicker Andre Heidari:

Kiffin: I gotta think the surgery doesn't help a guy's rhythm. For a kicker to have surgery on your knee part way through your season has to affect you somewhat. I have to imagine that's playing a part in it.

Q: On how much confidence he has in Heidari heading into the weekend:

Kiffin: A lot of confidence. We've got great confidence, and we won't change the way that we manage situations just bcause a guy has had a rough couple weeks.

Q: On how much emphasis has been placed on cleaning up special teams:

Kiffin: This would be a great game to play well on special teams. Potential field position type of game and a team that doesn't kick a lot of touchbacks. Hopefully we can change the field in our return and coverage games. We weren't able to do that last week - we were in our coverage units - but not in our return game.


Q: On their defense only giving up nine touchdowns all year, and if it jumps out at the team:

Kiffin: Sure it does. You have to figure out why that is. They do a phenomenal job in the red zone. (They have) - for two years - done a great job at the goal line. You start looking at their goal line, people don't even make yards, they lose yards most of the time. Credit it to really good physical players and a really good scheme, too.

Q: On whether he likes the fact that they're facing a team that runs a more traditional offense:

Kiffin: Yeah, I think that's no secret. Over the course of time, in our three years here, we've played much better versus more traditional teams. You can look at the points in the last two years against these guys. We've done a better job, so yeah, we do like that.

Q: On if the team has moved on from the disappointment of the UCLA loss:

Kiffin: They have because of the magnitude and the build up for this game about a team potentially going to the national championship. I think that (loss) will never truly be erased, but we've definitely moved on.

Q: On whether the players appreciate the rivalry:

Kiffin: We try to work on that. I don't think that 's natural to them. It is what it is. It's what we live in nowadays. They're kids. For whatever reason, they don't come in here understanding that, so we work on it.

Q: On if that mindset will change if Notre Dame is able to sustain the kind of success they've had this year:

Kiffin: Yeah, that will naturally change it. I'm sure as these kids grew up, they weren't watching the same type of games, that, 20 years ago, kids were watching. That will definitely change it, but it's our part to make sure we're up there, too.

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