Zach Mettenberger spent time preparing to meet the media on Thursday by shaving his beard shortly…
Ezeh Hopes to Define Legacy in 2010
Obi Ezeh: "On the fumble recovery, yeah I guess you said it. The right place at the right time and just kind of had my wits about me. I had gotten knocked around a little bit earlier in the play and I was just kind of come to and the ball was right in front of me, luckily I grabbed and held on to it. Kind of reminded me of the Michigan State game last year where I had a fumble recovery and I got smacked right in the face right after I got the ball."
Question: Can you talk about your performance and Jonas (Mouton). Coming into the year, you guys both had a lot to prove to a lot of people and how you thought you performed?
Obi Ezeh: "I'm my worst critic so I don't know if I'm the right person to ask about my performance. I thought Jonas played awesome. He was flying around. He was trigging really fast. He was getting in the backfield and really just creating a lot of havoc. I thought he made a lot of big plays. He was reading his keys and everything was kind of gelling really well and I felt comfortable out there too."
Question: If you are really hard on yourself, what grade would you give yourself?
Obi Ezeh: "That's for me and my coach to discuss. Obviously, everybody makes mistakes. It wasn't a perfect game defensively, but it was a good game. We maybe masked some mistakes with good effort and just a lot of people getting around the ball."
Question: Can you talk about your disappointment on how things went personally for you last year and your motivation to make sure that your career ends in a different way.
Obi Ezeh: "Obviously things didn't go the way you wanted or you planned last year. You're right I use that kind of motivation this year, but mostly I just want to win. Me and all the other seniors out there, we want to leave a good legacy here and this is our last year to do it. There are more important things then what happened last year. It is obviously something that is motivating and driving me, something in the back of my mind. I figure if the team wins then everything will kind of play itself out that way."
Question: How much easier is it for a defense to perform when you're only out there for 24 minutes or so like Saturday?
Obi Ezeh: "It is fun. It is fun when you don't have to play like 80 some plays a game. That's how it played out yesterday. There will be games when we'll be called upon to take the brunt of the load and we don't do shy away from that at all. We're definitely in good shape to do it. However the cards play out, we're ready."
Question: How important was the D-line, especially in setting the tone right from the start?
Obi Ezeh: "They were amazing. They're what get us going. It all starts there and I thought they were amazing. A lot of people don't really hear about some of the efforts that some of those guys put out taking on double teams; Mike Martin was probably double teamed the whole team. Nobody really hears about that, but I hope that he knows personally from me that I appreciate everything that he is doing and keep up the good work and they're really what makes this defense go."
Question: How good did it feel to get that first three and out, out of the way. You guys get a couple of tackles for loss.
Obi Ezeh: "That was nice. Yeah because UCONN tried to come out with a little hurry up tempo to maybe try and catch us off guard, but we're ready for that. We go INDY every day at the end of practice. We're prepared. Our coaches got us really prepared for that game."
Question: Obviously, you've had a couple of experiences playing Notre Dame, going down there on Saturday with what you are expecting and what you might tell the younger guys about that game?
Obi Ezeh: "It is a big name on a big stage. We want to make a statement and that is what it is. With that all being said, it is still a game and just like last week, you need to prepare, you need to focus in and you need to practice hard. You need to pay attention to the details and then when it comes time for kickoff, you just need to play."
Question: What do you do to prepare differently for Brian Kelly's spread offense versus you did last week against Connecticut? How do you prepare for that?
Obi Ezeh: "Later in the game they were passing a lot more, but with the spread offense, everybody kinds of molds the spread to kind of fit to their own personnel. Notre Dame has got a lot of explosive players who they can use, they can implement in their offensive attacks. Our coaches are going to come in with a game play obviously and we're just going to focus in
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