Notre Dame Football: Chris Galippo

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- No, there is not a cardboard cutout of Max Wittek standing in the Notre Dame locker room. The USC quarterback's comments from a Tuesday radio appearance are not posted around the school's football complex.

The news to Irish players Wednesday? Of course a starting quarterback thinks his team's going to win, so why is it a big deal?

"He's a big guy, he has a strong arm -- obviously he guaranteed a win or whatever, but at the same time what do you expect?" Notre Dame's fifth-year end Kapron Lewis-Moore said. "You don't expect him to say we're going to lose. I think people are really making a bigger deal than what it is. He's a confident quarterback, and you want to play for a confident quarterback. So by him coming out saying, 'We're going to win,' that's what you want out of your quarterback.

"Obviously we're not over-thinking it, it's not hanging up in the locker room, it's not bulletin-board material. You know about it, just kind of shrug it off, then go to work."

Wittek is making his first career start after Matt Barkley went down Saturday with a shoulder injury. The redshirt freshman has completed 8 of 9 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown as a reserve this season.

On Tuesday, he went on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles and expressed confidence in his chances against the No. 1 Irish.

"If he wants to air it out, let's air it out," Wittek said of Trojans coach Lane Kiffin. "If he wants to pound it on the ground, let's do that. I'm gonna go out there, I'm gonna play within myself, within the system, and we're gonna win this ballgame."

The comments drew a strong response, just not among Notre Dame players.

"They probably just mis-said a few words, who knows?" Irish nose guard Louis Nix said of the comments. "I don't try to take comments, what people say, because sometimes people speak out of terms and people try to boost it up. If he said it, he said it. If he didn't mean to, he didn't meant to. I don't really care. I'm just going out to the Coliseum trying to play some good football."

Last year USC linebacker Chris Galippo said that Notre Dame quit when it didn't use any of its three timeouts late in a 31-17 Trojans win at Notre Dame Stadium. Barkley echoed those comments later on a radio show.

"I think that from their position, you'd hope that a quarterback coming in and being a rookie and all, you'd have confidence going into a game like this," Irish safety Zeke Motta said. "But with that inexperience, it could go either way. But I think that you think about an inexperienced quarterback out there, try to use that to your advantage out on the field. But at the same time he has nothing to lose, so he can chunk it up or whatever."
On the same day USC quarterback Matt Barkley didn't back down from his teammates' comments about Notre Dame quitting, the one who caused most of the the uproar did.

Trojans linebacker Chris Galippo took to the Twitter world on Monday to apologize for his postgame remarks from two days earlier, posting: "If I offended anyone with my post game comments Saturday, I do apologize. I have great respect for their players and their program..."

Galippo caused a stir following USC's 31-17 win over Notre Dame by saying that the Irish — who did not use any of their three timeouts as USC ran the ball 10 straight times over the game's final 6:43 — had quit.

"At the end there, when they didn't call those timeouts, they just quit," Galippo said Saturday, according to ESPNLA.com's Pedro Moura. "And that's what Notre Dame football's about. They're not anything like USC."

"We're coming halfway across the country to play these guys," Galippo added. "They hyped it up. This was their Super Bowl. They had 26 or 27 official visits this weekend.

"This was it for them."

Earlier Tuesday, on 710 ESPN Radio with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley, Barkley agreed with Galippo's postgame assertion.

"I would agree with that," Barkley said. "I was shocked that they didn't use the timeouts because we got on the field with seven or so minutes left. Six, whatever, about seven minutes left, and I thought they were gonna, planning on stopping us and then saving their timeouts for the end when they had the ball. But then it got down to around two minutes and they still hadn't used their timeouts and we were still controlling and moving the ball down the field. And even inside of two minutes they didn't call anything.

"And it seemed from our sideline, from our perspective, that they did give up. It seemed uncharacteristic of Notre Dame, and I wouldn't have wanted to have been on that sideline."

USC comments fall on deaf ears

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
6:30
PM ET
Don't expect any verbal retaliation from Notre Dame players in wake of a 31-17 loss to USC that led to several Trojans players taking postgame shots at the Irish.

"If they do, they don't know me very well," Brian Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference.

USC took possession at the Irish 49 with 6:43 left in the game following a Nickell Robey interception. It ended the contest with 10 straight Curtis McNeal runs.

Down two scores, Notre Dame did not use any of its timeouts, prompting harsh words from its visitors.

"At the end there, when they didn't call those timeouts, they just quit," USC linebacker Chris Galippo said, according to ESPNLA.com's Pedro Moura. "And that's what Notre Dame football's about. They're not anything like USC."

"We're coming halfway across the country to play these guys," Galippo added. "They hyped it up. This was their Super Bowl. They had 26 or 27 official visits this weekend.

"This was it for them."

Trojans running back Marc Tyler had more toned-down comments about Notre Dame.

"That's what happens when you beat them down," Tyler said. "We wore them out. They didn't want to play no more.

"We out-physicaled them and beat them down."

Kelly did not agree that his team wore down defensively but would not engage in a battle of words.

"I don't know if that's the case," Kelly said. "To the victors go the spoils. I think we probably would have said the same thing last year. Again, how we evaluate our players, we didn't play the kind of football we wanted to play."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Notre Dame To Hold Out Another Player Due To Probe
Matt Fortuna discusses Eilar Hardy being held out of practice and games as Notre Dame continues its internal investigation into academic misconduct.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

FBS INDEP. SCOREBOARD

Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30