The road doesn’t get any easier for Carlyle Holiday. He knows he faces a good team in Michigan State and plenty of talented teams are on the horizon. “Really, you've got to realize it doesn't get any easier,” said Holiday. “Every team we play from now on is hard and we just have to let Michigan go and bounce back this week.
The quarterback controversy has begun and Holiday says he doesn’t feel any pressure to perform. “Me, I don't feel any pressure. I know how I performed on Saturday and I know it wasn't enough to help the team win the ballgame. I don't feel any pressure. I just know I need to step it up a notch in practice in order for us to win the ballgame. The pressure is not there, it's me just stepping it up and forgetting about everything and going out and practice.”
Holiday says playing at Notre Dame; you will always have talent behind you waiting for their chance. He’s aware of the controversy and says he’s just got to play his game. “You are always going to have somebody looking over your shoulder, especially in a place like this, but you have to be able to let that fly by you and have snakeskin, I guess. And somehow just be able to bounce back.”
The Irish offense continues to get stuck in third and long situations. Holiday agreed this was the main problem at Michigan. “That’s the problem we’re caught in – third and extra long. And when we have those situations in a ball game it is really going to reduce how effective you are on offense and that was the problem with Michigan – and a little bit against Washington State. So when you have those situations it takes so much out of your game plan.”
The lack of production has been frustrating for Holiday but he says he can’t let that get him down. “I get frustrated but then I realize I’ve got to just let it go. When you stay frustrated it’s going to affect you from now on out. I’ve just got to let that go and I think the coaches do a good job of letting it go like that.”
Holiday says he knows he has his critics but that is what every Notre Dame quarterback should expect. “When you win by a lot, it’s nothing. When you lose by a lot, it’s a lot,” said Holiday of the criticism. “And you get the blame and you have to be able to accept that if you want to play quarterback here at Notre Dame. I’m fine with that; it just helps me elevate my play that much more.”
The Irish face Michigan State this weekend and Holiday says the offense is eager to show they can move the ball. “There’s a great sense of urgency. Just being able to bounce back and come out and play Notre Dame football for all of us because we really felt embarrassed Saturday, but that the whole team didn’t show up. There is a sense of urgency for all of us to come out and execute and play our brand of football.”
Hopefully the Irish and Holiday can bounce back and get the offense kick-started.