Aug. 30, 2014
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
Opening statement ... "It's obviously good to win a football game to start the season. I mentioned to you many times before, this team has worked really hard, and they've done a nice job. I think the leadership throughout has been good. I thought we played hard. I was a little concerned in the second half when they had the opportunity, and they were running the ball on us through the middle of our defense. We've got to do a better job there, but I thought the kids came out and played hard. Disappointing, no turnovers defensively, and we only had one sack. They [Appalachian State] get the ball out of their hands pretty quick, and that's just part of what they do, but we should have been better than that. We had some opportunities and have to make them when you're there."
On the area he was most impressed with ... "I think the biggest thing was, we weren't competing with the scoreboard, we were competing with our abilities. That's what we talked about going into the game, and how we wanted to play and how we wanted to go about every down. Statistics are statistics, and you can look at them and believe them or you can look at them and know that's not the true answer, because there are a lot of things this football team has to do better."
On Jabrill Peppers' status ... "He'll be all right. I'll be honest with you, at halftime, we just decided not to bring him out second half. It's nothing life injury or anything; he will be ready next week."
On the decision to give Devin Funchess the No. 1 jersey and how he played in response to that ... "The young man asked me about it, and I said that's fine. I said call a member of the Kramer family, ask them, and that's what he did. Ron Kramer may have been the best player ever to play here, best athlete ever to play here. So he talked to Kurt, his son, and Devin being more of a wide receiver, obviously, he thought that's what he wanted to do. And believe me I asked him who has worn No. 1, and he started with Anthony Carter and went down the list, so I think that he earned it."
On the importance of 100-yard rushers in football ... "I think we wanted to run the ball, and to have two, 100-yard rushers is a good thing. We wanted that offensive line to play together. We talked about taking them out the series before the last touchdown, but, really, they hadn't played as much together, Khalid (Hill) has missed some of camp and getting him back in and playing with him and the combination of him and Joe (Burzynski), getting Mason (Cole) as many snaps, especially with a quality guard next to him, I think was important. I thought Jack Miller did a really nice job with our offensive line -- between the communication I was very impressed with Jack and have been all camp. There was a sequence in the series, two series in the second quarter where we lost some yardage on a couple of runs, and that bothers me, and I think we want perfection, and that's good because our standards should be high. That bothered us. There were a lot of big runs in there. You watch Jehu (Chesson) block, (Amara) Darboh block, you watch 'little Fleetwood' [Dennis Norfleet] block, those guys open up a lot of the big plays."
On his expectations for Devin Gardner and how he performed today ... "We wanted him to, number one, manage the game, take care of the football. I think he made some really good decisions. I think he changed a play or two at the line of scrimmage, more than one or two, and I thought he played 'locked in' to what was going on. I think with Doug (Nussmeier) being on the sideline I think helps in this situation, because of being able to talk to him between series, make some adjustments."
On whether the success of the offense early on came because of the shotgun, spread formation or was it a product of the opponent ... "Anytime you can run some of those spread things you've got a pretty mobile quarterback, one of those dual-threat guys they talk about, and I think having the ability to run some of that, whether you're going to make it, your backbone of what you're doing, I think defenses have to prepare for it. I think it's always good to have that in there."
On the importance to getting off to a good start to give your guys confidence ... "I think that's important. I think we think our football team was ready. You could tell how they really prepared the whole week. I think it was important to get on the board. It was important for the defense to get on the field first. We talked about our kickoff team going down and setting the tone and at the same time defensively setting a bit of a tone, and I think they did in that first series. The offense kind of feed off each other a little bit, and it was good to get on the board. We were at 14 for a while, so it was good to respond. I still think coming out in the third quarter, we need to do a better job in coming out just like we did in the first quarter."
On Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith both rushing for more than 100 yards ... "I think it's huge for our football team, and it's huge for both those young men. They're both big backs, but they're different. As you notice, Smith, he would rather run you over than play tag or try and make you miss. Green has a combination of both. It was good to have those guys have success, and I think it speaks, again, to what the receivers did and the offense line did."
On whether or not Appalachian State's success in the run game was about personnel fits ... "I think it's more about fits; I think it's about guys didn't get off blocks. You go another series and all of the sudden the same guy who didn't get off a block, he was getting off a block, and it's a plus one or a minus one. So it's the consistency of doing that every time."
On how the offensive line will change with (Graham) Glasgow available to play next week ... "How it changes, I'm not sure yet. I think that's an option that we're glad we have, but I can't tell you if it's going to be a change right yet."
On preparing to play Notre Dame for the last time in the near future ... "It's always been a great football game. Bo (Schembechler) would say it kind of lets you know where your team was early in the season because of the similarities of the athletes that are on the field. From that standpoint, I think for college football, it's a great rivalry and the significance of being the last one down there, yeah, there is significance to it."
On whether he saw what he expected out of his football team today ... "I thought they came out aggressive. Just being on the sideline and watching body angles and the leverage that they were playing with and finishing blocks. The last play of the game, (Patrick) Kugler is in there, and he finishes a block, on a guy about eight yards down the play. That was the only play he played, and he made the most of it. I think we're a long way from being what I think we can be. We just have to keep working. That's the great thing about this team. They've come in with mojo, and they have worked every day. They love working together."
On what he liked about the defense ... "I thought they were pretty tight on coverage. I think that part of it, and we have worked real hard on being tighter in the coverage aspect. I think the flow of the linebackers, all three of them, because they rotate, and depending on what defensive package we're in, James Ross, and James plays some of the normal defense also as an inside guy, but you felt those guys. You felt them as much as anything, breaking on balls and cleaning the hits up."
On Doug Nussmeier's work with the offense ... "You know what, I guess the only thing I would say to that is we won the football game. We got in the end zone. We play Notre Dame next week."
On the impact of having Doug Nussmeier on the side lines ... "You know what, he gets in my way! (Laughter). I'm trying to keep him off the field. I think he wants to go out and play. But I think this year, at this time, being with the quarterback for, I don't know, nine months or whatever it is, I think it's important that he's there with him. They can communicate. I think it's the same with the offensive line."
On whether he anticipates more coverage on Devin Funchess ... "He's definitely someone you need to pay attention to. I think as the year goes on, as he keeps working and as he keeps learning and keeps developing, I think that maybe more people will bracket him a little bit, put a corner over the top of him, run him and safety over the top, but then that helps (Jehu) Chesson and (Amara) Darboh and it helps Norfleet, and those other guys."
On the advantage of Devin Funchess only playing wide receiver ... "Well, I think that helps, yeah, there is no question about it. I think moving him back and forth is something. There is a lot to learn. And in this offense there is a lot to learn for a wide receiver when you talk about splits and minus twos and plus twos and all those kind of things for certain routes and plays. Football is geometry, it really is. How they decide on the spacing of it is huge in an offense."
On his overall assessment of the special teams ... "We were a little too deep on the onside kick. We had talked about it, and we had done it with them, and we just didn't react. It will be interesting to see the replay and see if we're back on our heels a little bit trying to get depth. Anytime you can generate points in your special teams; I think there is some statistics out there that you get 70 percent more chance or 75 percent more chance of winning a football game, and one of those is based on blocked punts. We wanted to be aggressive. Didn't know exactly what we were going to get totally from them, because in pregame they lined up in a pro style punt, and then obviously they were spread punt with a shield when we got to real live bullets."
U-M Senior Defensive End Frank Clark
On the performance of the defense ... "It was a good start, but we didn't finish how we planned to. I believe we may have given up 150 rushing yards and that is something as a defense that we can't moving forward. We have to come together this week in practice and do what we need to do to get ready for Notre Dame."
On seeing the blocked field goal on film from a few years ago ... "It definitely inspired me on special teams. I am playing special teams finally for the first time in my career. It inspired us. Our field goal block team did a great job. And we did a great job of protecting our holder and kicker. When you show that all of camp and in the week leading up of practice, you will have no choice but to go in there with a will of 'you have to do what you have to do.'"
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Linebacker Jake Ryan
On the improvements of the defense ... "I thought we did well as a defense. We can't give up those 14 points. Every single day you have to improve and take those steps forward. Tomorrow we will watch the film and make those corrections we have to make."
On leading this defense ... "This is my last go-around, so it is exciting for me. You just have to instill what you know into those younger guys. Hopefully they can lead as well as the seniors are right now. There is a lot more leadership than we have had in previous years. There are some younger guys who are stepping up and saying things. I think it is great. I think we are doing really well. I think we are taking steps forward every day."
U-M Junior Wide Receiver Devin Funchess
On getting off to a fast start ... "We are just here to make our mark. You only get one chance to make a first impression. That is what we did today. It shows all of our hard work from this offseason. We came out and showed what we had today."
On wearing the No. 1 jersey ... "It was a great honor. I have been working hard. I asked Jake (Ryan) all offseason, 'Was I working hard? Did I earn it?' He said yes. So I went up and asked Coach Hoke. Coach Hoke said he would think about it. I took the initiative to call Kurt Kramer, Ron Kramer's son, to ask him about the situation. He said that it was okay. I thanked him, and then Coach Hoke made the final decision."
On how important it was to jump on them ... "We just worked hard. This offseason, we had a chip on our shoulder from last season. We went out there and gave our first impression. That first impression matters most because you only get one chance to do that."
U-M Senior Linebacker Desmond Morgan
On how important it was to jump out to a fast start and how the work in the offseason prepared them ... "I think we have realized all along that we are a different team than last year. I know one thing that we have stressed is that we wanted to play together, and we wanted to come out fast. I think we did both of those things today. There were some stumbles along the road on both sides of the ball that we can clean up. I think to get that first one under the belt and get started, it felt good."
On when the team starts thinking about Notre Dame ... "After Coach gave his postgame speech, it is on to the next week. Obviously, it is nice to get a win, especially at home and the season opener. It is a big game next week, and we are looking forward to it."
On how much of an opportunity next week will be ... "Obviously it is important and a rivalry game that we love to be a part of. It will be a huge game in that aspect, along with it being a night game. Notre Dame always has a good football team because they are a great football program. It should be a good game."
U-M Sophomore Running Back De'Veon Smith
On the improvement of the running backs as a group ... "It comes from Coach J (running backs coach Fred Jackson) beating it in our heads, telling us we have to be better running backs, the toughest running backs in the Big Ten. All the credit goes out to Coach J for getting us ready for this game."
On whether or not today's offensive line performance reflects what he had seen from them in camp ... "Yes, I had seen this during camp. Tuesday and Wednesday were our best practices of camp. Our offensive line came out and dominated the defense, so I was expecting nothing less than big holes today."
U-M Sophomore Running Back Derrick Green
On where the group can improve between now and Notre Dame ... "I think we just need to be more consistent. In the second half we needed more consistency, so I think that's what we need to do taking things over to this next week. For our offense that's significant, so we just want to keep it going."
On the importance of cohesion and consistency among the offensive line ... "I think it just got them going. Play after play, they knew what they had to do. They had seen the defensive line, so I feel that had them mentally ready to keep going play after play."
U-M Senior Quarterback Devin Gardner
On the success of the running game ... "That was a big part of everything we did today, and it all starts with the offensive line. They did a really good job of making holes, and the running backs found them and hit them pretty hard."
On his first game with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier on the sidelines ... "It was different for me, but it was really nice for me to be able to go see him and make adjustments right there and not wait until halftime. I really enjoyed having him down there, and it was beneficial for the entire offense."
On his comfort during the game ... "I was definitely really prepared. Coach Nuss (Doug Nussmeier) made sure I was prepared for everything I was going to see today. I just tried to follow my rules and take what they gave me, and I did that."
Appalachian State Head Coach Scott Satterfield
Opening statement... "We're obviously disappointed in the way the game ended. In the first quarter, we were playing decently. Then we hit about a four or five minute stretch in the second quarter where we didn't get any first downs, and they hit a lot of big plays on us. It ended up extending the lead a little bit too far for us to come back. I was proud of our kids at halftime to come back out and keep playing. We looked a little bit more relaxed in the second half. We came out and kept fighting. We were able to move the ball a little bit better in the second half and still, defensively, we just gave up too much on third down. The third-down percentage for us wasn't very good, really on either side of the ball, especially in the first half. Offensively, we picked it up a little bit better. We were able to run the football decently but conversely, passing the ball wasn't very good. Their DBs did a great job of putting their hands on our receivers. They didn't get free early in the game. That put a little more pressure on Kam [Bryant] to make more accurate throws, and we weren't able to do that. That was probably the difference, offensively, in this game."
On Devin Funchess... "He's a tough matchup for anyone. He's a big guy with long arms and great hands. Watching film on him from last year, he did that against a lot of people. This spring, for them, and in this fall camp, you've seen some highlights, and he's making great catches. Two weeks ago in their scrimmage, he made a one-handed catch in the end zone and a one-handed catch across the middle of the field. He's a tough matchup. You put the combo of size and speed on him, he's a hard cover. He's going to be a hard cover for anyone this year, no question about it."
On if his team will keep the loss in perspective... "Yeah, absolutely. We're going to learn from this. Michigan is a good football team. There's no question about it. We knew coming in that we'd have to play near-perfect football. We knew that to have a chance to win, they would have to turn the football over quite a bit. They did a great job of taking care of the football. I thought they played really, really well."
On Michigan's eagerness to play the game... "All offseason, everyone has been talking. That was in their minds the whole offseason. All summer long. And what else do they hear? 'In 2007, App State comes and beats you guys.' That's all they've heard. You're daggone right they were determined, from the time our AD said we're playing Michigan. They've been eager for this one, fans and players, and they played like it. I thought they played really well. I tip my hat off to them, Coach Hoke and that entire staff. They did a great job."
ASU Junior Quarterback Kameron Bryant
On what Michigan did well today to make things difficult ... "They are just a good team. There really isn't much of a secret to it; they are a talented group and they came out there and they were just physical with us. I didn't execute well, and like I said I'm always first to point the finger, and I didn't do a great job today. When you don't have good quarterback play it's hard to win games. They did a great job."
On the experience ... "It was a great experience. I could just imagine what it was like for the guys in 2007, but we tried to not look so far back as 2007 because this isn't the team from '07. We don't have Armanti Edwards on the team. It didn't end the way that we wanted it to, but at in the same measure, I think this is going to help us become a great team in the long run."
ASU Junior Defensive End Ronald Blair
On the long runs ... "As I talked about earlier in the week, we would need all 11 players in the right position. On the big runs, if one person is out of their gaps, 10 people could be in the right gap, but if one person is out of the gap that messes everything up and gives them those long runs."
On if the defense felt worn down at all ... "I don't think so. Maybe towards the end, like the way end, but not early, definitely not before the third quarter."
ASU Freshman Running Back Terrence Upshaw
On his first start ... "At the beginning of the game, we were doing very well running and then we shied aware from the run game and started passing the ball. Being my first start, because it was at Michigan, I tried to remain focused and relaxed as possible out there."