Postgame Quotes: #2 Alabama 41, #8 Michigan 14

Sept. 1, 2012

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Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke

Opening statement ... "Obviously, we didn't play Michigan football, and that is something that bothers our team, bothers the coaches. I don't think we played or tackled well enough on defense. We didn't control the line of scrimmage enough offensively, (we had too many) penalties. I mean, we had a lot of penalties, and that's usually not like us, so that is bothersome and we've got a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of things to correct."

Q: Throughout fall camp, you said that this game would be a measuring stick for how your team has progressed throughout fall camp and since you took over as coach. Where's that measuring stick?
"I would think we're on the short end of the measuring stick right now. I mean, we've got a lot of things that I know we can do better. I've seen us do it better, and we've got to go back to work."

Q: It seems like you guys didn't run to Denard Robinson as much. Was that the game plan tonight? How were you planning to use him?
"There are some (games) that we're going to run him a little more. There are some plays in there that maybe he could have kept it. I'm sure he kept it once or twice. But we couldn't establish the line of scrimmage."

Q: Taylor Lewan and Blake Countess, I know Lewan got hurt late, but what is their status?
"I don't know."

Q: What disappoints you the most: how they did handle the line of scrimmage and how you couldn't get anything established there at all?
"On both sides of the ball. It was bad on both sides of the ball."

Q: What was the message at halftime?
"We had 30 minutes that we had to play Michigan football because the first 30, I don't think we did. It will be interesting, you know, you look and see who is playing hard and all that kind of stuff, but I think for the most part there was an effort and an intensity. But until you watch the film, you learn a little more."

Q: What went into the decision to play Elliott Mealer at center and flip-flop with Ricky Barnum. And when did you make that decision?
"They had been both playing a lot of center, a lot of guard. Just felt some of the shotgun stuff Elliott was a little better."

Q: How much of that line of scrimmage advantage is the fact that they have a lot of great athletes up there, and how much of it is your capacity to improve your own guys up there?
"Well, I think that's always part of it. We've got some guys and these kids that are working their tails off and doing a good job. They'll get better as we go. They're a seasoned front, which is something that you want, at least I do. But we'll make our strides."

Q: This is obviously a very difficult loss for your team. How do you get them to refocus and not to let this one serve as a hangover going forward here?
"Well, win or lose, we always try and go to the next team pretty quickly. I think our seniors, our guys are pretty resilient and I think they'll move forward."

Q: You mentioned the line of scrimmage. But 69 rushing yards, how much did you miss Fitzgerald Toussaint?
"I can't guess if we miss Fitz or not. You've got to block them."

Q: What was your take at Devin Gardner's first crack at receiver. What was the plan going forward and what brought the performance?
"I think Devin's a pretty special athlete. To get another athlete on the field helps us."

Q: Is Alabama that good at the line of scrimmage or did you find out how far you guys have to go?
"I think it's always probably a little bit of both."

Q: Is it hard because Alabama was so sharp early on to see if it was them or if it was you.
"It's probably a little bit more of a combination of both, but at the same time, you know, we didn't get our blocks very well from the defensive standpoint, and then we didn't take the run very well, and we had an opportunity to tackle and we didn't tackle very well."

Q: You had starters in late in the game when it looked like it was fairly well decided. What went into the decision, especially on the line? What went into the decision to leave some of those guys in?
"The defensive line, most of those guys were out. Offensively, number one, we've got the ball at midfield, and we're trying to score and trying to compete. Denard's in the game at one point, and there are some guys that need a lot of work still."

Q: Do you feel you were ready to play tonight?
"I think so."

Q: Secondly, Josh Furman didn't make the trip down, is there something you can say about that?
"He didn't make the trip."

Q: You knew this was going to be a challenge playing the No. 2 defending national champions, and do you still feel the Big Ten championship is out there in your grasp? What can you use this game as?
"I think you learn a lot. You win or lose your first game, you learn a lot. We obviously need to be a little more disciplined when it comes to blocking in the back. We did that three times on return teams. Two of them were young guys, freshmen out there who are trying to make the play, the other one was a fifth-year senior. You know not what you expect from a senior."

U-M Senior/junior Wide Receiver Jeremy Gallon

On Alabama putting a hurt on Michigan ... "They're a good team. We just didn't play Michigan football. We didn't start fast or finish fast."

On being discouraged ... "No it's just one game. We've got 11 more to go. Get back home, get in the film room, fix our mistakes and get ready for Air Force. I don't put it on them, it's on us. We made mistakes, we didn't execute or start fast, so it's not on them. It's our fault."

U-M Fifth-Year Senior Jordan Kovacs

On the loss/game overall ... "It was a tough loss. It was a deflating loss. It should sting, but at the end of the day, you can't let Alabama beat you twice. You have to learn from it. Watch the film and make your corrections to get ready for Air Force next week.

"We knew Alabama was going to be tough -- that they were going to have a great offensive line, running backs. It came down to missed tackles, too many penalties. We didn't play Michigan football."

On what possibly contributed to the loss - rankings, venue, etc. ... "I don't think there was any distraction. We just didn't come out here and execute. They played well. They had a great game plan. They pounded the ball. Like I said, we just had too many missed tackles.

"We are not where we need to be. Obviously, we lost big in a big game, but like I said, we can't let Alabama beat us twice. It is going to hurt watching the film, but at the end of the day we have to watch it and make those corrections.

"We've got talent on this team. Alabama had a great game. They had a great game plan and we didn't play Michigan football. We didn't stop the run. We didn't run well. We didn't tackle well. We had too many penalties and were undisciplined. That will cost you."

U-M Senior Quarterback Denard Robinson

On the game plan using the run and the pass ... "I tried to make throws, some good throws down the field and whatever coach threw at us we ran. It was the game plan to run. It's the read, I read the play out. If you get the pull, read then run it. There were opportunities out there on the field that I could have pulled it."

On if Alabama overwhelmed Michigan ... "We didn't play Michigan football. They had a great team. I give them credit, but we didn't come to play ball today. You guys could see that we didn't come to play ball today, and we've got to bounce back from it.

"I didn't make the throws that I should have made today and I feel that I didn't play as the Michigan quarterback today. I've got to step it up and be more accountable."

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