Postgame Quotes: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31

Sept. 11, 2011

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• U-M coach quotes from Michigan Sports Network postgame show and press conference
• Player quotes from press conference

Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
(from Michigan Sports Network postgame show)

On how the Michigan team got the win tonight ... "I really didn't do anything. I can tell you our kids fought together, they stayed together and they played 60 minutes of football. At the end when we squib-kicked with two seconds left, if you watch Terrence Robinson motoring down the field, the guys on the kickoff team trying to get that football and secure the game. Big plays, obviously, on both sides we have to clean up as a team. But it's great to win. It's great to win this rivalry game. I think it's 14-13-1 now since 1978, so it's good to be on the winning side."

On Notre Dame countering Michigan's defense ... "Brian Kelly has a very good offensive mind and is a very good football coach. (Tommy) Rees did a nice job. We got to do a better job of showing them a look and then getting out of it and getting into another look. We have to mature a little bit as a defense. It's nervous and all those kind of things, but we got to work on that part of it because you really don't want to telegraph to the opposing team what you're going to do."

On Junior Hemingway's performance and wearing the No. 21 jersey ... "I really thought he had a great fall camp. I think his attitude and leadership is something I'm very excited about. I'm excited for him. The jersey that he wears, he takes that very seriously. When the patch was put on today, he knows how much that means. I know he's going to do a great job for us the whole year."

On the decision to go for the win with eight seconds left ... "Well, we had eight seconds. We had two timeouts left. Depending on what would have happened within that eight seconds, you know we had a timeout that we could have taken advantage of and may have gone for the tie, but most of the time we're going for the win."

Senior/Junior Wide Receiver Roy Roundtree

On if he knew his game-winning touchdown would stand despite the official review ... "I knew I had possession of it. I looked to the sideline because I knew I already had it. I wouldn't mind looking at the replay again and celebrate with my teammates."

On the atmosphere in the huddle on the last drive ... "We were composed. We go through that every day in practice. Coach always says, 'The game is not over until there is 0:00 on the clock.' We just went out there and played hard and finished strong."

On his touchdown catch being his only catch of the game ... "I'm a team player. I'll go out and put my hand in the dirt and block. I'm not really concerned about the ball. I'm a team player. That's why I'm here. I'm not just dangerous with the football."

U-M Fifth-Year Senior Center David Molk

On the last 30 seconds ... "There's always time in any game against any opponent. It's just a matter of setting your mind to it and rallying your team around you. It's just something were comfortable with. It's something we know. We know we can do well."

On Denard Robinson's mentality at the half ... "We talked to him at halftime and just needed to calm him down because sometimes he speeds everything up and loses track of where he is. Once we got back out there in the second half, he was ready to go."

U-M Junior Running Back Vincent Smith

On the audibles at the line of scrimmage ... "We have to improve in that area, get the ball moving. We're going to go look at film and see what we did wrong and improve on it."

On how night games in Michigan Stadium compare to day games ... "It's dark. A night game at Michigan Stadium is very big, loud. It was an exciting crowd out there. It was different."

U-M Junior Quarterback Denard Robinson

On early first-half struggles ... "Everybody was just playing as a team, just doing what we're doing to win for Michigan. Coach said we have a whole bunch of football left and keep playing until the end, and that's what we did."

On the character of the team ... "Every time you see a University of Michigan team, you're going to see a team that's going to play together and fight until the end until there's two zeros on the clock."

On the last drive ... "The play to (Jeremy) Gallon, we worked on it all summer. We called the play up and it worked. The play to Roy (Roundtree), he told me in the huddle 'Denard, I got to get 'em, I got to get 'em,' and he gave them a move, their guy kind of held him and I just threw it up -- and I knew he was going to get it."

On his TD scoop off Stephen Hopkins' fumble ... "Coach told us to hand the ball off and be ready for anything to happen. Once I handed it off I looked and I said, 'What?' and I just grabbed the ball and ran. That was kind of crazy; I've never scored like that before."

On close games with Notre Dame ... "Every time you see this game, you're going to know that both teams are going to fight to the end. It's never over until you see zeros on the clock."

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly

On the game tonight in general ... "We're not good enough. There's not one individual in that locker room, including the coaches, that are good enough right now. And consequently, we lost the football game. I mean across the board. It's turnovers, it's our sub-par special teams, our inability to make a stop; it's all of those things. I pretty much told our football team that when we're better as a football team we'll start winning."

On what the missing ingredient is for his team ... "We had four turnovers, we had sub-par kicking performances, we did a poor job fielding the kickoff that gave us a short field. When the game's in the balance they say special teams make the difference in a close game. So special teams play, the turnovers and the inability to make a big play. They (Michigan) made several big plays in the second half."

On Michigan's adjustments after the first quarter ... "They started bringing pressure and we made some mistakes. We had a fumble, the interception, all of those were critical turnovers when we are moving the football. We had a chance on the road to win and that's not how we need to play. So taking a step back, and going back to my opening comments, we are not good enough yet. We have kids that care and are playing hard but we're just not good enough. And that means we have to execute better and coach better."

On Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees ... "The one thing I was proud of was after he made the big mistake, obviously the ball coming out of his hands, he came back and led our football team to a key drive on the road. That's a big thing that we can take away. But he made some critical mistakes, but he kept battling. At the end you're looking for your quarterback to lead you on the road and he did a terrific job of that."

Notre Dame Senior Wide Receiver Michael Floyd

On not capitalizing on opportunities ... "We have to be perfect in everything. We can't just go out there and think that we're just going to win. We have to capitalize on everything. Today we fell short."

On how devastating the loss is ... "It's devastating. It's hard to take this one in but we have so many more games. We have to keep working."

On the game being déjà vu from last season ... "It's pretty hard thinking you have the game in hand and you fell short."

Notre Dame Senior Linebacker Darius Fleming

On not capitalizing on opportunities ... "We have to let it go and stay focused. It starts with leadership, making sure the young guys know that we can't just let this season go away."

On Tommy Rees ... "He played real well but as a team we fell short. Everyone has to pitch in."

Notre Dame Sophomore Quarterback Tommy Rees

On his play tonight ... "Obviously not good enough. As a quarterback you put a lot of responsibility on yourself, and it's early and I know we can all get better. I didn't do enough tonight to help this team win the game. We can come back Tuesday and be ready to work to get prepared for Michigan State."

On Notre Dame's last drive ... "We were confident we could go down the field and it worked out. There were so many different emotions running through your mind, but the guys did a great job of sticking with me after my turnover."

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