Sept. 15, 2012
U-M coach quotes from Michigan Sports Network postgame show
Player quotes from press conference
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
On the margin of victory being good for team morale ... "First and foremost, it's great to win a football game. At the same time, we've got a lot of things that we did well, but we need to do a lot better job at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football."
On the improvement on the offensive line ... "There must have been some improvement. It's hard to tell during the course of the game to be honest, but we stayed on blocks a little better. I thought Fitz (Toussaint) got a little better with his rhythm. Then, when Thomas (Rawls) came in, I thought he made some physical runs for us. That's the sticking point right now. It might be boring for some people, but we need to play better on both sides of the ball."
On using different offensive formations to make the spread more effective ... "It helps in a lot of ways. We didn't play action, per se, out of it. It helps our productivity. Denard (Robinson) under center, when you look at last year and this year, has been very productive throwing the football for us."
On emphasizing the importance of the turnover battle ... "We work the heck out of turnover drills. That's one thing we've started very slowly with. Getting the ball back for our offense. That's frustrating. We have to do a better job. We're knocking some balls down here and there, but I think our coverage needs to be much tighter. I think when the opportunity is there, we need to make plays on the football. At the same time, we need to get 11 guys to the football to get the ball knocked out."
On all of the young players contributing ... "Any time you have a chance to play a lot of guys, it helps your team. It helps your experience level and morale. We are playing a lot of young guys. Hopefully, as they continue to progress, they will get a better feel for the game, the position, the technique and the fundamentals."
On the development of Russell Bellomy ... "Russell works awfully hard. We're bringing him along. For him to have the ability to play some snaps today, that was huge."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Offensive Lineman Patrick Omameh
On Taylor Lewan's touchdown ... "It was exciting. Anytime you can get an offensive lineman to have a touchdown, it is an exciting moment. He fell on it and he got the touchdown. There was a little debate on who fell on it first. The stats go to him and we give him kudos."
On how the offensive line can improve ... "I think it is something that every week, we expect to get better. The more we play together, the better we are going to get as an offensive line. We feel we performed better this week than we did last week. We still are not to the point where we want to be or need to be, but with consistent improvement, we can get there."
On Fitzgerald Toussaint improving from last week ... "The more threats we have as an offense, the more dangerous we can be. Everybody knows that we have Denard Robinson, and he is a special player. The more pressure we can take off of him, the better we will be as an offensive team."
On playing on the road next week at Notre Dame ... "We don't have eight home games like we did last year. We have to be able to show that we can go on the road and be successful."
U-M Junior Wide Receiver Drew Dileo
On Brady Hoke's displeasure from a 50-point victory ... "It just shows the level of expectation that he has for us and we have for ourselves. It is something that we all understood and have to strive to reach."
On being part of Denard Robinson breaking records ... "I think it is pretty special. Pat (Omameh) would probably say the same. He is one of those guys in there helping him break those records, blocking guys. Our receiving guys are downfield, blocking guys and catching balls for Denard. However many years from now, looking back, people will still be talking about Denard Robinson. It is going to be pretty special to tell your kids and grandkids that you played with him."
On the wide receivers having a solid day ... "It is pretty nice. You all (the media) maybe were the ones who had questions (about the wide receivers) before the season. We knew the guys we had and the quarterback we have. We know that we will make plays."
U-M Senior Defensive Tackle Will Campbell
On team gains from the win... "Of course any win is a good win. Every game, not everybody is going to have a perfect game and everybody is going to have mistakes that we can capitalize on and correct for next week because if we play like we did today, we will not win next week. We need to come out and play like a Michigan defense and our offense needs to play like a Michigan offense."
On why the defense is struggling on third downs ... "I take that on the front four because if we get pressure on the quarterback, they won't have to cover as long. We need to get honed for the defense to be successful on third downs."
On practice ... "Every day at practice we go out our first day of practice with a new scheme for a new offense so of course there is going to be some bumps and bruises within that scheme that we are going to have to fix throughout the week. Of course we are going to make strides week in and week out as far as us playing what we need to do, playing with technique, coming and getting off the ball with our hands and throwing off blocks. That is what we strive for."
U-M Senior/junior Safety Thomas Gordon
On the lack of caused turnovers ... "It comes down to more people getting to the football, you have to play with intensity to create turnovers. Once you get more people to the football, get more guys in the pile trying to get the ball out, you will get more turnovers. Obviously we haven't been doing that so far because of the lack of turnovers, but we are going to get there."
On recovering from mistakes on the other side of the ball ... "When anybody makes a mistake with the defense on the sideline, we preach about sudden change and the defense coming out there and getting the stop because that is a big momentum shift if we can stop their offense after a turnover or something like that. That is big momentum for our defense and that is what we preach on.
"You can contribute some of it to the physicalness of Alabama and the triple option of Air Force, but it really doesn't matter what team we go up against -- as a Michigan defense, we are held to that expectation to produce no matter what offense we are playing. That does play some part in it, but it is still on us to produce."
U-M Senior Running Back Vincent Smith
On where the team took a step forward today ... "We took a stop forward with getting off the ball in our running game and getting a good push up front, but we still need work. We'll just continue to strive in all areas."
On why the running game was better today ... "We've been challenging ourselves in practice, working had every day and challenging everyone up front to do better. We've been working and working and it's finally picking up and paying off."
U-M Senior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On getting a good win prior to the Notre Dame matchup next weekend ... "We needed a good win. Every day we need to come out and get better. When we came out today I feel like we got better, but we still have some things to work on."
On passing Tom Brady and Jim Harbaugh on the all-time passing yards list ... "To be honest, the only thing I worry about is winning and going out there and being accountable for my team. When it comes to records it's just going out there and playing football with the team."
On Vincent Smith and the other running backs stepping it up ... "They ran the ball well and they have to keep doing it. We have to keep going and get better every time we get out on the football field."
On coming away from the game with no injuries ... "It's always good to have healthy guys. It's always good to have the guys that we count on, but if someone does go down, someone else will be ready to play anyway. We just have to stay healthy and every time we get the chance, improve."
Massachusetts Head Coach Charley Molnar
Opening remarks ... "It was a sloppy day for us today in a lot of areas. Offense, defense, special teams, everybody was complacent in today's game. We have a long way to go as a football team. It was a farrago of things that went wrong. You name it, from penalties, to a miss exchange with the quarterback and running back early in the game, dropped balls in the punt return game, and a missed field goal. Just about anything that could go wrong did go wrong today at least in the way I viewed it."
On the running game and starting back Michael Cox ... "I really wanted to get Mike (Cox) more meaningful touches. We had so many penalties offensively and gosh, we were just pinned back, and we had to throw the ball a little bit to try to get out of some of the holes that we dug ourselves into. I really, really thought we could have established him. He was on track to have a good day. Made a couple of bad decisions and gave up some ground and that was very atypical of him. Still in some ways, even though he has been around a long time, he still in some ways is a young player. He doesn't have a lot of carries under his belt for a guy that is a fifth-year guy."
On kicker Brendon Levengood and the kicking game as a whole ... "Even the miss was a good miss. He really struck the ball well, a 45-yarder. You would like to think a Division-I kicker is going to come pretty darn close, which he did. He really, really struck the ball well. I think he will make one of those before the year is out. He obviously has the range."
On defending Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson ... "It is impossible to replicate in practice, that is the number one thing. There is nobody like that on our football team, really there is nobody like that in the country. How do you get ready for him? You can't. You just have to be able to be athletic enough and disciplined enough to try to make the plays when he comes to you. When he got space, it is impossible to tackle him. Our guys just weren't capable and up to that task today."
UMass Running Back Michael Cox
On what it was like to see his old teammates and get a chance to speak with them following the game ... "It was nice just seeing all my real good friends after spending most of my college career with them. It was just cool coming back and seeing them all again."
On what it was like to come back to Michigan playing on a different team ... "It was definitely weird at first, especially going to the visiting team's locker room and everything. It definitely brought back a lot of memories. It was definitely weird going to the opposite sideline. It was fun though."
On what he told his teammates to expect coming to play a game at Michigan Stadium ... "I just kind of told them what the experience was going to be like. Obviously, Michigan has 110,000-plus people, and you know it is going to be loud. I just tried to help them prepare for the experience and tell them about the personnel of the team -- pretty much whatever they wanted to know."
UMass Quarterback Mike Wegzyn
On how Cox's strong performance in the running game opened up the field for the passing game ... "As an offense, when you have a running back that is making big runs like he was today, it definitely makes the defense back up a little bit more and kind of opens up windows for passing a little bit more. Whenever you have a running back like that, it helps a ton."
On if he felt that this was the team's best performance of the season, even though they were going against their strongest competition ... "Definitely. I think as an offense we felt a lot calmer. I know personally I felt a lot calmer sitting in the pocket behind my guys. Obviously Mike [Cox] was doing a great job today running the ball. Our receivers were catching the ball really well and running good routes. I don't think it really affected us too much that we were playing a big team -- I think that actually helped us. Mentally, we said to ourselves that we needed to step up our game a little bit and play up to their level."
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