Sept. 24, 2011
U-M coach quotes from Michigan Sports Network postgame show
Player quotes from press conference
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
(from Michigan Sports Network postgame show)
On Michigan's faster start against San Diego State ... "The kids went out and executed, and I think the first half of the football game probably was our best total team half of football that we've played all year. Offensively, they kept possessing the ball, scored a couple touchdowns. Defensively, I thought our guys fought like heck and played well against the run and did a nice job in the transition passing game."
On containing SDSU running back Ronnie Hillman ... "Well, I think Greg (Mattison) and his staff did a nice job. We were going to make an effort to zone blitz them a little bit and box all the power plays in, keep the ball carrier inside the box. If he had the bounce, it had to be a big bubble so we could run him down from the inside out. I think the kids reacted pretty well. I think Jake Ryan played a pretty good football game with the physicality that he plays with."
On the Wolverines' flat third quarter ... "We need to talk about it. It's what happened out there and that's what's keeping us from being the kind of football team we need to be. We turned the ball over, and we couldn't get a first down. The defense went out and did some really good things and kept us in the ballgame. We were minus one in turnover margin, which is the first time we've lost it. We turned the ball over four times; we got three turnovers from a defensive perspective. But really I wasn't happy with how we played there in the second half."
On Denard Robinson forcing the ball into traffic ... "I think there are some predetermined things. I will give Rocky (Long) a lot of credit because he gives you a lot of different looks -- a little bit of disguise there that's a little harder on our quarterback. Again, your feet, we talked about you have to settle your feet and really take the first option to the second option. I do believe one time the route wasn't exactly what we needed."
On Robinson's carries and rushing yardage ... "There were two of them down there that they stepped up into him -- Miles Burris and Rene Siluano teed off on him pretty good. We want to keep him healthy. I think (Fitzgerald) Toussaint had 70 yards or something on the ground, and between he and Vince (Smith) there was 110 yards, but we need to do a little better job blocking the point of attack."
On the offensive line needing to create more holes ... "You would hope so. That's all part of our development and our progress that we need to make as a team. We will definitely go back to tomorrow looking at the film, seeing what we're not doing well. I think we've got an idea to some degree after watching the game that we need to be a much better team than we were today."
On the Wolverines playing their best defense of the season ... "I think that we got enough pressure on the quarterback at times with four guys, which is something we need to continue to strive for. I think Greg (Mattison) called a nice game. I think the guys in the back end -- Blake Countess came in after Troy (Woolfolk) went down and did a nice job of covering their wide receivers. And I think we forced some bad throws, but it all starts with stopping the running game."
On preparing for Big Ten Conference play ... "It's what you play for: the Big Ten championship. And Minnesota coming in here is game one. We've got to have a great week of preparation and work together and getting to know our opponent. Jerry Kill is a tremendous football coach. He and I both have MAC ties, and he'll have his group ready."
U-M Senior Defensive Tackle Mike Martin
On the play of the defense in general ... "It's so much more physical, we have a much more physical aspect with Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison. Really we just have a focus, a mission to make sure we can do whatever we can to win each week. I know we just seem confident, us being able to make plays, guys being able to come in and make plays. So whatever we can do to prepare ourselves to win will happen."
On the three-and-out after kickoff ... "That is something we actually talked about in the locker room before coming out. We had to make sure that we came out strong. Like I said before, we had to make sure we came out and got a three-and-out. We needed to get the ball in the offense's hands. Whenever we can watch our offense, we always play better defense. That is something that coach always talks about, that if we have the momentum in the beginning of the game we can ride it out. So that was huge for us and we just had to make sure that we stopped them on third down conversions."
U-M Junior Defensive End Craig Roh
On forcing San Diego State into a three-and-out on the first possession ... "That was actually an emphasis we had this week. We wanted to start fast. In past games, the other teams have started fast on us. It was just nice to get that three-and-out the way we did. There was a third-and-short there and got a tackle for loss. It was a great way to start out. It put a physical demeanor to the game."
On SDSU quarterback Ryan Lindley ... "We were getting good pressure up the middle with Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen. That rattled him a little bit. He didn't perform as well as we expected. He's a very good quarterback, and we just got pressure and rattled him a little bit."
U-M Senior Offensive Lineman Mark Huyge
On what made San Diego State's defense unique ... "They basically stunted on every play. They were taking the defensive end and putting him inside, wrapping the nose guard around, bring linebackers off the edge. They were twisting and stunting. It helps because we ran the inside zone a lot, where everyone pushes to one side, and if you can do that, it kind of negates it a little bit. But they got us on a few of them."
On the turnover battle ... "We know that we have to keep pushing past that. It's been nice not turning it over, trying to sustain consistent drives, but when it happens, it's an obstacle. It's football. We have to keep pushing on. That's what we keep telling ourselves and that's what we try to do."
On Denard Robinson running the ball ... "Like Craig (Roh) said, the emphasis this week was to start fast. The past couple of games we started slow and eventually picked it up. Getting Denard established early gave their defense some problems. They had to adjust, and once they adjust, it's up to us to get them on their heels, and that's a good thing."
U-M Junior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On turnovers ... "There were some throws that I just forced. I should have taken my time and do what Coach taught me. That's all it was."
On getting off to a fast start ... "That's one thing Coach was preaching all week. All the seniors wanted us to go fast. Tuesday in practice, we all came out and were ready to go."
On the option ... "We've been working on it a lot. I wanted to give the ball to Vince (Smith), but I saw the opening, so I was like, 'Alright, let's go.'"
On the team's chemistry ... "We all love each other, and enjoy being with each other. We're like family. That's what we're proud of. We take everyone in, so when the freshmen come in, we want them to know that."
U-M Junior Running Back Vincent Smith
On coming back into the game after fumbling ... "It gave me a lot of confidence to have the opportunity to make up for what I did."
San Diego State Head Coach Rocky Long
On how Michigan slowed down San Diego State ... "I thought they were strong at the line of scrimmage. We had a hard time blocking. If we had kept a couple drives alive, if we had thrown it a little bit better and caught it a little bit better, if we had thrown it on target a little bit better and kept some drives alive, we could have kept it close. But we didn't play well on either side on the ball. We didn't play well on offense in the first half, and defense was embarrassing."
On quarterback Ryan Lindley's accuracy issues ... "Whenever a quarterback doesn't throw it very well, a lot of it has to do with pressure. It seemed like he was under pressure quite a bit today from the sidelines. I'll know better when I watch the film, but it seemed like he was throwing it a little bit early. Either that or the receivers weren't coming out of their cuts well. It's almost impossible to tell without watching the film, but obviously we weren't very accurate with the ball, because there were some guys open -- really wide open on fourth downs a couple of times -- and we didn't complete it."
On his conversation with U-M coach Brady Hoke after the game ... "Brady and I are good friends. I just wished him good luck the rest of the way. Brady will win a national championship here. I don't know how soon it will be, but he'll win a national championship."
On whether his players were distracted by the Hoke matchup ... "If it wasn't just another game for our players, then our players made a huge mistake because when you let emotions get involved, sometimes you don't perform as well."
On his team's attitude after Michigan scored twice in the first quarter ... "I thought they hung in there okay. I actually thought the offense moved the ball pretty well in the first half; we just didn't convert some critical plays. I mean, the score at halftime could have been real close if our offense would have converted a couple plays."