Postgame Quotes: #21 Michigan 65, Bowling Green 21

Sept. 25, 2010

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• U-M coach quotes courtesy of the Michigan Sports Network postgame show
• Player quotes from the Michigan locker room

Michigan Video: Postgame Press Conference
Michigan Audio: Coach Rich Rodriguez | Sophomore QB Tate Forcier | Freshman QB Devin Gardner
Bowling Green Audio: Coach Dave Clawson | Senior LB Eugene Fells

Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

On Denard Robinson's injury ... "According to the trainers and Denard, who is not as qualified as the trainers, he'll be fine. He just tweaked his knee a little bit, and actually it took us a while to diagnose it because he fell on the ball and lost his breath. So, we had two things going on at the same time. He probably could have gone back in the game. Denard said he could go back in if we needed him to later in the game, but we were fine with the others."

On playing without Robinson ... "We handled it well up front. We could run the football, which was key. Any time we threw the football, we had time to throw it. We knew up front we could be okay, and after the first few series we knew that they were going to have to bring more pressure. When you do that you're likely to give up a big play, so hitting a few big passes early helped that."

On the quarterbacks ... "Just looking at the stats here our quarterbacks were 23-of-26 and 255 (yards) throwing. Some of those were easy throws and bubble screens and things like that, but I thought we threw the deep ball well. It was unfortunate that we had that one silly penalty that took the touchdown away and then one that we dropped. I thought we took a couple deep shots, and that loosened us up as well."

On the defense ... "It was better, but it was not at the level we need to be at going into the Big Tens. We've got to tackle better. I thought our guys responded well, some third downs we had some big stops, but we still need to put more pressure on the quarterbacks. For us, we have to get a few more three-and-outs. I thought they responded pretty well to the challenge we had last week and did a pretty good job against some pretty skilled players."

Bowling Green Head Coach Dave Clawson

On today's game ... "Just a very, very disappointing performance. Certainly, my hat's off to Michigan. They're a very good football team and tremendously skilled on the offensive perimeter. I thought their defensive line played extremely well today; they controlled both fronts on the line. Certainly they played a nice football game, but at the same time I'm disappointed that we did not present ourselves better. I think we are a better football team than we showed today, and I just don't think that's a game we should lose by 44 points."

On the BGSU defense's poor performance ... "It reared its ugly head again. We tackled extremely poor against Troy, and it was a problem that we addressed the next two weeks. I thought we looked better against Tulsa and much better against Marshall. Today, we just had guys dropping their shoulders and ducking their heads and looking like they're tackling JV football players. And certainly Michigan has some tremendous skill, but we made them look even better just because we looked like a very poor fundamental defense in terms of our tackling. Part of that is youth, and most of the third and fourth quarters we had seven freshmen on defense. It was baptism by fire, and it showed up, and a lot of those guys that missed tackles and missed plays were guys that were freshmen for us, but they need to learn from it and grow from it. Their way of tackling isn't working. They need to do it our way."

On quarterback Aaron Pankratz ... "I thought he played okay. We were a little limited in what we could do. We simplified things, and this was a tough week to simplify things. The bottom line is that we did not win the battle up front. We could not run the football, and really, even when we scored on some of those goal line plays, we were a little bit lucky. It was because of a great individual effort in the backfield; it's not because we had people blocked up front or we created a push at the line of scrimmage. They completely controlled us up front. To be honest with you, that was our biggest concern coming into the game. We really thought our chance was if we could make it a perimeter game. The matchup of our receivers on their secondary was one of the matchups we felt very good about going into the game, but we did not know if we could hold up in protection. We had to have enough runs, and a lot of them were misdirections in order to keep them honest. Every time we handed the ball off there was a guy in the backfield two yards deep. Again, that's a credit to them. We need to get better."

On game planning against U-M quarterback Denard Robinson ... "It's extremely difficult just because Michigan is good enough that the normal run/pass dilemmas exist. When they get in those one-back sets and they run a two-back run game and can come downhill like that, it's hard to outnumber them. Basically, we were trying to dare them to throw the ball, and we still couldn't tackle them. That's disappointing because we put all of our emphasis on putting the corners on islands. We were somehow, some way going to get to an eight- and nine-man front and just try to get bodies on them. On every play, we had two people to account for [Denard] and when you miss that many tackles, you can put five guys on him and he still broke us down."

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