Oct. 1, 2011
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Michigan Postgame Press Conference
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 shutting out Minnesota ... "We got off to a good start on both sides of the ball. I think up front, the defensive line, the front four, front seven, responded well. And then we were able to move the football and run with the football and Denard (Robinson) threw the football very well and when that happens it opens up the run game even more."
On Denard Robinson's passing success ... "It's mechanics, and then again the timing and routes mean so much. I thought the receivers responded well, and they are blocking in and route-running well. That helps, and then Denard, he worked hard all week as he always does, and he got his feet planted in the right place and did a nice job throwing the football."
On the diverse offense taking pressure off Denard Robinson ... "We definitely want to see if we can protect Denard as much as we can. I thought the line did a very nice job; I thought Al (Borges) called a very good game in what we were trying to get done. I think the kids ran hard, and when you start getting longer runs it's because the receiver is doing a good job down field and obviously at the point of attack."
On the three-back set that included Robinson ... "We've had that since fall camp. It's things you work on and you work on it for a couple days and then you put it away so when it comes back out the kids know, and we worked hard on it the last two weeks."
On being able to get everyone playing time ... "I thought it was good to get a lot of different guys in. Josh Furman played a lot, Marvin Robinson played a lot when you look at the defense. Richard Ash got some time in there. And trying to get some of those young guys in there so that they have some game time experience is always good for your football team."
On the defense ... "I think we've played better. I don't know how good of a team Minnesota is going to end up being. I think Jerry Kill is a good coach. We've got a long way to go though, and I keep saying that and you get tired of it and I probably get tired of it, but it's never going to be good enough. We've got a tough schedule. We go on the road, we've never been on the road. It will be a unique schedule how we like to travel. It will be all new for the kids. Northwestern puts a lot of points up, did today, and we've got our work cut out for us."
U-M Junior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On the improvements of the passing game ... "It was clicking and we worked on it in practice and we just had to put it into the game and that is what we did today."
On formations with both quarterbacks in the game ... "We have been doing that in practice and we have been working on it. Coach said he was going to throw it at us and for us to be ready, and he called it. So we were ready."
On trick plays ... "We love doing new stuff. I just want to go out there and have fun with my teammates."
On better communication with receivers ... "We have been practicing on it. I have been getting down with the receivers and we are just on the same page."
On the entire offense ... "We are confident. We have been playing good. We trust coach Al (Borges) to give us the right play and to make things happen."
On quarterback Devin Gardner ... "Devin will probably be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten. He is a great quarterback. He has a strong arm, and he is going to compete every year."
U-M Junior Running Back Vincent Smith
On passing, running and catching a touchdown ... "I was just put in the right place at the right time. Coaches know what I'm capable of. Whatever I have to do for the team to help them out I'll do. It was really fun. The last time I threw a pass was in high school, but it was three in one game."
On the looking ahead to the Northwestern game ..."It is just another football game and that is what we love to do. We just love to come out and compete. It's another night game."
On the strategy during the trick play ... "Coach was just stressing that every time we are in a trick play we definitely have to sell the run. That is the first thing defenders are looking at and I just have to look up field."
On the outlook going forward ... "Just stay positive. Whatever the coaches want me to do, and the type of situations I'm in, I just need to step up and contribute to the team."
U-M Sophomore Quarterback Devin Gardner
On how it felt to play football for Michigan ... "It felt great. I've just been waiting my turn and I felt that I did the most I could with it."
On the difficulty of maintain focus with such a high score margin ... "I think it's pretty easy because it's a lot more fun. You can let loose and play and you're not thinking about your assignments and stuff. I think it's easier to stay focused."
On what it meant to see other players get playing time off the bench ... "It's really fun because we see each other in practice and everyone plays well, but everybody can't play on Saturdays. It is just really great for us to see every other player play."
On having a better sense of confidence at this point of this season compared to last season ... "We all believe and we have all bought into the new system and the things that Coach Hoke is trying to implement. I feel like there is a big belief on the team and maybe it's something that we haven't had in past years."
U-M Junior/sophomore Running Back Fitzgerald Toussaint
On the difficulty of maintaining focus with such a high scoring margin ... "It's not hard. You just want to go out there and encourage the younger guys that are going out there and playing."
On the running game today ... "I have to say that it's more about the offensive line and about how we prepare throughout the week"
On the importance of getting Denard Robinson going early ... "Denard is a really good competitor. He just loves to play football just like the rest of us. It's really about the team so he's going to do whatever it takes for us to win."
U-M Junior Defensive End Craig Roh
On the defensive gameplan ... "We just needed to lineup our front. We knew if we lined up in the right place, we can compete with the best of them. It didn't matter who they had back there. It was a real good effort by that front seven."
On the team being physically dominant up front ... "We always believe that we have the ability to do that. We have to ply our techniques right. The more we listen to our coaches, the more we can dominate like that."
On preserving the shutout in the fourth quarter ... "That's huge for us. There's a goal for us every week to finish the fourth quarter. It's been a huge emphasis for us since winter conditioning. We'll have something at the end of workout to just finish. We just have to finish. That's always been the emphasis."
On what the success of the team has done so far for the defense's confidence ... "It gives us confidence, obviously. We know how we can play. Going further and further into Big Ten, it'll gain us even more confidence, but we're still miles and miles away from where we need to be."
U-M Sophomore Cornerback Courtney Avery
On the maturation of the defensive backfield ... "We were young last year. We had a couple injuries, as you guys know. We feel more comfortable back there now. We've got experience and depth, and those are great things for us."
On his fumble recovery for a touchdown ... "I started slowing down a little bit. I probably ran out of a little gas but not too much. I looked forward and saw open field and thought, 'There's no way I'm falling on this one.'"
On Blake Countess and the difficulties of making the transition from high school to college football ... "It's a lot different. A lot of people don't realize the big jump that it is, but the game is a lot faster. The receivers are a lot faster, but you get comfortable. I see Blake doing a really good job. He seems very comfortable out there, and he's going to continue to improve."
Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill
On Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and offensive coordinator Al Borges ... "This is the way I look at it: you have to have players that make plays, have to have guys that can run, get in a football position, and athletically, these guys play on the field, and we didn't have guys that were athletic enough to tackle him. It's good execution on their part and putting him in some good positions and their coaching. I know Al Borges, I've coached against him when I was at Pittsburg State and he was at Portland State, and offensively he's had to change a little bit. It's not quite what he's used to. He's done a great job of changing with the quarterback that he has, and he's done a great job of doing what they need to do with that young man. They've got a good football team, they're well coached, and right now we are having trouble making plays and I don't have the immediate answer for that, but they've got some athletic skill that we couldn't match up well with."
On Michigan's unorthodox offensive formation in the first half ... "I don't think it did a lot to our personnel. I don't think it's a wrinkle in what the University of Michigan was doing; it's what they were doing it with. They've got some good skilled athletes and they are using them very well, getting people in some one-on-one situations. And if you try to stop the run game, he's (Denard Robinson) done a great job improving in his throwing game. Also, if you take the quarterback out, and you don't do a good job on the running backs, then you've got problems. They're doing a good job with the personnel they have and what they are operating offensively, they are doing what they need to do to be successful and I compliment them for that."
On the line of scrimmage ... "They are a bigger, stronger, faster football team right now than we are and we just have to continue to work. When you take programs over that have not been successful down this road, and Brady's been down this road. He's been at Ball State and he's been a first-class guy and handles himself in a first-class way. I appreciate that he's been on the other side of it. I've been there also when I've had my teeth kicked in for a year or two and then all of a sudden you get it turned around. We just can't come off the course of what we need to do, and you can't learn when you take a new job over, you can't learn about your football team going against each other, you have to go play somebody to figure out where you are at, what you need, and who's doing it with you, and where you fit in athletically. So we are finding out about our football team the tough way, but you have to play games so we'll continue to see where we're at, what we need to do, and it'll give us a process of what we are going to need to do to compete in the Big Ten because we haven't."
Minnesota Senior Defensive Back Kyle Henderson
On the defense's mindset ... "Really, they just came at us hard in the first part of the game. It really was just a matter of getting back to what we were supposed to be doing, getting back to our fundamentals. We were playing, like coach said, very undisciplined and all that showed right away."
On U-M quarterback Denard Robinson ... "Denard Robinson is a very explosive player and we knew that coming into this game. We were really trying to contain him. Players like that, they only come once in awhile and really that's all I can say. He's just a really explosive player."
On the kick return touchdown being called back ... "Once things start going bad, it's kind of like a steam roll or snowball effect. I really do believe that momentum and energy, positive or negative, is a real thing, and today I guess we just did not have it going for us."
Minnesota Freshman Quarterback Max Shortell
On their offensive execution ... "As an offense we just didn't convert. We had a good game plan going in and we had chances and we didn't capitalize on those chances."
On when he found out he'd start today ... "Late in the week (Thursday) they decided to hold out MarQueis (Gray) and I had to step up and do what I could."
On taking any positives away from this game ... "It's a great experience to get in there and get a full game in. Even late in the game each rep counts, each rep means something. We just have to go back and look at film and see what I did right and see what I did wrong."
On starting quarterback MarQueis Gray giving him advice ... "He was right there when I talked to the coaches upstairs, wondering what they were saying, and giving me tips. He was just helping me out throughout the game."
On expecting pressure from Michigan ... "In the film we saw that they did different things, they brought pressure, we expected it. We expected them to give us some chances, some throws outside, and we just didn't convert them. We put a lot of pressure on our defense. I don't even think we converted a third down and that's tough on the defense because they're out there pretty much the whole game."