Oct. 19, 2013
Q. Coach, I think I know the answer, but I'd love to hear it from you. With the offensive performance that we had today, what would be more impressive to you, that or the fact that the defense did what they had to do late in the game to preserve the win?
COACH HOKE: Well, you know we needed a couple of stops at the end, defensively, and we were fortunate enough. But offensively, to answer, obviously we were pretty much in-sync. Devin (Gardner) did a nice job, found the guys who were open, ran the ball better, which you look at the film, and we'll see why we ran it better. But that was a big part of it. And we needed to complement each other, the stops at the end helped complement the offense, but the offense kept moving and kept bailing us out a little bit defensively.
Q. Would (Kyle) Bosch have played if Joey (Burzynski) hadn't gotten hurt?
COACH HOKE: Well, Kyle being here since January, I think, has helped his development a little bit. Joey, you know, getting nicked up there, probably got into the game maybe sooner than he would have. But he was the guy that Darrell (Funk), I know, and Al (Borges) really thought was coming along.
COACH HOKE: Well, you know, I think it says something about all of those guys. (Michael) Schofield, De'Veon (Smith) is not bad. I think Jake Butt is coming into his own a little bit as a blocker. A.J. (Williams), I think, was a little better today, like the two fullbacks; if you were on the field, talking about two guys getting on the linebackers, they were pretty good. It was fun watching them.
Q.I know you'd rather not play a game with 110 points scored, but when you do, is it good to have a guy like Jeremy Gallon on your side?
COACH HOKE: I think so. I think statistically it shows that he's such a great competitor, runs good routes, finds the open spaces. Sure handed. He had one that kind of got away from him. But Jeremy (Gallon) to me, he's a tough guy who really is a little slippery at times. Yards after the catch are usually decent with him. He's a total wide receiver. Because if he wasn't catching it, he's going to be working his tail off blocking.
Q. You mixed in some more spread concepts today, how did that open things up for (Fitzgerald) Toussaint in the running game?
COACH HOKE: I think it depends on how people are going to match you and how they're going to match you up. And if they're going to be a little bit more with a dime or nickel group, depending on who's in there. Some of that maybe took advantage of our angles, leverage wise.
Q. Coach, we saw Devin take a lot of big shots today on the run. And it seemed like Denard (Robinson) used to get injured at times like that. Do you ever get concerned like Devin's health?
COACH HOKE: Always. There's no question about it. You're always worried about how many shots, how many times he's going to run it. I'm trying to think if I've ever seen him slide. I don't think I have. I like it, though, when he gets to the sideline and gets out of bounds.
Q. You said you were confident in Al, today would show that?
COACH HOKE: I've had a lot of faith in our coaches. So if that's going to satisfy people, that's fine.
Q. What disappointed you the most about the defense?
COACH HOKE: Well, I think it will be interesting to look at it on tape. But we had some opportunities on some of those balls that got thrown over our head. And we've got to take advantage of them. The first one I know Ray (Taylor) was trying to get the call from Thomas (Gordon), and looked from Thomas, the ball was snapped, and the guy was down the sideline. But, you know, we had some opportunities in there to battle for the ball, and we've got to do a better job of that.
Q. What would you say is the identity of this team through seven games?
COACH HOKE: That's a great question. And so good that I don't know if I can answer that.
Q. As far as Jeremy Gallon goes, he had the 369 yards, obviously, and it seems like one play he would run a streak route for 50 yards for a touchdown, and next a come-back for 15 or 20. Kept the defense on their toes. What were you thinking on the sidelines, thinking the 10-yard push on Gallon and still getting deep down field?
COACH HOKE: There's some double moves that worked well off the boot game. Stay deep and with the double move, he hit two of those, where he double moved the corner. So I think like most corners, to some degree, they get a little gun shy. Then maybe they stay deep with that cushion, and it opens up something else. I've seen our guys do the same thing. And so it was just the timing, I think, and Devin having the ability to step up in the pocket on some of those things are really what helped, obviously, when he had that kind of time.
COACH HOKE: There's no question, because I don't think anybody, Jake Ryan and Fitz, no one has worked harder to get themselves back out on the football field, when you look at how they rehabbed and what they have done.
So the one thing about Fitz is he's a guy who he's got a great toughness to him. There's probably nobody more disappointed than he was with the fumble. But at the same time, if anybody is going to go get back in the fight, it's going to be him.
Q. Devin mentioned that on that last rushing touchdown that he had that there was some miscommunication on the field. Can you take us into what was called and then what you saw him ultimately pull off?
COACH HOKE: Well, the last rushing one he, you know, you check protections. Sometimes Devin does it, sometimes the center does it. And one guy checked the protection one way, the other guy checked it the other way.
Q. 6-1 right now, you have another bye week, then you really go into what people would say really a meat part of your schedule, three tough road games, a couple of tough home games. What do you hope to accomplish? Does this bye week fall at a good time for you? I don't know if you're going to make significant changes, but will this Michigan team be different in two weeks in East Lansing?
COACH HOKE: I'd like to see the same offense show up but maybe a different defense. And we have work to do, there's no question about it. We've got some things that probably in all areas, but from the defensive standpoint we've got to clean some things up out there. And hopefully tap the time. I know we're beat up a little bit, which, that's part of the game, get some guys healthier. And then work like heck to go out and win.
Q. Are you glad you've got a bye? You just had one. This is odd to have them so close together?
COACH HOKE: Well, we had a three-game schedule there is what we looked at. And now we've got the meat of the schedule, like you said, the next five weeks.
Q. Michigan has had some pretty good receivers come through here in 34 years. And Jeremy has had a better receiving yardage game than all of them. Was there something that you saw in him that tipped you off that he was going to be something special during the game today?
COACH HOKE: Not really. I think as the first couple of possessions went, the offense was making progress and doing some things. I don't know if there was anything special that I saw.
Q. Why Burzynski and (Erik) Magnuson, why did they move into the starting lineup. Do you think Bosch will keep that role at left guard? That second one, you touched on the defense. As a defensive-minded coach, when you see the opponent get that many yards, level of frustration?
COACH HOKE: Yeah, a lot of frustration, sick feeling, that kind of thing, yeah. I mean we've got to play better. You don't win championships without playing defense. And we didn't play very good defense today.
Q. On the offensive line?
COACH HOKE: Offensive line, they earned the right, because of how they were evaluated, how they competed, what they did in practice.
Q. Nothing wrong with (Chris) Bryant?
COACH HOKE: No, no. And Kyle (Kalis) got in the game. We went some six-pack stuff. And they'll continue to compete, you know.
Q. After the hit on Devin that drew a personal foul, did you consider doing anything else other than...
COACH HOKE: I thought about scrambling it. Thought about looping go it. Matt (Wile) on those short boops doesn't get the ball high enough, like I'd like for him to.
Q. Did (Drew) Dileo and Joey, what was Drew's thing, he was told go?
COACH HOKE: He was back out an PATs and field goals.
Q. Is he okay to play?
COACH HOKE: We'll see about both of them.
Q. What is the feeling when you're on the sideline, kind of a tornado from the outside and the inside does it feel like any other game or does it feel different?
COACH HOKE: They always feel like a game, you know, no matter what. If it's a 9-6 game, you're still coaching both sides like you normally would and encouraging and doing all that, trying to help make adjustments on some things.
I think you just had a sense that our offense would always respond. And I think that's probably what was disappointing about both the fumbles, you know, because they were self-inflicted wounds, there, where you're worried about how many possessions. And watching their offense and what they've done so far, you knew that they were very capable.
Q. Big call early in the game on that 4th down on the 1 and 2.
COACH HOKE: You know what, there wasn't any doubt about going for it. I knew that we would need points during the course of the afternoon.
Q. Jeremy mentioned that maybe the reason he was so open is because Devin Funchess took pressure off him. How much has his emergence helped?
COACH HOKE: I think it does help. I think it does, having both those guys, either on the same side. If people are going to combination one of them. It's hard to combination two of them. And if you do, then the other guy on the other side is by himself. But I think there's no doubt that having Devin out in the open space a little bit helps.
U-M Senior/Junior Quarterback Devin Gardner
On winning after a four-overtime loss the previous week ... "I just felt like we did a good job of rebounding. It shows the senior leadership and the leadership on the team, after such a tough loss last week, that we could come out and perform and fight like we did and finish the game."
On the offensive line ... "They were really confident. There's no time for lack of confidence. I tried to do my best to just let them know I'm confident in them. And Taylor Lewan, that is not one of the things he lacks. So they kind of take on his personality and fight."
On what makes Jeremy Gallon such a tough player and so difficult to defend ... "Since he's only 5-9, I think they might underestimate him some, but he has the same skills as all the tall receivers. He's quick in and out of his cuts. And it's a terror for the opposing team."
On setting the school single-game record for total offense ... "I just wanted to win the game. It came down to a defensive stop. I didn't know anything about the record. So we were just talking down the hall and he told me that you might ask about that. I feel stupid I don't know about it. But it's a dream. I guess I could never have dreamed to play a game like this. Such a tough loss last week, and I feel like the team, it's all about the offensive line. They gave me time to read defenses. And when I had opportunity to make plays that's what I did."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Wide Receiver Jeremy Gallon
On why he was so wide open ... "I can't tell you, I guess they focused in and forget about me. [I was] just playing the game, just to win, like Devin said, just to come back in and bounce back from a loss like last week, just to come back and win."
On setting the Big Ten and school records for receiving yards ... "I wasn't focused on it. I was wanted go to win for my team, my seniors. Like Devin said, we had a tough loss last weekend, just to bounce back from that. I wasn't really focused on any records or anything like that."
On whether he thought he could put up such a big number of receiving yards ... "No, to be honest with you, no. But it's nice to know. That's what we play for as receivers, that's what you dream of. Just going out and giving your all for your teammates and making the best of your ability. Taking advantage of every opportunity to comes your way. To me, that's what I did tonight."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan
On the emotion during the game ... "We were running the ball well and throwing the ball well. I've learned playing football here that you can only control what you can control. The defense set up so many things and they made plays when they had to. Our defense has played way more consistently than our offense has throughout the year, and it was nice to have their back in this one."
On the performances of the young guards ... "(Kyle) Bosch played well, I thought. My first Big Ten game as a freshman was against Indiana, and I remember coming out thinking, 'Oh my god, this is the Big Ten.' Bosch did a great job. I think for the first few series he was a bit starry-eyed. He knows what his weaknesses are and his strengths and so do I. I've had the opportunity to play with him here and there. We didn't just throw him in there; he's had snaps with the one first unit. I just tried to help him out as best I could."
On Erik Magnuson's play at guard and what he's done to earn that chance ... "He's done the same things he did to get here. He's playing aggressive, he's playing hard. He's not a guard. He'll be a tackle probably. That's for Coach (Darrell) Funk to decide, but he's more of a tackle skill-set wise; he's more athletic that way. I think he's done a great job. He keeps moving forward, keeps moving on, and it's kind of like Michael Schofield his sophomore year -- playing out of position a little bit but playing hard over and over again. If he keeps doing that he'll be successful."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Safety Thomas Gordon
On the play of the defense ... "It's all about sticking together. We knew they were an explosive offense coming into the game. They didn't do anything to surprise us, they just executed. As far as the defense goes, we need to make plays on the ball when we have opportunities."
On the difficulties of preparing for Indiana's fast-paced offense ... "We try to simulate that tempo in practice with the quick offense and all of that, but it's nothing compared to the game. We felt we were prepared for that. We were lined up. We just need to get the calls across the field. It still came down to making plays on the ball. We were in position, we just need to do a better job of making plays."
On what was the biggest issue for the defense today ... "It was the tempo. You've got to get the call, know your alignment and your key all in a matter of seconds. It's difficult, but it was a challenge for us. At times we stepped up, and sometimes we didn't."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Running Back Fitzgerald Toussaint
On the improvement of the offensive line ... "I thought they were very good. They responded to the criticism. They came out and they executed well. They did everything they possibly could in order for us to have a successful day on the ground and in the air."
On the play of the young players up front ... "Here at Michigan, the expectation is for the position. Whoever is there has to go out and execute the same way everyone else has to. I think they did a great job of that."
On the overall success of the offense ... "Passing and running the ball complement one another. You have to run the ball to open up the pass. That's what this offense is capable of doing, and coach Al Borges did a great job with the play calling."
Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson
On how he decides when to use Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld ... "Tre can extend some plays with his feet. Through the bulk of the year, we've gone with Tre early because he can do some things and separate himself with some of that early play. These last couple of games, it's just been if we need a shot in the arm. His hand actually cramped up, and that's why Nate came back in. He went into an upper body arm cramp, and we actually thought he broke his hand because his thumb was pointing cockeyed, but he battled. Tre did a good job; Nate's a good player -- they're young. We've got to play better."
On shoring up the defense ... "We've got to look at schematics, giving too much time to throw. Then we (blitzed), we didn't get home; we missed tackles when we were there to make the play. Of course 98 is a nice player; Devin (Gardner) can make some plays with his feet and made us look foolish a couple of times. We'll look at this during the open date about what we can do short term to give ourselves a chance. We've got to keep looking offensively. We only had the ball for 21 minutes, and they only ran seven more plays. If we can get some stops and get the ball back, we could really gas some people and run them out of the building. But it's putting it all together; if the offense slows down there's less time of possession (for the opponent), but you've still got to get the stops. I think our defense plays hard. At the end, I didn't like how we managed our red-zone opportunity when we came up with a field goal, and then we backed it up and didn't get the two-point play. Then we back it up there when we get the turnover and give it right back. We've got to manage some things; our turnover margin is not great. As we put it together, I think our kicking game has gotten better; offensively the tempo helps us -- it might be hurting the defense, but that's how we're scoring those points. Fortunately, we don't have a lot of turnovers; we're getting to the point where we're eliminating negative plays. We'll do a good job with this open date of really looking at us and figuring out what we think the short-term answers are. It's a chance to have a better week, then we'll have Minnesota, and we'll run it down the schedule to see how many we can between now and the end."
On his impressions of the game ... "A competitive game, initially I thought they came out playing hard and pretty physical, and I thought we weathered it. I think that drive right before half and Mitch's kick was huge. It was a pretty good ball game until that flurry in the fourth quarter. I think we didn't manage the score-zone situations or the field goal or two-point (attempt). We get a turnover and then give it back. Outside of that it was a heck of battle."
On if they feel like they let one get away ... "Our goal is not to have good stats and score points, it is to win games. We needed to play well, or you don't win on the road. They've won now 19 straight here. It wasn't going to be easy, and it wasn't going to be perfect, but we were going to come for four quarters and at the end look up. We were sloppy, and that's what we talked about is cleaning up some of that. There are some things in our approach, without being perfect that we need to be more attentive to detail in the way we approach life, the way we approach we practice and the way we approach taking the field and playing the game. We'll keep coming, we've come some degree in the right way, and we need to keep coming down the stretch here. We didn't give in today, and we're not going to give in down the stretch."
On Jeremy Gallon's performance ... "You know with both him and (Devin) Funchess out there, we kind of loaded up to stop the run, they get one-on-one. If we didn't blitz, the protection was all day with their gap-max protection, and they'd run their boot pull-up scheme, and that worked as well. He had a huge game, and Funchess did as well; 360 yards is ridiculous."
IU Sophomore Quarterback Tre Roberson
On his hand cramping ... "It cramps up every now and then, so before the play I knew it was going to cramp up so I went ahead and ran it and then it cramped up. My hand was stuck and I couldn't open it so I had to go out."
On feeling for Nate Boudreau since he had to go in cold ... "We're always taught to stay ready, so he was ready and he gave it a good shot. They just made a good play on the ball."
On the impact of the weather ... "It impacted it a little bit, but us as quarterbacks, we work on wet-ball drills all the time. As quarterbacks we were ready for any type of weather and we can play in it."
On 47 points not being enough ... "We're getting close, but they scored 63 so we have to score one more. We always have to score one more as an offense. We have to keep working this week and get ready for next week."
IU Junior Left Defensive End Ryan Phillis
On game play ... "We just can't give up that many points. We had a running quarterback, he could throw, he could pass, he did a great job. We have to contain him more, so we played well on the run in the beginning, it just wasn't enough. It kind of broke out at the end."
On the fourth-quarter fumble by Michigan ... "That's what we strive for, and we need more of that. What's going through our mind is that we need to make more of those plays. We're excited, it's a momentum swing, but we just need to make more of those plays."
On having to go back out a few plays after the fumble due to an interception ... "We just have to keep rotating guys and keep guys fresh, and hopefully come up with a stop."
On Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner ... "He did a good job. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball. We just had to contain him more, and we can't let him pass as much. We just have to move on now."