Postgame Quotes: #23 Michigan 12, Michigan State 10

Oct. 20, 2012

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» Postgame Press Conference

• U-M coach quotes from Michigan Sports Network postgame show
• Player quotes from press conference

Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
On playing Big Ten football ... "I thought our guys did a tremendous job fighting as a football team.I think that in every facet of the game we kept punching away and executing pretty well. We did some things poorly, some things that we need to do a lot better job of, but our kids stuck together as a team. When you look at the kicking game and the fake punt, which was a really good job on their part schematically, and really looking at what we were doing, but the defense held them to a field goal, which is what they needed to do to give us an opportunity. All in all I like how our kids stayed together and it was going to be who was going to run the ball and we threw it a little bit more than we wanted to, but that's a good defense you are playing against."

On defending Le'Veon Bell ... "I think our guys did a nice job, the guys inside, Will Campbell and Quinton (Washington), and our linebackers, and Craig Roh. The way the linebackers got to the football, we had good support. I think Greg (Mattison) had a really good scheme against some personnel groups that helped us get our safeties involved a little bit more, but he's a big back and usually he's going forward, so we wanted to finish the game and finish every play through the whistles, making sure we were getting to the ball and helping guys up and all of that stuff, but it was a lot of fun."

On kicking the ball with three minutes remaining ... "There's no question. Our defense was playing pretty good football. We had one drive in there that, the scoring drive at the beginning of the second half, that was not Michigan defense, but we were playing well and we thought that with two timeouts and 3:18, maybe 3:20 left, where we could pooch it down there, low field position, where we would force them to punt it back to us that we would be in good shape."

On execution of the final drive ... "You teach those situations, you talk about those situations. I really thought that Denard (Robinson) handled it well. He ran the offense, the other guys hurried back to the line of scrimmage. As far as Drew (Dileo) goes, he isn't the biggest guy in the world, he's not the fastest, but I can tell you one thing, Drew Dileo is a football player and he is a tough, little football player."

On his first win over Michigan State ... "I am happy for our seniors; I am happy for our kids in this program.This was a great win for the seniors and Team 133 and that is a legacy that they get to embrace from now on and hopefully it is a lesson to the guys who are in this program, how you have finish a football game and finish every game, how you need to play as a team and go from play to play. How to try and play your best and play with the most heart that we can."

U-M Senior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On pulling off the victory in the end ... "They played great and towards the end we started picking it up. We talked about it all week -- finishing -- and that's what we did. We finished at the end of the game and we kept fighting. We never let up."

On getting the ball to Drew Dileo to put U-M in field goal position ... "The offensive line gave me a lot of time. The first hole I missed Drew and the second hole is when I got the ball to him. Thankfully the offensive line and the running backs did a great job of blocking and gave me time to throw the ball."

On having the ball in his hands late in the game ... "Of course the offense wants to have the ball in the last minutes and just in the fourth quarter you want to hold the ball. It's always good for a team to see your defense on the sideline. It was a great feeling and we finished the game. That was the biggest thing we wanted to do today."

U-M Senior Safety Jordan Kovacs
On how it feels to get a win against Michigan State ... "It feels pretty good. And like Denard (Robinson) said, you've got to tip your hat to those guys. Obviously, they were struggling a little bit coming in, but we knew it was going to be a dog fight -- that's what the Michigan State game is year in and year out. They have tough defense and they pound the ball on offense. You've got to tip your hat to them, but like I said, Michigan won today."

On whether the defense is good enough to win the Big Ten ... "We believe it, but at the same time, I think if we play like this, we're going to be in trouble. We've got to keep getting better -- that's one of the things Coach Hoke and Coach (Greg) Mattison emphasize is 'never become complacent, get better every week' and that's what we plan on doing -- that's what we're going to do."

On the key to stopping Michigan's State's run game today ... "It was the front seven. I don't think there is any secret to it. Those guys are really playing some good ball and they've gotten better week in and week out. Defensive-back wise we kept the ball inside and in front. We didn't want to give up a big play and for the most part I think we did a good job of keeping the run contained. You have to tip your hat to the front -- the big guys and the linemen. I think Coach Mattison had a great scheme and we just executed."

On winning the first game against Michigan State in his career ... "It feels good. It feels like we got the monkey off our back a little bit. This is a big game year in and year out. You don't want to go 0-4 in this game. We won it for the guys that were before us too. They're part of this team. It wasn't just got this team or these seniors or underclassmen, it was for this program. This program was in a desperate need of a win in this game and I'm glad we executed and played well today."

U-M Senior/junior Placekicker Brendan Gibbons
On whether he had flashbacks to kicking the game-winner in the Sugar Bowl ... "There was no flashback. It was a new game, a new season. Coach trusted me to go out there and win the game for the seniors and bring Paul (Bunyan trophy) back to Ann Arbor."

On what he was thinking about before the kick ... "I was thinking about the seniors, that was my main thought. This season is about them, winning for them and winning a Big Ten championship for them."

On whether anyone said anything to him before going in for the game-winning kick ... "I was just down by everyone. They told me to go in and win the game for us. So I went in there and won the game."

On Michigan State calling a timeout right before his kick ... "It really doesn't affect me at all. I think it is kind of pointless. I was ready to win the game and have Paul back."

On wanting the game to come down to him ... "My job on the team is to put three points on the board or one point if we score a touchdown. I was excited my number was called and that Coach Hoke has trust in me and the field goal unit to get a win for Michigan."

U-M Junior Wide Receiver Drew Dileo
On the scene in the locker room, especially bringing the Paul Bunyan trophy back to Ann Arbor ... "It is always exciting to bring Paul Bunyan back. For me and Brendan, we have not seen Paul Bunyan since we have been at Michigan. It is always nice to get him back in our trophy case where he belongs."

On his last catch today ... "I think it was more that Denard (Robinson) got a lot of pressure and started to scramble and I continued to run my route through the coverage. We knew their DBs did not really cover it once the quarterback starts scrambling, so I kept running and he found me. He threw a good ball and I caught it."

On holding the game-winning kick ... "I had to switch gears from catching it real fast and then holding the field goal. Like I have told you all before, I held for two years in high school so it is something that really comes naturally to me. Also to have Jareth Glanda as a good snapper and then Brendan (Gibbons), who we have all faith in that he is going to make the kick, is pretty nice. Usually I can tell if he hits good. I knew he hit it solid, he crushed it pretty good. He was playing the wind so it started off right before going back left."

On having an impact in this game ... "It has been pretty exciting. I have a role on this team and to fill my role like I did today is nice for me, these seniors, team 133 and Coach Hoke."

U-M Senior Offensive Lineman Taylor Lewan
On what it means to get a win against Michigan State ... "It's special. It's a rivalry game -- we have three big rivalry games a year, but at the same time this wasn't our season. We have bigger goals and our goal is a Big Ten championship and that's what we're going to focus on."

On the offensive line's performance today ... "I think we got the job done. It wasn't always beautiful, but at the end of the day this offensive line came together and we did what we had to do to get a win."

On Brendan Gibbons ... "I said it at Virginia Tech at the Sugar Bowl, Brendan's freshman year wasn't what he wanted. He did a complete zero to hero turnaround and I think everyone that watches Michigan football or is a fan of Michigan football can really appreciate Brendan Gibbons for what he's done for this university. Overall, he's overcome so many things and I'm so proud of him as a friend and as a teammate. I can't say anything bad about Brendan."

U-M Senior Defensive End Craig Roh
On whether the defense is good enough to win the Big Ten ... "I think through the way that we prepare, it's all the work that goes in before it that makes us feel that we can play with anyone in the country. We prepare like an NFL team and that's the way we're going to keep preparing every week until the season is over."

On preparing like an NFL team ... "Coach Mattison coached in the NFL and he said that we prepare like an NFL team. I don't think he's lying to us because he's pretty brutally honest all the time. You just feel how committed the guys are across the board and it's something really special about the guys on this defense."

U-M Senior Wide Receiver Roy Roundtree
On getting emotional at the end of the game ... "I got really emotional because we saw what our team can do. They finished and we emphasized that all week, to finish for your teammates and I feel like we did that as a whole. We came out with the 'W' and got Paul (Bunyan) back."

On getting a win against Michigan State ... "It was a big rival game. We hadn't beat them in four years and it's great seeing what our team can do. I give credit to the coaches because they made sure we stayed focused throughout the whole game even though we had some downfalls and didn't score. We came out with the 'W' and we're excited about that. We can't have that determine our season. We're going to enjoy it tonight and get ready for Nebraska tomorrow."

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio
Opening remarks ... "Tough loss obviously guys -- great football game and disappointing for our football team. But very proud of our football nevertheless in terms of how we played the football game and what we brought to the table there. We had a chance to win it at the end, and that isn't the first time that has happened this year. But that's sports -- that's athletics -- and things hinge on the inches. I think the thing to do is congratulate the University of Michigan. I think Denard Robinson made a couple plays of the game there in the fourth quarter -- that's why he has had the success here. The long run gets them down there. It was a 9-7 lead I guess and we counter that, but then he hits the pass with 18 seconds to go. It was a tough deal, but a very evenly played game -- great defensive game. I thought it was a great football game -- a classic game. There weren't very many mistakes in the game and it was played very well by both teams. I'm very proud of our football team and I'm proud to be a Spartan. I asked our players to man up and play with pride. I asked them to play with confidence and toughness, and we did that. So in the end you have to take what comes down the road and stomach it. But we'll be alright -- we'll rise up."

On the fake-punt and if he thought that would swing the momentum back their way ... "Yeah, it was a great play -- great execution. I felt like it might be there, and it took a little nerve to call it, but we needed a play and we got a play. We needed to score a touchdown on that drive, and that comes back to haunt us a little bit. Eighteen seconds left and having to score a touchdown, it might not be the same game. But you have to play it out the way it unfolds, so that is the way we'll do it. At the end of the game we needed to stop them from kicking a field goal."

On having three Big Ten losses by a total of six points ... "Well it's tough -- not to get them back up. We put our guys through adverse situations throughout the entire year so we'll be back up next week -- we'll have our confidence and be ready to play. It's tough because you feel bad because you know that you are very, very close to having three wins, but it is what it is, and sometimes you have to look at that and deal with it. This is one of the years that we have to do that -- right now at this point in time. So shoulda coulda does not really get it. We just have to play through it and in the end, this needs to make us stronger. I truly believe that. When you go through things like this it does make you stronger and builds character. You don't like it at the time, but it does. I think it also reinforces the inches that we talk about and the little things -- the differences between winning and losing. That hinges on some of the smallest things."

MSU Quarterback Andrew Maxwell
On the game overall ... "They gave us exactly what we prepared for, exactly what we saw on tape. Give them credit though, they played hard. We did a good job there in the first half, but they gave us what we thought we were going to get. We just have to do a better job of executing."

On the offensive play ... "We knew there were things out there and plays to be made. As we came in for halftime we realized those things. Coaches had an opportunity to realize what was working. Coach (Dan) Roushar did a great job, I thought that the first scoring drive was very well called and it showed with a touchdown."

On responding from this rivalry loss ... "I wish I could, I really do. It is so personal for myself and for Max (Bullough), for everybody on this team, and for Spartan fans everywhere. It is heartbreaking. But we will respond, we will respond, we always do."

On attacking the Michigan secondary ... "We saw that there were places we could do that. Throwing the football was one of those things. The receivers did a great job making plays when they were there. Tony (Lippett) on the last scoring drive had a huge third-down catch. We did a great job catching the ball and advancing it a little bit."

MSU Linebacker Max Bullough
On playing against Denard Robinson ... "He is a very dynamic player for three or four years now. I think it is just about playing with effort against a guy like that and recovering from mistakes because he gets you out of position quite a bit. We just recover from that with effort and as cliché as it sounds. For the most part we did an excellent job. It comes down to him making a play with his feet on the draw or whatever it was early in the fourth and then he comes back and throws the curl at the end. Those are plays he was able to make."

On how to improve going forward ... "We have got to respond. It sounds like we keep saying that every week, but it is the truth. I thought, like (Andrew) Maxwell said, we had a great week of practice. Guys were getting after each other obviously because we were playing Michigan. We need to as a team to keep moving forward, just more of the same to get back. We have a big one coming up this weekend."

On feelings after the tough loss ... "It is the biggest high to the lowest low. The highest high to the lowest low that is what it is. Beating a team like Michigan there is not many better feelings than that, just because of how personal it is and when you lose it is just as personal and just as negative of feeling as it is positive."

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