Oct. 29, 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 Michigan's fast start ... "Our kids really played together. We didn't do everything perfect, as you know, but we'll get to that later. I thought our guys came out ready and focused. I like how they finished -- besides the touchdown at the end of the first half that we left on the field -- in the second half."
On offensive production today ... "We want to be a two-back set when we can and we want to run the football, and I think it helps Denard (Robinson) a lot when we throw the ball with play action. If you're running the ball well enough it's going to open up. I think our kids played well. I think our front, offensively, played well this week."
On Michigan's most impressive offensive statistic ... "Rushing the ball -- 360 yards rushing the ball. When you can do that you can determine the time of possession and determine a lot of things in a football game."
On Denard Robinson setting his feet when passing ... "We did a good job of protecting. Coming off of some of the play-action passes, that helped. The hitch screen to (Jeremy) Gallon, that's not the easiest throw in the world, but he got his feet set and he put it where he had to. He had a couple balls down the field that he threw very well."
On Michigan's defensive play and Purdue using quarterback Robert Marve ... "It surprised me a little bit because I thought (Caleb) TerBush would be the guy after what he did against Illinois, but I think we had the first drive giving up the rocket screen and into a full blitz, and that's one of those things that can happen. But I think our kids really settled in; they didn't panic. You could feel the flow from our linebackers today, and that's a big part of us playing defense."
U-M Junior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On the focus of the team ... "The whole team knew we had to bounce back this week and everybody prepared and everybody was ready. And we did what we had to do, that was a great team that we faced."
On the diversity of the offense ... "This offense excites everybody. I mean everybody who watches this game is excited, and I'm in it, so I am loving it."
On the improvement of the running game helping the passing game ... "We run the ball well and our offensive line always will open up the passing game, so we just have to keep doing it week in and week out."
On being 7-1 ... "We just have to focus on ourselves and this team, Michigan. We just have to come out ready to play every weekend because the Big Ten is always competitive, so that is what we have to do every week."
On the difference between the defense this year and last year ... "The biggest thing is holding each other accountable because if the corner backs don't play good defense, the D-Line will get pressure, so everyone is holding each other accountable.
U-M Junior/sophomore Running Back Fitzgerald Toussaint
On his 59-yard touchdown run ... "I just saw daylight. Coach Jackson always stresses that it there is a crease, shoot through a cannon, and that is what I did. The credit goes to the offensive line for creating that for me."
On the team adjusting to injuries ... "We have guys that can come in and be coached. Coach always sets the expectations for the positions so we practice any and every situation for who might be in there and that's what happened."
On coming back from the loss last week ... "Every team faces adversity, it's not how you have adversity, it is really how you respond to it. So we knew we had two weeks to get prepared for this game and we did what we had to do."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Offensive Tackle Mark Huyge
On the emphasis on running game this week ... "It's always an emphasis. One of our main goals is to get some tailback yardage too because when we can get our tailbacks out and take some pressure off of Denard (Robinson) that's a big thing and that's a big key to our success."
On moving on after the loss at Michigan State ... "We didn't get it done that game. The key was to move on as quickly as possible from that and make the necessary adjustments from that. We were under a little bit of pressure, but we knew that if we played our game and executed how we're capable of that we'd be just fine."
On getting the running game going ... "We like to run the ball as an offensive line. I'd personally rather run than pass. It's fun to get going. When the offensive line gets it going, the running backs run hard -- it's a fun thing."
U-M Junior Defensive End Craig Roh
On having defensive cohesiveness with so many personnel changes ... "Even in practice and in the couple of years we've been here, we've been playing next to each other. I know I've been on both sides. Ricky (Barnum), Mike Schofield, Patrick Omameh, they're all going back and forth -- right and left sometimes. It's not really that big of a deal for us. We have pretty good chemistry up front, and I think that showed."
On responding to Purdue's first touchdown ... "We just made a few adjustments. Usually in games teams come out with a few different tweaks here and there. We just adjusted and we came out and played Michigan defense."
On the team's perimeter defense ... "Offenses are going to look at tape and if one things works, then the offense is going to do that. That's something that we're working on as a defense -- to be tougher on the perimeter. The focus is always on technique, and perimeter defense comes from good technique and aggressive playing. I think that was more the focus than just perimeter defense. We take unbelievable pride. This whole entire defense takes pride in the perimeter defense, inside defense -- really everything."
On Mike Martin's safety as a turning point in the game ... "You're looking for the offensive set, you're looking for the tendencies coming off of that. When you have them pinned back there like that, that's always in the forefront of your mind that it's a possibility. When Mike Martin got that safety, I couldn't be happier."
U-M Senior Defensive Tackle Mike Martin
On the defensive mindset after Purdue's touchdown on the opening possession ... "This defense is great with responding to adversity. Whether it's a sudden change or if we get scored on, we did a great job of regathering and knowing that we needed to play better, and that's what we did. We responded well. Period."
On defining Michigan defense ... "Playing Michigan defense, Coach (Brady) Hoke and Coach (Greg) Mattison say it all the time, it's about playing with a mentality that nobody can run the ball. As a defensive line up front, you have to have that. When they pass, it's getting to the quarterback. It means getting 11 heads to the ball every single play with effort. I think we did that today, but we'll watch film, make improvements, and get better for the next game."
On the team's defensive mentality ... "Our mentality every single day when we take the practice field, whether it's a Tuesday, Wednesday, any day during the week or film session, we have the mentality that we want to get better. We have guys that are hungry to get better and young guys stepping up to play. We're going to continue to take positive steps forward. From here on out, every game is a championship game for us.
"Every week is going to be a different test for us. There's always going to be people saying something about our defense, but the most important things are those guys in that locker room, the guys in the team defense room. We're going to play for each other. Courtney (Avery), myself, all those guys in that room, and the coaches ... we're all in this together. Control what we can, which is what we want to do every week."
U-M Sophomore Cornerback Courtney Avery
On the breakdown during Purdue's first possession of the game ... "I just didn't feel like we attacked or covered that how we liked to. We made some adjustments. Coach brought us over to the side and told us to just attack, and that's what we did. We wanted to be able to stop that play later on in the game."
On the defense's heart ... "It just goes back to the effort and pursuing to the ball. We have to keep fighting. The ball isn't in the end zone until it's in the end zone."
On comparing this year's defense to last year's defense ... "I don't want to compare us to the past. I just know we're playing hard, we're playing together and we're playing aggressive. We play for each game and each day."
Purdue Head Coach Danny Hope
Opening statement ... "I thought we came into the game with a lot of great plays and a really good game plan. We had great success getting the ball out to the perimeter. They did a few things that wanted us to try to manufacture some run game inside. I don't think that we played near as physical inside with our offensive line. Michigan has a very big strong defensive front. We didn't manufacture much run game inside and I thought that slowed us down some. We got a safety; we went down the field and we were in the position to go for a field goal or go for it, and we threw a quick pass, a jail-break pass, out there and someone got in the quarterback's face. It turned into an interception, so we had some opportunities and we didn't make the most of them. Even towards the end of the game, we get down to the goal line and we have a play call, and one of our running backs goes the wrong way. Easy play if we execute it to give ourselves a chance to maybe get back into the ballgame. I thought there were some good things we did out there today but certainly not near enough of them.
"We came in defensively with the idea that we had to stop number 16 from a run-game standpoint. That had been predominately had been their MO, from an offensive plan throughout the course of the season. A lot of people had been geared up to try to stop him and we were too. I thought they did a good job of taking the game out of his hand, out of Denard's hands and spread the ball around a little bit. That spreads us a little bit thin, we had the box loaded up trying to stop number 16 and they got the ball out on the perimeter. That was tough for us in some ways defensively. Michigan hit a couple of really big plays on us. Some play-action pass, some faking in the backfield with us loaded up in the box and they threw the ball down the field a couple of times and turn the length of the field over on some big passes. I thought that really impacted the game."
On getting the turnovers in the first half ... "Well, normally if we get some turnovers we ought to win the ball game. But again, our inability to establish the run some today; I thought hurt our football team. We've been very strong from a run standpoint and we didn't run the ball very well today."
On struggling after scoring on the first drive ... "I wouldn't refer to it as frustrating. We didn't execute as well. We played against a really good football team. To come up with a quantitative figure on how frustrating it was, we didn't execute very well."
Purdue Senior Wide Receiver Justin Siller
On how the game changed after the first touchdown ... "I am not sure. We have to go back and look at the film to see what we were doing wrong after that first drive. I did like the way we started, Gary Bush had a good play. He had a great catch. You like that first drive coming out being able to silence the Michigan crowd right away. But we have to sustain better throughout the first half."
On using the perimeter against Michigan defense ... "Well they're very stout in the middle. Nice, big, physical linemen. So our running game was hard to get going. Michigan did a great job of stacking the box trying to stop Ralph [Bolden]. We felt like we had to have a big game in the perimeter to come out with a 'W.'"
Purdue Senior Linebacker Joe Holland
On facing Michigan's offense ... "They ran a lot on the perimeter, and we had some forces upfront that can tackle, but they neutralized them a little bit by hitting the perimeter so hard. They ran a couple of things that we hadn't seen them run all year and they had two weeks to prepare an offensive game plan."
On how the team feels after this game ... "Games like this are never fun, but we've got to bounce back. We can't really worry too much about this scoreboard or our record, we just have to work to improve every day."