2003 FBL vs. Central Michigan -- Quotes

Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr

Opening statement ... "I think this was a typical first game; we will find some very good things and some things that we will need to improve on. I am very pleased with the way we ran the ball. We were blocking the right people and our backs ran the ball very hard. Central Michigan is a very difficult team to defend, because they get the play off so quickly. In the first quarter, we got a deflection on a very heads up play by Steve Breaston, but we had some dropped balls that could have led to a few more touchdowns."

On the defense ... "I think more than anything we did a good job against the big play. Part of it is our linebackers have to fill the hole running downhill. I have to see the film to see if our linebackers were having a difficult time on their track to the ball or if Central did a good job holding the line of scrimmage."

On Steve Breaston ... "Of all our young guys who saw action for the first time, I think Steve Breaston impressed me the most. For a guy going back to catch a punt for the first time and to have the confidence for him to perform the way he did really impresses me. The entire return team did a great job in setting us up with good starting field position."

On the difficulties with the red zone offense ... "I would be much more concerned if they were stopping us, but we were dropping passes that were catchable passes. That just shows me that we need to throw the ball to different players. We have the depth at the receiver position that we can do that."

On the loss of former college football coach Jim Wacker ... "Jim Wacker was one of the great people I have met in coaching. He was a guy who grew up here; he went to Luther West High School. He was an outstanding coach down in Southwest Texas and then in Minnesota. He passed away this week of cancer, and I just wanted to express to his family how special a man he was and what a great representative of college football he was. We will all sorely miss him."

Senior Quarterback John Navarre

On the running game ... "We stuck with what worked. Those guys worked hard. We have the talent and the workhorses to be a great running team. Chris Perry and the offensive line showed that today."

On Chris Perry ... "He did what we expect of him. We have seen this from him all during the off-season and all of last year. He will only continue to get better and continue to do what we expect him to do."

On the difficulties in the red zone ... "The thing is that it is the first game. We had a few poor passes and some penalties that pulled us away form the goal line, but we should have been able to convert those opportunities. As a team we want to eliminate mistakes. We want to work out our missed assignments, but as a first game I think we came away pretty well. We are going to continue to practice and get better, because we want to have zero mistakes."

Senior Running Back Chris Perry

On getting the running game going ... "I think we had a great time running the ball because our offensive line and receivers kept the holes open for us all day long. I had no other option but to run the ball through the holes they made."

On John Navarre ... "He did what we needed him to do. He is our leader on offense and he did what we needed him to do to win here today."

On breaking the opening-day rushing record ... "It is nice to have, but it's not that big of a deal. We have 12 more games to go including the bowl game. I just want to maintain my performance so we can produce like this every week."

On the offense ... "There were a few times that we were in the red zone and didn't convert. That cannot happen against the better teams on our schedule. That is something we need to do to be a great team."

Central Michigan Head Coach Mike DeBord

On the game and the turnovers ..."I thought we came out and attacked. I thought we ran the ball well. We knew that turnovers would be big in this game. Jeff Perry was trying to throw the ball away and he didn't get it out of bounds and that was a bad play there. Kenan Lawhorne was running the ball extremely hard and turned the ball over there. So we took away some scoring opportunities and you can't do that against a team like Michigan. I was pleased with our offense and I thought that we blocked well and ran the ball well and protected pretty well, and Jeff Perry's going to be a pretty good quarterback."

On Michigan's running game ... "Michigan's always going to run the football. I thought the offensive line did a good job of blocking; they're big, they're athletic, and then those backs -- we had guys in position at times and they'd just flat-out make us miss. They just have great speed and that's tough to defend. I thought Michigan, their backs are extremely good."

On coaching from the opponent's side ... "I said coming into this game I was going to be really focused on what I had to do with our team and I was. I didn't really think that way at all. I was pleased with my contribution and what I could do at least focus-wise."

On how his team performed ... "I really think we have a good football team, I really do. I mean, you're down 17-0, you come out and it's 17-7 on the first drive. We just got in a situation where we got out and their speed really hurt us in the backfield and receivers. When that happens, that hurts. I think we've got a good football team, I really do."

Senior/Junior Quarterback Jeff Perry

On the way the offense performed ... "I was very happy with the way our offense performed. We executed well, though there were a few turnovers that we wish would not have happened. But that is going to happen in the first game of the season. I was pleased with the way we ran the ball."

On how difficult it was to deal with making key turnovers ... "Any time you turn over the ball it is hard. I was happy with the way our offense bounced back every time we had a turnover. When we lost focus for a second, we were able to regroup when we got back on the field."

On his first interception ... "I was trying to throw it away. I wanted to get it out of bounds. There were a little bit of nerves there because I was still trying to get settled. The tight end was covered and I knew I had pressure coming from the back side so I tried to get it out there."

On playing Michigan in the Big House "It was a great opportunity. Obviously, Michigan is going to be a great team this year. It was nice for us to have a shot at them."

Senior Tailback Terrence Jackson

On if he was surprised with the success of the running game ... "Not necessarily. We practice hard every day so we can be successful in the games. It lets me know that I'm running at 100 percent and that our line and the rushers are working as one unit."

On the Central Michigan running game ... "We were successful because our wide receivers were able to block on the perimeter. The line opened up holes and stuck with their blocks and Jeff (Perry) made some good reads."

On playing Michigan in the Big House ... "It is a good opportunity for our program, our players, especially the young kids. It was just a great opportunity all around."

Senior/Junior Safety James King

On the Michigan running game ... "They have a good running game. Michigan has excellent backs and a good offensive line."

On playing Michigan in the Big House ... "Playing a team like Michigan puts our team in perspective, knowing that we were in the game until things kind of got out of hand in the third quarter. It shows us that we can stay with one of the best teams in the country."

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