Weekly U-M Football Media Luncheon
Senior Safety Tommy Hendricks
On playing against the option offense ... "Everybody has to execute their assignments. We need proper rotation in the secondary. Guys just need to be in their positions. Notre Dame is going to run their ball. They're a power offense. They are going to run the ball down your throat so we have definitely prepared for their running attack."
On growing up following the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry ... "No doubt. Whenever Notre Dame and Michigan played I was always right in front of the TV set blocking the way for everybody else who was watching. So this has always been a big game for me."
On redshirt freshman defensive back Cato June ... "Cato June is an excellent athlete. He has tremendous ability, little things that a lot of players don't have. He has great quickness for his size. He's going to help us on defense."
Junior Offensive Lineman Steve Hutchinson
On the Notre Dame defensive line ... "They've got a strong front. They are big, strong, fast and they rush the passer well and they're good at stopping the run. We've got our work cut out for us on Saturday. I think we made pretty good strides over the last week in our running game. I don't think we're not where we need to be to play on Saturday, but we have another week left to practice. I think we'll be where we need to be. I think when you look at Michigan-Notre Dame games, traditionally, that's just college football."
On Notre Dame's defensive line ... "They pride themselves in stopping the run. Especially this game, they're going to come in Saturday, they'll be ready to play against us."
On the running game ... "I think about a week ago, we weren't running the ball consistently, like we want to do. We'd have some hot and cold days and we want to eliminate that. We want to run the ball consistently well. We have a great defense we're seeing every day in practice, and we feel as though if we can run the ball against them we can pretty much run the ball against anybody. We work hard every day on trying to rush the football."
On the offensive line ... "It's solidified more than it was a year ago. Injuries last year caused a lot of people to move around position-wise. We've been pretty much the same position the entire training camp and into this week. The right side, they're looking real good. This line is solid and we took great steps this training camp in run blocking and pass protection. I think we're on our way to getting better."
On junior/sophomore offensive lineman Ben Mast ... "He had a terrific camp. He's one of the guys fighting for the position at right guard now. He's played the kind of football that's going to help the offense and help the team win games. That's what the coaches are looking for and that's what we're looking for on the offensive line."
Senior Defensive Tackle Rob Renes
On what the defensive line needs to do against Notre Dame ... "What we need to do that we didn't do last year is get to the quarterback. Whether they're going to run the option or the iso or drop-back pass, we need to get pressure on the quarterback. We didn't get 11 guys to the ball as much as we needed to last year and that's evident. ... So we need to get after the ball, get in the backfield and wreak some havoc. It's going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. On each given play, there are a lot of things you need to anticipate and be ready for. Just like everything else you have to play within the scheme of things. The coaches, I think, have a good game plan going in. We have to take care of our positions and get 11 guys to the ball."
On the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry ... "The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry is the reason a kid goes to Michigan, the reason a kid goes to Notre Dame. As far as I've seen it's a lot like the Michigan State or the Ohio State rivalry in that you either like Michigan or you don't, like Notre Dame you don't, and I lot of times you either like one or the other. I think a lot of that has to do with the tradition. You look back you have two of the greatest teams of all-time in college football. ... Because of those things, if you win it's something to be proud of the rest of your life."
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423