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Coach Lloyd Carr from Weekly Press Conference
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Press Conference Comments from
U-M Head Football Coach Lloyd Carr

Did your impression of the Notre Dame game change any after watching films
"No. I didn't like the tape anymore than I liked the game. We have a lot of room for improvement."

On the team's tackling
"We were not aggressive and our poor tackling was a combination of various factors. We need to get to the ball carrier with all 11 players and limit the big plays."

About the game in general
"If you told me would gain 472 yards offensively and still lose the game, it would be tough to believe it. Football is a game of momentum and we had it in the first half but could not capitalize. Notre Dame gained the momentum to start the second half and we were unable to regain it."

What areas of the game must you improve on
"Our team must improve in a number of areas. We tackled very poorly and need to be more aggressive defensively. Our kicking game was inadequate and we need to improve inside the 'red zone.'"

About the team's lack of emotion
"We wanted to come out of the gates and put together some good drives and get ahead. We had the lead after getting two strong drives. We just couldn't sustain the momentum and make the big plays inside the Notre Dame 20-yard line."

Will there be any changes in personnel this week
"I will evaluate every player in practice and look for improvement. There will definitely be some changes."

How far is this team from reaching those areas of improvement you talked about
"We'll definitely find out Saturday."

On Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb
"He is a fantastic quarterback. He made some great plays against Tennessee -- two such plays that I haven't seen made before -- and statistically he was impressive in that game (22-of-28 for 300 yards and two TDs).

On the Syracuse offense
"Rob Konrad is as good a fullback that we'll see this year. The Syracuse kicking game is as good as their offensive unit. They will present a real challenge for us."

About the kicking game and its importance
"If you don't win the kicking game, in most instances you will lose the game. Championship football teams are always solid on special teams."

Does anything good come out of a loss
"Every situation provides opportunities. We have the opportunity to see how we'll respond."

About the play of junior WR Marcus Knight
"He was a real surprise coming out of fall camp. Marcus made two outstanding catches in the game. He is an outstanding kid who I feel will only continue to improve. I think our receiving corps will only get better. Right now, our receiving unit is a strength of this team."

On the quarterback situation
"I like our quarterback situation. Tom Brady played excellent. He played with poise, toughness and smarts."

What type of an angle will you take with the team heading into Saturday's game
"We dealt with Notre Dame yesterday. You have to let it go but at the same time learn from it. You never know how you're going to face adversity or that matter success."

About the team's play inside the "red zone"
"If we made field goals, it would have been a big difference. There isn't any doubt that we need to improve inside the opposition's 20-yard line. This area is one place that separates good teams from great teams. You need to execute inside the 'red zone' -- running and passing -- and we didn't against Notre Dame."

About the play of Steve Hutchinson at center
"I thought he did a good job. He is going to a great player."

About the turnovers
"They cost us the game. We put our defense in poor field position on two consecutive possessions. Their ability to score on those turnovers, got the crowd back into the game."

On Aaron Shea playing fullback
"Aaron came to Michigan as a fullback and inherited the position after strong play in fall. He is one of our better players on the team. Aaron is a great blocker and pass receiver."

About the play of freshman RB Justin Fargas
"I want him to play more. He ran the ball hard and played well. He wanted to carry the ball on the goal line and showed his toughness be sacrificing his body by leaping toward the goal line."

Could freshman PK Hayden Epstein see action against Syracuse
"Yes. I think particularly on kickoffs."

About what you can expect from this team
"This team is made up of quality athletes with great character and a will to win. There isn't a doubt in my mind that they will respond to this adversity. We won't sit back and feel sorry for ourselves."

Contact: Jim Schneider, David Ablauf (734) 763-4423


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