On the Rice game
... "In evaluating the Rice game, we came out of there in many ways an improved football team. We still have to find out who's going to be our second (running) back in there and carry the load. We did get three young guys an opportunity to play in there. Walter Cross did some good things; B.J. Askew, Charles Drake, I think all of them are going to be good football players. But based on what happened Saturday (Sept. 11), I don't know which one of them it's going to be."
On defensive back Brandon Williams ... "The good news is Brandon Williams has really made outstanding progress and I think he's going to be an outstanding football player."
On Syracuse ... "This Syracuse team probably has better overall team speed than any team we've played since we played them a year ago. It's a veteran team. The offensive line is big, strong and solid. I think (running back) Dee Brown is an outstanding football player. Of course (Quinton) Spotwood is a great threat both as a kick returner and a receiver. It's an outstanding football team and we're certainly looking forward to this game because it's an opportunity for us to play one of the great football teams in the country."
On wideout DiAllo Johnson ... "DiAllo came off knee surgery and probably was ahead of where we expected him to be when we started the season. I think by this week he should be full speed. DiAllo's an exceptional athlete from the standpoint of catching the football. He's a big guy. He doesn't have the great great speed, but he's got very good moves. He can make you miss. So he gave us a real lift in there."
On the defense ... "Our front seven, they've all played very well. But this will be the biggest test in terms of speed and the skill of [Syracuse's] offensive line. They're all seniors, with one exception, and they did a good job on us a year ago."
On Michigan's defensive backfield ... "Number one, those two guys (James Whitley and Todd Howard) have played well, Brandon Williams has played well and we've played more running teams. But there will come a point when David Terrell is going to have to come over and give us some help."
On receiver Marquise Walker ... "Marquise had a great spring. He's a guy that has a great work ethic and it was just a matter of time. I think you're going to see that Marquise Walker is going to become an outstanding receiver here at Michigan. He's hard working. He has excellent ability and he's a very competitive guy. He gained valuable experience a year ago and I think every time he plays he'll learn and improve. As long as he maintains an outstanding attitude, you've just begun to see what he can do."
On tight end Shawn Thompson ... "Shawn Thompson, I think, has done an excellent job. He's going to be a very, very, very fine tight end. He's a good pass receiver. He's an excellent blocker. I think you are going to see Thompson develop into one of the fine tight ends that we've had."
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423