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Coach Carr Comments from Weekly Press Conference

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

On Michigan's defense vs. Northwestern ...
"We played real well defensively, especially when you consider we held them to 34 yards rushing. The return of Ian Gold sparked our defense and Sam Sword was outstanding again. Hopefully we can get Dhani Jones back this week, because we will need to keep fresh guys in the game against Indiana."

On Michigan's offense vs. Northwestern ...
"If somebody had told me we would only turn the ball over once from the line of scrimmage, I would not have believed it. We did a good job taking care of the ball considering those were the worst weather conditions I have ever been around. David Brandt did a good job of the center-quarterback exchange as well as the shotgun throughout the game.

"I felt that the biggest play of the game was the kick return in the final minute of the first half that set up our touchdown. It was a well-blocked, well-executed return and Justin (Fargas) did an excellent job returning. Immediately after that Tom Brady did a good job getting David Terrell the football and Terrell did a nice job of getting the ball upfield. What I like about that is Terrell was looking to make a big play but when it was not there, he made sure he got out of bounds. Tai Streets then made a big play on a nicely thrown ball by Brady. In a game with those conditions, somebody has to make a big play and Tai Streets came through for us with that big play."

On the play of Jon Jansen ...
"Jansen is playing great football. If there is a better offensive lineman in the country right now I would like to see who it is. Jansen has been outstanding with his leadership and is playing as well as a guy can play. Physically, he is very gifted with great size as well as athleticism. He is playing between 290 and 295 pounds right now and is much quicker than he was a year ago. Jon is an extremely poised and mature guy, who is a tremendous example both on and off the field. He is right there with all the great linemen we have had here at Michigan along with being everything you would want as a person and an athlete. They don't come any better than Jon Jansen."

On the play of the freshmen ...
"I was pleased with the play of Evan Coleman, particularly with his blocking. Getting Coleman playing time when the game was on the line is only going to help him down the line. Terrell played extremely well, especially late in the first half, while Todd Howard made a big play on special teams when he downed a punt inside Northwestern's five yard line."

On how the reshuffled offensive line performed ...
"Maurice Williams is going to be one of the real good offensive linemen we have had here. He has tremendous athletic ability along with being a big, strong kid. In the past we have played him at tackle, but with the injury to Chris Ziemann we worked him in at guard the last two weeks. Down the road we are going to be a better offensive line with Maurice Williams in the lineup. Jon Jansen and Jeff Backus both played an excellent game and our entire offensive line is improving with each game. Adam Adkins is a guy who has made a lot of progress and I would like to see him get some playing time. David Brandt is a real veteran guy, who reminds me of Zach Adami in the sense that he is smart, plays hard and is tough."

On stopping Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El ...
"Nobody has been able to stop him yet. What is impressive about Indiana is that they lead the conference in rushing offense and are also throwing for over 200 yards a game. Randle El is able to pitch the ball out on the option with defenders draped all over him, which makes it easy for a defense to overcommit and that is dangerous. He has thrown the football real well also, especially on the play-action and bootleg passes. He is not as big as (Syracuse quarterback Donovan) McNabb but is real similar and every bit as dangerous. Their fullback, Chris Gall, impresses me a lot also. They just have a very prolific offense right now."

On Indiana's explosive receivers ...
"What impresses me is how many yards they average per catch. Much of that is because of the attention their option requires, yet that is a very impressive group."

On playing in weather conditions like at Iowa and Northwestern ...
"Football becomes a field position battle in those type of conditions, and this week we did not hurt our field position with penalties or turnovers. It speaks volumes about our concentration and that is a big improvement over previous weeks. I enjoy playing in those conditions. Unless it is lightning out, we always practice outside because I want a team which is used to playing in difficult conditions."

On the performance of Justin Fargas vs. Northwestern ...
"We have been looking to a find a tailback that runs with authority since the beginning of the season. Considering what Justin did in that game, he might be that guy. He is going to start vs. Indiana because he deserves to based on his performance. I was tremendously impressed with his ability to hang on to the football in difficult weather conditions, especially considering how hard and often he ran. In addition, Justin was on all our kickoff and punt teams, which put him on the field for a large portion of our plays. When all of that is taken into consideration, it was one of the finest efforts by a true freshman since I have been coaching. Since he arrived in Ann Arbor, he has had an intensity about him in terms of football. He is into the game and just loves to play the game of football; he is a guy who really wants to play. I like his aggressiveness and toughness."

On Ian Gold's return to the defense ...
"Ian Gold is a guy who plays the game without fear and just plays as hard as he can. He is an outstanding athlete who is very tough and possesses great emotion, which is contagious for the other players around him."

On the improvement of Michigan's defensive line ...
"Rob Renes has been very consistent and is the anchor of our defensive front. He is very active and plays extremely hard. In addition, James Hall is playing much better, as is Josh Williams. Our improvement was there in the Northwestern game as far as penetration, which makes things easier on our linebackers."

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

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