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Coach Carr Comments from Weekly Press Conference

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

On the offense vs. Indiana ...
"I thought our offense did a lot of good things in that game. Most of our problems offensively stem from the fact we took over inside our own 12-yard line on a number of occasions. Very few teams are going to have success offensively with that type of field position. In addition, our mistakes continue putting us in third and long situations instead of third and short, which is where we want to be. However, we did put together a nice ball control drive, which is the type of football I want to play."

On the defense vs. Indiana ...
"Our defense played outstanding considering the type of guy we had to go up against. We had an excellent game plan which was executed quite well by our players. In addition, our defensive intensity was very high against a much improved Indiana football team."

On Michigan's mental mistakes ...
"As coach I take responsibility for a lot of things but I am not taking responsibility for mistakes incurred before the ball is snapped. Those mistakes are inexcusable and in most cases simply a matter of our players not concentrating. The lack of concentration mistakes are what keep us from being a better football team than we are. Our players understand how costly these mistakes, yet it is going to take great concentration for us to eliminate them."

On Ian Gold's performance at linebacker vs. Indiana ...
"Coach (Jim) Herrmann said yesterday that he would have loved to have Ian Gold healthy for the first two option teams we faced. Without question, Ian Gold has a lot of athletic ability, but he also plays with a intensity and relentlessness that all great players have. He brings a lot to our defense, particularly from an emotional standpoint. His motor is always running and is a guy who loves to play the game. Anytime you have a guy play with the passion of Ian Gold, that passion just passes on to the other guys."

On rotating running backs ...
"You have to have balance in this conference to be a successful offensive football team. In addition, I feel you need two running backs to achieve the type of balance I am looking for because this conference is too physical for one guy to carry the load and stay healthy. Another reason for rotating backs is the competition factor. When the starter knows there is somebody waiting behind him on the depth chart who is very capable of getting a lot of carries, that starter may push himself more than if nobody is behind him. As a result, I feel our backs improve because of the stiff competition. In my opinion, Anthony Thomas ran with more authority than any other time since he has been here. Justin Fargas got banged up a little bit on the opening kickoff, so we needed Thomas to run with authority and he did."

On the play of Tommy Hendricks at strong safety ...
"There has been much more mental pressure on Tommy in terms of making checks and calls in the defensive backfield. When he first took over the leadership role in the secondary, he struggled for a couple of games, however, he has been getting better and played extremely well vs. Indiana. Tommy is capable of being a great football player and I am confident he will be."

On the long touchdown pass to Tai Streets vs. Indiana ...
"Tai made a great play on a ball that Tom Brady put where it had to be put. That was not pass interference on Tai in my opinion and I had as good a vantage point as anybody for that play. It was simply Tai Streets making a big play for our football team."

On playing for the Little Brown Jug ...
"I had Mark Campbell stand up in front of the team and explain what it means to play for the Little Brown Jug. We try to educate the freshmen and sophomores because there is a great tradition involved with the Little Brown Jug, especially since we have had it for a while."

On the aggressiveness of Minnesota's defense ...
"They blitzed a lot in the game against Purdue, yet they were not as aggressive vs. Ohio State, so I have not seen Minnesota's defense do the same thing from game-to-game. They will play the style of defense which gives them the best chance to win on that afternoon because they are versatile. Tyrone Carter is one tremendous safety and is averaging around 15 tackles per game, which is phenomenal for a safety. He is a guy they use in blitz packages a lot and utilize his abilities."

On the play of Tom Brady vs. Indiana ...
"Tom took a pounding early in that game and got sacked a couple of times. He missed a couple of throws which he needs to make more consistently, however, he made some great throws later in the game. The second touchdown to Tai Streets was an outstanding throw as was the first touchdown to Streets on the long pass. He also made a impressive throw to Diallo Johnson on a key third down play, so Tom definitely made some big plays for us. He is getting better. There were three times where he read a coverage and made the proper throw against that specific coverage, throws he would not have made earlier in the season."

On Minnesota's quarterbacks ...
"Persby is a young guy who they have a lot of confidence in, however, Cockerham did a tremendous job pulling out their last game. As a result, I am not sure which one we will see this weekend."

On the Tom Brady to Tai Streets connection developing ... "More than anything, it is repetition and having come in as freshmen together. They have developed an excellent feel for one another. Tom is gaining the type of experience where he is able to read the corner matched up with Streets and then make the proper throw."

On Michigan's defensive improvement ...
"We have made tremendous strides with our third down percentages as a defense. Defensively, the name of the game is getting the ball back for our offense and in order to accomplish that you have to stop people on third down. However, we have not forced turnovers defensively and that is something which concerns me. We are minus-seven in the turnover ratio and that is a statistic we need to change."

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

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