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Coach Carr Comments from Weekly Press Conference

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

On the Minnesota game ...
"In looking at the tapes, we were very fortunate to win. We played with a lack of intensity and very little enthusiasm. We are going to get ready to play the best football team we've played this year. I'm not in a very good mood and I don't have a lot to say."

On why the team is not better this year ...
"I don't remember saying we should be better. I think going into this season that I certainly understood that it was going to be a difficult challenge. Coming off of last season, the expectations are certainly better. Your opponents are going to play you harder. Would we have liked to play better than we have Yes. Is the season just getting started Yes, and that's what I'm concerned about. Penn State."

On the running game ...
"I had expectations in the past three weeks that we would run the ball more effectively. When you have the ball first and goal on the three-yard line and don't get the ball in the end zone, that's a problem. I don't think in this game we played with the kind of effort we're capable of. I don't think we played as well as we are capable of. And that's not to take anything away from Minnesota, but I know these guys will come back and be ready to play."

On finding ways to win the last three ball games ...
"Well, I'm not concerned about anything but Penn State, but what my concern is is that we have not played our best football yet. In this game we are going to have to play our best game of the year to win. This is an outstanding Penn State team. Probably as talented a defense as I've seen in a long time."

On the special teams play ...
"Everybody talks about special teams as if there's only one. I think we had 22 snaps in the game on special teams. That is a significant percentage of the game. If you mess any one of those up, it's almost always a big play. One of the strengths of our team has been the punt team. Jason Vinson has punted the ball well all year, we've covered well and yet in the Minnesota game we gave up a touchdown. The thing about special teams is you probably change personnel more often than anywhere else, especially the skill players. I don't know of any team that is outstanding on every single phase of special teams. That just doesn't happen."

On the Penn State defense ...
"In watching the Penn State defense, they remind me a great deal of our defense a year ago. They have two outstanding defensive ends. Brad Scioli is 267 pounds and is a tremendous edge rusher. A great athlete has great speed for that position. He is a great pass rusher. On the other end is Courtney Brown, who is in my judgment the best pass rusher I've seen in 10 years. I think he is just absolutely incredible. The two inside linebackers ... Harrington, I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the Butkus (Award) as a junior or senior. He's only a sophomore, but he is a tremendous athlete. A lot of people compare him to Lawrence Taylor and I can see why. He runs a 4.4 40, a great athlete and he plays with great intensity."

On the post-championship season problems with injuries and lack of personnel improvement ...
"I think expectations are always tremendous, and I'm not talking about expectations from outside. I am talking about expectations from within. I always have great expectations of our veterans in addition to myself. We all have to measure ourselves every day and be honest. Some guys have played extremely well. Some have played better than maybe we expected them to and some guys are probably disappointed in the way they have played so far. I'm just disappointed in the performance of Saturday. I'm not disappointed that we've found a way to win six games, but we know we have to play our best game on Saturday to win."

Is there such a thing as a bad six-game winning streak
"No. Nobody was happier to come out of there with that jug. To take it for three years, that's something to be happy about. And yet you have to assess where you are and we are not where we want to be. I am not one of those guys that says you can learn a lot from losing. I think you learn more if you play badly and win."

On Penn State as a team ...
"They have a tremendously big offensive line, powerful, strong guys. Penn State has always run the ball effectively. They have great balance. They are playing a freshman tailback that is getting better every week. They are going to try to throw the ball deep, so they are not a team you can gang up on and try to stop the run because they will throw deep."

On the Michigan defensive effort against Minnesota ...
"Anyone who says that was a great defensive effort did not see the same game I saw. On Minnesota's first drive, they kept the ball for 13 plays, they were able to run the ball and we didn't tackle very well. We got the ball back, scored and on their next drive, they kept the ball for 15 plays. And again, they were able to run the ball and we didn't tackle very well."

On what Michigan will have to do to beat Penn State ...
"I think we have to run the ball with more aggression, we have to block better. I think we have to avoid sacks and whatever you have to do to avoid those little things that hurt you."

On Tai Streets ...
"Tai Streets has been tremendous. He's always been a highly motivated guy. The thing I like about Tai is that he is making a lot of big plays with people all over him, so when he gets into the big games, he will be ready. He's been a great leader, he's been great with the younger guys. He is just a great guy to have on our team."

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

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