Nov. 26, 2012
Press Conference: Brady Hoke
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
Opening statement ... "We're all disappointed in the outcome down in Columbus, obviously. One thing I can tell you is that we are very proud of our senior class. Proud because of the leadership and the development of the program that they've helped and their commitment to the university. Proud of how they continued to lay the foundation of what we want to be as a program.
"So it was hard. It's disappointing for them to play their last game against Ohio and not be successful like we all want to, and that's an expectation. But we're proud of them. We'll have one more opportunity with them, and we'll take that very seriously."
On what he would have liked to have done differently against Ohio State ... "Well, I think a lot of it -- you know, number one, short yardage things. You know, we kind of prided ourselves at being good in short yardage. We tried really three different -- really four different schemes, the iso, the power run, quarterback read play, and just couldn't -- didn't -- execute it like we would like to. And they had had possibilities besides probably the iso that could have been executed. That was disappointing. You get 21 plays in the second half, that is hard when you want to get in a rhythm and turnovers are a part of it. We've talked about turnovers throughout the year. You turn the ball over four times you're not going to win many football games.
"At the same time, I though from a defensive perspective we would have loved to have been a little better versus the run in there, especially with (Carlos) Hyde. Braxton (Miller) was going to get his share to some degree, but the defense stood up when it had to. Like to have, on the last drive, got the ball back one more time. We went in at halftime and it was 21-10. From a defensive perspective -- 21-20 -- if they don't score, they can't win. Well, we got to keep them from scoring."
On if Denard Robinson was limited physically against Ohio State ... "Not really. He can throw the ball, but he can't throw it with the confidence that he would like to throw the ball with. That's was one reason we weren't going to put him in a situation where he's not throwing as well as he would like to. That would be unfair. But, no, he was okay. In our last two drives we had to try and get points, so keeping Devin (Gardner) in the game and throwing the ball a little bit. Unfortunately, we throw the pick, but that's football."
On why Robinson did not have more rushing attempts in the second half against the Buckeyes ... "Well he had 21 plays. We tried to give him a shovel, tried to get him out -- trying think of the other situation there was. It just didn't present itself. And then the fourth and two, fourth and three, you know, which was the same play that he had a nice run earlier in the football game for about seven or eight, you know, we don't block it right."
On why Robinson and Devin Gardner weren't on the field at the same time more against Ohio State ... "I would say the reason would be it wasn't exactly the timing of it. You know, there is a timing of how you set things up, especially in the second half. We turned the ball over three times. So offensively you're a little bit out of your realm and your -- just your mojo if you can call it that. So trying to do something that maybe wouldn't be as successful, you know, we just didn't feel like it."
On whose decision it was to go for it on fourth down at the start of the third quarter ... "Mine, mine, mine."
On why he decided to go for it fourth down instead of punting ... "You know, that's the only thing I wish I wouldn't have done was call the timeout. Should have left him on the field and gone for it."
On if was going to call a fake punt ... "Maybe."
On what it takes to win on the road ... "Well, I think when you look at turnovers on the road, the one thing I know you have to do on the road is run the football. We have not run the football or taken care of the football as well as we need to away from home."
On if he looks at this season as a failure ... "Well, we didn't win the championship, and that's the expectation. I think there was some growth, and I think I that growth is probably as much with how the senior class came together. I think it also is for the young guys who played some snaps, valuable snaps in football games. So that foundation of what you want to do in the weight room, what you want to do in spring football, summer conditioning, winter conditioning, all those things. I think there is always that foundation in how one group responds, and is it a better job than the last group? You know, yeah, it's disappointing to all of us. More disappointing because of the seniors, for them."
On what troubles the 2012 schedule caused ... "I don't know troubles. You go out to compete. Maybe self-inflicted troubles at times. Giving the ball up, not running the ball well enough, all those things are part of it."
On if the quarterback situation for the bowl game depends on Robinson's health ... "Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. But I think at the same time, you know, there is an opportunity to expand more maybe on some of the two quarterback things."
On if he believes Gardner will receive an extra year of eligibility ... "Yeah, I would expect that would go through. I think all the documentation, everything is being sent to the Big Ten. You know, I think there is some momentum. I know how terrible he feels right now, but there is some momentum and things to learn from. Also, he had some success, too."
On what else he can do to emphasize ball security ... "You'll see guys walking on campus with footballs in their arms."
On if he has done that already ... "Not here, but I've done it."
On if he is happy with the way wide receiver Roy Roundtree finished the regular season ... "I think we're all excited for all of them, but Roy, because of how he has handled himself as a student and an athlete and how he's come to work every day, I think all those things are a big part it of. Thought he played a good football game the other day obviously. Being an Ohio kid, you want to see that for him."
On if Robinson can be an option at wide receiver ... "Well, we had a couple routes in there for him, and, you know, it was pretty obvious that they paid attention to where he was. You know, you can do that. Has he had a whole lot of route running and that stuff? No. Maybe if he would've had a little more. But that wasn't the plan."
On if he thought having Robinson on the field made the offense predictable ... "I don't think so, because I think there were plenty of opportunities. You got to block, too."
On how quickly he can fix issues on the offensive line and at running back ... "I don't know if there are any quick fixes. I think there are some guys that we haven't played that we'll see. They got some growth to do, though. I think that's a big part of it. These 15 days that we'll practice will be a big part of bringing them along. I think in both of those areas we've got to -- there is a higher expectation than what we're doing right now."
On what young offensive lineman can gain from bowl practices ... "We try to develop them all fall, but there will be a couple practices in there that will be a little more focused on what they're doing."
On if he anticipates running back Fitzgerald Toussaint being healthy enough to play next season ... "You know, I don't know. I don't know. They think he'll have a full recovery. How long that is, I don't know."
On if he envisions using two quarterbacks on the field at the same time in the future ... "I think depending on your personnel, I think there is not any limitations to what you may be able to accomplish with it. I think in doing that, you got to then look at then offensively what are you? Are you a pro style? Are you a spread? What are you? Because how do you get them both involved?"
On if he is thinking about using Norfleet in that role ... "I'm not as radical as you are right now."
On if he wishes he would have put Robinson in his current role earlier in the season ... "No, because we weren't in position to. He was our quarterback. But, no."
On if he talked to offensive coordinator Al Borges before the fourth-down call ... "I just told him that after I called the timeout, Be ready. Go. And we thought we had a good play. In fact, we did have a good play -- if we execute the blocking."
On the execution of the fourth-down play ... "It wasn't blocked the way I would like it to be blocked."
On if how the offensive line execution changes the way the team calls the game ... "Sure it does. Sure it does. Same thing defensively. You know, you've got have enough calls in there - which I can guarantee you on both sides of the ball we've got enough balls calls - that if they're taking advantage of you somehow, some way, that you can respond differently and counteract."
On Borges' play calling against Ohio State ... "I thought he called a good football game. If we do a couple things better I think we'll all be much happier. I thought play calling was exactly what it should've been. And how much do I talk to him? I talked to him at halftime, I talked to him during the third quarter, and I talked to him during the fourth quarter."
On offensive lineman Chris Bryant's recovery ... "He's coming along. All those guys, Blake (Countess) and all those guys are making progress daily. Who will be ready for spring? I don't know that yet. We'll be very smart in how we do get those guys back involved."
On the staff's schedule prior to the bowl game .. ."Recruiting, working out -- not the staff. Some of them do, but, game planning once we find an opponent."
On if the team will practice before its opponent is announced ... "Yeah, we won't practice. We're going to lift and try and give them some time this week. Finals coming up, all those kind of things."
On why Robinson did not throw against Ohio State ... "Well, I think I was talking about throwing the ball with Denard. If he couldn't be successful and doesn't have that confidence, you know, why put him in a situation that's not fair to him?"
On if he was planning on running a fake punt against Ohio State .. ."We always have a fake punt ready. For a long time, I had it ready."
On his gut feeling to go for it on fourth down ... "Coming off the first half we had, from an offensive perspective we felt pretty good that we could get the first down."
On when he will talk to players about the NFL Draft ... "We'll talk about it this week. We've done our due diligence and sent in all the information that we need to."
On if he has talked to offensive lineman Taylor Lewan about the NFL Draft ... "No. We'll talk this week."
On if Lewan is one of the only players seriously being looked at by the NFL ... "I can't think of anybody else."
On if he tries to steer players back towards school instead of entering the NFL Draft ... "I want to gear the young man into what's the best for him."
On how the ball is spinning out of Robinson's hand on throws ... "I don't think it's spinning the way he would like it to."
On if Robinson will play quarterback if he is 100 percent for the bowl game ... "I would think he would play quarterback, maybe wideout, maybe running back."
On if Robinson could possibly return a kick in the bowl game ... "Might do that."
On if Gardner is the team's quarterback going into next season ... "Well, he's going to have to compete and earn it, but he's done a good job of what we've asked him to do to this point."
On if he expects quarterback Russell Bellomy to return next season ... "Yeah, oh, yeah. And they'll compete."
On the importance of having a good running back and a solid offensive line to have success on offense ... "You need both. You better have a back or a couple backs and you better be able to have guys up front who can move the line of scrimmage."
On why he believes Gardner will receive an extra year of eligibility ... "Just a gut feeling. I mean, I'm serious."
On if all the paperwork has been sent for the request for Gardner to receive an extra year of eligibility ... "We have all the paperwork, yes."