Dec. 3, 2012
Coach Hoke Press Conference | Player Reaction
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
Opening remarks ... "We are obviously thrilled to be heading to the Outback Bowl -- our fifth time. The bowl itself, the organization, the volunteers -- they have always been gracious hosts. The city of Tampa and Clearwater do a tremendous job of embracing the bowl and making a great event for both teams. It is an opportunity to play a very good football team in South Carolina -- at 10-2. Coach (Steve) Spurrier is one of the iconic coaches in this country and laid a great foundation, and he has done a great job at South Carolina and really did a great job at Florida when he was the head ball coach down there. So it is going to be a great football game -- one that we are excited to be a part of against a great opponent."
On what he knows at this point about South Carolina ... "I know they have a really good front and I know that from a defensive perspective they gave up 17 points a game -- very athletic. They lost I think at Florida and at LSU, so their two losses were on the road against two pretty good football teams. Offensively, the quarterback has done a nice job, and I think Coach [Spurrier] is a hard guy to please at that position. Obviously, Lattimore won't play, and that is a shame because he is one of the great football players in this country, but from that standpoint, we just started breaking them down."
On how the team is preparing to improve the running game in the bowl practices ... "We always work hard on running the football -- that is not going to change. I think we always preach and teach the mindset of running the football and finishing at the line of scrimmage and backs finishing on safeties and the ninth man people want to get in the box. I think you just keep plowing through it going forward and your demands and expectations have to be met."
U-M Senior Offensive Lineman Patrick Omameh
On his initial thoughts when he heard about the matchup with South Carolina ... "It is a good team and they have a good record and talent all the way across the board, so I am excited to play them."
On the elements of the offensive line that can improve over the next month ... "Just very fundamental things like knowing where to be when you have to be there and everybody playing in sync -- just things that we can work together with in terms of accomplishing our goals."
On being named to the All-Big Ten team ... "It is a huge honor. I just go out and try to play as hard as I can, and it is always something special to be looked at like that by someone else."
U-M Senior Quarterback Denard Robinson
On the bowl game selection... "It's an honor to be playing in the Outback Bowl, and it's an honor to be playing against South Carolina. That's a great team, we know that's a great team, and we're going to get another opportunity to play."
On leadership for younger players heading into the Outback Bowl ... "All of us know that it's an honor. Even the young guys know that it's an honor to play in the bowl game. It's going to be a great game and fun. We talked about being in a bowl game all the time -- we went to the Gator Bowl, we went to the Sugar Bowl last year. We always talk about how they were great experiences. We lost the Gator Bowl, so we know how it feels to lose and it's a bad feeling. But we came back for the Sugar Bowl, and we won the game, and it felt so much better. We told them about that, and we want to feel good when we come back from this game."
On the impact of rest before the bowl game ... "It helps. It always helps to get rest, for anybody. I think it's a great opportunity to get back healthy. I feel pretty good right now, to be honest with you. When we start back practicing, I can have more to say, but right now I feel good. I'm not throwing how I want to throw, but we're going to be there."
U-M Senior Defensive Lineman William Campbell
On having played the top three teams in the polls ... "It just shows that we've seen everything, we're ready for everything, we've played everything, so we're just going to come out on (January) first and play Michigan football."
On layoff between the regular season and bowl ... "It's very difficult because you have to come off of touching somebody every day, going head to head every day, and now you have the layoff. Then you come slowly back into practice for bowl preparation. But we'll get there."