Dec. 29, 2012
Outback Bowl Central | Brady Hoke Press Conference
Interviews: Greg Mattison | Al Borges
Michigan Head Coach Brady HokeOpening statement:
"The hospitality, the host city and all those things have been great. We've had good practices to this point. For us, in our world, this is a Wednesday. We've got to have a great Wednesday practice... We're excited to play a good football team in South Carolina. It's time to play almost."
On accomplishments in practice:
"Now it's obviously the game plan itself. We're able to put four good days in Ann Arbor with th game plan, got here on the 23rd and really the retention rate was very good. We moved along pretty well when you look at the development of the game plan. There's still an opportunity today, we'll see what we may not like for one reason or another or if we're not grasping scheme-wise or what it might be. I'm pleased with where we are, and I think our coaches are pleased with where we are according to where we're practicing."
On potentially preparing for two South Carolina quarterbacks:
"You look at the body of work with the offense; they lost a tremendous running back and were able to put a couple guys in there that run the ball hard and do a nice job within the offense. I think quarterback-wise, Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson are both very good quarterbacks. In their big rivalry game they don't have Shaw and Thompson goes in and wins a great rivalry game on the road."
On coming down early:
"I think part of it is we got acclimated a little bit to the area. In Ann Arbor Michigan right now it's not quite what it is down here in Tampa. I think that's helped us a little bit. I think the focus our guys have shown, and it helps a little bit when you go to two different sites. We're in Clearwater and the Phillies were gracious hosts for us to practice and then moving in to Tampa has been great for our team."
On Denard Robinson's ability to throw the ball:
"Good. He could do about anything. He doesn't punt real well, but he can do a lot of things."
On how the two quarterbacks have handled the competition:
"I think they handle it great. They're two guys that have been in the same meeting room for a while. I think they're good friends, number one. I think they're different personalities to some degree. But I think the competition level is kind of what it is at every position, so they've handled it great."
On linebacker Jake Ryan:
"It was really a good assessment of talent because we didn't recruit him at San Diego State and had an opportunity to. I think he's grown well in the position. I think Greg coaching him on a daily basis, his football instincts have always been there, which is what you want in your players, but maybe his football education is a little better, recognition and all those things."
On South Carolina's defensive front:
"We've got to block them, number one. I think they're a very talented front seven, I think they're very athletic. In the game of football you've got to take care of the football and you've got to be able to run the ball and stop the run. If you can do those things you've got a chance, it just gives you a chance. We're going to have our hands full. We have not been a football team that has run the ball great from the tailback perspective for multiple reasons, so that's going to be a challenge we'll start with."
On Taylor Lewan preparing for what could be his last collegiate game:
"I thought he always has done a pretty good job of getting himself ready to play. I don't think you play as well as you do if you don't. I don't know if I've seen a drastic change."
On what he expects from his team in the Outback Bowl:
"I really like how we've taken care of each other. They've done a good job practice-wise with the tempo of practice, the physicalness of practice. The timing from an offensive standpoint has been very positive. The assignment and the effort to the football defensively has been really good. But I felt that way before when we went and played Notre Dame and we turned the ball over six times. I think the mindset of the team is pretty good. We'll find out how we practice today. When anybody says, `How are you doing today?' It depends on practice. If practice was good, I had a pretty good day; if practice was bad, not such a good day. That's how coaches are."
On the Wolverines secondary:
"Courtney (Avery) has played a lot of snaps, which is a plus. Raymon (Taylor) has gotten better and better every practice, every day, and works diligently on it. Terry Richardson has improved, which is a good thing. Delonte Hollowell has made some strides. And then moving Fleet (Dennis Norfleet) over. Fleet's given us another good, physical-type football player at the corner position, and he's quick."
On preparing for South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney:
"I think anybody can be blocked one-on-one, how long you block him is what the key is. I think the guy plays with a really good motor or he wouldn't be the player he is. You can have all the talent in the world, the range and all those things, but it's what the guy plays with motor-wise, and I think he does a nice job playing with that. Whether it's doubling him or chipping him, single blocking him or play action and cutting, whatever you want to do, you've got to execute it and there's got to be a timing presence to all your passing."
On Denard Robinsons' legacy:
"There's one more game to play, and I think that conversation is after this football game."
On what it means to finish the season with a win in the Outback Bowl:
"It matters for our seniors. Those guys have given four and five years, have struggled, have had transition, coaching changes and all that and they stuck together. We want to make sure as coaches and players that we do everything we can from how we coach the game, how we prepare for the game, and send them out the right way."