I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at email@example.com or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the F riday Night Lights series.
Dallas Crawford Goes Blue
As covered on Friday, FL CB Dallas Crawford is the newest member of the Michigan Class of 2011. Also when he's wearing a ridiculous hat, you can throw some 8-bit sunglasses on him and he looks like T-Pain (gif credit to chunkums). Local paper coverage of his commitment:
The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Crawford called Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez around 9:30 Friday morning to deliver the news. “He said he was happy, he was ecstatic,” Crawford said. “He said it made his day.”
You can see his full season stats in detail in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post.
MGoUser SWFlaBlue has a son at South Fort Myers, and gave a bit of info about Dallas:
This kid is a tremendous leader and high character student in addition to being a flat phenomenal athlete. He never takes plays off and rarely leaves the field. On defense, his burst and quickness to the ball is outstanding. He breaks on the ball really well and can absolutely bring the wood, too.
There's a bit more there, including an interesting comparison to his teammate Sammy Watkins.
Speaking of Watkins, might Crawford's commitment help convince Sammy to commit to the Wolverines? It certainly can't hurt, and he would be an enormous bonus to the commitment of a highly-rated (yet still underrated) defensive back. Watkins says academics will be the main factor, and considering Michigan is by far the best school in his top three (Clemson and MIami are the other two), coming to school with his teammate and friend could be what takes Rich Rodriguez and co. over the top.
Sammy plans to announce a commitment at the Army All-American Game in January.
Rivals updated their rankings, and Michigan recruits were affected like so:
- Dee Hart remains a 6.0 4-star, but he is now the top 4-star on that site. Rivals ranking guru Barry Every says Hart is "the best running back I saw this year..." then proceeds to put four RBs ahead of Demetrius. The dude is breaking records against the best competition in the country, so I'd say he's earned that fifth star, but whatever.
- Chris Rock, Greg Brown, and Tony Posada are predictable fallers, all dropping from 5.7, with Rock going to 5.6 and the others to 5.5.
- Everyone else remains static, including Jack Miller, who is criminally underrated at 5.5. Questions about what position he'll be playing at the next level may limit his rankings, but there's no way dude is less than a 4-star, either as a defensive end or offensive lineman.
A few Michigan targets also saw their rankings change, but I'll leave the breakdown to those who are committed.
With the last home game of the year comes the last in-season visit weekend (except for bowl(!) practices), and The Wolverines will yet again welcome just a few recruits to the Big House:
- NC TE Jack Tabb will take his official as long as it doesn't interfere with his high school playoff game. Since his high school season has ended, he'll be in town.
- Tom also says NC LB Kris Frost is likely to visit, but the remainder of visits will likely be unofficials.
- IL OL Chris Bryant and his junior teammate Jordan Diamond might be in the house.
For this week's full list, check out Tom's updated diary. After a week off for Thanksgiving and the game at Ohio State, Michigan's coaches will have two consecutive weekends with plenty of visitors. December 3:
- FL S Wayne Lyons announced his final three visits on Twitter, including to Michigan on 12/3.
- MD CB Blake Countess will be in Ann Arbor on the third.
Further into the future:
- CA WR Devin Lucien is talking with Michigan's coaches about a possible visit and offer ($, info in header).
NJ Slot Miles Shuler's on-again/off-again relationship with Michigan appears to be on-again, as he's trying to set up a December visit to Ann Arbor:
Shuler visited Northwestern in late October and is trying to schedule visits to Michigan and Rutgers sometime in December, [Long Branch HS Coach Dan] George said.
He's visiting Stanford for the weekend of the 3rd, so maybe a Big Chill visit is in the works.
- The Dr. Philips contingent won't visit until after their season.
As always with visits, this information is liable to change at any time.
Rivals' Mike Farrell answers a mailbag question about Michigan's defensive recruiting. He's high on most of the defensive class (except Chris Rock), and thinks Michigan can finish strong now that Rich Rodriguez's job is secure.
Different sources can't agree about whether NC QB Marquise Williams will consider decommitting from North Carolina. The latest says yes.
AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi has committed to play in the Under Armour All-American game.
IL DT Mason Fuller hopes his senior film will net an offer from Michigan.
NC S Mark Bridges is starting to hear from Michigan:
“Michigan is starting to be heavily interested. That’s a school I’m really waiting on as well. Michigan has talked a lot about coming up on a visit.”
It's likely the Wolverines' interest is due to Bridges's teammate, NC LB Kris Frost.
Though he visited Ann Arbor for the Illinois game, CA K Matt Goudis has no intention of decommitting from Boise State ($, info in header).
KY QB Zeke Pike has mostly shown interest in SEC programs, but Michigan's coaches will visit him in December.
ESPN fluff on Cass Tech juniors LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and CB Terry Richardson. Both are hearing from Michigan, and Jenkins-Stone claims an offer from the Wolverines, who lead for his services.
IL DT Tommy Schutt has added a Notre Dame offer to his list that includes Michigan and several other schools.
An annual tradition. Special bonus this year: holy pants there are no seniors. Usually I skip a bunch of anonymous walk-ons who never saw the field unless they have a silly name; this year this is it.
It goes thump. Sometimes
it catches or drops a pass.
Mostly it goes thump.
Bad back, outed grades
but through it all a kickin'
Been around forever
Witnessed the Horror up close
Football purple heart
Thrown into the fire
just two weeks after switching
'08: the nutshell
One last swing hits sod
A shaft of daylight strikes down
Hello two deep
Hurling hockey kids,
the largest man in Quebec came
and he was all right
Took the Moosman crown
as player most likely to
impress your TA
Why did you tattoo
"Stand around, think about plants"
across your torso?
BONUS NOT MEAN HAIKU
Like Schilling, lived
through every last awful bit
and never complained
The west wind in fall
brings everything, and then
Walk-on captains are
pretty much always
The last vagabond
a-wander from spot to spot:
Dread Pirate Rogers
COMMENCE THE SYLLABLE COUNTING.
Two consecutive as we get the hang of being in town and not having fiascoes. This one is ANGRY even after my incoherent rant about that awful Audi commercial* hit the cutting room floor, mostly because Tim has a screaming rage issue with BTN color guy Chris Martin. I just mute the TV, myself.
We talk about the Purdue game, discuss how old I am for remembering Justin Fargas, and then bring in Jamiemac of Just Cover to discuss the weekend's Big Ten slate. Charges of inappropriate music fandom were leveled at Tim in response to his smug ignorance of anything that happened before 2005, but I'd like to make a correction: I accused him of liking queefcore when I meant crunkcore. A thousand apologies to the worst bands in the history of the universe.
*(You know, the one that starts off like lame Adbusters snark with various luxury car owners acting like consumer zombies about their preferred brand only to be shown the true light of justice and progress: Audis. I want it to die.)
The usual links:
Sponsorship note! This is going to be ironic given the crabbing a bit later about excessively corporate bits, but we've landed a sponsorship from a new book titled "For Michigan Fans Only" that will run over about the next two weeks. Check it out, see if you're interested, buy a copy or three, and discharge any lingering guilt you may have about not supporting the site.
Podcasting. I put in an appearance on The Michigan Man podcast to talk about the Purdue game, and talked some more new media stuff with Dan Levy of Press Coverage. And yes, we taped a podcast this week that should be up today or tomorrow. It is the angriest podcast.
Defense: we had it. Wolverine Historian's tribute to the mauling '85 defense:
Football with defense now seems like a bizarre anomaly that requires changes to your gameplanning.
Footie V. Congratulations to the men's soccer team, which won its first Big Ten title in 11 years of existence by stomping Penn State 4-1. MGoBlue has video highlights. Soony Saad's goal was a bit of a gift but Meram's two were sweet, and he would have had a hat trick but for a Penn State player pulling a Suarez. The BTN mics picked up the defender incredulously exclaiming "are you KIDDING ME, sir" after the guy had bashed away a certain goal with his forearm—even Rasheed Wallace thinks that's a stretch. BTW, Saad is now the nation's leading scorer with 18 goals.
The NCAA soccer tournament is a 48-team affair where 16 teams are seeded and receive byes; Michigan is the #10 seed and will play the winner of South Florida-Central Florida on Sunday at 2. The game is in Ann Arbor, so pack the place out. If they advance the third round will be at South Carolina or at home if SC is upset by the Coastal Carolina/Duke winner.
From national award winner thing to person at South Carolina. Your unbreakable faith in David Brandon's pimp hand has been further strengthened by the departure of compliance head Judy Van Horn for a job at South Carolina that seems identical to the one she's departing.
Van Horn only appears in the infamous CARA documents occasionally, mostly to gently spar with Draper. Whatever her offenses were they weren't public, and I plead not enough data if you're asking whether or not she should have been gently shown the door. I will say that I am enjoying the public announcements that Person Has Acquired Job You Don't Care About because they remind me of that scene in The Wire where deposed mayor Royce whispers sweet nothings to Clay Davis about staying in line or getting nothing. Don't go against the family.
Horrified Kafkaesque potato-man interlude.
In other Brandon. The Crain's Detroit Business article on Brandon has been kicked around on the message board already but a couple opinion type objects follow on from this:
As part of dealing with the infractions, Brandon plans to operate the athletics program much like he did the corporations he ran for more than two decades, Ann Arbor-based Domino's Pizza Inc. and Livonia-based coupon marketer Valassis Communications Inc.
That includes creating a business plan and bolstering the image. The athletic department is conducting a national search for its first chief marketing officer, and Brandon is looking at where money should be spent on promotion.
"The first thing you need to do is resource properly against the areas that are very important. This is a department that's been under-resourced in terms of marketing muscle and expertise," he said, noting that just three people worked on marketing for UM athletics. The new CMO will add more staff.
"(We will) craft the message a little better in the media in terms of who we are, what's going on here and why it ought to be attractive to people," he said.
I guess that's fine and after the NCAA business it seems like a thorough reshaping of the athletic department is in order, but I'm a bit leery of the direction things have gone so far on the marketing front. I'm not buying a Big Chill shirt because it's got an Arby's logo on it. I'm extremely disappointed that David Brandon's pimp hand has so far spared Special K and his awful, generic gameday music.
The whole point of college athletics these days is a lack of the generic corporate moneygrab that makes professional games sterile experiences—have you been to a Wings game in the last ten years? Part of marketing the program is being actually different. Eroding the wall between Michigan's fusty, old-timey feel and your average AHL game brings a short-term Pavlovian response but hurts the development of long-term obsessives that allow Michigan to avoid two for one Subway promotions even when they're not doing that well.
This is a statement I don't like:
"My job as the quote-unquote CEO of Michigan athletics is to make sure that (the profit and loss statement) is healthy, that we're doing a good job of growing our revenues, that we're managing our costs," he said. "It operates very much like every business I've ever been associated with from the standpoint of what we do and what we need to do to be successful."
His job as the quote unquote CEO of Michigan athletics has zero to do with money. Money is a vehicle via which to graduate students and acquire wins, and in some cases I think the athletic department is sliding too much towards money. I thought the same thing under Martin, FWIW.
Hockey bits. A fuller exploration of what's going on with the hockey team will have to wait until football's over but, man, it's looking like a slightly less nerve-wracking version of last year. Michigan has avoided the ugly .500 start and is sitting at 6-3-3, but they're a last-second goal against Ferris State from splitting every weekend they've had this year save a sweep of Bowling Green. Michigan lost to a terrible version of BG last year so this is some progress. It's a far cry from the rampage they went on at the end of last season.
Making things a bit worse was how the Notre Dame series went down. Michigan was run out of the building Friday in a depressing game where they were outshot badly. This never happens. On Saturday they got down and then got a flood of freaky goals:
Michigan Hockey Net chalked the win up to puck luck and it's hard to disagree when Michigan's last three were some variety of bizarre. Langlais's invisible hockey player job is possibly the weirdest goal I've ever seen.
A lot of people have been muttering about a repeat of last year and it's not hard to see the similarities. Michigan does not have a lot of skill in the forward corps and has to rely on bombs and deflections too much. Only Hagelin brings a consistent look-at-that-guy presence on every shift. The goaltending is okay but not great, and the team seems to lack a shut down defenseman in the mold of a Mitera or a Komisarek.
At least they haven't lost to an awful team yet, and it looks like their schedule has been tough out of the gate—ND and Alaska are 1st and 4th in the league right now and Ferris is okay; even BG is 5-7 overall. UNH is 5-1-3. That Mercyhurst tie is going to rankle all year, though.
Cheese it! The cops! Penn State fans are still convinced that an epic refereeing conspiracy exists to prop up Michigan, and after watching this I'm convinced:
/commits seppuku because of the dishonor
Etc.: The Mathlete has us 50-50 to get to an eighth win before the bowl. Quite a coinflip coming up. Mets Maize on the Purdue game. John Clay might miss the Michigan game, but it won't matter since Wisconsin has two other fine backs.
For live updates of the games I'm attending, follow me on Twitter @varsityblue. If you can help out finding articles on any of the commits, @reply me on Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll try to include your contribution.
New Commit FL CB Dallas Crawford
A new commit means a rundown of his season to date.
Game 1. South Fort Myers pasted Estero 49-7. Crawford excelled on both sides of the ball for SFM:
Crawford led the Wolfpack by completing 6 of 7 passes for 156 yards with two TDs, and rushing three times for 30 yards with two more scores. He even picked off a pass for good measure.
Their stats credit Crawford with 3 rushing TDs, so I've given him the benefit of the doubt. Click through to the article for more photos.
Game 2. South Fort Myers rolled over Cypress Lake 39-0.
Crawford attempted just 10 passes and, as usual, his accuracy level was high with nine completions for 118 yards.
The article also includes video (relevant portion begins around 1:25):
Game 3. SFM beat Bishop Verot 35-3:
South’s explosive offense was present in the form of 23-, 67-, 60- and 25-yard passing touchdowns from quarterback Dallas Crawford. The senior also ran for a 3-yarder to break a scoreless tie early in the second quarter and finished with 311 total yards...
He had an impressive 5-yard touchdown to tight end Luke Smith negated by a rare rule when his helmet was knocked off (instant dead play) while escaping what seemed like a sure sack. Then another pass was dropped inside the 5-yard line...
Vikings starting quarterback Jake Kistel was knocked out of the game just three plays into the third quarter after back-to-back crushing blows from linebacker Anthony DeBonis and Crawford, who also plays free safety.
Crawford also had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown that was negated by a roughing the passer penalty.
You never want a kid to get hurt, but I'm still glad to hear Crawford's a certified big hitter. Photo gallery can be found here.
Game 4. The Wolfpack rolled Gulf Coast 49-7 (video in link).
“We settled down,” South quarterback Dallas Crawford said. “We came in a little too amped, trying to make big plays instead of taking what the defense was giving us.”
South (4-0) did much of its damage – especially on the host Sharks' spirits on homecoming – in the final five minutes of the first half. The Wolfpack put together a five-minute drive capped by Crawford's 2-yard dive to take a 14-7 lead with 5:14 left to play...
Always willing to capitalize on his opponent's mistakes, Crawford dropped a 51-yard touchdown pass in Tyrell Blanks' arms on the final play of the first half...
GC snagged Crawford's only interception thrown this season. He made up for it by pulling in one of his own on the defensive side of the ball (pictured above). Photo Gallery. Thanks to @ryanhaase for helping me find this article.
Game 5. Crawford stole the show as South shut out North Fort Myers 34-0.
After being crowned at halftime, South Fort Myers senior Dallas Crawford promptly returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown as the host Wolfpack pulled away from stubborn North Fort Myers 34-0 in a Class 3A-District 11 game. Crawford finished with two interceptions on defense and threw two touchdown passes...
“Coach Redhead takes a lot of time breaking down film every week,” Crawford said. “He comes to practice on Monday and let’s us know what to expect. We execute what he tells us during the week.”
Game 6. South doubles up Baker 40-20.
The ability of the elusive Crawford (13-of-24 passing, 260 yards) to fire strong, accurate throws on the run gave the Bulldogs a headache all night...
Crawford snagged one of four interceptions by Wolfpack defensive backs and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown in the Wolfpack’s 20-point second quarter.
In addition to the defensive touchdown, Dallas threw for 2.
Game 7. South Fort Myers pasted Fort Myers 43-10.
Representatives from Clemson and Michigan watched from the South sideline as Wolfpack stars Dallas Crawford and Sammy Watkins turned their games up another notch...
Crawford hurdled for one touchdown and dived for another, both from 5 yards. He also hit tight end Luke Smith on a 3-yard touchdown pass. Crawford missed his first two passes, but then completed nine straight and finished 10-of-13 for 144 yards.
Game 8. The Wolfpack beat Riverdale 39-3.
Less than a minute into the game, senior quarterback Dallas Crawford found Sammy Watkins on a slant that turned into a 75-yard dash to the end zone.
Crawford rushed for 88 yards and completed 8 of 10 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The other scoring toss to Watkins came on a similar play to Crawford across the middle for a 20-yard TD in the second quarter.
Dallas also notched a rushing touchdown, which the recap fails to mention. Photo Gallery.
Senior Dallas Crawford threw two long touchdown passes, ran for one score and added an interception in his final high school regular-season game.
The Wolfpack had a bye last weekend, and will kick off the state playoffs on Friday.
|Dallas Crawford 2010|
|Cypress Lake||W 39-0||9||10||90.00||118||11.80||1||0||6||24||4.00||2|
|Bishop Verot||W 35-3||18||23||78.26||299||13.00||4||0||9||12||1.33||1|
|Gulf Coast||W 49-7||12||16||75.00||277||17.31||3||1||11||34||3.09||1|
|North Fort Myers||W 34-0||7||13||53.85||88||6.77||2||0||5||38||7.60||0||2||1|
|Fort Myers||W 43-10||10||13||76.92||144||11.08||1||0||12||38||3.17||2|
This week: As mentioned above, South Fort Myers kicks off their playoff campaign on Friday. They'll host Barron Collier at 7:30
FL QB Kevin Sousa
Last week: Lake Nona fell to East River 14-28.
Kevin's coach tells Tom that Sousa went 16/28 passing for 209 yards, a score and three picks. He also carried 25 times for 58 yards.
|Kevin Sousa 2010|
|Oak Ridge||L 0-48||6||13||46.15||34||2.62||0||1||7||31||4.43||0|
|Lake Wales||L 6-42||14||21||66.67||199||9.48||0||1||13||64||4.92||1|
|Winter Haven||L 0-42||9||14||64.29||128||9.14||0||0||5||29||5.80||0|
|East River||L 14-28||16||28||57.14||209||7.46||1||3||25||58||2.32||1|
This week: Lake Nona's season has ended with a 1-9 record. Sousa finished with just under 2,000 yards passing, and more than 800 yards rushing.
FL RB Demetrius Hart
Dee Hart, a Michigan recruit, ran for three first-half touchdowns, the last one from 34 yards that capped a seven-play 68-yard drive to give DP a 21-0 halftime lead. Hart added two more scores in the third quarter to finish with five TDs, 120 yards rushing and 212 all-purpose yards.
Hart was predictably named the Player of the Game. As always, the Sentinel provides highlights:
Official stats below come from the Dr. Phillips website.
|Demetrius Hart 2010|
|Cypress Creek||W 52-0||14||168||4||12.00||1||7||0||7.00||3||24||0||8.00|
|Oak Ridge||W 56-28||21||126||3||6.00||4||37||1||9.25||1||5||0||5.00|
|West Orange||W 49-6||11||121||4||11.00||4||24||0||6.00||2||69||1||34.50|
This week: 10-0 Dr. Phillips hosts Olympia in round 1 of the State Playoffs on Friday at 7:30.
FL OL Tony Posada
Next week: Plant hosts Plant City in Round 1 of the State Playoffs on Friday.
OH OL Jack Miller
Last Week: St. John's Jesuit beat Medina 24-6:
Normally the more physical team, the Bees ran into an offensive line with the likes of Troy Favorite, Nick Brunner, Nate Pearson, Miles Ashleman and Jack Miller, who average 6-3 and 263 pounds.
The Titans managed to ride that line for 198 rushing yards in the game. Miller talked to the Toledo Blade about the big win:
“When you get in the playoffs, you're going to give up big plays, but it's about the ability to keep fighting and not give up,” said Titan senior two-way lineman Jack Miller. “That's what we did tonight.”
This week: 11-1 St. John's will play crosstown rival Whitmer in Round 3 of the State Playoffs at Bowling Green's Doyt Perry Stadium on Saturday at 7.
MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer
Penalties kept that march going, including one called on senior Brennen Beyer for horse-collaring Birney on a sack attempt at the CC 35. Had Beyer completed the sack without an infraction, the Shamrocks likely would have been forced to punt. Later on, that gave Beyer extra motivation to regain the lead. “We needed to bounce back from that,” Beyer said. “If our defense held us for the rest of the game we were pretty confident our offense would score. That’s what we planned and that’s what we did, it worked out well.”
It didn’t hurt knowing Brindza was waiting to do his thing. “It gives you so much reassurance,” Beyer added. “When I was lining up for the (winning) field goal I was really confident it was going to go in. He’s the best kicker in the state and one of the best in the nation, it helps a lot.”
Standard sad faces about Brindza's Notre Dame commitment go here: :( :( :(. The linked article has video, but there are no Beyer sightings, and it was edited by someone who's not very good at editing, so be careful. Article 2:
"This feels great; even better than last week," said defensive end/receiver Brennen Beyer. "We played tough, hit hard and stopped the run. We came ready to play today."
That's when a jolting sack by Fox knocked the ball loose from Birney. Beyer nearly scooped the ball up at the CC 35, but it rolled out of bounds before he could gain possession.
This week: The 10-2 Wildcats face Rockford on Saturday at Lansing Everett at 1pm.
TX LB Kellen Jones
Last week: Pregame fluff:
Senior Kellen Jones, the middle linebacker, has lived up to the hype as a member of Dave Campbell Texas Football's preseason Super Team. Jones has committed verbally to Michigan.
He had another monster game and played like a beast, had 6 tackles. Not much got past the first level of defenders, so a lower quantity of tackles, but great quality. Two TFL. Also had two fumble recoveries, almost took one for six. Nearly blocked two punts, missed one by inches. Bottom line: dude makes plays. Also played on offense in short yardage situation.
Kellen's coach tells Tom that he officially came in for 5 tackles, 2 for loss with a sack. He also recovered 2 fumbles, as mentioned above.
|Kellen Jones 2010|
|Trinity Christian||W 33-7||11||5||1||0|
|Worthing||W 20-12||DNP - ankle|
|St. Thomas||W 28-10||11||3||1||0|
|Houston Christian||W 37-13||9||3||1||0|
|Houston Christian||W 49-7||8||1||1||1Punt|
|St. Thomas||W 33-28||13||2||0||0|
* Blocked punt. The table has gone all to hell with Kellen racking up various types of stats at this point, so I'll expand fumbles forced and recovered, and punt blocks into their own columns for next week.
This week: St. Pius hosts Dallas Bishop Lynch on Saturday.
MI CB Delonte Hollowell
Last week: Cass Tech defeated Macomb Dakota 31-19 in the Regional Finals of the State Playoffs.
Next Week: The 12-0 Technicians play Lake Orion Saturday at 1pm at Troy Athens High School.
MI WR Shawn Conway
Seaholm's season is over, with a 4-5 record. Conway finished the year with about 22 catches for 375 yards, and 11 kick/punt returns for 393 yards. Seaholm's coach resigned following the final game.
MI OL Jake Fisher
Traverse City West's season is over, with a 6-4 record and a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.
OH DE Chris Rock
DeSales's season ended at 5-6 with a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.
OH CB/S Greg Brown
Fremont Ross's season is over, with a 9-2 record and a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.
On the fumble return, "I was thinking 'scoop and score' like you talk in little league." Patterson was encouraging him during the runback. Was exciting to be able to score.
It's a learning experience to be in his first year on the field. Helping the team was the goal all along, and he's glad to be able to do that.
Position change is good for him because it's good for the team "I'm a football player and I want to play, nothing to it but that." Everything is coming at him faster at the new position, and the field is a bit more compacted. Being physical is his biggest strength. It's not confusing to switch positions for the third time. He's just a football player and loves being on the field.
Wisconsin: "They have some pretty good backs, the o-line is big. We'll see how it looks this week." When they put up 83 on Indiana, his only thought was "that's a good team." "They put up 83 against Indiana, not against us."
The defense's attitude has changed. "'I don't care attitude' - in a positive way" has been the defense's calling card for the last two weeks, and they'll continue with it. If the opponent gets a big play, they have to move on and not care.
Found out he was going to start within minutes of the beginning of the game. Was excited to get his first start. "It's was kinda hard to relax, but you know." There have been points where he wondered if he'd ever get the opportunity to start. Was motivated to prove himself. Filling in for Mike Martin "It's a lot of pressure." Need to step up when he goes down, even though it might be tough to fill his shoes.
Going through the coaching transition: "I feel like it's an experience that's really prepared me for my future and for life." They aren't that different, but this staff is a lot more intense.
When Cam Gordon was returning the fumble for a TD,"I just kept trying to tell him 'keep going, keep going.'"
Team will be focused to prepare for Wisconsin. "Wisconsin always has a big offensive line, and they always have a good offensive line." You respect them, but the goal is to prove you can compete with them. "You also come in with the mindset that this is going to be a very physical game."
Wisconsin scoring 83 against Indiana has motivated the M defense to make sure they don't have a bad performance themselves.
On the defense: "I really feel like the swagger is getting there. Every game we play is a stepping stone." The defense is developing, and they learned this weekend what they can do if they play up to their potential.
"To go out there and to win these next to games is very motivating." Trying to show what they can do, and improve bowl status.
"If the team ever needed me anywhere, I would do it. That was my whole mindset." He's going to get his degree, and to play football and get playing time is just an extra benefit to that.
Since the Illinois game, the defense has been more loose, and they're translating it to the field. "It's a good way to go into the game. Our swagger and everything about our defense got a lot better, and it's perfect to go into the Wisconsin game."
Not worried about Wisconsin's 83 points against Indiana "I guarantee you they're not going to score 83 points on us." Wisconsin is a powerful team, but Indiana backed down a bit at the end, and Michigan won't do that, they'll fight to the finish.
Will miss running through the tunnel after doing it the last time this weekend.
"I hope they throw the ball my way a little more, I haven't seen much action lately." Wants the chance to build up some stats. You just had two interceptions: "Yeah, FINALLY."
"I've seen Courtney grow a lot even when JT was there." He'll be a great player in the future and has stepped up. Vinopal has stepped up in a tough position. Talbott and Christian have also done a really good job as true freshmen.
"We need this Ohio State win bigger than anything. That's something we've been waiting on, and our focus will be on that really soon. We've gotta take on Wisconsin first."
Main difference between Carr and Rodriguez eras is a major step up in the conditioning.
Lots of memories about touching the banner, etc., excited to have one more time to do that. Wants the seniors to leave with a win.
The change in coaching staffs has made for an unexpectedly interesting experience. "Hopefully this is the year that Michigan turns the tide." Ohio State "That's the big one obviously, and they've got us however many 6 or 7 years in a row." Winning in Columbus would set the program up for years to come.
Ryan Kerrigan is a great player. "We weren't running the ball very well, and got into third and long." That allowed Kerrigan to get after the QBs a bit more.
"The energy has been there the last two weeks" for the defense. Even though they struggled a bit, they want to prove themselves again at the end of the season.
Wisconsin is always tough against the run. Michigan is coming off a poor rushing performance against Purdue, so they'll need to be back on their game to have success.
There are keys to victory for every week, and ball security is on the list every week. "You can't win games with turnovers. The last two we were lucky to come out of there with a win."
It's always important to take care of the ball, especially against a grinding team like Wisconsin.
It's impressive that Wisconsin could put up 83 points. "I didn't really think much of it. Obviously Wisconsin's a great team, but it didn't make me scared or anything."
Important to send the seniors out with a win in their final home game. Glad they were able to get to a bowl game for those guys. "We all wanna win, for them it might be a little more important."
Denard responds well, even after he makes mistakes.
"We're not content with anything." Want to win the last two games. "We're gonna go and and we're gonna fight in those two games."
Tries to stay ready for the occasion when he gets the ball on the reverse, but isn't begging for it to get called.
Different receivers prefer different routes, but it's their job to work them all in practice. "If you're in that position, and they happen to call the play and you've gotta run that route, you're gonna run that route."