The amount of actual information in this is like a Belichek presser. Lewan's leg hurts? Insightful.
Mike Lantry, 1972
Opening remarks: “It was good to get back out and play football and compete after two weeks ago. I thought our team prepared themselves well, and they came out and responded a little bit. [Purdue] took the ball down the first drive there and scored. I thought our guys held their poise together, went back and talked about it on the sideline and adjusted a little bit. It really wasn’t that much of an adjustment that needed to be done, but I was pleased with that.
“Offensively we rushed the ball well. Fitz obviously did a nice job, but I think overall they all did, and really it goes to your offensive line, so that was a good part. Didn’t like the end of the first half, because we needed to get seven points, not kick a field goal, and that’s something that we have to be able to do however we have to do it whether it’s running the iso up there or quarterback sneak or whatever. We’ve got to score points, and that was too big of a situation in the football game and having too good of field position not to do that with 1:58 left. That’s disturbing. The touchdown at the end was disturbing because at Michigan, the expectations are for the position and who’s in there, so we’ve got to obviously work that part of it, too.”
Can you talk about the running game, and did Fitz do a good enough job to win the top running back position? “I don’t know, we’ll see. I thought he did a nice job and I thought the guys up front did a nice job. We’ll see, we’ll look at the tape as a staff and see the things he did well. It’s always easy to see them when they do good things, because they’re usually biting up big chunks of yardage, but there are other things that go with it, but I thought he did a nice job today.”
How big was Mike Martin’s safety? “It was great momentum. When you score defensively, it always, for your team, brings a great momentum, a great morale and all those things. Mike has been playing good football for us. I think he’s continued to be a great leader for us and work hard -- I was real excited for him.”
What’s going on with Kovacs, and did his absence that hurt you on that first Purdue drive? “No. Again, the expectations are for the position. If you’re in there, there’s a way we expect you to play.”
Can you talk about how those guys played in Kovacs’s absence? “Well, I thought Thomas played really aggressive. Troy, we were moving anyway, so it was one of those things that worked out well. Troy’s got some makeup speak that other guys don’t have, and that’s good. I’d like for him to be a tad more physical at times, but I thought he did a good job. They tried to tempo us a little bit, so he did a good job of getting us in and out of what we needed to be looking like back there.”
Are you trying to achieve diversity on offense with Gardner? “Well, I think part of that is there’s no question that when you’re able to throw some things at a defense or team, and for us, the two quarterback system -- or whatever you want to call it -- formation, it forces guys to work on it. I think there’s enough variety, and in fact there’s a lot more that we can do with it, but it really forces a defense … you need to spend now ten minutes a day on that package or whatever. I think that helps us, yeah.”
You didn’t make much of a change after the first touchdown, but you looked a lot different after you came back. Was there a mental adjustment? “Nah, you know, we just talked to them. They came down the bench, [said], ‘Hey, we have plenty of football left in us.’ There wasn’t any yelling or ripping. It happened early in the year, too, when they’ve stayed together and they’ve come back and played well. It’s them communicating with each other, which is the good part.”
So Troy was moving to safety anyway? “Mmhmm.” What will your defensive backfield look like when Kovacs returns? “We’ll either have four, five, or six guys in there.” When will Jordan come back? “I don’t know.”
Overall thoughts on the defense -- is it getting better week to week in your mind? “I don’t know. I mean, I’m really thinking -- we’ll find out more next week. I think it’s a work in progress. Our linebackers, you could feel today. Two weeks ago I didn’t feel them. Today, playing downhill and playing physical through people, I could feel that today. If we can grow from that and keep that consistency, then we’ll get better.”
You talked about getting back to playing Michigan football. “Michigan football, as I know it, is playing defense. First and foremost. Nationally people think about Michigan football and playing defense and then running the football. Being able to run the football and knock people off the line of scrimmage. I think that’s what, in my mind, Michigan football is.”
Desmond Morgan got his second start. Can you talk about what you liked about him? “I think he’s a very instinctive football player. As a linebacker I think that’s critical. I think he’s a guy who’s got a nice burst and will be physical at the point of attack. I think he’s going to play a lot of football here at Michigan.”
There were 37 carries by people not named Denard. Is that what you envision for your offense? “Is that what they had?” Yeah. “Yeah, that’s pretty good. I think that’s a good number.”
Can you talk about the status of Taylor Lewan and Ricky Barnum? “Ricky hurt his ankle. Taylor -- I don’t know. His leg hurts. That’s what I know right now.”
Last week you were talking about how happy you were with how healthy the team is. How do you feel about that situation now? “It’s football. That’s why you guys on the team to compete, and they just have to keep improving. When their opportunities come, you have to take advantage of it.”
Can you elaborate about the resolve of this Michigan team compared with the last few seasons? “It’s hard for me to compare that to what happened before, but I’ve liked our team. I like how they like each other. Maybe that’s corny or whatever, but from where I sit, I’ve liked that they respect each other and they want to play for each other, in my opinion. It shows. It shows how they practice, and it shows out there today. Look, they’re on scholarship to get a great education and play football. They’re expected to do both.”
Three-way tie in the division. Thoughts? “Every game is a championship game. We’ve said that since Minnesota. There’s six to eight plays in a game that are going to be the difference. Somebody said Mike’s safety. Was that a difference in this game? From a momentum side, yeah, no question. Next week, we’re on the road and it’s a championship game.”
You mentioned a few times the offensive line responded well. Was that a specific area you guys challenged after last game? “No question about it. I can say that every week, though, because that’s where the game’s played. Those two lines -- that’s where the game’s played. You guys like talking about running backs and stuff like that. I like talking about centers and guards and defensive tackles, where the game is played. That’s the fun part.”
You said all week that you said the freshmen would play a lot more, and they did today. How did they do? “I’m going to kill one of them. Ah … It’s not fair. Read it in the obituaries.
"No, but I think those guys, they’re playing hard. They’re playing hard and there’s some talented guys. Blake is a talented guy and he’s got a good instinct. Desmond does. Frank Clark does, and Brennen Beyer -- it’s great that they’re getting all the time that they are, and they have a great attitude.”
Do you expect Kovacs to come back this year? “Yeah. Yeah.”
Taylor Lewan had a leg injury and he played through it. Does that lift the offense? “I think, yes. I think it lifts your team.”
Did Fitz have an injury going into the bye week? He looked more rested. “You know what, not really. He wasn’t beat up or anything. Smitty’s been the only one who’s been a little beat up as of late with an ankle, but nothing terrible. [Toussaint] saw things better -- the touchdown run was a great run for a lot of reasons, not just by him, but the receivers do what our receivers do down the field, and that’s an important part of it.”
Is safety a natural fit for Woolfolk? “Oh I don’t know. I think with the emergence with how Blake’s been playing -- I always believe you put your best players on the field. Troy’s probably in the top 11, 12, 13 guys on defense.”
When you get that kind of production out of Mike Martin, how does it change how you play defense? “I think it sets a tone for how you play defense. Doesn’t change how we play. We’re going to play the scheme and everything that we have, but I think when you see a guy who’s lining up over the football and rushing the passer, and then they throw the dig -- no they threw … I forget what route it was, but the guy made us miss and did that, and 16 yards downfield [Martin] is making the tackle. That means something. That means something, and I’ll be pointing that out, because that means something.”
Did you make a concerted effort to feed the backs? “Gosh, I wish. I wish it looked like that every week. We want to do our due diligence of making sure that we’re trying to pound the football.”
Are you concerned about playing so many freshmen on defense at the same time? “Nope. I don’t have any concerns about it because of how they play and how they practice.”
Do you feel like the defense was the biggest difference in this game? “I don’t know. I think we responded well defensively, and then I think I would tell you that our offense complemented our defense.”
The amount of actual information in this is like a Belichek presser. Lewan's leg hurts? Insightful.
When he uses "boo-boo" I feel like it's something they can play with. He didn't got into detail and I'm worried like shit.
I don't mind our head coach being compared with one of the greatest NFL coaches ever. They both have boring press conferences but they both win.
I really like how Hoke's upset they let in the late TD. Still can't believe the team is in the top10 in scoring defense. After last year, I was just hoping for a top 50 or 60 scoring defense. Best part is that I continue to see improvement.
Someone texted me as I was leaving the game that he looked pissed on tv after we gave up the score.
I was more pissed that Hope insisted on prolonging that farce so we could all get wet.
purdue is really good at making final scores look ugly
purdue is really good at making final scores look ugly
If Hoke is still saying this same stuff 3 years from now do people still eat it up?
I like Hoke, but I find these answers insulting. I understand he's following the script Brandon gave him and it's fine if he is able to rally the fan base. I just hope in a few years he can relax and be himself.
hoke is not a fool. the media are vultures and will twist every word and use it against u. ask rodriguez how "being himself" and unlimited media access worked for him. win and say as little as possible. of course...the win part is the most crucial
Do you really care that much about the content of a coach's press conferences? I think we get a lot of great insight from the coordinators every week. I, personally, want a football coach that wins football games and keeps his foot out of his mouth in pressers.
You care that much about the content of a coach's press conference when you still aren't over the fact that the head coach is not Rich Rodriguez.
How about Hoke calling out players in the press conference?
Oh my how can he?
Are you talking about Hoke calling out an unnamed freshman in a joking manner? Or Rich Rod calling out Zoltan, by name, for blowing the MSU game?
If he's winning games, he can whistle Zip-a-dee-doo-da in his press conferences.
Actually, considering that one misphrased answer would get spun, respun and then plastered on the Web in a construction which is little more than a bastard cousin of the intent, these are pretty good answers. After all, he could feel the linebacker corps today.
They should have asked if he has read "Three and Out".
I love how we now have some excellent film to watch on how to beat Iowa. Next week will be a championship game indeed.
as everyone has been saying. He gives the people below him (Borges, Mattison) the tools and freedom to be able to suceed. He looks a lot more 'big picture' i.e. he is concerned that it wasn't Michigan football where we struggled inside the 5 instead of saying it's just one drive against Purdue. Just small philosophical things like that. If he's given time, he'll be able to develop the program into something great again
I absolutely love Hoke's calm and moderate tone. Nothing is ever as bad as the media makes it, and nothing is ever as good as the fanbase wants it to be.
He's such a stable person... like the anti-D'Antonio.
Dantonio doesn't have it.
I like the answer he gave regarding Taylor's leg. The fact that it hurts is probably all he does really know at this time. He said what he knows instead of feeding us some BS to sound intelligent. I also like that he is upset the second string gave up a late TD, reminds of Bo. I don't think he is reading from a script, I think he is being genuine.
Which freshman is he gonna kill? Anyone know what he's talking about specifically?
After Hoke kills the kid, will it open up another schollie?
How will that affect the APR?
so its not really that remarkable a statement.
/ terelle pryor
i think he was referring to brennan beyer...at end of game he was one who started the tussel on the purdue sideline
He would never let them off that easily.
Also, how many times does a player get helped to his feet and stay in the game. Lewan is becoming a force of nature.
Lewan is one tough SOB. Also, you should have put the last part of what RVB said about Molk in your sig. I think it was "what a meat-head thing to do." I laughed.
that he rode that guy all the way to the sideline opening Fitz's long touchdown run? I am impressed by this kid. I love when he blocks someone all the way to the bench. I can't remember seeing anyone do that before as if it was his goal every snap. A few games back he thought he was being sent to his own sideline by the official when the official was just trying to get Lewan off his guy on the oponent's sideline. He is a real asset to the team.
it's called coach speak it boring but it works
Also when your coach isn't this thoughtful about what he reveals to the public you run the risk of getting this: Brian Kelly losing the support of a quarter of his team
I think anyone who is upset about Hoke's presser style really needs to rethink their priorities. Personally I love that he doesn't feed into the nonsense of the media. If you give him a ridiculous leading question he's going to give you a yes or no answer, if he doesn't know the answer he's not going to make one up, and if you try to get him to make a jab at a player he'll talk you in a circle until you don't remember what your question was. I hope I never hear anything informative from a Hoke presser. So far the results have been pretty good.
"deez Nutz", Mr. Hoke
What about them looking pretty good? Hoke says every week they are a step away from taking a kick back, this week it really looked it for me with Odoms. I think he had great vision there tonight.
The question for me is when does Odoms get some serious PT with Roy moving back to the slot for a bit? I wanna see that.
Hoke is the college sports equivalent of Hemingway.
Hemingway are the same person, I don't think so. That being said, can you prove that they're not the same person?
If Vince Lombardi could not field a respectable defense with a few true freshmen playing per RR press conferences, then Hoke / Mattison are football gods.
Its funny when coaches / players have a phrase that they keep repeating over and over again.. Like Hoke says I don't know 6 times!
"that's part of it"
What is more likely in the event of an injury to the interior line, Washington moving back to guard or Bryant burning his redshirt?
Lewan, Huyge are tackles but all of our other o linemen can play inside. So if Lewan is out for a while, we still have Barnum, Molk, Omameh, Huyge and Schofield as our starting line with Schofield at tackle. If one of the interior guys goes down, it will be Koury or Mealer first. If more than two of our interior linemen go down, we're in trouble but I would expect Bryant to lose his redshirt since he has been practicing there all year and Washington has never practiced with this offense.
"That means something. That means something, and I’ll be pointing that out, because that means something.”