Indiana Postgame Presser: Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon

Submitted by Heiko on October 20th, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Devin, did it feel like a basketball game where there’s one guy who’s on fire so you just keep giving him the ball?

Gardner: “I mean, I guess you can say that. I felt like the offensive protected so well and gave me such a good opportunity to hit those guys. [The receivers] did a good job getting open, so it made my job easy.”

With the criticism you’ve been getting, how excited were you to have a record day on offense?

Gardner: “I mean, I just feel like we did a good job of rebounding. It just shows the senior leadership and the leadership on the team that after such a tough loss last week, we could come out and perform and fight like we did and finish the game.”

Can you talk about how the young linemen performed in their first action?

Gardner: “I don’t know if I got sacked too much. They did a good job, man. I’m really happy for them and happy they took advantage of an opportunity and moved forward.”

Were they pretty confident?

Gardner: “They were confident. There’s no time for a lack of confidence. I tried to do my best letting them know I’m confident in them. And Fitzgerald Toussaint did a great job of that. And then you’ve got a guy like Taylor Lewan, and confidence is not a thing that he lacks. They kind of took on his personality and fought.”

Jeremy, can you explain to the layman why you were so wide open today?

Gallon: “I can’t tell you. I guess they focused in on Funchess, and they forgot about me. I don’t know. Just playing the game just to win, like Devin said. To come back and to bounce back from a loss like last week.”

Were you surprised to be so wide open?

Gallon: “No. I was just playing football. If it came to me, it came to me. If it didn’t, it didn’t. I was just playing football.”

What makes Gallon so difficult to defend?

Gardner: “I mean, because he’s what, 5-8? 5- …”

Gallon whispers to Gardner.

Gardner: “... Because he’s only 5-9, I think they might underestimate him some, but he has the same skills as all the taller receivers. He can get the high balls. He’s really quick in and out of his cuts. He’s a terror for opposing defenses. He’s a good player.”

Devin, you set the single game record at Michigan for yardage. What went through your head hearing that for the first time?

Gardner: “I just wanted to win the game. It came down to a defensive stop and everything, so I just wanted to win the game. I didn’t know anything about the record until I was walking down the hall and [Dave Ablauf] told me that you guys might ask about it. I feel stupid that I don’t know about it, but it’s a dream. I just could never dreamed of playing a game like this, after having such a tough loss. It’s all about the offensive line. They gave me plenty of time to read defenses, and when I had an opportunity to make plays, that’s what I did.”

Jeremy, was anything going through your mind as you were setting the Big Ten record for receiving yards?

Gallon: “I really wasn’t focused on it. I was just playing the game. I just wanted to win for my team and for my seniors. We had a tough loss last weekend. Just to bounce back from that, I wasn’t really focused on any records or anything like that.”

When you look at the stat sheet and see 369 yards receiving next to your name, would you ever have believed you could put up those numbers in one game?

Gallon: “Uh, naw. To be honest with you, no. But it’s nice to know. That’s what we play for as receivers. That’s what you dream of. Just going out there and giving your all for your teammates and making the best of your ability. Taking advantage of every opportunity that’s coming your way. That’s what I did tonight.”

Devin, there were some times in the first half where it was a little shaky on some of those plays when you got flushed out of the pocket. You handled the pressure better in the second half. Can you talk about the change in your attitude or approach?

Gardner: “My whole attitude for the entire game didn’t change. I just do my job, go down and score, and protect the ball. In the first half, a couple times I got flushed out of the pocket, and they did a good job of chasing me down. In the second half, they weren’t so lucky.”

You mixed in more spread schemes today. How did that open up the run game?

Gardner: “I mean, it was great. It was great to see the offensive line get a lot of push and Fitz hitting the hole. I think he had 170 yards rushing. That’s really good for a running back. I’m really happy for him as well.”

Did it just feel like one of those games where you absolutely had to keep scoring?

Gardner: “Coach Hoke always reminds me that we need more. Coach Jackson came up to me and said it was like a basketball game you have to keep scoring. We had to trust in our defense, and if they didn’t get a stop, we would have to go score. That’s why this is the greatest team game. If we’re not playing well, they’ll pick us up. If they’re not playing so well, we get a chance to pick them up. At the end of the game, they got two interceptions when we screwed up the snap and to seal the game. They did their job and we did ours.”

On the last touchdown yous cored, it looked like you took a big sigh of relief. Was that what it was?

Gardner: “Uh, it kinda hurt. That was a pretty hard tackle. I was relieved that I didn’t, you know, die. I was just relieved to get out of there. The guy came in unblocked, which scared me, but I saw a lane and I took it. That’s what happened.”

On that specific play, what exactly happened?

Gardner: “I was going to get Jeremy Gallon another touchdown. We had a pretty good play call. I’m not going to tell you what the play was, but it was going to work. The offensive line turned the protection, but Fitz didn’t get a chance to hear them. They turned it late, and Fitz didn’t hear them, so that leaves the guy unblocked. They trust me because I can make plays. I just wanted to be careful and do what I could to make a play. I eluded them and got into the end zone.”

Comments

dragonchild

October 20th, 2013 at 6:25 PM ^

I watched the video several times just to pick up what DG whispered to Gallon.  I didn't pick up what Gallon said back, but from what I can tell, this is what DG asked:

"What do you want to be. . . five-eight or, uh, five-six?"

robmorren2

October 20th, 2013 at 6:39 PM ^

Gardner can flat out ball. If we keep things opened up, he can win a game against anybody ... especially with Gallon & Funchess stepping it up. I'm well aware that he can also lose any game for us, but what other choice do we have against Ohio, Nebraska, and so on. We don't have the defense or running game to win any other way than letting Gardner play wide open offense.

Danwillhor

October 20th, 2013 at 10:39 PM ^

in every game he has at some point looked borderline concussed (a word? Lol) and wobbly legged. We cannot use him like Denard and when he takes off he needs to learn to slide or go oob. A major issue with him is his belief that he can get by and away from anyone at anytime. He did that a lot in HS so maybe that instilled it but msu is going to PLAN to tko him when he takes off. I wouldn't put it past them to tell their defense that one player gets an ejection pass. As in: "Knock his head off until someone gets ejected. After one ejection, just hit him hard as much as possible". I mean, they've openly called for playing us to the tune of an entire game of unnecessary roughness, punching throats, poking eyes and literally (yes, with a chin strap snapped up it's literal) trying to break Denard's neck after the play. They know that no Devin, mistakes and all, equals a win for them. MD wants Morris in. He wants to see Morris come in so they can blitz the shit out if him and have a solid chance to win with defensive scores and/or a couple FGs. Devin can't turn his back and run around to Benny Hill music behind the LOS against them, he had to know when to just throw it away and he HAS TO slide or go OOB when he has grabbed all he is going to get. He staying healthy is more important than an extra yard 100% of the time. msu is going to be out to literally take him out of the game. No conspiracy. No paranoia. They will.

EnoughAlready

October 21st, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

I think you're simply right.  If I were a DC, that's what I'd tell my guys: not to spear or take cheap shots, but to miss no opportunity to stick him as hard as possible.  In ANY case it's a good strategy, since it wears him out, if nothing else.  Let's face it, Michigan fans loved it (me too) when the 2006 D knocked two PSU QBs out of the game.  That's dominant D.  Everyone and their mother knows MSU would love to knock DG out of the game.  Hence the NEED for the RB to be involved -- unless Michigan just decides to throw the ball 40 times.

Danwillhor

October 21st, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

dominant defense. I'm talking about MD giving his defense a legit ejection pass to take him out. We took out the psu QBs with hard, clean hits. I expect that from any team. I'm talking "if he runs or throws late, go for his head" stuff. Devin running is worse than Denard as he is taller and just a bigger target that doesn't protect himself. They will, I predict, try to intentionally go to his head ejection be damned. If MD, losing ground he gained during the rr years and an average defense away from being mediocre again, knows that ONE PLAYER being out for Michigan equals a win.....you think an ejection is worth it to him? I do.

nMkaczor

October 21st, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

Completely agree. MSU plays dirty and will be out for blood. It's obvious that they hit to hurt, and since Michigan is their biggest game of the season they will take the unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct to another level. 

It's amazing that they get away with things on the field that they would get arrested for if they did it off the field. I hope the refs crack down on that, but with the game being in East Lansing I have a feeling they will be blind for the most part. If you look at how their corners play too, it's like PI isn't even a rule in their mind. This could be a rough game even if the line protects Gardner and Gardner protects the ball.

Arizona Wolverine

October 20th, 2013 at 8:58 PM ^

Bryant Gumbel: Is there anybody in that Michigan/Indiana game...are they still trying to make a defensive stop in that game?

Dan Dierdorf: Well, they've had to replace all the bulbs in the score board because they were getting overheated.

Michigasling

October 21st, 2013 at 9:50 AM ^

until the Gallon-height exchange.  They looked so serious in the early part, as if they'd lost the game.  Seemed like pre-presser Fort Schembechlerizing.  Wonder what was said in the locker room?  Fortunately, when given the right straight lines, their true personalities broke through.

Kfojames

October 20th, 2013 at 11:17 PM ^

Once again after the game was in the books, I just find myself confused as all get out. What kind of team is this? They have no identity whatsoever. I take that back, this teams identity is changing their identity week to week. I hope we can chalk a lot of it up to just being a young team. Love the guys tho. As pissed as I often get you can't not root for these kids. I'm anxious to see what an additional week of work will do for this teams progression process.

Runbmc717

October 21st, 2013 at 7:58 AM ^

At Hoke's post-game press conference, someone did actually ask Brady Hoke "What would you say this team's identity is?"

Hoke stalled for a few seconds and said "You know.. that's such a good question, I don't even think I can answer it".

Even Brady doesn't know what this team's identity is!  But they showed up big time this week, so hopefully it carries over to November 2nd.

AlbanyBlue

October 21st, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

The team identity is often very different on the road than at home. I hope we're not all going to be disappointed in our game versus MSU, as it's clear that this team, no matter the opponent, has to pass to set up the run. Hopefully Borges and Hoke can keep from going into too much of a shell on the road. As I see it, letting Devin run a wide-open, pass-first offense may lead to losses against better defensive teams, but running a conservative, run-first offense more likely will lead to losses. The coaches have to put this team in the best position to win, even though it may be out of their comfort zone.

MGoAero

October 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM ^

Every time I read something like this: 

"The offensive line turned the protection, but Fitz didn’t get a chance to hear them. They turned it late, and Fitz didn’t hear them, so that leaves the guy unblocked."

It makes me wonder how that play would look in the UFR if Devin hadn't clued us in to that series of events.  How many plays have wrinkles, miscommunications, etc, that may be chalked up to "Al Borges is fat and stupid," or RPS -1 or what have you, on this site.  After reading the above I struggle with how big of a grain of salt I should take the UFRs and game analyses.