Monday Player Presser Notes 11-22-10

Submitted by Tim on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Steve Schilling


This game means a lot to the seniors, but also the last couple classes that never got the chance to beat OSU. "If we could put a stop to that streak too, maybe start our own streak of beating them" would be a big deal to the team. "It's not really a rivalry when one team wins every year. We've gotta get back in the win column."

"These last few years have been a little different Michigan, I guess, than the previous years." This win would be huge. "In a way, it could help rectify the four losses we've had. Obviously, it doesn't make up for them."

Never played in Columbus - he was injured 2 years ago. "It seems like a fun place to play." Jealous he didn't play last time.

Shown progression last three years, doesn't think about playing for Coach Rod's job this season.

The team has been trying to play catch-up in all four losses. Want to try for an early lead, maybe run some clock "especially in Columbus."

"We definitely think we have the ability to play with anybody when we're playing at our best."

Different intensity in Schembechler this week. "Put some band-aids on your wounds and get after it. Leave it all out there this Saturday."

The many good DL they've faced lately bring different skills to the table. "Arguably the top 4 defensive ends in the country play in our league." Heyward's great, played since he was a freshman. He has the whole package, and will be a big-time NFL prospect.

Don't want to see turnovers, protection from the OL has to help avoid it.

Denard has played well, set some records, but the team has struggled at times. Schilling doesn't worry about whether Denard is B10 player of the year. Denard's always got a positive attitude, no matter what's going on in the game. He loves playing football, always smiling. "You can tell he loves to play the game, and it's exciting to be able to block for a guy like that."

Jordan Kovacs

"Obviously my blood always ran Blue. My dad walked on here." Exciting rivalry, surreal to be a part of it. He was at the game the last time Michigan beat OSU. Sitting in section 27 with his parents and brother. Been to several games in Columbus, 2002 Game. Several M-OSU games. Didn't go to 2006, but that was the first one he missed.

Converted a couple buddies to M fans, some of them are still diehard Buckeye fans. "I do have some friends who go to Ohio State, and we're excited to go down there." Expects to hear from his buddies, win or lose. "Hopefully I can shut them up for a year, but we'll see."

Thrown in the mix early last year, gradually has become more comfortable with the defense. One of the more veteran guys on the defense already. Excited about the development of the young guys.

Pryor - "He's very versatile. He's a big guy... he can run and throw." The offense has a lot of different packages. They should be a great challenge.

"Anytime that you can make an offense one-dimensional, you've got a good chance of playing some good defense. If we can stop them on first and second down and put them in third-and-long, obviously we can create turnovers that way. But that's much easier said than done, and we've struggled with that so far."

Lost to Dane Sanzenbacher both times they played in HS. "I'm still looking for my first victory against him." He's not a big-name guy, but makes huge plays for the Buckeyes. "I wouldn't say that he does anything great, but he does a lot of things very well."

"We know we're going to have to play a flawless game." Guys are looking forward to getting into the film room. "We're confident. We're excited about this challenge."

Craig Roh

"I'm playing this week, no matter what." Had "a little head trauma," wasn't cleared to play in the second half. "It doesn't matter for this week, because I'm going to be playing."

Defensive players draw confidence from each other, looking at each other's work ethic, etc. Defensive struggles are a mixture of several factors, but everyone on D is working as hard as they can to fix what they can contorl.

"Our defensive goals each week are six 3-and-outs, three turnovers." If they can pull that off, the team will have a pretty good chance of winning.

Didn't know too much about Michigan or Ohio State in 2003. "I was just in Arizona, you know, chillin'." Can't take M-OSU rivalry away from college football. Glad they'll still play when the B10 goes to divisions.

The mentality of each guy on the team shows how important the OSU week is. Everything encompassed into one is what makes this game so important.

Has only heard about going into Columbus from a fan's perspective "I'm expecting the worst, and it's going to be exciting."

On the stuffed whatever: "Are you saying there's an animal on the sidelines? Next question."

Playing for RR's job? "No. We're playing for each other... It would be a great win for Rich Rod, for the team in general."

"I love Rich Rod as a coach. He's just a tough working guy." Has a positive attitude, despite what he's been through. That positivity wears off on guys.

Ryan Van Bergen

"I don't remember that one. I would have been 14." Probably just playing BBall and chasing girls in 8th grade. Charles Woodson with the Rose in his mouth is one of his first Michigan memories.

From the West side of the state, his mom is always heckled by MSU fans. This week, people are coming in to offer her encouragement. She's now realizing their ulterior motives, as Michigan can help send State to the Rose Bowl.

"A lot of the guys in my class, it's their last year. One of the big things for seniors is you never want to leave this program without beating Ohio State." Guys who have left say there's a feeling of emptiness. When you come to Michigan, you know your performances against Ohio State will make your reputation. "If you come out against Ohio State and have your best game, a lot can be forgiven."

Some criticism of the team is unjustified: they've been able to play with some of the top teams in the league. "For some reason, we haven't gotten that attitude to come out on the first play." Need to be able to come together and do that throughout the full game. Older guys, RVB included, need to help motivate everyone.

The defense's performance against Wisconsin - "Most of it was schematic. I mean, They schemed us really well. They had a play where they pull the tackle and a guard and the tight end blocks down. They scored 2 or 3 touchdowns on that one play. All of those were explosive plays." It's not a good thing, but there were positives to take from it, some guys played with a physical edge. "We can adjust our scheme and be ready for Ohio State X-and-O-wise. I think we can definitely play with them."

Terrelle Pryor, canon for an arm, fast, big, has a bunch of talented, fundamental WRs, good running backs. "They're a very dangerous and explosive offense, but I wouldn't want it any other way."

Team and program are making some big strides. "I think that next year, the guys we return, there's definitely going to be a chance that we're gonna be big-time contenders."

Mike Martin - Aggressive, relentless. Off the field, he's... "cuddly."

Mike Martin

"Lot of time in the training room and rehab. I've been struggling a lot with my ankles this season, which is a pain." Trying to play through it, doing as much as he can. Tough to push off with his ankles. Big mental thing, trying to play through it. "Hopefully that adrenaline kicks in, you know?" Only one of them is a problem at this point. Trying to be a leader when he's been unable to make an impact on the field. Adam Patterson has stepped up well in Mike's absence.

"It's tough, obviously, being on the team and being a fan. Any fan doesn't like that." Doing whatever they can to reverse OSU's dominance. No matter what each team's season is like, they'll both fight hard.

Has talked to guys who played in the 50s and 60s about the game. "We're just gonna play as hard as we can and make those guys proud."

Would feel really good to stop he streak. Overcome a lot this season, trying to improve each week. Anything is possible. "It's not about Ohio State, it's about us and what we do." Not looking to be spoilers, looking to win for themselves. "We're gonna control what we can control."

"It's gonna start with us down in the trenches." Need to force Pryor to move his feet, get him off-rhythm. Need to get pressure, wreak some havoc.

"I think they hate us, we hate them. That's just how it is, that's what it is." That leads to getting each team's best shot, no matter what. Different sense of intensity in the air this week. "You don't really need a motivational speech to get excited for it."

"We're not gonna get ran off the field. That's not gonna happen." They'll play hard to the final whistle. "That's not us, that's not our team, and we won't allow that to happen at all."

OSU might have a couple tricks up their sleeve, but this game is more about going straight at each other.

Not worried about what their impact is on MSU, just want to win for themselves.

Stuffed animal - "That's the defense's thing. We're not gonna talk about that."

Kevin Koger

"I don't really remember the game" last time M beat Ohio State.

Gave OSU a serious look in high school, but felt right in Ann Arbor. Talks to Roundtree about it. OSU wanted him on either side of the ball. His dad was a Michigan fan, that played a role in his decision.

Split in Toledo between OSU and M fans among his friends. Hears "I'm an Ohio State fan but I'm also a Kevin Koger fan" from most people he knows.

Have to take care of the ball to have a chance to win. Can't turn it over 5 times against OSU and still win. Need to pay attention to details. "It's not anything the coaches can do. It's definitely on us."

"It'd definitely mean a lot to us. Every game means a lot but this one means a little more."

Rivalry hasn't lost its luster even though OSU has won a lot. Streak is a bit embarrassing "It's on us to stop it."

"Hate? That's such a strong word." Respects, but does not like them.

Denard Robinson


"I guess I have to agree with Koger. Got respect for them, but don't like them." Wasn't aware of the rivalry that much in HS. Looked at the FSU-Miami rivalry, and heard that M-OSU was a bigger deal. "You expect a physical team, a great coached team, and a great team." against OSU. You have to be even more prepared than past games.

Knew last year's game would be intense when he saw Shaw's altercation with an OSU player going into the tunnel. He's also seen video of the famous Woodson/Boston battle. "It's a big game. It's still a football game. Still a game."

1500 rush yards: "That's a great accomplishment, but I don't know what to say about it."

It would be a big deal to get invited to NY for the Heisman ceemony, but can't worry about it while there are still games to play.

"We can't come out flat like we did against Wisconsin. We've gotta perform all four quarters." Need to protect "the program" the ball. They've been making a few more mistakes lately, and that can't continue.

"I think our defense is one of the best defenses in the nation. I don't care what nobody say. We face them every day, and they just help us get better."

Pryor reminds Denard of Devin Gardner. Big, and he can run and pass.

He's going to ask Falk about the 'Shoe once he gets the chance. Iowa and Penn State were also tough environments.

Felt fairly healthy the past month. "90%, pretty good." Doesn't know when he got dinged up, but he's healthy enough to be as fast now as he was in the first few games. "I thought I was gonna break a couple of them, and I just fell" against Wisconsin.



November 22nd, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

Man, i see that clip and I get so JACKED. I wanna stand up and yell at someone. Maybe just take out Nancy in accounting and stand over her screaming obscenities. Geez, please don't post that clip during business hours from now on... It's gonna be a long week!



November 22nd, 2010 at 5:52 PM ^

"The Rivalry" If they all haven't watched it already (I hope they have). I watch that every Friday before the game and several other times throughout the year, obviously. That would have me jacked as a mug. Praying Denard looks like he got shot out of a canon sat........


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

You gotta love his desire to always be publicly supportive of his teammates. I just hope that deep down inside he doesn't really believe that.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:38 PM ^

I don't know.  What if our defense, using essentially mostly the same players, does really well next year?  Would you say that this year's defense sucked, or that they were young and sucked at keeping it together on the field during game day? I think next years performances by this years freshman players will be very telling.* Of course, a change in defensive coaching will complicate the comparison. My take is that youth = game day disaster. Some freshman can handle it, some can't and make mistake after mistake due to jitters, being overmatched (remember, its 18 year olds vs 23 year olds sometimes), being new and away from home, or all the bad press saying they suck. When they are older will we say they got better, or did they just get bigger and more comfortable and confident and able to handle the stress better, translating to more positive game day performances? Denard is probably just being a booster, but he might also be right.  We might be a great defense that just can't get it done when it counts. So for all intents and purposes, we suck. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope for the players that comprise this years defense.


Okay, my koolaid is empty, I'm going to go make another batch.


November 23rd, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

You are absolutely right

Wouldn't most people on this board say that the offensive line is very good this year? Well, other than Lewan, who hasn't played the whole year, these are a lot of the same players from 2008 and 2009. Getting older and being in the system are critical.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

In warrior talk, I think that means about 80 percent.  I am guessing that is why he hasn't looked quite as fast as he did at the beginning of the year.   I am also guessing that it all gets left on the field in Columbus. 


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:38 PM ^

didn't really appreciate the physical toll that playing QB every week was going to take on him.  He's had to suck it up most of the season when he really wasn't in very good shape.

Under that smile is indeed a grim-faced warrior.  He will be someone we remember for decades to come.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

"Our defensive goals each week are six 3-and-outs, three turnovers."

that's setting the bar pretty high.  i'd like to see just one of those in a game against a good opponent.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

I saw a thread around here where somebody predicted two stops a half would translate to wins, and people scoffed. Mostly, they thought he needed to acount for turnovers, but a lot of people thought four stops wasn't enough to win.  Six stops and three turnovers sounds like a lofty goal for this defense but one that would more accurately translate into actual wins, I think.

Magnum P.I.

November 22nd, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

I love Roh's attitude. I love these guys, in general.

Had to bite my tongue at this one by Kovacs, though, after the second half this Saturday:

"Anytime that you can make an offense one-dimensional, you've got a good chance of playing some good defense."

I won't say any more.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:38 PM ^

I don't get all the negativity against this team, these guys are out their giving their best and representing the school well as class acts.

Their level of play may not be up to the expectations of the general fan base, but I'm proud to have these guys playing for Michigan.


November 22nd, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

In all the (understandable) doom & gloom over the four losses and the record-breaking (in a bad way) defense, it has been extremely heartening how this team never quits.

Against Wisconsin, after the team left the field down 24-0 at halftime to boos, the worst thing was when they came out in the second half: Wisky came out first to some applause from the ~5,000 fans they had there, and then our team came out of the tunnel: perhaps even less cheers with 20x the number of fans.  The crowd could not have been deader if we had been down 240 to nothing. It seemed everyone expected we would lose 48-3.

This team came out, and clawed back to make a game out of it. Not ultimately a good game, as the defense got (literally) rolled over, but it was exciting and they didn't embarrass themselves by their effort.  While I obviously wish we would win a couple more games (and expect that next season) and would not put ourselves in these 2-3 touchdown holes, I'm so impressed they've never quit this season. Not once.


November 22nd, 2010 at 5:57 PM ^

attitude is so great considering all the negativity coming from the press and much of the fan base.  Through all of that, they have hung together and not quit.  That says something about the quality of the kids and the coaching.


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

It's becaus ethe attitude inside is different than the one outside of it.  The media and fans have led the frustrations but the players are much more realistic with their expectations.  Not all of these guys have been fans their whole life and many of them not much longer before they got their offer.  They don't have the mentality we have because we've been accustomed to it for 35 years.  They know it'll take time, but I love that they are positive week in and week out.  They easily could've done a Cowboys or Vikings number and quit.


November 22nd, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

appears to be the players saying Rodriguez is positive, they like him, this week is intense, it "doesn't need a motivational speech", etc.

I wonder how that sits with all the people who think Rich Rodriguez is Satan incarnate and that he has no respect for the rivalries.


November 22nd, 2010 at 7:18 PM ^

This game means a lot to the seniors, but also the last couple classes that never got the chance to beat OSU.

We love you.  Sincerely, the class of 2008 (beginning the Oh-fer streak in 2004...)


November 22nd, 2010 at 7:59 PM ^

"I think our defense is one of the best defenses in the nation. I don't care what nobody say. We face them every day, and they just help us get better."



November 22nd, 2010 at 9:30 PM ^

"It's not a good thing, but there were positives to take from it, some guys played with a physical edge."

RVB pointed it out, only some players last week had a hard edge and we need them all to win.

I think we are all gonna have a Hard Edge this week baby!!!


November 22nd, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

Liquidate Ohio State
And humble Woody Hayes
They breed a lot of cattle in Columbus,
Send them out to graze
Knock them off their ivory towers!
Send them running into the showers!
Down with Ohio State!
It's a know-nothing party school.


November 23rd, 2010 at 9:19 AM ^

to respect DEATH ROH's murderous mentality more than I do right now.

Also, the code of silence around the stuffed animal makes it even weirder/funnier. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" re: stuffed wolvey kisses?


November 23rd, 2010 at 10:44 AM ^


I wasn’t at the game but heard fans were chanting  “We want Harbaugh.”  Is this true? That sucks if so, gotta support The Team, The Team, The Team!


Ostate week friends! This is can be a career changer for Coach Rod, nothing to loose and everything to gain. Bo Blue!