Monday Presser 10-9-17: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 10th, 2017 at 8:02 AM



[Ed. A- These are all conducted as huddles, so transcripts aren’t complete. Ellipses indicate a break in a line of questioning.]

Grant Perry

How has [O’Korn] bounced back in the last 36 hours, whether it’s in the meeting room or meals?

“He’s bounced back his whole college career. He was a great player down in Houston and some things happened and he was forced to move on from there and he’s been waiting for his shot the past few years, so he’s been really battling his whole college career. I like that because that gives him some edge and I’m looking forward to getting this week in with him and seeing what he can do.”

What was his demeanor like after the game and yesterday preparing for Indiana?

“Well, we haven’t really prepared for Indiana yet. That’s what today’s for. Yesterday was more of an off day just to relax but he’s the same guy he is. We’re going to get back after it. We’re going to come back stronger.”

What do you think the biggest problems are on offense?

“I wouldn’t single out just any certain problems. I think football is, if not the most team game there is—11 people have to be doing 11 things correctly at a time so it’s on all of us. We all have to be operating smoothly for it to work.”

What’s been going through your mind since Saturday?

“I wanted that one badly. I wanted to get the trophy, to beat Michigan State, but it is what it is. We took one on the chin but we’ve got to get over that, 24 hour rule, and get ready for Indiana.”

[After THE JUMP: Patrick Kugler and Josh Metellus]

Can you talk about Higdon making the most of his opportunities? Seems like he has, to use one of your words, edge.

“Yeah, I was actually talking to him in class today about it. He was running really hard. He’s got a story. He’s come from a lot and he’s just running for his family, he’s running for his team. There’s a lot on his back and he’s doing well. You can see that in the game and in how hard he runs.”




Patrick Kugler

When you watch the film from Saturday what are some of the thing that stand out as you try to diagnose the issues with the offense right now?

“Yeah, just sloppy. We played a sloppy game. I mean, everyone can see that. We’ve just got to focus on tweaking all the little things and making sure we’re ready for Indiana.”

Is there an added premium on this game given that it is a loss and a loss to a rival? A road game, is there an added premium?

“Yeah, definitely. I don’t like Michigan State at all. We lost to them. We shouldn’t have lost to them and we did, but it’s on to the next game. We’ve still got all our goals in front of us.”

Coach mentioned Karan Higdon had a pretty good game, hit the hole well. What are you seeing out of him when you watch the film?

“I love the way Karan runs. He’s good in pass protection, which is huge for a running back, and you know what you’re going to get from him every time. Yeah, love Karan in the backfield.”

Is there anything Michigan State did Saturday that you weren’t expecting, that wasn’t on film? Any new blitzes or anything?

“Nope, nope. Everything we expected. Just got to paly better.”

Do you think the weather played a factor in the game?

“Nope. Football’s football regardless of the weather.”

What’s your guys’ confidence level in [O’Korn]?

“100%. He’s our quarterback and I know he’s going to play better next game.”

Do the older guys have to take the younger guys aside at this point and say, hey, it’s one [loss], don’t let it turn into more?

“No. Coach Harbaugh made a great point at the beginning of the year: once you get on the field, everyone’s an older guy so kind of taking that and obviously as a fifth-year try to rally the troops a little bit but everyone’s got to just sack up and it’s time to go.”




Josh Metellus

How do you get over that loss and move on?

“It was a tough loss. Not something you expect, not something you want to happen, but the way we take it is as we take any other game and just come back and just focus on the next one because the next one’s more important than the last. We’re just going to come this week, focus, and just focus on Indiana.”

What’s the mentality of the young guys right now?

“We just want to stay together as a team. Don’t put the blame on nobody, don’t make anybody feel bad. You just try to make sure the whole team stays together and stress the little things and make sure we focus on what’s more important.”

It could be a game where maybe it derails things but it also could be a game where it makes you guys stronger. What are your thoughts on that?

“Yeah, I think it’s going to bring us more together as a team. We haven’t really faced adversity as a team. Everything’s been going pretty smooth for us, and I feel like this is a test of what we have planned for the season and I feel like it’s going to bring us all together and bring us to our full potential.”

Saw some photos of you after the game and it looked like you were emotional.

“Yeah, I was emotional. Just don’t like losing. It just really hurt to see all my brothers with their heads held down and everybody in the crowd, they looked at us like they were disappointed and that just hurt. I just felt like having somebody else having a better game than me or a one-up on me, that just hurt a little bit.”

Did you feel completely ready to step in this year even though you weren’t a starter last year?

“Yeah, I’m always ready when my name is called. I got a little saying that I repeat to myself: if you stay ready, you don’t got to get ready. I just try to pride myself on that.”

Why do you feel that way [wrt believing in the offense]?

“I practice with them every day. I know what they’re capable of. It just takes time. I’m not really worried about the offense putting up points because I know they can.”



October 10th, 2017 at 9:43 AM ^

It is, correctly, drilled into them ever since they played on their first travel team that after a loss you move on to the next game.  If you dwell emotionally  (e.g., anger, whining, moping) you are not focused on your next goal --winning the next game.

A great example of this was the Lions recent loss to the Falcons. They literally lost in a way that no other team in NFL history has and it would have been a big win. Thus, Lions fans were pissed. But players like Golden Tate basically said, "Huh, I thought I was in. And when they ruled I wasn't,  I was surprised the game was over. It's too bad, but that's how it goes. On to the next game." The emotion is out of it.

UM players need to be 100% focused on Indiana and be thinking positive.  At this point, the MSU game only matters for correctable mistakes that will help beating Indiana.


October 10th, 2017 at 10:26 AM ^

I dunno.  I mean, I totally get all the principles here.  Don't lose the same game twice.  Move on after a loss just like a win, and don't focus on anything but the next game.  As well, they're talking to the media and therefore shields are up a little bit.

Still, I think you have to acknowledge the other aspect of this.  I saw a team on Saturday that was less motivated than the other guys.  MSU came out with their usual nasty, this-is-our-championship-of-the-galaxy edge and we did not match that. 

Kugler said "all our goals are still in front of us."  Not correct.  One goal is gone and isn't coming back.  Mason Cole after the game talked about "getting the bad taste out of our mouths" by beating Indiana.  No way.  You don't wash out losing to MSU by beating Indiana.  Unless they're just spouting media cliches, I don't think our players really get it completely.

After a loss I usually have to fight off feelings like "I hope you feel bad about what you just did" because 99.99% of it is just looking for someone to blame for me being pissed off, and it's childish.  In this case I really do hope they feel bad, that it really hurts, that they don't ever really get over it, and that at best they're able to compartmentalize and focus on Indiana but that they still get that stick in their gut like beating Indiana didn't really help.  And the reason for that is I think they need it in order to win next year and finally get on a 10-year winning streak over those smug dickwads over in EL.

I have a feeling Indiana is going to get hit by a cement truck next Saturday, but if it even remotely washes the bad taste out of the team's mouth from this past week, then they'll probably lose next year, too.

Raving Blue Lunatic

October 10th, 2017 at 12:07 PM ^

wish I could upvote your response re: expectations.  I haven't been a member long enough.


Yeah I hate to see the team lose, and hate listening to smug sparties crowing about their temporary (very temporary) superiority, BUT...

The future belongs to MIchigan, if Michigan fans are patient enough.  

The recruiting needs to hit on some stud OTs and the staff needs time to develop them. The right side of the line is a problem we saw coming and I'm sure the staff did, too, and tried to correct for it, but missed on a couple of key recruits. 

We're talking about 17 and 18 year olds. No matter how smart or mature they are, they are distracted by shiny objects like recent trophies, bagmen offering them cash, and/or the availability of pretty young women.  Some like the nice weather and glamorous West Coast better than the wintry Midwest, who can blame them?

It's going to be a difficult slog, be patient, or just go be a Bama fan so your team can finally win everything every year if that's soooooo important to you.


October 10th, 2017 at 8:49 AM ^

This will bring them closer together. I love the sense of ownership they're bringing to the inquiry about mistakes and loss. If you own a mistake, everyone starts talking about how you can improve vs. blame shifting. Good culture. Winner's culture.


October 10th, 2017 at 9:05 AM ^

You have to remember these kids are coached and trained to be careful with their words. Getting worked up in front of the camera could turn into a problem.

Harbaugh wants to run a classy program. He has a lot of good kids.


October 10th, 2017 at 9:52 AM ^

I think if the offensive woes continue we could see a situation where frustration mounts and in-game mistakes could quickly snowball.

Sort of like 2014 when things started going the wrong way, the offense could not dig their way out.


October 10th, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

This is nothing at all like 2014!  That season had a craptastic coach that everyone ni the world knew was on his way out.  That team quit - right or wrong, for whatever reason, but it quit on its coach and on the season.  You won't see this team quit.  It might not improve offensively much, but they won't quit - opponents better be ready for a dogfight.


October 10th, 2017 at 10:22 AM ^

I'm sure the defense will dominate this weekend and we'll probably get an ugly win. Having the correct attitude to look forward after a loss will do nothing to fix the o-line. Unfortunately, that will continue to suck for the rest of the season.


October 10th, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

Grant Perry was arrested in December in EL on 4 counts of sexual assault, lying to a police officer and resisting arrest.  He vomited in his cell and denied any involvement.  That to me, or anyone else, is not being a Michigan man.  At least not in the sense Bo meant it. 

Harbaugh should have kicked him off the team permanantly but his response was "he is a good football player".  Bad precidence set here.

Charles Martel

October 10th, 2017 at 11:58 AM ^

5 turnovers against MSU can make even Kate Upton look ugly ...... well, that might be a stretch, uh, maybe, it would depend on- ......anyway, I digress. 

Michigan rushed for over 100 yards, and Higdon looked like he could have done more.  Easy fix:  HIgdon gets more carries.    OKorn had 198 yards of passing.  These are not stellar numbers, but considering 5 drives got cut short with turnovers, they aren't ugly.  What was ugly was that he overlooked wide open options and wide open field in front of him in order to opt to  throw to harder targets.  Easy fix: OKorn keeps drives going with his feet.  

On the two drives where they fumbled, they looked like drives that were going to score points.  My take from these interviews is a team that knows their offense is not as bad as 5 turnovers made them look, and those 5 drives can get fixed and more points are there to be scored.  Go Blue!

Raving Blue Lunatic

October 10th, 2017 at 12:16 PM ^

I think the receivers and backs were, if anything, trying TOO hard for extra yards and as such exposed the ball to being ripped out by opportunistic spartan defenders. 

They will all probably get drilled on protecting the GD football this week.  Eat the ball if you have to, swallow it whole in one gulp, just don't turn it over!


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