MSU Postgame Presser: Everyone

Submitted by Heiko on October 15th, 2011 at 5:43 PM


Brady Hoke

Opening remarks: “First I have to give Mark and his staff credit -- and their team. They outcoached us and outplayed us. We have to do a much better job with coaching this football team in a lot of ways. Our kids, I think they fought when they were down. I thought they responded well. To be honest, I don’t think they ever thought they were going to lose the game until the game was over.”

Was Denard taken out because he was hurt or was it for another reason? “He got beat up a little bit, yeah.”

What happened on that fourth-and-one call? “We’ve gotten many first downs with that play. Same play. The guy jumps, we send the one guy in motion. We’ve gotten touchdowns, too. This was just an extension of that play.”

Looked like you were trying to call timeout. Did you see something you didn’t like? “Yeah, I saw the 25-second clock rolling to zero. I think we got away with one, to be honest with you.”

What do you think about how Denard played? “He made some things happen. And there were a couple times -- he always plays excited with a lot of energy. On the interception, I don’t know what he saw. I think he held it in there.”

On the play Denard got injured, was that a cheap shot? “Oh I have no clue. I didn’t see it, to be honest with you. My eyes were down the field.”

Was Denard playing too excited a problem? “I don’t think so. I thought our kids prepared well all week. I think we had the two penalties in the first half for the delays. Those are some communication things that we have to do a better job with.”

How much more are you going to have to get out of your running back group? “Well, to get it out of our running back group, we have to get it out of our front first. I think there’s some opportunities we missed a little bit, but at the same time I don’t know how much movement we got consistently at the line of scrimmage.”

Was the number of personal foul penalties they committed over the line for you? “I don’t know. Shoot, I’m worried about Michigan.”

Jordan said he thought MSU was more physical and beat your team up. “I don’t know if we got beat up. I think they were physical, and I think this game always is physical.”

Denard’s injury -- is it serious? “I don’t know what it is yet.”

Can you talk about philosophy of alternating Devin and Denard? “Yeah, we thought we may do some of that, and part of what pushed it over a little more was that it was a windy day, and I think Devin at times can throw the ball a little more accurately.”

How do you expect your players to react to this? “I expect them to act like a Michigan football team, and that means they’re going to come to work.”

What happened on the first series of the second half on the kickoff and their first possession? “I don’t think we tackled well at all … We didn’t tackle very well, they executed the drive. I think two third down conversions in there, maybe three, that you’ve got to be in the position to stop it. And then the play at the end, when they scored, I don’t know if you could be in a better defensive call.”

Do you think your offense was a little too creative at points? “No. I don’t know about that. I think there’s some elements in there -- when Denard carries the jet sweep around there, he’s pretty dangerous. He’s about two steps from breaking both of them for home runs. I don’t think so.”

They brought a lot of pressure. What were they doing that was so successful? “Well they were overloading you a little bit. Mark [Dantonio] did a good job. Mark is a good defensive coach. Believe me, his fingerprints are all over that defense. They overloaded us a little bit. They hit their timing. They did a nice job of jumping snap counts. I think they did things the way you’re supposed to.”

Is Taylor Lewan healthy? “There’s not a healthy guy in our whole locker room. Everybody’s beat up. That’s just part of football. I think this bye week, it’s probably at a good time.”

Were they beat up because of today? “They’ve been beat up all -- it’s just part of football.”

In hindsight, would you have called the fourth-and-one play differently? “You sneak it, you run the power play -- multiple things that you could have done. We’ve been very successful in the last two years with that same play.”

Was that your call or Al’s call? “Al makes the call. I’m the one that said, ‘Go for it.’ ”

Any trend to the incompletions? “I think there’s more competition probably at the line of scrimmage, when you look at receivers getting off and running routes. I don’t think we ran bad routes. I won’t know that until I watch tape.”

Did you prepare your players for the dirty play? “No. I don’t know how they played dirty. They had some personal fouls and late hits on the quarterback. You can get those all the time.”

William Gholston threw a punch at Lewan. “I didn’t see it.”

What was with the kickoff to start the second half? Were you thinking about an onside kick? “No. We were trying to squib it because we didn’t think we would get it exactly where we wanted it depth wise, and he probably hit it not as well as he probably would have liked to hit it.”

Whose decision was it to break out the jerseys? “Well it was neat. It was ‘74, ‘75? We were white on white. There’s a lot of decision-makers.”

You said you thought this team was overrated. What came out from this game to give you proof of that? “Well, besides losing? I think they were close to 200 yards rushing the football. We had 82. That’s pretty much it.”

Is this bye week a good thing for your team? “Yeah from a health standpoint, it is.”

How resilient is this team? Were heads hanging in the locker room? “They need to feel this one. We all need to feel this one for a while. But we’ll turn the page.”

Jordan Kovacs

What was the reaction to losing to MSU for the fourth year in a row? “Not good.”

What happened out there? “They did what we thought they were going to do. They came out and pounded us with the football. They were the better team. You have to give them some credit … So we’re going to take this and regroup from there.”

After a loss like this, are you glad you have two weeks off or do you want to play again right away? “Um, physically, it’s probably a good thing, but mentally we’re ready to move on to the next one and looking forward to the next game. So it’s probably a good thing that we have a bye week and we can physically get healthy, but at the same time. I’m hungry for the next one.”

Was there any adjustment they made at halftime on offense? “No, I think they stuck to their game plan. They just ran the football.”

After you recovered the fumble, did you think the comeback was on? “Yeah, the whole game we thought we were going to win until the two zeros were on the clock. The whole time we thought we were going to win the game.”

Do you think they were tougher? “I think they were definitely more physical. They pounded us. They beat us up. But we’re going to take it and we’re going to improve from here. But like I said, you have to give them a lot of credit.”

Is this team different from the past few years? Are you better prepared to deal with this loss without sliding downhill? “No doubt. I think it’s easy to say, it’s the same Michigan team the last two years, but I have no doubt in my mind that we’re not. We’re going to improve, we’re going to learn from this game, and we’re going to win.”

How difficult is it for you say that they were more physical and they beat you up? “It’s tough. They just ran the ball downhill. It’s nothing that we weren’t expecting, and we didn’t do a good enough job today.”

Were they chippier than you thought they might be? “No. I’ve played in this game before, so I know how the game goes.”

Mike Martin

Was their success running the ball more because of their line or because of their running backs? “It was collectively as a defense -- we didn’t execute. I have to watch the film, but I can put money on that guys weren’t where they were supposed to be, and guys simply weren’t executing what we need to do and weren’t playing Michigan defense.”

How tough is it to swallow this loss? “It’s tough. We don’t want that to happen. With any team, especially with this team. But you have to give them credit. They played well today, and they’re a good football team. So plain and simple, today just didn’t go our way.”

Can you take anything good from today? “Not right now, no. But when we look at the film -- today is going to be tough, but we’ll stop and bounce back. The thing about this team I know for a fact is that this team is going to bounce back. Guys are hungry for the next game. That’s the biggest difference in this team amongst other things. This team’s hungry and ready to go.”

Do you feel like they beat you up? “I feel good. I’m not beat up. I don’t think they beat us up. When I think of beat up, I think bullied. We just didn’t execute. We just didn’t play Michigan defense. We didn’t play the way we needed to play from start to finish. Just going to have to watch the film and see what happens.”

Do you think they played dirty today? “I mean, we knew what type of game this was going to be. It was going to be a tough, physical game, and coach talked about keeping our poise and composure as a football team. So I think we did a good job on that side of it, and we just have to do a better job with taking coaching and executing what the coaches tell us to do.”

Were you expecting it to be like this? “I mean, who doesn’t know what this type of game is. It’s a tough, physical game, period. It’s an in-state rival, and it’s big for both teams. That’s what it’s all about.”

You think they won with class? “I don’t worry about that. They have a right to celebrate. They won. They’re excited. I tip my hat to them.”

What makes you so certain you will bounce back unlike previous years? “Just everything. I think that’s something where you have to be in the locker room and know that. It’s something I can’t really explain, but I know that we have great leadership on this team. We have a bye week coming up, and I know guys are going to be hungry. Tomorrow we’re going to be in there watching film, looking to see what we can do to get better. The seniors and these leaders are going to get this team ready.”

Anything they did offensively surprise you? “No. They executed their game plan and pretty much that’s what we practiced. I just don’t think that on our side of it, we did what we needed to do.”

Do you feel like your offense put you guys in a hole? “I mean, yeah, you never know how a game’s going to go. We’re playing for those guys they’re playing for us. We have each other’s backs. Whatever happens in a game happens. We talked about it on the sidelines -- we just have to control what we can control. We just have to do a better job of complementing each other offensively and defensively.”

When did you find out about the jerseys? “It was a surprise to us. When we came back from warmups they were in our lockers.”

Denard Robinson

What happened on the play where you were injured? “I got a little dinged up.”

Was it your decision or the coaches’ decision not to let you back in the game? “I mean, it’s always up to the trainers.”

Is it concussion-related? “No, I don’t think so.”

Was it a cheap shot? “I don’t know.”

Did you feel like they were playing dirty? “No. We were playing football. It’s a dirty game.”

Is this a game where you’re going to look back on and wonder “what if”? “Oh no. We have to move forward and we have to learn from this game. That’s the biggest thing, learn from this game and play Michigan football. The Big Ten championship’s still out there.”

On the fourth-and-one call, what were you seeing before the snap? “We had what we wanted, and we called it at the time, and we just have to execute.”

What were you supposed to look for? “I mean, if you watch the game you’ll see what I was looking for. I can’t explain it.”

Didn’t look like you had time to look for it, though. “Yeah, that was the biggest thing. We just didn’t play football.”

Did you see the corner coming? “I saw him at the last second.”

Why were you struggling throwing the football today? “No reason. Just have to make throws.”

What did you see on the pick six? “Me and Vince weren’t on the same page. It wasn’t anything we didn’t see. Just wasn’t on the same page.”

Are you worried about being able to play in two weeks due to your injury? “Oh no, we have two weeks, and our training staff is one of the best in the country, and I know they’re going to get me back.”

How difficult was it to pass with the windy conditions today? “It wasn’t that difficult. Both of us played in the same weather and the same stadium.”

Are there any plays you wish you had back? “Oh yeah. Of course through the game you’re going to have that, but you have to continue playing. Keep playing, that’s all.”

Why do you think this year’s team is different? “I mean, come on. We’re just going to be ready to fight, and we’re never going to quit. We’re never quitting. Just hold each other accountable and just go out there and play Michigan football. Just keep going.”

Did you think this fourth quarter was going to be like the fourth quarter against Notre Dame? “We had a lot of opportunities to come back in the game and keep the game in reach, and we just didn’t execute.”



October 15th, 2011 at 10:31 PM ^

you guys have taken it to a new low. Did you actually see the full play when Gholston punched Lewan? Lewan had him by the facemask and was pushing his head into the turf. A punch to someone wearing a helmet is nothing. Grabbing someone by the facemask is. You're worried about DR. What about Gholston?

Gholston should have restrained himself, but if you think that somehow hurt Lewan then you haven't played football. Lewan's acting was better than his blocking, that's for sure.

But keep whining. There's always next year. You probably have a shot in AA.

Beautiful night for trolling, don't you think? It's useful to come here occasionally to confirm that there is absolutely nothing special about UM fans. Just like the rest.


October 16th, 2011 at 1:13 PM ^

There is a pretty simple and rational way to settle this, let the neutral party decide.  If Gholston plays against Wisconsin then the nothing he did during the game was "dirty."  If Lewan plays against Purdue then nothing he did during the game was "dirty."  If neither play then obviously the big ten has an issue with their play in this game.  At the end of the day this conversation is irrelevant, the games over and the better team won.  Good game, move on or don't, up to you.

I find it funny that you find it useful to occasionally confirm your beliefs that there is nothing special about UM fans.  Your right of course, we are all flawed and human, but if you really do feel like you need it confirmed then you may want to do some soul searching because that need probably says more about you than about us.


October 15th, 2011 at 5:58 PM ^

That Brady Hoke is a gentleman and coaches his players to act the same way.  Unfortunately one can only state the obvious about the opponent today:  their coach is a classless dufus who cannot control his players or coaches them to play dirty.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:04 PM ^

We've got a class act for a head coach, and it's obviously wearing off on these players.  We shouldn't be dwelling on the way the Spartans conducted themselves on the field - we played with class and we lost with class.  I'm sure we will come back in 2 weeks ready to go against Purdue


October 15th, 2011 at 6:07 PM ^

See, this is exactly the kind of reaction to that game that all the fans should have. Hoke and company aren't complaining about MSU playing dirty or cheap. They're more worried about the lack of execution in all three phases. Everyone needs to stop being so whiny and bitchy about the way MSU played. They beat us, time to move on. Don't wallow in defeat - learn from it and play like a ball of knives the rest of the season and hope for the best.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:40 PM ^

You learn a lot about someone when things don't go well, and it is gratifying to see what a class act Hoke is.

MSU was penalized for their personal fouls and they could have cost them the game. I like how Hoke worries about Michigan, period, and doesn't whine.

I'm sick of fans who always whine after every loss, football, basketball and hockey, moaning about bad ref calls and dirty opponent players and plays.

Michigan needs to suck it up, get back to winning and hope Michigan State loses two conference games.



October 16th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

How did you feel after seeing Corey Tropp slash a motionless Steve Kampfer in the back of the neck at the end of that game in 2009? Michigan won, so there's no need to feel upset? 

Some things go beyond the final result of the game, and this is one of them. While Michigan got beat soundly by a better team (or a worse team with a better gameplan or a worse team overall that simply had a better game, etc etc), that doesn't mean I can't believe that Gholston's pre-meditated helmet twist after a play is over is borderline criminal and deserves a minimal punishment of missing the remainder of this season. 

Blue in Yarmouth

October 17th, 2011 at 7:41 AM ^

It was a personal foul and a dirty play....borderline criminal...are you serious? Suspension for the rest of the season? I know it was against everyones favorite wolverine, but lets try and be honest here. The punch was far worse than the penalty on Denard. He deserves to be suspended for that and should have been kicked out of the game, but this is football and a twist of a facemask is not suspension worthy nor anywhere close to criminal.


October 15th, 2011 at 10:22 PM ^

It is not the loss of the game that chaps my ass.  It is the fact that MSU was clearly trying to hurt Denard with cheapshots, not just by playing clean, hard-hitting football.  The way that Gholston twisted Denard's hemlet could have literally broken his neck.

That is why, while I am proud that the team reacted by being classy and not lowering themselves to MSU's level, part of me would still have loved to hear Hoke say "We got outplayed and outcoached.  While I don't like the fact that we lost to a bunch of shit-heeled half-wits coached by the biggest hypocrite I have ever met, I am sure that we will come back in two weeks ready for Purdue."


October 15th, 2011 at 11:04 PM ^

In public, say nothing but vanilla coach-speak. In private, use MSU's thuggery to motivate this team to beat them that much more, then next year go out and extract dark and bloody vengeance on those scum-sucking thugs.

Prediction: UM beats MSU in each of the next 4 games, by a bigger margin each time.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:10 PM ^

Well, I found out my pancreas doesn't work the day before the season started, and the only thing keeping me positive was Michigan winning every game and having fun press conferences. Looks like I'm off to eat frosting with a spoon for a bit.

sorta /s. Pretty sure there's no frosting in my house.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

Here's the main thing that bothers me about today:

Guys like Mike Martin and David Molk (among many other seniors) will leave Michigan having never beaten Michigan State.

Looking ahead here (which is never a good idea, but I'm going there anyway), let's make sure they can't say the same thing about That School In Ohio.


October 15th, 2011 at 7:25 PM ^

and every breath they take. I wish they would have won today's football game but the disgust I have for that institution leaves me feeling refreshed with my own more than anything and that's the freaking truth.

It's not the cheap shots. It's not the lack of discipline with the cheap shots. It's the very ethos of that place that makes me sick.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

Hey Brady, your pal Mark pretty much told his team to break your quarterbacks neck at all cost. Grow some balls and say something. It's no different than richrod dodging every question that has to do with a rivalry. That team man handles us and is so pumped up we're beaten before the game even starts. It's time to worry about Lansing state, they beat our ass again.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

But feeding into the press clippings helps no one. Did they play dirty? Of course. Should Gholston have been ejected? Probably. Dantonio is an asshat but if you watched the game, you don't need Hoke to tell you these things. Those motivators will surely be said in the locker room. I don't think you need to worry about whether Hoke "gets it." The bottom line is they had over 100 yards in penalties and we still couldn't score. They won and we lost. Time to regroup and move on. It's times like now that it helps to look at our preseason predictions bc this team is going to be much better than 8-4.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:32 PM ^

i'm waiting for the Monday press conference.  It's likely Hoke doesn't know the full details of what happened.  I'm not expecting much ("Let's talk about upcoming games, that one is over") but maybe we'll get a little something


October 15th, 2011 at 6:48 PM ^

I manage a fairly large organization and I have for 10+ years.  There are occasions when I have a great employee who’s trying really hard, but he/she isn’t a good fit for their current role.  I will do my best to coach him/her up until I’m completely convinced it’s not going to work and then I sit down and tell him/her they have to find a different role, or they have to find another job outside the company.  Sometimes we find a role that’s a better fit, sometimes they quit and other times I fire them because they don’t respond well to the situation.  Regardless of how I feel about the person, my job is to deliver results and maximize shareholder wealth.  It’s not about that individual being a good or bad person.  It’s about having best people in each and every role so the team succeeds.  Coach Hoke - I hope you read this post…   Gardner for QB in 2011!



October 15th, 2011 at 7:19 PM ^

I know you feel really important, but the one McDonalds you manage from 10pm-2am doesn't really make that much difference as far as the shareholders are concerned.

I see what you mean, though. Sometimes someone's trying really hard on the pickle station, but just fits better in the onion station and you gotta make a change.