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 9:14 PM ^

Hard to believe you could run an organization much larger than a sandwich shop if you actually think Denard, who may be the most exciting player in college football, should be replaced - everyone has an off day, and MSU happens to have one of the best defenses this year.

Go back to managing your "corporation", and leave the coaching to Hoke... we'll be fine.


October 15th, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

As bad as Denard looked, Gardner looked 5 times worse. Throwing the ball when you're three steps past the LOS? We would not have scored a single point in this game with Devin playing QB because they would have been able to rush four the entire time due to a complete lack of any ability for M to run the ball sans Denard.


October 15th, 2011 at 10:26 PM ^

Haters...I make $300K a year and have since I turned 30. If you would like to compare paychecks and cars, let me know. Also, is it possible for anyone who has a real job to accumulate 24k points on this board? Changing the topic...we can argue about Denard until we turn blue in the face, but I will bet you any amount of money we can't win more then 8 games without a QB who can actually throw the ball. It doesn't matter who calls the plays and how well we play defense if we can't throw. We used up our miracle against ND so we have to earn it from here on out...


October 15th, 2011 at 10:54 PM ^

The worst kind are mouthy nerds who start personally attacking people because they think it's funny. It actually becomes funny when it's shoved down their throat. If you think a post is stupid or irrelevant, make a reasonable counterpoint. Don't attack the person posting it...


October 16th, 2011 at 12:22 AM ^

Here we have the fake Internet rich guy. Who's probably not that tough, either. But I bet his Internet personna has a ten inch penis too. As opposed to real life, where he just acts like a big dick on the Internet.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

But yeah, I'll pass on giving my email to a guy who's apparently stealing pics of another guy's penis on the internet. Be sure and photoshop it into the picture of the supermodel you're pretending is your wife too.


October 17th, 2011 at 9:46 AM ^

One, Denard can throw in the right situations. We have to put him in those situtations by blocking better and giving him better play calls. He is more effective than Gardner now and gives this team a better chance to win now even though he probably isn't as good of a passer as Gardener.

Second, there are a lot of teams that are effective without great  passers. Nebraska won several national championships in the nineties without one. Georgia Tech has the best offense in the country without one. To suggest that this offense is doomed because we don't have a great passer is just wrong.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

I am really curious to hear his reasoning on the play calling.  Denard ran less than 10 times on designed runs.  He took 3-4 sacks and had 5-6 scrambles along with 3-4 jet sweeps.  I just dont get how you only call 6-8 designed qb runs.  I felt like we had a chance to use the mid line zone read (which I know we haven't run before) but I was hoping we were building to that.  Oh well.... we will bounce back.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:55 PM ^

Michigan State played dirty.  Calling them on it is pointing out facts.  I don't think anybody here is whining or saying that's the reason the team lost. 

I think most of us would agree the team lost because the players played poorly and the coaching staff made a number of awful decisions.  Why must we all just leave it alone and move on?  You have to analyze mistakes in order to correct and move past them. 

Personally, I'd like this team to analyze Borges and move past him to a new offensive coordinator.  And that's not a gut reaction to one ridiculously terrible play call today, it's based on his past history as well as this season.   


October 15th, 2011 at 6:55 PM ^

-We had every opportunity to come back and win. MSU had so many penalties, and yes, they did play dirty. But that's nothing new. I expect some players to be suspended, though. The punch to Lewan and Gholston twisting Denard's neck? They better be suspended.

-The MSU Defense isn't as good as people are saying. They sold out on the blitz and wanted Denard to throw.

-The defense is still not good against a team that can run the ball. They played much better in the second half. Woolfolk isn't as good as we all thought. Countess is legit.

-It's not that Denard can't throw. He just can't be a pocket passer and we can see that he is trying to make throws even when there are running lanes in front of him. Devin didn't look great, but we don't know how many reps he's getting. He has shown many flashes of being great, though.

-Unless the coaches decide to go all RichRod offense, then Devin should start. Go ahead, neg away, but these coaches have tried to mix up the offense between pro and spread and it's become very predictable with Denard. We haven't seen Devin too much, but we've seen Denard so they should try something new. Our OL didn't get destroyed, there were just to many guys blitzing to account for. They didn't play very well though.

-The most crucial play of the game, Borges made a TERRIBLE call. He was out-thinking himself. Just run the ball with Denard or hand it off.  We were in the red zone half a dozen times and came out with points on 1 occasion. I'm not saying he should be fired, I think he is creative and not the least bit stubborn, he just made a horrid call and a terrible time.

-No reason to be mad at MSU fans, let them enjoy this for one more year. Hoke might say what he needs to say in the media, but I know he won't forget this game. He won't let the team forget it. We are recruiting fantastic, we have great coaches. Pride comes before the fall, remember? =)


October 17th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

The Big Ten can look at the film and suspend a player. That is what he is talking about I think. You're right though, Dantonio would never suspend Gholston for those plays.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:56 PM ^

Michigan State played dirty.  Calling them on it is pointing out facts.  I don't think anybody here is whining or saying that's the reason the team lost. 

I think most of us would agree the team lost because the players played poorly and the coaching staff made a number of awful decisions.  Why must we all just leave it alone and move on?  You have to analyze mistakes in order to correct and move past them. 

Personally, I'd like this team to analyze Borges and move past him to a new offensive coordinator.  And that's not a gut reaction to one ridiculously terrible play call today, it's based on his past history as well as this season.   

Trader Jack

October 15th, 2011 at 11:51 PM ^

It's difficult for me to even understand what you're trying to say, that's how little sense you're making. The bottom line is Denard is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American, and a very good football player. It's really unfortunate that Borges didn't use him very well today and also that you are an idiot. But please, keep trying (and failing) to write coherent setences. Or go make friends at MLive (you'd fit in well there).


October 16th, 2011 at 5:25 PM ^

The threat of Denard with the ball in his hands is what makes him so dangerous to opposing defenses, and so valuable. 

12th on the all-time list for completed passes in a season;

tied for 10th for most TD passes in a season

has the 9th and 10th-most passing yards in a game

10th for career passing TDs, and he's only halfway through his junior season

holds the top 6 (1-6) yards per game, including ND and NW this season, and 8 of the top 10

Most total yards gained in a season, and 3rd for career behind Henne and Navarre.

My impression is that Rod Smith was a much better QB coach than he got credit for. He is principally the reason Denard is on all of those lists.  Also, Denard's mistakes against MSU were because the O line couldn't keep a 3-man rush away from him for most of the game.

Drew Sharp

October 15th, 2011 at 7:00 PM ^

can throw the ball more accurately."  What a huge and revealing statement from coach hoke. And from what I've seen he's almost as elusive as denard.  It sounds like Hoke is slowly replacing denard with Devin.  If it helps the team win and cuts down on turnovers, great.  Defenses just stack the box daring us to throw, knowing we can't do so effectively.  Maybe if Devin can complete a few passes it will open up the offense a little more.  Something to watch going forward.  Don't be surprised if we see about 40% devin by the Illinois game.


October 15th, 2011 at 7:08 PM ^

I posted this on another thread, but it's already way the hell back there. It has nothing to do with the presser and the classiness of our players and coach, which no one can dispute. MSU = low IQ = thuggery.

About the action...

I thought the offensive game planning was absolutely atrocious. You have the best, most explosive, dynamic player in college football and you run less than a handful of designed runs for him (and a buttload of designed passes on a windy day no less)? This was also the case in the first half of the NW game last week. Fortunately Borges ran Denard 15X's in the 2nd Half and they won last week.

I have no problem with inserting Devin Gardner and I love how we've been going for it on 4th down's. What I don't understand is why the repeated attempts to use Vincent Smith on first down and the lack of designed runs for Denard? I think I don't understand it because I'm not retarded. We put ourselves in so many shitty long 3rd down's b/c of our 1st down play calling.

Bottom line: Denard should have run the ball 40 times, if necessary. That is, 40 designed runs if that's what it takes (or 20 or 50, until they show they can stop him). If we're not the better team, I'd rather lose with them stopping our best weapon (even it means increasing the probability for injury). We should have seen much more Denard on the ground. There was one set of down's where they allowed Denard to run 3 times in a row and we got a first down after being stopped several times prior. 

Personally, I think what we saw from Borges today was worse than anything I can remember from Debord. And that should worry even the most diehard optimists on this board. Despite the link to Carr, I've been trying to keep an open mind about this hire. I'm afraid the evidence from today's game has made the biggest impression on me thus far.


October 15th, 2011 at 8:44 PM ^

"trying to keep an open mind...".
<br>Clearly you've been looking for an excuse to whine, and finally found one. I'm not going to defend Borges, this was his worst game of the season, Coach Hoke was right, we got out coached today. However, running Denard 40 time last year didn't work, and made him less able to function going forward. There's nothing even defensible in defending plans which have already been proven don't work. Play smarter, adapt better, win more.
<br>No offense, but Ohio tried being on dimensional against Sparty already - being blind to reality is a hallmark of the last coach, not this one.


October 15th, 2011 at 9:07 PM ^

Commenting about something you don't like is the purpose of having a forum. Complaining about people who comment -- calling them "whiners" or even "bigots" -- is about the stupidest thing that people do on Internet message boards. I really dislike when people call others whiners for expressing their opinion or venting or whatever. WTF do you want people to comment about? The commenting section of Mgo has gone to Hell b/c of the scoring system, group think and internet tough guys like you.

Our offense was prolific last year... one of the best in the nation, with Denard's LEGS as the foundation. A couple games where it wasn't -- OSU & Miss State --he had 18 and 11 carries respectfully. Yes, even RR didn't use Denard enough sometimes.

And by the way, go fuck yourself.