Apologies if there are any typos, I'm trying to turn this around ASAP and get back on the road.
Both teams competed extremely hard, and a lot of young guys for Michigan's team were in their first road action, in a tough environment.
"I've got my shoes untied in honor of Denard." He made a few mistakes, but he'll watch the film and correct them for the next game. He's tough and physical for his size.
RR said last week that he didn't want Denard to run 29 times... so he ran 28 instead. Getting tackled by 2nd and 3rd level defenders is less dangerous than the big guys up front. Part of the reason he's having so much success is the way opponents are defending against Michigan.
On the final drive: "We had plenty of time, with all three timeouts left. I told the guys "We just have to get some first downs." At the end, they were actually trying to bleed a little bit of time off the clock so Notre Dame couldn't respond.
Michigan's mood didn't change when Crist went out. It stemmed Notre Dame's offensive momentum a bit. They expected a little more read-option when Montana came in, but that was about it. They just needed to execute.
The penalties and mistakes were big, because they prevented Michigan from getting any momentum, and from getting their defense off the field.
"I'd rather learn from a win that a loss."
Denard's yardage total isn't an issue (as an unbalanced offense) "As long as we win." All 11 guys on the offense are allowed to gain yards, and until that changes, Michigan's QB is going to get some yardage.
Rodriguez thought all the running backs ran hard. He'll have to review film to see why they weren't getting good yardage. It's a bit easier for Denard because they give him a lead blocker sometimes.
Kovacs's interception: "It was huge." He's a tough guy, and he plays at a high level every week. He has to lead a lot of the freshmen around him.
Denard is hands-off in practice, but the defense knew what he could do, through camp and practice. It's just his second start though, and he'll have some bumps in the road. The coaches are able to run him a bit more because they have two backups who can step in.
Brendan Gibbons and Seth Broekhuizen will continue battling for the kicker job in practice. Rodriguez was happy they didn't have to try a field goal at the end. Will Hagerup will be disappointed, but he's a true freshman, and RR isn't worried about him.
"My offensive line was ready to play."
On the last drive, the attitude was "It's time to put it in. It's time to put the game away."
"I don't know about myself... I know as a team, we played as a team."
The key on the game-winning drive was execution from everyone on the offense.
On Roy Roundtree's finals reception (to the one), "He winked at me before the play." The two were on the same page, and knew they could count on each other.
On carrying the load: "I've been training for it, I've been ready for it. I've been doing this training, so I guess I can." "I'm a team player and I don't worry about stats."
When Denard came out of the game, he had hit his head on the ground "I had to re-focus."
On the 87-yard TD run, all Denard was worried about was not getting dragged down from behind.
Denard might have been too amped up in the comeback attempt at Iowa last year: "This time, I calmed myself down a little bit more, and focused in."
Wide receivers have to go get the ball, and attack it.
"Last year, he really wasn't mature or leading the team, but this year you know he's going to lead the team."
After Notre Dame scored, everyone in the stands thought Michigan was going down again. "Until it's 0:00 on that clock, we're going all-out."
Denard's passing has improved a lot since last year, now he's making the reads.
Roundtree knew on Wednesday that he would be able to play. He didn't know if he would be picked to start until today.
On the last drive, what did Denard say in the huddle? "He just said 'let's go,' and once he said that, I was like 'big players make big plays,' and that's what we did."
"We've been fighting extremely hard, pushing each other all through the summer and fall camp," and it paid off today with a win.
"On Denard: "Nothing he does surprises me, man."
The defense always emphasizes turnovers, so getting a few today was a step in the right direction.
On Denard going into the last drive: "I had confidence in him... No one was afraid that he wasn't going to make a play."
Martin didn't notice they switched quarterbacks until Roh told him after a couple plays. Montana is more of a runner than Crist.
"It's a rivalry, and it's going to be down to the wire every game."
"We're going to fight, you know. We're going to fight to the end. What more could I say?"
"Notre Dame's a good football team." Michigan knew they weren't going to completely shut them down, so they had to make turnovers to help stop the Irish.
There are still areas that the linebackers can improve. "It's never as good as it seems and it's never as bad, so we'll watch the film and go from there." The biggest thing that needs to improve is tackling.
"Even though we make some mistakes, we're gonna come out swinging every time." The defense will remember what they did wrong, but look toward the future. It's much better to be able to make the mistakes this year and still win.
"Mistakes are made up through hustle and effort." "This year, these guys are so hungry."
I think we have a lot of work. There were too many missed blocks and penalties, and it's not good when the offense stalls after a hot start.
"I think we all owe the O-line. He's not doing it all on his own. He's very gifted, but at the same time that O-line is coming in and they're telling us 'we want to run the ball.'"
Before the last drive, the players were thinking "impose our will."
Playing on the road: "We embraced it." They want to be thermostats instead of thermometers, setting the temperature for the game and not just reacting to what the crowd gives.
"I think we're gonna have to" take some of the workload off Denard. "It's great that he can do this, but sooner or later we're going to have to step up and make big plays." For now, it's Denard's show, until the running backs are able to show something.