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Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 
Brian Hoyer completed his first 10 passes on the day against UAB.
 
Brian Hoyer completed his first 10 passes on the day against UAB.
 
 

Sept. 1, 2007

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement...
It was a great win, a team win. We executed very well offensively throughout the first half, I don't think we punted. The thing I told our players at halftime that what I was very proud of was that they limited the amount of penalties. I thought we played penalty-free, and we executed. I think we had one offside penalty throughout the entire day. I'm not sure what else, but our guys came to play. We had an opportunity to play a lot of players throughout the second half. Any time you get to talk about the team and you get an opportunity to play a lot of people, it sends a message that everybody counts. Individually, I thought Brian Hoyer was extremely sharp, and did a great job running the offense. Obviously Jehuu Caulcrick had a big day, as well as Javon Ringer. I'm not sure about the stats on that, but I think that we ran almost as much as we passed or something like that or vice-versa, about 290 yards. Devin Thomas was great, Mark Dell got some catches, which was great. I think everybody got to touch the ball, and we played a lot of young players as well. We're developing depth, with guys coming back to play again. There are still some things that we need to work on, but those are the things we talk about. Coming into the game, our keys to victory were that we needed to handle adversity, play with no unforced errors, and I think we did that; we needed to have no turnovers, and I believe we did that.

On playing with a fullback...
There were three guys - (Andrew) Hawken, (Devin) Pritchett, and (Jeff) McPherson. We worked a lot of two-tight end, three-wide receiver sets, so we had a variety of personnel groupings out there. As I said before, the more people you can get involved in the game if they're able to execute, the better the team you're going to have, and the more difficult you're going to be to prepare for. I thought Don Treadwell did an excellent job of calling the game offensively, and our offensive staff did a nice job as well. Pat Narduzzi did a great job - we had some guys out there playing for the first time. We have to give UAB some credit as well. They didn't fold in the second half, they kept playing, and that's what you have to do.

 

 

On Quarterback Brian Hoyer's game management...
I think Brian did a great job. He did a lot of things with the line of scrimmage in terms of checks, if he has to do different plays - run or pass. He managed the protection as well. He did a great job in that regard, but I thought his passes were pretty much right on. He did very, very well, as I knew he would. He's got experience.

On the play of the special teams...
I thought we kicked off much better. Todd (Boleski) tweaked a knee a little bit, so he wasn't quite 100 percent. But we need to have better kickoff coverage. He's been kicking consistently into the end zone from the 30 throughout summer camps, so I was disappointed there. I thought that Aaron Bates did a decent job, for his first time as a freshman and settling in. Andre Anderson got in there as a kickoff return guy, and had a decent return. They were all over the place on the rangers, and I thought (Brett) Swenson had a nice day as well. I wish I wouldn't have called a timeout with two seconds to go, but I didn't want to play that coverage.

On reacting to UAB's offense...
What we practiced for in this past week we did not see. They did no-huddle on us, they did a lot of formations that were three-wide out formations, and really a lot of the things that we had worked on we did not see any of it. They did a great job of adjusting like that, and played through it. The other thing I think is a positive is that I don't think we came out with any injuries at all, so we need to continue that.

UAB Head Coach Neil Callaway

On today's game...
Well, obviously it was a very disappointing event for us. I knew Michigan State would be a good football team offensively, but they really kind of handed it to us today. We're a young football team, I know that. We're playing a lot of guys that have never played, but we have got to learn how to play faster, we have got to learn how to tackle better, we have got to be more physical from a defensive standpoint. Offensively, I saw a few bright spots as far as making some changes happen, but we sure aren't executing like we need to do. Swayze Waters did a good job with field goal kicking - very inconsistent on the punts - but Swayze has a strong leg and can do some things. But, I'm not sure if we were asking him to do too much. So we'll get back and look at that as far as letting him continue to do the whole thing. He did have one or two good punts, but he had two that I think that he shanked and you just can't have that to win close ballgames. But again, I tip my hat to Michigan State thought that their coaches and team did a good job, I think they will be a good football team through the course of the year. I congratulate them.

On the left side of the offensive line...
The quarterback got hit a couple times but I thought overall it was pretty good. Matt McCants is a true freshman starting at left tackle and Adam Hollifield is a redshirt sophomore walk-on starting at left guard and I think they did some good things. I know they did not pick up the blitz a couple times, but overall I thought the pass protection was pretty decent.

On adjusting to the speed in the first quarter...
It was a couple of mental mistakes as far as not getting the right call made but I think more than anything it was them knocking the crap out of us. And I don't think there is any question what happened after that.

On the quarterback situation...
Got into it, and Joe got a little shoulder sprain but obviously it wasn't bad enough to keep him out of the game. But when he had a shoulder sprain, he was struggling to try and throw the football so that's the reason we didn't play him there. We would have loved to have played him at quarterback. He'll be day-to-day, and we'll see what happens but we're still planning on playing him at quarterback.

On his first game as a head coach...
I think we've got to do a better job of getting our guys' attention. We've tried to work them hard, but we're still not doing things the way that we need to be doing them. We've been going through the motions and we still need to learn how to practice. We've got to do a better job of coaching and get these guys' attention. That's my responsibility.

On the play of Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer...
I think that they are both good running backs. They're both physical and we expected going in that they were going to be physical. They ran hard but we did a poor job of tackling. Hopefully that's something that we can learn from.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Don Treadwell

Opening comments...
Offensively I am certainly proud of our young men. We game out of the gate strong in the first half. Certainly our execution was where we wanted it to be. Brian Hoyer went 8-for-8 on passes. There was a lot of confidence with the guys on the field. We did what we intended to do - keep it balanced. Obviously when you have guys in the backfield like Javon Ringer and Jehuu (Caulcrick), good things are happening. It all starts, though, up front with the offensive line. So hats off to them. We are really proud of our young men. We hope to continue to play good. This is just some validation of the things we are doing.

About the play of center Joel Nitchman in the game...
Nitchman was aware that this could be some possible playing time and it was kind of neat that he answered the bell. We do ask our center to do quite a lot in terms of recognizing the wall and making some check-calls at the line of scrimmage. We will certainly be happy to watch the film. He was ready and we liked the fact that when we called on him, he answered the bell.

About the execution in the game...
The kids have had a very good week of practice. It is one thing to get through two-a-days, but this week has been a really good process of going through what we do day-to-day. Things start at the top. Coach Dantonio always tells us to tell them it is a business approach. The kids played at practice that way and Hoyer at quarterback is a very good leader along with the captains we've got.

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Opening comments...
I think our defense was able to adjust to what they did offensively. I don't think that we practiced one thing we did today as far as what they did with the no huddle offense. We didn't expect them to run the no huddle with the offense that they had, but our kids did a good job adjusting to that.

About the play of Kellen Davis in the game...
I think we would be a terror if we could clone four or five Kellens out there. He did a nice job for us. Our offense needs him as a tight end, but we try and steal him every once in a while.

About showing some 3-4 defensive looks in the game...
Our defense, a lot of times on third down we will get into a three-man front and do some different things out of that front.

Michigan State junior quarterback Brian Hoyer

On the start of the game...
We came out ready to go. I think we realized how much work we have put into everything, and we were ready to go, and everything just clicked. The whole line I felt did a great job, obviously opening up the running holes, but I never even got touched.

On what the win means...
I think this was a great way to start off the season, to get out here and get a good start. But, like Coach Dantonio says, it's not about the start, it's about the finish. So this set the foundation, but now we have building blocks to get through the season.

On what Coach Dantonio was mad about at halftime...
He was irritable just because he wanted the team to come together. When we came out of the tunnel, we weren't all together. I don't think it had to do with the play, really. More so, keeping everyone together and staying in the game, not playing down to UAB's level.

Michigan State red-shirt freshman linebacker Jon Misch

On playing in Spartan Stadium...
Walking out and seeing everybody in the stands was just the greatest moment of my life to this point. I love being able to play out there and to have my first game, having a win that is this dominating, and doing so well as a team, it shows that we can come together and play together. I'm speechless right now, really.

On being all over the field for special teams...
You know, even in high school, special teams was kind of the height of my game. I loved being able to go out there and kick-off and make a tackle.

Describing his own play during the game...
The first play, kind of jittery. After that, I just kind of got into a groove. I feel that I did pretty well.

On establishing a new identity for Michigan State football...
I think we really showed a lot of people that this is a new Michigan State football team, that we're not going to back down. We're playing better, we have one heart out there. As we say, `we are one.'

Michigan State Senior tight end Kellen Davis

On playing on defense...
Playing defense is a whole different side, not only do you get to hit them but you don't have to block anybody, you just hit people.

Michigan State Sophomore fullback Andrew Hawken

On getting the ball on the first play...
They like how I run that play and they thought it be a good play to open up the game with. They were probably expecting run so we gave them a little play action.

On if he likes better offense or defense...
You can't beat scoring a touchdowns and getting the ball, but I still like linebacker and playing defense. I'll go wherever they need me.

Michigan State junior wide receiver Devin Thomas

On how open he was on his touchdown reception...
We had it set up where we were hitting them with the run. It was open. I had one-on-one coverage, got open, and ran a good route.

On the team's intensity on a gameday...
You can just say we had a lot of intensity. Everybody was ready. We had some jitters, but we were ready to come out and play well. Everybody knows how to get hyped and do their thing.

On Coach Dantonio's thoughts at halftime...
He was happy with how we played. He just wanted to make sure we didn't lose focus. We still had to come out in the second half and play hard. He didn't want us to think that since we had a good first half, that we could relax and not get the job done.

On his playing well in the first game of the season...
I'm happy with the way it happened. I got some opportunities to make things happen and I did everything I could.

On moving on and building on their performance for the next game...
We just want to improve each game. I'm not satisfied with my performance today at all. I did some good things here and there, but I feel like I can do a lot of things better. Each game, I want to progress and get better and better.

Michigan State senior running back Jehuu Caulcrick

On the team's new physical style on offense...
We're a physical offense now. People still think we're a finesse team. We want to be a physical team in the Big Ten. The whole game I have to give the offensive line major credit. And Javon (Ringer) was setting me up for touchdowns. He would get the ball down inside the five-yard line and I would punch it in. Everyone did a great job.

On the offense scoring on its first six possessions...
That's something we'll always look to do, to make big explosive plays and come out fired up. That makes it easier for the defense.

On what he will take away from the first game...
Basically, that we're a physical team. That's the biggest thing. We just have to enjoy it tonight and get ready for Bowling Green starting tomorrow.

On how he enjoys playing in a physical run-based offense...
That's why I came to Michigan State in the first place. It's the heart of the Big Ten. That's my type of game.

On taking the field as a captain for the first time...
It was really amazing. I didn't know how it would be, but seeing all the other student-athletes lined up out there was unreal. I had a lot of family come down and it was all really amazing.

UAB Sophomore Quarterback Joseph Webb

On playing at MSU ...
We knew coming into Michigan State it was going to be a tough game. It's a long season, we still have 11 games, we need to learn from our mistakes and keep playing football.

On injuring his shoulder and playing receiver...
I rolled over and landed on my shoulder. But I knew I had to stay in for the team so I had to fight through the pain. It affected my throwing ability, but I decided to stay at receiver and go out there and help the team.

On the difference between playing quarterback and receiver...
It's different from quarterback, you have people coming in your face and trying to sack you, and at receiver, you're one-on- one with the corner and you know you can make a play.

On how it felt to score a touchdown...
It felt good, we had to put some points on the board some way, some how to get some momentum and just go out there and execute the plays.

On getting behind in the first quarter...
It was the first game, you'll go out there and there will be a couple people nervous. From now on, we've got to go out there and set the tone at the beginning, we can't wait until later on in the game. We have to get out there from the start.

UAB Linebacker Joe Henderson

On Michigan State's running game...
Yeah, their running game, it was pretty tough. They carried it at us like we thought they'd carry it, but we just didn't do a good job getting to the ball. We just have to get to practice this week and get better.

On trouble with tackling...
We just missed a lot of tackles today. And they have two pretty good backs and I just think we've got to go work on our tackling. We've got to get better, just get better.

UAB LB Mike Tashman

On MSU's offensive line...
They are definitely good and they are definitely big, as you can see. I think we've worked hard in the off-season and our line is getting pretty good looks, so it helped us out a lot.

On what he personally learned...
Personally, I learned that I can make plays at the college level. This was my first game and if such-and-such is running the ball, we can stop any offense in the nation.

On finding out he was starting...
Right before the game started, Coach named me as a starter. It wasn't a big deal because I had my mind set that I was ready to play.

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