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Post-Game Quotes: Western Michigan

Sept. 9, 2017

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement...

Big win today. I thought the guys came out and played extremely hard again, two times in a row. I thought we handled adversity. I think that's part of the game and you've got to learn how to handle that. The more times you handle it, the better you get going with that and you're able to get it done better. I thought our guys played extremely well. They ran the ball effectively, almost 300 yards rushing. You could see with Lewerke we've got a guy who can take it the distance a little bit and make some plays with his feet. I thought that all three running backs played well. LJ [Scott] had a big run. The other guys were very durable in there, but LJ had the big run in there on fourth-and-one. Big plays from Darrell Stewart. We seemed to answer. Every time something went down, we seemed to answer. The defense played outstanding. I think we had maybe (five) fourth-down opportunities for them, so they got a three out of (five) on fourth-down but any time you go (20) times, four out of (20) is pretty good. We stopped the run which is what we had to do when we came into the football game. They're a good football team and they're well-coached. Obviously, we gave up a couple big plays but those things are going to happen, hopefully not too often. Credit Darius Phillips. He was an outstanding player out there. He had a big pick and kickoff return.

2-0. Get ready for Notre Dame. We're off a week. I'll take some questions.

On stressing ball security...

First of all, I think players are trying to make a play. Hunter Rison is trying to make a play, and he gets hit. He got both hands on the ball and he's trying to pull forward. They did a good job trying to scrape it out of there. On the kickoff return, I've got to wait and see that. (Phillips) didn't break stride. It was just to the house. Obviously, somebody got blocked in there. You've got to kick to people. We could've squibbed it there. That was my decision to kick it deep. We've got to be better in that regard. Ball security is a concern. We keep working on it. Defensively, we keep working on things. Outstanding job by Harlon Barnett and our entire defensive staff that calls the game. Our entire defensive staff in terms of working together and our guys play a lot. We play a lot of guys and a lot of guys are involved in this. We played the ball in the deep part of the field very, very well. Those are frustrating things when you're sitting over on the sideline. You know, it's 28-7. We got the ball at the 50. But that's the way you play the game. Again, you have to credit them. They're a good football team as evident as it was last week. It was great to be able to win it.

On Lewerke's 61-yard touchdown rush...

His dad keeps telling me that he's a lot faster than you think. He is. If he's got the ability to run, we'll take it. I think he's an additional weapon and he created. I think it was a big third-down play to get close to the fourth-down play. He can create. He can run with the football. He's a natural athlete. I felt all three tailbacks played well.

On how they've dealt with adversity so far...

We're two games in but it's very gratifying because that's what we've talked about. Life's going to throw you a bunch of problems just like it does on the football field. You've got to be able to gather yourself and play through it. I think that takes leadership from the defensive coaches but really from the players on the field. We're developing into a better unit and we're young. You really look at who is playing defensively, I think we're playing probably close to 20 players on defense, maybe 22. They're playing a lot. We're fresh. We've got a lot of guys and a lot of guys pull for each and it just generates even more excitement. When you know you're going to play, it's a little bit different. There's a little bit more money on the table. They're a little bit more excited.

On the importance of getting 2-0 start into bye week...

Very. As you guys know, we've won a lot of football games here but last year we had some stuff. It's important to get off to a great start just like it is for everybody. There's a lot of football teams out there that are competing in tough games every week. I keep saying that everybody's got a plan when they come in there and everybody's got some players. You got to get ready to play. We're just taking it one step at a time. The first thing we needed to do was win number one, then number two. We've got one more out of conference game and that will complete what I call phase two. Then we'll be in Big Ten conference [play]. We've got an extra week. It'll be an exciting game - a night game. We'll talk about that at another time. I thought our guys answered well.

On what the defense did against the run and generating pressure...

I think we had four sacks, maybe? We had big stops on fourth down. We were playing a zone team. They did a nice job with a couple things but for the most part we were very firm and played square up there and handled our gaps. We probably did not get cut very often on the interior line because they're throwing and try and cut you. I think we tackled well. Once we adjusted to their speed a little bit because you always have to make an adjustment. Take away the first series, we really played well. Credit Western. They had good players; good backs. We'll be seeing backs, too, that are very good. This is a process for us.

On Western's declined penalty that gave Michigan State a fourth-and-one...

I was never in doubt. When they declined it, I said we're going for it on the fourth-and-one. I felt like you have to go for the yards sometimes. You have to get inches. That's what we're trying for all the time. I thought, hey, we're going to go in the direction or we're going to go in the other. As far as the timeout, we just got to make sure to get the right play out. Evidently, we got the right play out eventually.

On his expectations for Darrell Stewart so far... We've got him back for on kickoff and on punt. He's got to hit those because he's got the ability but he's got to get vertical on those things. I do think that he's making plays on the offensive side of the ball. He's catching the football and running with the ball. He's an exciting player. He knew he would be that when we recruited him out of Houston. He's a good player and he's just getting started, really. He's a redshirt sophomore, like most of our team it seems like. We're excited to play and we're excited for each other. In that locker room after the game and singing that fight song - it's exciting. It's not just somebody singing it, it's real.

Western Michigan Head Coach Tim Lester

Opening remarks...

Well, obviously [the] game didn't turn out exactly how we wanted it to. I felt our defense played well, I thought they flew around and did some good things. Offensively, when we can't get the run game going, it puts a lot of pressure on our young quarterback. I thought [QB Jon Wassink] did a good job, second half I thought he was better, he's starting to gain confidence every time he's out there, and that two-minute drill at the end was a very healthy thing for a young quarterback to go through, so I was happy with that. I thought the kids fought, Darius Phillips made some unbelievable plays, and we fought down to the end of the wire. This is going to be a good thing for us. I told them at half time, I was smiling at them, I told them `the best way for us to come together is we have to go through some shared adversity,' and now we're in it, finally, because everything has been going really well, so this will be a good thing for us to go through and go back to the drawing board and figure out what we're going to do moving forward.

On injury update DL Eric Assoua and DB Justin Tranquill...

Don't know yet, I know they're knee [injuries], [Tranquill] and Assoua. We'll find out more about exactly what they are when we get back to Kalamazoo.

On the impact those injuries could have on the team...

Tranquill, is the guy, I mean, he sets everything. He's the guy in there, and in our defense our safeties are the ones that make everything right. So if the thing gets spilled, like on the fourth down play, he's the one that's standing there in the D gap, and he's really good at it. So not having [Tranquill] hurt us. We'll see what our trainers say, and then Assoua was doing a good job, he was getting to the quarterback, he was making [Lewerke] move around a bit. So we'll wait to see what our trainers say, and move forward from there.

On the comparing the running game vs. USC's defense and vs. Michigan State' defense...

I think what [Michigan State] did very well was we got no push, that was the biggest thing. Coming into the game, I knew I could watch the O-line and D-line and tell if we had a really good chance of winning, and [Michigan State] did a great job of not letting us push them. Because what happens, if we're able to get push, which we were able to do against USC, if we get push and you allow your running back to catch it and take two or three steps before he makes his decision, you're dangerous, like we were last week.

Today, when our double teams weren't moving their big interior, which makes those running backs have to get [the ball] and make their decision right now. You hope they're right, but you literally get [the ball] and there's a guy standing right there. Whereas, if you get any kind of push, once our guys get three steps in the ground they're very dangerous, same way with [Michigan State]. When L.J. [Scott] was running, there were a couple times he got [the ball] and had to make a decision right now, and we had him. But if he got it going straight, and then the running lanes triple as soon as you get any push. So, the push is really what got us. I talked to our running backs in the second half saying `hey, you're going to have to make a decision and go, you're not going to be able to read it.' We had to go back and watch [the film], we knew they were big up front, but we thought we'd get more push than we did, and our stretch play was able to help us a bit, we were able to get to the edge. [RB LeVante] Bellamy had a good game on the edges because [Michigan State] was so focused on not letting us run down straight ahead, that's why Bellamy had most of his big plays on the edges.

And they were daring us to throw it. We got behind coverage two or three times, we had two sacks, we overthrew one, we got hit the one time while we were throwing it, and that's really what we have to develop. We've said that from day one, which is we have to play good defense, good special teams, run the ball, while we're developing our passing game, and that's going to be the story of the year. As we develop that passing game, we can be a really good team but today we needed or we didn't have a chance, we hung around but that's not the goal.

On Darius Phillips' performance this year so far...

Every time he gets it, and he'll give all the credit to the guys in front of him, I mean we do a great job, Coach [Bill] Kenney does an unbelievable job, on kick return team. I mean, [Phillips] didn't get touched. Granted, [Phillips] hits it better than most I've seen, and he stripped the ball today, he had a pick today, I mean he's just every time he has unbelievable ball skills, and he's the difference maker. He's one of the guys that allows us to be the type of team that we need to be while we're developing offensively. So, man, he's fun to watch. I wasn't sure if [Michigan State] were going to kick it to him or not, and they did and gave him a couple opportunities and he took advantage of one of them.

On passing game...

We knew in their defensive scheme we could get him [quick passes], we could get [Wassink] a couple quick easy [passes], and really get our receivers going too, because a couple throws Jon threw were dropped. So we really just need to get confidence in those guys, as they develop, the receivers and the quarterbacks. We were able to get some easy short [passes], but we just didn't get any big [passes], we got behind coverage a couple times a couple times, but didn't capitalize on them, and those are the things we have to work on. Like I said, the conversation during that last drive was probably the best conversation I've been a part of since I've been here, with Jon during a two-minute drill of him verbalizing what he saw, what he wanted, he sounded like I wanted him to sound, as `coach I want this play, I know what they're doing, if they do this, I'm doing this, if they - ` , you know, as opposed to just sitting there and letting us coach him, he was an active participant in what he was seeing, and was the first he had really ever started talking. So that's a positive sign in his second start and we need to continue to grow on that.

On possibly not being able to run the ball as well today vs last week...

I'll be honest with you, you never know, you really don't. We're going to come every day and we're going to have to find ways to run the ball, and I knew [Michigan State] were good up front, so was USC, but we didn't get the push. When you add eight and nine into the box with those safeties, you're never going to get any kind of release unless you hit one over the top of them. And [Michigan State] hit a couple, and we run a similar defense to there's, where you got to loosen them up. But yeah I didn't know, I wouldn't tell you I knew we weren't going to get push, I expect for us to get push with everybody we play.

On the last play on fourth down...

That was improvised, that was inside zone. Our left side, which is [OL Mike] Caliendo and [OL Chukwuma Okorafor] got pushed back right into [RB] Jamauri [Bogan]'s face, Jamauri had a choice, either to take it front side or go behind the whole thing. He chose front side and there was nowhere to go. We had a bubble built into that play, Jamauri saw him out there, gave him the ball, and it was close. [Jamauri] was just trying to keep it alive. That whole last drive was an all-or-nothing. Hopefully you'll score, onside kick, score.

On Western Michigan's safeties scheme...

All four of those guys are can play both [strong safety and free safety], and [Stefan] Claiborne is a guy who we think is very athletic. He's young, he's got to learn, and he's a guy that can't...right now we don't want him to get too many reps, because he's still learning, when he knows what he's doing, man, he can be a really good player. Once Tranquill went down, he became a full-time player, because that's where you're at. I thought he played pretty good, that power that spilled power on fourth-and-one he was nowhere to be found, but hopefully we'll see what happens with Tranquill. But yeah, we're trying to develop those guys, we have four safeties and they're all sophomores and they're all pretty talented. Tranquill has the most experience and the other three are just trying to develop as they go.

On Mike Sadler's number on the back of the helmet...

You know Zach (Terrell) won the Mike Sadler award, gosh I think that was January or December, no had to be January, February. I got to go accept and so I started doing research on it. Zach was training for the combine and Zach knew him and we just learned more and more about him and what he stood for, and he stood for everything I wanted our kids to stand for. Zach and I talked about what we could do and so we thought honoring him by putting his number on our helmet last February. We kind of announced it at the banquet we were at when I accepted the award for Zach and she came last night and she came to the hotel to thank the guys for honoring her son who was a great student, great athlete, great person in the community which is what we are striving for.

First two games against high profile team where is the teams confidence...

It's hard to tell. I think our defense gained some confidence, they scored once. I think offensively, they are going to look back and look at themselves in the mirror and dig deep and find ways to get the ball in to the end zone. In the first game our offense moved the ball well, the defense had a chip on their shoulder ever since the fourth quarter of the USC game. The guys love these games, they want to want to win in these types of environments. They have confidence in what we can defensively, and what's to come offensively. We don't want to send Jon to the wolves we want him to develop so we will rely on our running game. There's a lot of things we need to look into in order to grow. We need to have shared adversity at halftime. I was happy. This is what we want, this is want we need to do to win a MAC championship again. We came out fighting in the third quarter, we got a stop, scored, there's a lot of fight on this team and we just need to continue to grow and it's a long season and we will lick our wounds and get ready for the next one.

On heading home...

We are excited to go back and home play in front of our home crowd. For us it will be exciting to get the student section out there and the band. The guys are excited for every opportunity but we get to play at home, we have yet to play at our home stadium. They're excited to put out a better, more consistent product than they have done, so good things, but it's not at the level we want to be at yet.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner

On the confidence they have in LJ (Scott)...

Well, he's proven over the long haul that he can be either, he can carry the ball for us 20-25 times, I think all those tailbacks have had their moments where we feel like we can sort of ride their coat tails a little bit. We've all done that at times throughout their career. But, LJ, we wanted to try to get him going today, and obviously he had the big play on fourth down. It was blocked really, really well, but it just a feeling over the years that LJ's the guy and when it comes down to that we can hand the ball to him.

On the touchdown run by Brian (Lewerke)...

He's shown the ability to do that, and I think probably the surprising thing is when he got out into the open there that he was able to maintain his distance away from DB's that try and track him down. He's showing speed right there which is great, so I think that adds a little bit of added dimension when he's able to do those things.

On the declined penalty...

We were surprised by that. I guess they felt that the time was more important, but we're happy they did that. I mean, in those situations Coach Dantonio obviously makes the call and he said to run it as well. There really wasn't any doubt that we were going to get in a two tight end set and play some hardball with them and run power. So that was Coach Dantonio.

On the growth from week one to week two...

I guess, you know when you go into the first game you'll always have question marks about how good you think you can be, how some young guys are going to perform. I think after that first week, we sort of answered some of those questions, and some of those guys stepped up and I think they've grown. Just that confidence factor certainly grows as guys gain experience and come out of games with wins. So I think that's probably the biggest thing from a confidence standpoint. I think our guys approached this game probably with a little more confidence and understanding of what to expect when they're going out there.

On coaching ball security on offense...

Well, we stressed the heck out of it we always have. Our success around here has been built on our turnover ratio throughout the year. You know, a couple years ago we were top couple in the country turnover ratio for years. Obviously that's unacceptable, you know, it's something we continue to stress but obviously we need to do more of it, because I mean you can't do it. The strip fumble, we got a fumble snapping the ground and another ball came loose when Brian was scrambling around so we can't have those. Obviously two weeks in a row we need to fix it.

On Collin Lucas and Matt Sokol starting...

I think they've done a great job. I'm not sure how many plays Collin was in there but he's done a good job. We've had fullbacks around here for years that get 25, 30 plays a game and that's about it and they perform very well. But, Colling has stepped into that role as has Matt Sokol and has performed very well and that's key, those fullbacks are key to what we do in the run game.

Michigan State Assist. HC/Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett

On how he feels after two games...

It's pleasing; obviously. We have 10 more guaranteed, and we want to continue to play that way and continue to get better. So, proud of the guys they're executing what we talked about throughout the course of the week and, give them the credit they're going out there executing the game plan and getting it done.

On what they improved this year...

Well, we made some tweaks in the things that we do. I'll let you guys try to figure that out what they are as you watch the film. But, we tweaked some things up, and it's made us better. As I said before, people study the champs, they study us to see how you beat them, and they talk about you and they find out ways to do certain things against us that we were doing for years. So we had to change some things up to help us be more effective and, we did and our guys are executing.

On how the secondary and how they've progressed since week one...

Oh they're good players. A week ago, there was really one main guy, he could run, that was the kid that transferred from Oregon State. He was a long guy that could run, and he got behind our guys a couple times. But we got some guys that can run as well, you know, they're on scholarship also, but our guys realized that there was some technique things that we could clean up. We did that this past week, and I think it showed today.

On expecting to shut them down...

Well the goal was to stop the run, that's the goal every week, but, we knew for sure that they were going to come in here and try to run the ball on us, and so our guys stepped up to the challenge. Our D line - we think played pretty well. I hate to just throw things out there without watching the film first, but, we feel like they played pretty well, and we tackled OK early and then we got better as the game went on. So, credit to those guys again, executing the game plan. We stressed stopping the run all week long, and I feel like we did a pretty good job.

On their young players playing with confidence...

It's very key. I mean, you know, they've never played on this type of level with this type of, these type of fans in the stands and things like that. So, it's very key, so now they'll go on to play better and better because they have confidence, and long as they don't get cocky with it and just stay and remain confident, then we'll be okay.

On how familiar they were with Darius Philips (WMU)...

As familiar as you were, I mean he probably came to camp or something like that, but, for me to get up here and say `hey we knew about that guy.' Cause that guy can play; he's a good player. Some people develop a little later. We might have had guys; we have to go back and look at that. Did we already have guys committed or what. I mean he is at Western so that means a lot of people overlooked him. But the young man is a good football player from what I saw today.

Michigan State sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke

On the offensive plan against Western Michigan's defense...

I mean I wouldn't say it was anything different from what we normally do, we just run the ball up the middle and obviously we had the RPO stuff.

On his touchdown run...

I was just reading the end, I saw the defense open up. I was surprised I made it all the way to the end zone, I thought I was going to get caught from behind. It was obviously... it was fun, it was a good run.

I was a little bit surprised. I know I have some speed. I wasn't sure if I was going to get past everyone.

It was pretty cool. I made the right read obviously and I just saw the defense open up. I think the back-side safety flew over top, thought LJ [Scott] had the ball, so it just opened up a huge hole for me.

On his comfort level in the pocket...

I felt pretty good. The nerves weren't as big as they were last week. I don't think I had as many scramble yards this week as I did last time, so it was more just designed run type of stuff was when I did it. I think I made the right reads downfield, I was accurate for the most part throwing the ball.

On how it feels to have the longest touchdown run from a quarterback since 1973...

I didn't even know that, so that's obviously an honor. That's a really cool stat. Let's hope I can keep it up.

On the play of Darrell Stewart... He did a great job. I wanted him to score a touchdown on that long run. He keeps getting caught at the one, but he'll get one eventually. Obviously he's a great playmaker for us, there's a ton of different ways to get him the ball. I think we did a great job of getting him the ball today.

On the importance of being 2-0 going into the bye week...

It's a great feeling. Nothing feels better than winning a football game, obviously it's very hard to win a game especially in the Big Ten. Our defense... I have to give a quick shout out to the defense, they played incredible. Still haven't really given up a touchdown that we haven't turned the ball over. The only ones that happened today were the fumble return and the kickoff. They've done a fantastic job, so I'm hoping to keep that rolling as we go into Notre Dame.

Michigan State junior running back LJ Scott

On the thought behind his fourth-and-one play...

That was the initial play we were going to run. I was actually kind of in Coach D's ear asking for the ball, just because we practiced it all week. In certain situations, like that, we know what's on the line for us.

On responding to having two fumbles in week 1...

Really I just tried to put it behind me. The past is the past; I can't really make up or do anything about it. I just knew coming into this game, as far as individually, I knew I was going to have to step up and bounce back for the team. Obviously those two fumbles cost us. Those points basically all came from me. It's about how I bounce back and try to forget about it.

On the importance of having running quarterbacks...

He's just another rushing threat. Not only can he pass the ball, but he can run the ball. Starting to believe each week Coach Salem is becoming the running backs coach, not the quarterbacks coach.

Senior linebacker Chris Frey

On how happy he is with the team's performance and how he keeps them from getting over-confident...

I mean we can sit here and be happy but we know that there is always going to be room to improve. We just have to continue to get better every week; studying the opponent. We have a very good opponent coming in here in two weeks - we have two weeks to prepare. We just have to keep staying on the young guys to continue watching film and doing what they need to do off the field so that when that Saturday comes around, we're ready to go.

On being vocal and emotional with the offensive players...

I just kind of wanted to reach out to those guys and try and bring some enthusiasm to them because I'm a guy that always has it and I can always give it to someone else. I tried to give it to the offense today and help get them through the adversity that they were facing and I'm going to continue to do that. I feel like I have an obligation to do that as a captain and as a leader. Just reaching out to guys that may have given up a big play or may have messed up a play, just telling them forget it, it's in the past let's move on, the next play is coming up and you need to be ready for it."

On the 2-0 start...

I think it's really important, but withy that being said we've got to continue to get better every single week. We've got to continue to improve, we've got to continue to do everything that we've been doing on a regular basis but we've got a very good opponent coming in and we've got to crank it up another notch. They're going to come in here ready to go and we've got to be on that point too."

On the amount of sacks the team had today...

I think we have a physical one-two, we constantly say that we're going to blitz angry. Once you blitz angry you have to get back to your calm and cool and focus on your keys, focus on what you've got to do. I think that's something that we're really keying in on and doing a really good job with.

Freshman cornerback Josiah Scott

On defense giving up only three points and the growth...

We trust each other more. You have to trust yourself, trust your teammates, and trust your job. I feel like it's going to work out for us. Just building our trust.

On biggest challenge for himself as a first year player...

I don't really look at it, but it is one of the challenges of being a freshman. I don't pay attention to it too much. I talk to my family, talk to my friends. They really just keep my head straight, and not get too big headed.

Sophomore wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr.

On being a playmaker...

Coach always talks to me about being a playmaker in any and every aspect of the game you have to be available and make things happen.

On being 2-0 going into the bye week...

It's big, but one thing about us is that we're always going to stay hungry. Coming off a season like that last year. You always have to stay hungry and prove people wrong every week. Two and zero is just wonderful. You can make that down on your calendar, but that doesn't mean anything, anybody can be two and zero. One thing about us is that we're always looking for the next week to be better, and that's one thing I love. We're a young group, but we're always starving to get better.

On if this year feels any different...

It kind of feels the same to me. One thing though is that Coach D always tells me to increase the intensity every week. Stay hungry every week. Always be humble. Since going 2-0, there's going to be some people that are looking to knock us off the throne so we need to stay hungry. We're a young team, but one thing about us is that we are always going to stay hungry no matter what the past week was.

On the 18-yard run before being stopped at the one...

I guess my new nickname is going to be goal-line Stew, because it seems like I can get to the end zone, but I just can't score the ball. The whole time I was running the ball, in my head I was like, `man this is going to be the big play, this is going to be the moment that changes my life', and slowly as I got closer and closer, I just felt my body going down to the ground and I was like, `no not again', and before you know it I was stopped on the one. It was ridiculous. I'm glad I got the opportunity to make a play.

On if getting a touchdown is the goal for him or if getting a lot of yards is the goal...

Honestly to me, touchdowns really don't matter. I just want to put the team in a good situation to get the `W'; the rest doesn't matter. If I get zero touchdowns for the whole season, as long as the team gets into good situations and we're winning, I mean that's why we're here. That's the whole reason why we play football; it's not to be the big guy or the star who gets all of the touchdowns, no, it's not about the touchdowns for me. It's about getting the team into good situations where we can win so we can all enjoy and celebrate."

Michigan State junior linebacker Andrew Dowell

On the team's defensive pressure today...

That is something we have been priding ourselves on - getting to the quarterback, getting to the sacks and making plays as a defense. We had a little piece of that today. We are going to continue to improve on it going forward.

On his big play where he heel-clipped the running back...

I was just playing my gap. Coach has been preaching to me to trust the defense and that's how I make my big plays. So I did that. I trusted the defense and was able to come up and make a big play.

On where the team's confidence is at right now...

Confidence is high. We know what we can do. We have a big challenge in two weeks, Notre Dame, so we will have a lot of time to prepare for that but confidence is high playing Spartan football.

On the feeling of already having half the number of last year's sacks in this season's first two games...

That was a huge thing we focused on this off-season, getting sacks, getting pressure on the QB. Today we did that. We look forward to continuing that.

On their confidence level as a linebacker group...

We try to be the leaders of the defense. We try to steer the ship. It helps me make plays on the field. Everybody rallies around us so we can continue to take guys with us.

Western Michigan senior cornerback Darius Phillips

On his overall play...

I just came out here to try to do everything I could do to help this team and keep us in the game, whether that be on special teams or defensive. I went out there and gave it my all.

Using the two losses as momentum moving into the home stand...

We are just going to get back to practicing and go over the film and trust what the coaches tells us to do.

Western Michigan redshirt-sophomore quarterback Jon Wassink

Western Michigan offense vs. Michigan States defense...

I give Michigan State a lot of credit they played really tough defense. They made it tough on us. They took advantage when we made mistakes. We didn't execute as well as we know we can and should. We have to do better next week.

Getting off to quick start offensively...

We ran the ball a lot last week, and today that's going to be our identity because we have good running backs and a good offensive line, but we also have to mix in the pass and take some shots down field. We just have to mix it up and change our play call sometimes.

On getting more from the passing offense today...

No doubt I missed a few throws that obviously I would look to have back, but we just didn't make enough competitive plays. I have to put the ball in the right spot, and the receiver has to go up and get the ball. We just didn't make enough of those plays tonight.

On moving forward...

We are going to be confident as a team we're going to look at the film from today, and look at the positives and negatives and be as good as we can next week versus our next opponent. We're just going to go week-by-week and get better every week and grow with this next staff and grow as a team.

On Michigan State's defensive play...

They always play tough defense ever since Mark Dantonio has been a coach here we knew they were going to be physical up front and I'm not surprised that they were very good USC was a very good defensive as well as team we have to focus on our selves no matter who were playing.

 

 

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