Post-Game Quotes: Central Michigan
 
 
 

 

 
 

Sept. 24, 2011

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement
I thought we started very fast. As a football team, we decided to receive the football so we went down the field on the first series so that was a big positive. We made an emphasis to run the football. I thought we were able to do that. Obviously, in the second quarter, the turnovers changed the real complexion of the football game. When you have four interceptions and one goes back for a touchdown, good things are going to happen to you. I thought that offensively, we sort have took our quarterback out after the first series of the second half and we started to play our backup guys. I thought we functioned well. We ran the ball and made plays down the field. We had some explosive runs, which to me we were lacking on a consistent level. Le'Veon Bell had a couple. I think Rock had one as well. Those are good things when you have those. I thought, based on what I remember anyway, we got off the dime a little bit when they threw the football. Defense was dominant. Anytime your defense is dominant, it is going to be very tough to lose that football game. We'll look for this next week's opportunity in Columbus. I look forward to it.

On taking the ball and getting the running game going...
I just wanted to force the issue a little bit as the head football coach. I wanted to make sure that what we talked about all week long, that given the opportunity, we were going to take the football and not say okay, let's do this and let's do that, and by the way, you can have the ball. I don't think that would have been the right mindset so we took the football. I thought our offense played very well in that opening drive.

On the play of Travis Jackson and Micajah Reynolds...
It's tough to evaluate that without seeing the film because there are so many different things schematically that are going on there. I thought we protected pretty well and were able to execute. We put up a lot of points. Seven of them were on turnovers in the first half. We did score 24 points in the first half as an offensive football team. I thought that was production.

On what happened when CMU blocked Michigan State's punt...
They had a bunch of guys run through there and block the punt. Obviously we had a blocking problem. It's frustrating because it takes a clean game and a possible shutout and all of a sudden that possibility diminished. It still could have happened but it diminished. Anytime that you have a kickoff return for a touchdown or a blocked punt, you just can't have those. If you are going to continue to be a good football team, those who catch up to you and have a direct bearing on the game, like it did last week. We have to make sure everything is in sync in those areas. From what I understand, a guy blew a blocking assignment.

On where he thinks they are going into the Big Ten season...
Well, we are at the beginning. That's really where we are at. Our focus has been on Central Michigan this week, completely on it. Our focus has been on these first four games. Now, we are in a position where we start looking at the Big Ten Conference. Obviously, it will be a great opponent in this first game and it will be down in Columbus at 3:30. We'll point toward that and have our guys ready to go. We will be focused and ready to go. It will be a challenge for us, as everybody knows, but I am looking forward to the opportunity.

On Michigan State intercepting the ball four times...
We're getting interceptions. We're getting turnovers. That occurred last week, pretty much as well, with a couple of turnovers so those things are big positives right now. I think we are playing pretty well defensively and stopping the run. Anytime you are able to do that, good things are bound to happen to you because you get ahead with the chains. We are going to find out in the Big Ten Conference. As we mentioned here, the next stretch of football games, the next eight, are going to be difficult football games. That's the way it is in this conference. You expect that.

On Le'Veon Bell's performance...
I thought all of our running backs ran hard. They saw a break in tackles. We talked about that. I thought [Larry] Caper came in the second half and ran very hard. I thought Nick Hill did some good things. The other two guys, Baker and Le'Veon, were positive in the first half. But I thought Le'Veon had a couple big runs, you saw those. He's a guy that can catch it, he can block, he can run the football. He's a load. He's 235 pounds. It gives us a variety of people to use. Whoever is hot, that's just who gets used. Whoever is hot. They better have a good week of practice.

On playing against Dan Enos...
I think Dan Enos is doing a great job there. I don't think the score is indicative of how they played us in this football game. They made some plays in the game, in terms of short yardage stops. Defensively, they are sort of behind the eight ball with interceptions. We were able to hit the quarterback and affect the quarterback some. I think some guys of our guys made some great plays on the defensive end of the field. They hung in there, 31-0 at half and they didn't throw in the towel. You have to credit that to attitude. Congratulate them for that. Dan's a good friend of mine and I wish him the best. His success will be in front of him.

Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos

Opening statement...
We got thoroughly beat in all three phases by a very good football team. We turned the ball over too much. Twenty-three first downs to eight just about says it all.

On the quarterback situation...
We'll see what happens this week in practice. If A.J. (Westendorp) would have played well he would have played the rest of the game.

On the building frustration over the past two weeks...
We're very frustrated. We're young. At one point on defense today we had seven freshmen on the field at the same time. We're playing three or four true freshman on offense plus out tight end is a redshirt freshman. If you go into a stadium like that, against a team like that, with seven freshman playing on defense, it's not going to work out very well for you.

On what he needs to see from quarterback Ryan Radcliff...
Just more consistency. There's three plays in a row where you think he's on and he doing what he's coached to do and then we'll have a couple in a row where he's not doing that, so he just needs to be more consistent. His confidence is not very good right now. Athletics are confidence driven, with that position in particular, and if you don't have it, it's hard. You can't inject it into somebody as much as people think you can. The only way you can get confidence is from within and that comes from having success and moving forward. We have to get him to a point where we can get him some confidence and believe in himself. If he doesn't play well it's hard to be good on offense, no matter what type of offense you run. If your quarterback isn't playing well it's going to have an effect on everybody. When he does play well we look pretty good, but when he's not we're very average.

On playing against his old school...
It was very uncomfortable. I didn't know how I was going to feel until I got here. Coach Dantonio means a lot to me and my family, he is a good man.

On the running game...
Anthony Garland had seven carries and he gained nine yards. I thought he ran hard; he didn't pick his feet up a couple times. He's got to play more which he will do next week but we wanted to get his feet wet a little bit. The defense was tough to block today though. They are a good football team.

On the upcoming Northern Illinois game...
These games hurt a lot, but it's a non-conference game and we have to pick up the pieces. It's more important that we play better next week. We have another very good team coming up in Northern Illinois. They are a senior- and junior-laden team and have a lot of guys back from a team that won 10 games last year.

On what you say to your team after a game like that...
I don't know how frustrated they are, I think they're playing hard and I think our defense played very hard in the second half. I thought we competed the whole game. I think our team sees that there are chances in games that we can play better and make plays and we're not making them. We just need to keep getting after it. I think on offense our quarterback play is the biggest thing but we have problems on defense too. I thought we played better defensively this week though and I like some of our younger players that are playing now. I was enthused and impressed with how some of them played, so I think we are playing better in some areas and improving in areas. We need to get better at quarterback and find a running back who we can go to.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar

Thoughts on today's game vs. Central Michigan...
I thought guys ran hard from the backfield position. I thought Le'Veon obviously had a great day with three touchdowns. I felt our offensive line performed better. I saw some consistency, some movement in there, so there are some encouraging things there. We had some big plays on offense and we have to continue those things to happen. Certainly we get an opportunity to look at the film and make the corrections; we have to continue to improve.

On the performance of freshman wide receiver Tony Lippett...
We certainly wanted to get Tony involved. That was important with the situation at the wide receiver position right now. He was able to get in there and get some quality work. He made a big catch and he had a couple other opportunities where we would like to see him come up with the ball. But it was good to see him and he was playing quite a bit of defense as well so we didn't want to overuse him.

Thoughts on the play calling...
I think we are getting more of an identity and we have been looking at who we are and what our strengths are, and what our weaknesses are. (We're) trying to play to our strengths. We think we have good backs so we need to run the football and that certainly has to happen for us, but I think we are getting a better handle.

On the play today of Micajah Reynolds...
I saw some really good things from him. I'm not sure the number of snaps he had, but very quickly for making the move on Tuesday, you could see the retention he had from the previous year. I thought he was pretty poised and I feel he did a good job.

The role of explosive plays...
In each of our three wins I feel we have a significant number of explosive plays. We have guys on the outside who can make explosive plays and we got guys when we hand it to them can make plays. So I think that is very important to our success.

Thoughts on the running game going into Ohio State...
I think we got a sense of what it is we are trying to do. I will have to look at the film to get an evaluation of how well we did. Certainly as we known as we get into Big Ten play we are going to continue to improve

Thoughts on sophomore quarterback Andrew Maxwell...
I thought he made some good throws, he made good reads. But we had a little trouble under center with a couple guys...we will have to get that improved but I think he did a good job.

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Thoughts of today's game vs. Central Michigan...
We played pretty good today. We still got a ways to go; a lot of guys got reps. Anthony Rashad White didn't play today, he had a thigh contusion, but he will be 100 percent next week and that was our goal going in so he didn't have to take a snap. That is about it, but a lot of guys got reps.

On the performance of red-shirt freshman corner back Tony Lippett...
Right now he is our next corner in right now. He played well, he played both ways...He is playing both ways for us right now so we expected it.

The pressure from the defensive line...
They were early. I think Marcus Rush, I don't know what his stats were, but he was putting pressure on the quarterback. I know that pick six he hit the quarterback as he threw it. So we were getting a good four-man pressure. Maybe not the first series, but after that I thought we had a presence in the four-man pressure, so that's good.

Thoughts on the technique of red-shirt freshman defensive end Marcus Rush...
He's a guy who was a dark horse coming in and has really started for four weeks now. He gets to the quarterback...he is a football player. He's been making plays he's like a linebacker playing the end. He gets off blocks and makes tackles; that's what we need, ends to make plays.

Michigan State senior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham

On returning to his home state of Ohio next week...
They're going to come out firing, it's Ohio State. But I'm ready to be back at home, we have a lot of Ohio guys on the team too. We'll play it like any other game though, come out hard and be ready to play. I was redshirted last time we went there so I'm excited.

On the start of the Big Ten schedule...
We're ready. The Big Ten will need to be won on the road, and that's what we're going to have to do. We've played in tough atmospheres before so we'll have to go in there and somehow pull it out. We're going to need to come out, ready to execute, just like we did today.

Michigan State sophomore running back Le'Veon Bell

On his performance today...
Coach always tells us to run angry. I just try to use my body and my God-given ability and make people miss. We always want to go in there and show everybody we're going to run the ball. So we just have to go out there, execute, follow our blocks and run hard.

On the team's success running off the edge...
I think it's just pretty much everyone doing their assignments. The receivers are getting to the safeties, and all you have to do is make one guy miss and you're off to the races.

On riding the hot hand at running back...
I'm going to try to be that guy (with the hot hand). All I can do is compete like I do every day in practice, and hopefully I'll have a good opportunity. But we're all strong guys (the running backs) so it's what we're all trying to do.

Michigan State senior quarterback Kirk Cousins

On playing with freshman center Travis Jackson...
Rotating centers isn't the ideal thing, but because of injuries and the situation we are in it is what we have to do. I have worked with, if you are counting practices, I have worked with over 12 centers here at Michigan State so that is not the ideal situation but that's part of playing the game of football and part of injuries and getting guys into spots to find the best spot for guys. Travis was a great option for us. He really was our number one for us before he got hurt in camp. We are excited to have him back and we will go with him.

The importance of getting in a rhythm...
Getting in a rhythm is very important as a quarterback. We talked about with Coach Roushar getting some early throws. To get the ball out of my hand and get some confidence going and get the rhythm going. So very important and the more we get a rhythm going. I think you see it more in a two minute offense quarterbacks have success because they do get that rhythm. So anytime we get that going early that helps the rest of the game. And so we will try to get that rolling early next week.

Michigan State sophomore quarterback Andrew Maxwell

On his touchdown pass to Dion Sims...
Dion ran a great route in the back of the end zone, he kept going and didn't stop. With a body like that, just get him the ball and good things happen.

On Brad Sonntag's performance...
I thought I had him for that touchdown (on the 1-yard line). But even more than wanting a touchdown for myself, I wanted it for Sonntag on that one. He's a fifth-year senior, walk-on guy, works his heart out every single day. And he just got his first catch two weeks ago, so getting him his first touchdown would have been excellent.

Central Michigan senior cornerback Jahleel Addae

Opening statement...
It was obviously a tough loss and we just have to take it and run with it. We just need to come in and focus on our next opponent who is a MAC opponent and get better.

On the confidence of the team...
Our confidence is there. We know we are a good football team, it's just little things we have to do in all three phases of the game that will take us to the level where we can get victories.

On the performance of the defense today...
I think we played well in the first couple series. A few missed assignments here and there, that let them have some big plays. They are a great team and executed their plays very well.

On the performance of the young players today...
The young guys definitely stepped up today. They came in and did a good job for the defense and they're only going to get better.