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Post-Game Quotes: Michigan
 
 
 

 

 
 

Oct. 15, 2011

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement...
"Well I was smiling. I was smiling. Big win. It was a big win for our football team, our program. It was a program win. To do this for a fourth straight time is amazing and it took a lot of hard work from a lot of people in this program- a lot of former players, a lot of players currently playing and administratively. When you look at the football game in general, they scored the first series. Our offense comes back and scores immediately. It sort of gave us confidence. We talked about handing adversity the entire time and I thought we were able to do that. From there I guess, we went into the third quarter with it. We got the ball off the kick off and we had the wind that third quarter. We got two scores in. There was a big play by Isaiah Lewis at the end to sort of put it away. I thought our defense played tremendously, with seven sacks and 10 tackles for losses. Our offense ran the ball very effectively- 213 yards rushing.

"You have to credit Michigan. They stripped the ball off of us twice down the field. They have done that all year. Great defensive plays and we had too many penalties obviously. Some of them, I don't know.

"You guys can make that call. I think it was a cleanly played football game. A hard played football game. There was toughness out there on both sides. I respect Michigan in all respects. It's a great feeling and we're very, very excited.

On how it felt to accomplish this win...
"I said one other time when I got asked that, it feels complete. I feel very content. That's the way I show my emotions, I guess. I feel like it all came to fruition for us. Guys played so hard and we prepared so hard. When you win, you know there is a lot of excitement about that. This is a big football game. It feels good. It feels complete."

On if there was there a certain confidence and calmness the team had that you hadn't seen before you got here...
"I don't know, I wasn't here before. I just know we made a point of things and I'm sure other people do too or they do. We have sort have driven home our point. We have good football players. We have good defensive linemen and linebackers and guys who can run. Offensively, we have some talented, skilled guys. I thought (Kirk) Cousins played outstanding today. He had two big, third down throws for touchdowns. He had numerous third down throws for first downs to keep drives alive. I thought Edwin Baker got in the zone and got hot. He ran through tackles. I thought our offensive line played very well and protected our quarterback. I don't think we had a sack. I don't believe. Anytime that they have seven and we don't have any, it's tough. I credit Michigan. I thought Denard Robinson, as always, made plays. He makes plays. We got him penned up and he got out a number of times."

On if this was Kirk Cousins' best game to date this season...
"I haven't seen the film, but I thought he was on the money with the wind conditions that were out there and it was blowing. I thought he played very, very well. He had a couple of drops and probably had only one errant pass. Maybe it was the first one. He played very well. He does so many other things for us, beside just throw the football. It's the leadership. It's on the field. It's getting us in the right place. He should be congratulated, as well as our entire football team."

On if there is a certain comfort level after both the Ohio State and Michigan wins...
"What we are looking for in this program, what our goals are in this program are anytime, anywhere. That's our goal- to be able to play competitively in this country, anywhere, anytime. Have we reached that yet? We are going to find out the rest of the year. We have had good football teams but we have stumbled a couple of times. I wouldn't say we are there yet, but I like our temperament and I think the temperament of our football team is one of confidence, and one of toughness, and one of effort. I think you can win with those things."

On if he encourages to play with emotion during rivalry week...
"This is football so as I said I think on the radio show and to our football team today, when you are over here you want to carry emotion and energy throughout the game, not just pregame when the coaches are talking to you, but through the whole game. And over here you have to execute. You have to keep a piece of mind. You have to be contained. You have to be able to execute over here. Somewhere it meets in the middle. I thought we were able to do that for the most part. You have to play this game a little bit angry, regardless of who you are playing. If you go out there and think it's going to be soft, it's very difficult to win. It's extremely difficult to win. You don't really understand what goes into that and how hard and how well coached the opposing team is. Michigan is a well coached football team. It's very difficult. It doesn't just happen. But you have to bring you're A game and you have to bring your mentality."

On if he was concerned with Michigan in the fourth quarter...
"I was more concerned with the fact that the wind was against us and that they knew we were going to have to milk the clock a little bit and run it a little bit more because of the wind and everything else, they would get good field position. That was part of it. Our unsung heroes of the game were Mike Sadler and Kevin Muma with the job that they did as kickers and punters. Especially with Sadler punting the football, I thought he did pretty good against the wind. The majority of his punts were against the wind. It's tough down there. The wind is blowing so they are going to get the ball on the 30-yard line to get a slant for a touchdown. We understood and we knew and we talked about it during the week, that there were going to be times where things were going to sway. Emotions were going to sway back and forth and it was going to be very important that we were going to be able to keep our emotions in check and be able to play through adversity. We were able to do that."

On how he feels to beat the new Michigan coaching staff...
"It feels good to beat Michigan. As far as with Brady (Hoke), he's a good man. I think he's a very good coach. They are a well coached football team. They're just starting. It takes time. It takes time with what they are dealing with. This will be something that I'm sure will continue on."

On seeing the running game emerge today...
"We were 39 out of 41 going into the game, with the team that run the rushing totals were going to be the ones that won the football game. Obviously it was very important. We couldn't stand back there and be one dimensional. We had to be able to run the football. As I said earlier, Rock (Edwin Baker) got into a zone. He was very effective. We had 17 rushes I think for 100-plus yards in the first half. I'm not sure what we did in the second half right now. We were able to run the ball effectively enough to keep the down and distance in our favor. In the red zone I think we played well enough to score touchdowns, which is a huge factor. Especially with the two third-down touchdown passes from Kirk (Cousins). Big plays."

On the play action on the fourth down, if he thought Michigan would run the football...
"I thought they were going to run the football. It was fourth and a half. I guess they only needed one score at that time. It was a big play by Johnny Adams."

On if he feels like he has gotten respect...
"I don't have to answer that question, that's for the people to answer. Our M.O. this week was right here, right now. And we got it done."

On seeing the emotional reaction after the game...
"This game is about reuniting our fan entire base. Our fans were tremendous out there. Outstanding. But anybody that has put on a green shirt that says `Spartan' on it is going to feel personal about this game. Now you take that further and put a guy that has played on this football team at some point or other and has gone through the trials and tribulations that go with playing football in general, there is a lot of emotion. It links us up. It links myself with any coach that has every coached here. It links our players with every single player that has every played here. That's strong. That's something that lasts a life time. I can't tell you how many texts I get and things I get prior to the game from former players. The guys that have been here since I came back and the guys that who were really here before, when I was here at that point in time are special to me. The guys who have sweated since I came back here as a head coach. This is very special to them because they are the program. This is not just are current people. It's all the ones that have come before us. They are the program. I'm happy for Coach Perles. Coach Perles comes to my house when we beat Michigan. So I'm very happy and I look forward to seeing him tonight. I'm happy for all former Spartans out there. Go Green."

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke

Opening Statement...
"First of all, give Mark and his staff credit. He outcoached us and outplayed us, and we have to do a much better job in a lot of different ways. Our kids fought and thought they responded well. I don't think they ever thought they were going to lose the game until the game was over."

On the play of quarterback Denard Robinson...
"He made some things happen and he always plays with a lot of energy. I don't know what he saw on the interception but I thought he held in there. Our kids prepared well all week. We had the two penalties in the first half for delay of game and those are just communication things we have to do a better job with. I think there was more competition probably at the line of scrimmage with receivers getting off, and obviously he saw a lot of pressure."

On what they need to get out of their running back group...
"To get it out of our running backs we have to get more out of our front first. From an offensive standpoint 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."

On getting outplayed physically...
"I don't know if we got beat up, but I think they were physical and this game always is."

On playing two quarterbacks...
"We thought we may do some of it and part of it that pushed it over a little more was the wind. I think Devin at times can throw the ball a little more accurately."

On rebounding following a loss like this...
"I expect them to act like a Michigan football team, and that means that they will come to work."

On the MSU defense...
"Mark does a very good job and is a good defensive coach. His fingerprints are all over that defense. They overloaded us a little bit and they hit their timing well with snap counts. I think they did things the way you're supposed to."

On the opening kickoff in the second half...
"We were trying to squib it because of the wind, and didn't think we would get exactly what we wanted depth wise. He just didn't hit it exactly how he wanted to."

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi

On the importance of defense in this rivalry and if the team depended on the defense to win the game...
"No, no. Kirk Cousins, that guy is a machine. You guys don't give him enough credit, that guy is a football player. Kirk Cousins was on fire, that offensive line blocked the heck out of people. Everybody was just doing their job...But our kids played their tail off."

On the personality of the defensive line...
"You'd have to ask them, but Coach Gill does a tremendous job with them, and they've just got an attitude right now. They're an attacking front. They're going to try to get us to jump offside, and we knew they had to do something to try to slow us down off of what we did at Ohio State. We knew we couldn't attack them like that, something was going to happen. So they got us for a couple offsides penalties, but we tell our kids on the sideline `Hey, that isn't going to slow us down.'"

On the fact that Michigan State's defense doesn't get mentioned in the national conversation...
"I don't care. We just want to win on Saturday, that's all that matters. All that defense stuff, stats, you guys know how I feel about stats, it doesn't matter. That win right there, that's the most important thing. It really doesn't matter, at the end of the year you find out where you are and that's our job."

Michigan State offensive coordinator Dan Roushar

Opening statement...
"I thought our offensive line played very well, our backs ran extremely hard. I thought we had some key third down pick-ups, I looked at the stats and I think we ended up 7-of-14 on third downs. A couple of those were in situations where we were trying to choke the clock. I thought Kirk played awfully well. One of the key things that happened is obviously [Michigan] took the first drive down to score, and our guys went right back down the field and answered. I thought that was a big part of our success and I think it set the tone for the day and the defense just took over from there. Overall it was an outstanding day and obviously we're very proud of our guys."

On the role the weather played in today's game...
"It had a factor. We went in with the idea that we thought we could throw the ball down the field and take advantage of some things that we looked at match-up wise. I think for two quarters you could say we got the wind, and there were two quarters obviously where we not only didn't have field position but we were working against the wind. It had an effect. But I thought Kirk managed the game very well, I thought he was very accurate. The first two throws he made, those were both right on the money and unfortunately and very uncharacteristically we dropped the football. It had an impact, and I'm sure it had an impact for them as well."

On the performance of Edwin Baker...
"I thought he ran with a lot of passion and determination. He had a 21-yard run that he pops and the ball comes out, otherwise it was a very complete day; I was impressed with the way he was taking it in there. If I'm not mistaken I think he averaged a little over 5 yards a carry, and those are things that we've expected from him. You've got to give a lot of credit to our offensive line, I think those guys did a great job, and [Senior Fullback] Todd Anderson in front did a terrific job as well, I saw him a couple of times being very physical."

On whether or not his team, Kirk Cousins in particular, had an edge to them in anticipation for today's game...
"I think part of it is that you have all of that time off, and you get a little bit out of cycle. I know as a coach you start worrying about all of the problems and all the things that could happen or might happen, I think [Cousins] is a little bit like that. I think this morning when he came into the meeting he looked very focused and very determined and very poised, and that's exactly the way you want him to be."

Michigan State senior quarterback Kirk Cousins

Opening statement...
"First of all I want to thank our fans, our student body who came, and our fan base. The crowd noise was electric, they did a tremendous job staying in it the whole game. I think we owe them a lot for the energy we played with. "We ran the ball, we were able to throw the ball, defense did a tremendous job. We were crippled by field position in the first half, which changed our play calling and our ability to get our drive going. But we were able to be in a little bit better field position, and our defense kept us in it and we ran it down the field. It was a great game all around, we played very well, other than the turnovers and penalties I thought we played tremendous football."

On beating Michigan four years in a row...
"You're looking at three seniors right here from the state of Michigan, and for the rest of our life, we will walk the streets of this state, for the rest of our life; it's satisfying."

On the impact of the windy conditions on throwing the ball...
"It was very hard, in warm-ups it was tough trying to get a feel for the wind. The tough thing was that there was never a consistent wind where we knew what we were getting. It was blowing and swirling and it was hard to really understand where it was coming from, and I think you can attribute some of the drops to that because the ball was probably knuckling a little bit. Certainly, that affected play calling and all those kinds of things with the wind being what it was."

On it being the first time in 50 years that that Spartans have beaten Michigan four times straight...
"We've been doing things since Coach Dantonio got here that have been firsts, and have been things that haven't been done in a long time. I think it's a credit to Coach Dantonio and the program he's built and a credit to the guys that are a part of it."

On the two touchdown catches senior wide receiver Keshawn Martin had...
"That's why we talk about how special Keshawn is, because of the things he can do making guys miss. To throw the ball short of the goal line on third and goal is a little bit risky, and Keshawn did the rest from there. He's a very special player when he gets the ball in his hands and can make a lot of guys miss. I think he showed that today in two crucial plays."

On how he would rank this win in his career...
"This is up there. I said earlier this week that to go 3-0 as a starter against them, to four in a row as a part of this team would be a special victory as anything we or I have accomplished here. It's very special, and I feel like we as a team and we as individuals have been overlooked and underestimated for a large part of our careers, and wins like this are very satisfying for that reason."

On the opening drive of the second half...
"We ran the ball very well and got in manageable third downs. Third and mediums take a lot of execution, you have to run your routes at the exact depth and be very accurate with your throws and have great protection. We did all of those things to be able to keep that drive going and ended up with seven points for each of those drives. I think those were very important for the rest of the game."

Michigan State senior offensive lineman Joel Foreman

On the play of the offensive line...
"I think it was a testament to those young guys, those guys came out and they really played like veterans. I know we're halfway through the season, but to play in a game like this that has this much hype and the atmosphere, it's a hard thing to do to play at this high of a level. It's a testament to the unity of the offensive line and how we're coming together. Like I've been saying for the last couple of weeks, each week we're improving, and I think you can see that in our run game."

Michigan State senior safety Trenton Robinson

On how the defense dealt with Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson...
"We just wanted to contain him, and that's what we did. We go out there every week and our goal is to dominate, it doesn't matter who is back there. We're not going to let one guy beat us; if they're going to attempt to beat us they are going to have to do different things. The fans, they were amazing. We're out there on third downs and they don't know what to do. Did you see all the timeouts they had to call? Our fans were amazing, it was great."

On sophomore safety Isaiah Lewis' fourth quarter interception returned for a touchdown...
"It was great. The whole defense brought some pressure on the play, we just blitzed and he just threw it. I was back in the middle of the field, and when Isaiah caught that ball I knew he was to the crib, it was a touchdown. It felt like, as a defense, we all are like one. When he scored it felt like I had gotten an interception and ran it in. It was one of the best feelings I've had since I've been here, to seal the deal with a pick-six on defense. We went in at halftime and we talked about the defense and that we need to score. I just want to really thank our offense. We went in at halftime and we weren't satisfied with what we were doing and I challenged the offense. I said "Offense, we need you guys to get a score so we can really get fired up and get going." And they came out and just scored. It almost put tears in my eyes. It was the best feeling I've had since I've been here."

On whether or not he wants to wear the Nike Pro Combat uniforms again...
"I would love to wear these again. I'm sure a lot of the guys would love to wear these again, our swagger is just so high when we put these on, it would be sweet it Coach would let us wear them again. "

Michigan State junior cornerback Johnny Adams

On how the defense got to Denard Robinson...
"He's a good player. Our coaches put us in spots to make plays, and we made plays today."

On the fourth and inches stop on the fourth quarter...
"I knew I needed to make the tackle. It was fourth and inches so I wanted to make a play. I read my keys, and fortunately he had the ball still and I made the play. On our side it was definitely a great play call, and on their side it didn't work out for them."

Michigan State senior wide receiver Keshawn Martin

On what it feels to be a big part of a win in this rivalry...
"It means a lot. I'm supposed to make plays out there, I dropped a couple, but I didn't let that affect me. I just kept playing, and we ended up with a W."

On what the win means to him...
"It means a lot. Beating these guys four years in a row, we've never lost to them. Not many people can say that they did that. So I'm excited about it, and I'm going to enjoy this."

On his personal performance...
"I just went out there and played today...I had a couple drops today, but I felt like I made up for it with those two touchdowns."

On Kirk Cousins spreading the ball around more...
"Kirk throws the ball to whoever is open. So we just came out there and played today, ran the ball well, and I felt like that really helped us out."

Michigan State sophomore linebacker Max Bullough

On containing Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson...
"That was one of our focus points coming into the game. Obviously, he is a great player. We were able to bottle him up and it got us the win."

On the emotions after the game...
"It feels really good. Like Coach (Dantonio) says, it feels complete. You can have a great season, but if you were to lose to Michigan in that season there would be kind of a sour taste in your mouth the rest of the year. We were able to beat them and once again our goals are still in front of us. It was a great game today. We are all really excited."

On the interception by Isaiah Lewis...
"The first half we weren't timing it up as well as we wanted to originally. We had a cue from what they were doing and we weren't doing it right in the first half. The second half we were able to capitalize on that and it ended up being a big play for us."

On game-planning against Denard Robinson...
"It is like any other team. He is just one player, he is a great player, he is probably going to be one of the greats ever to play there. But it is like any other team, there is a certain game plan you got to have, and if you stick to your game plan and everybody does their job right, you can really stop anybody."

Michigan State junior linebacker Chris Norman

On the defensive effort...
"I knew that our defense was going to have to step up and play D, just like we have to do every week. Because obviously they have been a prolific offense, we knew we would have to step our game up."

The emotions after the game...
"Personally, it is one of my best wins. Because I know a lot of guys, because I am from Detroit, I know a lot of people who like Michigan back at home and I know quite a few guys on the Michigan roster. It was kind of fun, once I go back home I can say `I beat you guys.'"

Junior running back Edwin Baker

On the offensive line...
"What a great job they did today. Everything I did goes to them, I believed in them, they believed in me. We just made things happen."

On frustrations not being able to run the ball consistently...
"I wouldn't say there was frustrations, but it was tough at times, knowing that I am better than what I have been doing. Everything happens for a reason. When this game was happening I believed that it was going to be the best game I had this season. I was hoping to be good this game, and continue moving forward."

On breaking out this game...
"I believed it. I was telling myself that all week. I tweeted it because I believed it, and I had a couple big ones today. It was based off of what I believe in myself. I know my capabilities, and I know what I am able to do. I just believed that."

On the play of Kirk Cousins...
"Kirk played steady as usual. He made great throws, he stayed poised and he executed."

On what it meant to win the rushing battle...
"I always pride myself on running the ball good and executing the running game, we did that today. Like I said before, it goes out to my offensive line, my offensive line did a great job. I never stopped believing in them. I just told them today, `all I need is a crease and I am going to do something with it.' They were the key to that today."

On the progression of the game...
"After the third quarter, we knew that we were going to be able to run the football; we were going to keep gaining yards and keep running the clock. Offensive line did a great job."

 

 

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