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Post-Game Quotes: Purdue
 
 
 

 

 
 

Oct. 19, 2013

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement...
As we know and as we saw in the football game, nothing is as easy as you think it's going to be. Another message for our football team I think is that you just have to continue to be able to handle it and handle success. Give credit to Purdue. I thought they did a tremendous job of coming out ready to play. They threw a different tailback at us and he ran through some tackles and got some big plays and they had opportunities. They did an outstanding job there. Really, we were 7-0 all the way to the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter. I want to congratulate them and what Coach Hazell was able to do.

In terms of our football team, I think we were able to run the ball pretty well. We need to bust it, but we were able to run it. We've got pass the ball more effectively certainly, there's no question of that. That has been prevalent the last couple of games, but we lost a little bit of that in this game. Defensively, we played outstanding. We gave up some plays early in the game. We gave up a couple of explosive plays, but really just were resilient once again. We scored on defense once again and then get the shutout.

Offensively, toward the end of the game really in the fourth quarter, we had two big drives - one for a touchdown with some big plays on that with Cook to Macgarrett Kings for a big first down, then to Josiah Price for a big gain and then the reverse Tony Lippett pass down in the end zone. Langford ran very effectively. He got plays at the end of the game to put the ball away, take the air out of the ball, which is a great drive on our offense's part. Also, zero turnovers. So you have zero turnovers, you run the ball for 180 yards, your defense plays well, good things are going to follow that. I thought Sadler and our special teams were pretty solid.

We're 6-1 and we're bowl eligible. That was the goal going into this game. That took us to the last game last year because of the close losses we had to make that, so now we start climbing the ladder. We have the opportunity to go play at Illinois next week and to further that 3-0 in the Big Ten conference. That's our main focus - to get to that championship game.

On whether he thought about switching quarterbacks...
There was a little bit of thought, I'll be honest with everybody, because as we move forward you have to win the football game. I wanted to stay with Connor Cook. I forced that issue a little bit. You never say never, I think that's just part of competition. He played well that last series. We kept him in and he played well. He took us down the field and scored, which was big. When you come in fresh off the sideline, it's difficult. We've been down that road before. We understand that and I know what a difficult situation it was to put Andrew (Maxwell) in against Notre Dame. But we stayed the course.

On the importance of sticking with Cook through trials...
I think it's important. It shows we have confidence in him. It also shows that we are going to make moves if we have to. It's a team game. You have to understand that as a player and a coach, but at the same time you want to stay positive and keep forcing the issue that guys remain confident in the guy who's leading your football team. I thought he made some good checks out there. He made some that he probably wishes he had back. He made a couple of good throws that last drive when the touchdown occurred. He's our quarterback. Right now, I think he's (5-1). He'll continue to get better. It's always good when a guy can step back, regroup and then move forward. So you have lessons in life. I'm sure the quarterback is probably the biggest position where you can really step back, evaluate your performance and move forward as a player.

On lessons on offense...
We just need to throw the ball more effectively from my point of view. We ran the ball pretty effectively. But we need to throw it better. We need to create opportunities down the field to make the throws and also convert on third downs in throwing situations. That has not been the case the last couple of games. We threw it much better.

On how the team handled success coming into the game...
Well, we won the football game and I'm never going to apologize for winning. So, I thought our defense really handled the adversity that was put forth on them. They had some sudden-change situations thrown at them numerous times. They also gave up some big plays, which put them in those situations again and they kept responding. They played much better the second half.

I think our offense, when you look at them and say wow, the first three quarters they go without a score, the last two drives of the game were big. They took the air out of the ball and then scored a touchdown the previous series in probably a three or four-minute drive. That's sort of how I see it. Again, I'll point back to the fact that we didn't make a lot of mistakes where we hurt ourselves. Credit Purdue, they made some plays. Then offensively, credit them as well. They played good defense, but we didn't turn the football over. Really, they had one turnover which goes for a touchdown and we have zero. That's a big stat of the game.

On emotion of the team after practice this week...
I really look at when you walk in the locker room, what's a good locker room? Is it a loose locker room? An uptight locker room? A focused locker room? It's hard to say. These are 18-22 year old young people. Usually, as the game begins to unravel, you find out what emotion that they have. I would say on the side line, our emotions were good. I go back and credit Purdue in terms of what they were able to do. If you're 1-5 and coming into the football game, you've got to respond. You're challenged. We've been in those situations before where I've coached. So, you've got to respond, you gear up and get ready to play. I think that was there mindset coming here today. There are no gimmicks out there on the football field.

On Coach Narduzzi leading the fight song in the locker room...
Well I was looking for a defensive player and I thought you know, we shut him out and I thought he did a great job of calling the game. There was adversity and it's not easy to coach in those types of situations where your second down and the next thing you know it's on the 40 or the ball is punted and it's run back or whatever the case. I just felt like he needed to step in the ring there a little bit and get some credit for that. He didn't want to, but he did a nice job. He harmonized well.

On challenging the offense...
I think what you have to do is you have to worry about your next challenge. Is it a win or is it a loss? I can say that if we win our next five games and we're 11-1, we're probably in the top-25. That's really all that matters. How you get there is unimportant. Statistically, all everybody wants are stats. They want to know we're x amount on third downs or this or that. The bottom line is that if we win the game 43-40 next week, we're 7-1. We're not feeling as good defensively, we're feeling great offensively. You weigh these things. You say you have a championship defense, you have a shutout, that's tremendous. Can you play championship football on defense? Yes. Well, you've got to weight things. Did we win 50-0? No, but I didn't expect that what happened. You have to value what Purdue brings to the table to. If you watch the Notre Dame game, they don't have a bad football team. They get behind and unravel; they're extremely young when that happens, but they're building for the future. All that matters is that one statistic, did you win or did you lose? And that's what we have to focus on. We've got a lot of happy people in the locker room right now because we won one and it was relatively close, but we won it. So we'll deal with that. You look all over the country right now and there are some people who win those close ones and some that don't. In a game like this with the way that it was going, it would've been very easy to turn the ball over or put ourselves in a bad situation and one slips away from us. We found a way to get those inches to win this football game and I think that's what's important.

On being bowl eligible...
We built that foundation, but it's still a big deal. As I said, we waited until the last game of the season last year. Like it or not, that was real. We had to play at Minnesota to do it. Like it or not, that was real. We do it on the front end this time, that's more exciting to it that way. So, we'll continue to climb and that's our message to our football team.

On doing anything this week to emphasize reducing penalties...
We did talk about them, we talked about them a lot. We had two penalties. So it proves that we can do it. There is hope. That was another aspect that I think was very positive in the game. I thought Sadler had another outstanding day. It was windy out there, but he dropped three inside the 20 and two of them were inside the 10, so big plays for us.

On how to take this game in terms of the season...
It's a step forward. It's not a step back. A step back is when you lose. It's a step forward. There are plenty of people that take a step back and usually has an `L' beside it. So we're 6-1. You can cut it any way you want. We can sit there and say, they're not in the top-25. We can moan and groan about it. Or we can stay focused and do something about it. Hopefully, our football team is maturing as we move forward. We're understanding that nothing is easy. And we mature and we grow. With every game we grow. That doesn't mean we're always going to have success, but we grow with that. That's reality and if you're able to do that, you're going to have a good football team. If you can't grow with your team, then things are going to backslide. But we'll grow.

On getting a Big Ten shutout...
It's very, very difficult to get a shutout in modern-day football, extremely hard. It's a big deal for our defense. I think the other thing that is really unbelievable when you look at the statistics of it all is how many football teams in America have not given up 100-yard rushing game yet this season in seven games and we've done that every week. So I think we had (182) yards rushing on offense. Those are the positive things and we can draw on those things, but we also have to understand that early in the game they made some plays to. So, there's a lot to learn here from lessons. We can all learn from it, coaching and playing wise, but again I go back to what I said earlier - I'm not going to apologize for winning. It's a great team win and it takes us to 6-1 and that's what's exciting right now.

On not playing with Bennie Fowler and Aaron Burbridge...
Bennie's had some great games for us, especially here recently. We lost Burbridge a little bit, too. We had two X's out of the game, but I thought Lippett played very well. He picked up the slack. We played some younger players. We played R.J. Shelton a lot more at the Z. Macgarrett Kings was involved, A.J. Sims was involved, Keith Mumphery got his hands back in there a little bit so that was good for him. Obviously, it affects us. They're good football players. In the end, we've got to be more effective throwing the football.

Purdue Head Coach Darrell Hazell

Opening statement ...
I thought our guys prepared hard this week and I thought the result of their preparation Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday showed today. Obviously we wanted to come away with the win. I felt really good coming in to this game. I just think our guys are getting better. We played extremely hard in all phases. I thought we did a good job in the kicking game as well as defensively.

One of our goals this game was to go three series on all phases - offensively, defensively, and special teams - without shooting ourselves in the foot, and we came out in the second or third series offensively and had the sack fumble for a touchdown. But we still continued to battle from that point on and I think we're making strides, but obviously we're not making enough plays to get the ball in the end zone right now. So we've got to make more plays offensively.

On the progress his team made in today's game ...
They [Purdue] played with a lot more confidence today, I felt, throughout the course of the game, and they really were pretty fired up on the sideline, and there was a belief and they played so hard. They played extremely hard from wire to wire, so we've got to keep taking those steps forward.

On his team's offensive struggles in losing today's game 14-0 ...
We haven't been able to finish drives all season long, and that was the case again today. We'd get a penalty or a loss-yardage play on first down and then all of a sudden, we're 2nd & 12, 2nd & 13, and it's hard to overcome some of those as a young football team right now. But we need to be able to finish those drives better.

On his team's adjustments throughout the game ...
We changed some schemes up front, and I thought the offensive line did a good job creating some of those creases for Brandon [Cottom] and those other backs. Those guys keep getting better. They're hurting in there in the locker room right now, which they should be, but they'll keep working.

On the defensive sack and fumble recovery by Michigan State that made the game 7-0 ...
We held the ball just a little bit too long on that. It was a 3-step route and they [Michigan State] brought corner blitz and roll pressure it looked like, and I think Danny [Etling] double-clutched it a little bit. I don't know if the picture was cloudy for him, but he didn't throw it and then they hit us from the back side. It's a 3-step route, so you've got to try to cut it loose.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner

Opening comments in regards to offensive performance...
Offensively we were obviously hoping for better. I think you look at this game and missed opportunities is the thing that comes to mind. Specifically, on third down opportunities we were 5 for 13. I can remember numerous times where we had the ability to convert them and didn't. On the plus side we finished strong. When we needed to in the fourth quarter we took a long drive down the field and scored. The last drive we controlled the clock and ended the game. A win is a win and we are 6-1 right now and hopefully we'll learn and grow.

On whether Purdue did something differently today on defense that wasn't seen on film...
No, they really didn't do anything different. They pressured us quite a bit which we expected. They played how we expected them to play. Hats off to Purdue they played well but with that being said we should have played better ourselves.

On the disappointment of the passing game today considering where it has been the last few weeks...
It was very disappointing. We talked all week about not being satisfied with a couple good performances and the need to take it to the next level and step forward and we didn't do that today. We'll keep working on it, we'll be okay.

On what it was that caused sophomore Connor Cook to have an off day...
I didn't see anything that took place that would get him off. In the quarterback position you try and get into a rhythm get some confidence and get some early completions. Maybe I could have called some better plays early on to put him in that rhythm. So I guess it wasn't something during the game that happened, it maybe just wasn't his best day. I think his timing was okay. It was more of sitting in the pocket and being accurate with his throw.

On what the difference was for Cook on the touchdown scoring drive...
Maybe I did a better job of calling plays. We converted some third downs. We made some quicker throws and he hit those fine. I don't think it was one thing in particular.

On junior Tony Lippet's touchdown pass...
Excellent read. No, I'm just kidding the guy was wide open, he probably could have ran it in himself if he wanted to. Tony's been playing great for us and obviously that was a big play.

On Jeremy Langford getting the bulk of the carries at running back today...
The last three weeks he's certainly played very well for us. He's run strong, tough and has been getting the extra yards for us. He still hasn't had a lot of big plays but he's been hot and that made it an easy decision for us to go with him today.

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Initial comments on defensive performance ...
Obviously we're happy with our defensive performance and happy with the shutout. We started out real slow, had some missed tackles. They had a 260-pound back that we really didn't anticipate carrying the bulk of the load. He's carried it a bit and looked pretty good last week but not the majority of the carries so give credit to them for putting him in there. Overall they (Purdue) did a good job and have a great coaching staff. At the end of the day though it's good to be 6-1.

On the pressure the defense put on Purdue's freshman quarterback Danny Etling and how much it made a difference...
It helps when you're up to put pressure on the quarterback because you expect a little more pass than run. We did a good job of executing and putting pressure on the quarterback. Denzel Drone had a great sack coming off the edge for what I believe is his first of the year. He had me jumping in the box.

On whether the team maturity was where it should be at coming into this game...
Not really. I thought we had an average week of practice on defense and I wish we would have been better. I think we have a mature defense but when you're playing for championships you have to come to practice every day, work hard, and come to play.

On senior linebacker Denicos Allen's fumble recovery for a touchdown...
It was a basic zone pressure that we do that they've probably seen and we got it going the right way. We straight call a lot of our blitzes so sometimes it's a hit and miss as far as what kind of protection you're going to get. Max (Bullough) came around the corner and I wish he would have gotten that ball out a little bit earlier, I didn't want it to go to the review. It was close but it was a great hit and it's good to see Denicos run it in down the field. He's got some pretty good wheels; we might put him in at tailback.

Michigan State junior wide receiver Tony Lippett

On the success of the trick play in practice...
It worked more than it didn't work. We just tried to put two and two together. We tried to sell the fake, sell the reverse and just try to make an easy catch or easy run.

On if he thought of running the ball in for a TD instead of throwing...
I was thinking about running it in. I was going to, but I don't get too many chances to throw it.

On if there was a "big breath" upon seeing how open Gleichert was...
No, not really. I was just rolling out and looking and I all saw was Purdue Boilermakers over there so I was either going to run it or throw it and I just ended up throwing a touchdown.

On the difference in today's offense versus the offense of the past two weeks...
We missed on a few things. We got to take it one day at a time and watch the film and try to correct it the best way that we can, which we will do next week in practice. Just settle down and go out there and play hard.

On if today was similar to how the first couple of games went...
It didn't have anything to do with our preparation and approach. We approach every team the same way. It's the Big Ten season, don't take anything away from Purdue, they're still a Big Ten team, they still got players that potentially are going to play in the NFL, and they have a great coaching staff. We just try to prepare for everybody the same, watch film, go hard in practice and make our team better.

On the things MSU "just missed" today...
A block here and there, a pass here and there, things of that nature. Things that can be corrected. That's one thing we're going to do. We're going to watch film tomorrow, focus on things that can be corrected and try and correct them for next week.

On his catch between two Purdue defensive backs...
I feel like I expect myself to make any catch. I try to put myself into position to make any catch. I'm not going to say back then [beginning of the season] I wouldn't have made that catch, I was just going to try and be aggressive to the ball and act like it's just me and Connor out there. I just got to do my best to present myself and go get the ball.

On the impact of not having Bennie Fowler or Aaron Burbridge for all or most of the game...
We knew we had to step up. We knew we had to buckle down and play hard and play fast and play with a little bit more focus because we knew they had great receivers. We knew me, Andre, Keith, Kings, we all had to step it up and just try to get them back healthy and pick up the slack.

On what he sees from Connor Cook...
Connor is real poised. He don't get too down or get up, he stays at an even cloud. That's a good thing because you can find anybody who gets down on themselves and carry it over to the next series. He's just even keel, he's not too high or not too low. He's poised and patient and that's what I love about him.

On his connection with Connor Cook...
Day-by-day we always try to do something to get better. And if that's just staying after practice to throw a couple of passes that we didn't hit during practice then that's what it is. That's one thing we try to get is chemistry because chemistry goes a long way, especially between a quarterback and his wide receivers. We try to just trickle all that chemistry down from quarterback to running back, wide receivers, offensive line, tight ends, so our offense can just keep moving.

Michigan State senior linebacker Denicos Allen

On his reaction to scoring.
It was great. That was the first touchdown of my career. I've pretty much experienced every other aspect of the game, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and all that stuff, but I'd never had a touchdown and it was a great feeling. When I saw myself on the screen, I kind of glanced up to see behind me because I didn't want to look back. I saw a lot of space behind me and figured in about ten yards that I was in the end zone.

On Max Bullough
He's having a good year. He's a great leader. He's the core of our defense. He keeps us all together. He keeps us in the right state of mind. He gets us ready and most of all, he knows every position. If somebody needs help, he'll correct them and that's what makes our defense so good. With him and the rest of our linebackers able to correct people and make sure they're in the right places, we're able to put the puzzle together.

On Coach Narduzzi's halftime speech...
His halftime speeches always get us more pumped. It's like a new game when he gives a halftime speech. We realized that they were getting a lot of yards on the ground in the first half and we pride ourselves on stopping the run. We went back into the second half with the mindset that we needed to shutdown the run. If we do that, then they'll pass more and we can take advantage of that.

On the team's mindset heading into the game...
I feel like a few people weren't in the right mindset to play a Big Ten school, not just Purdue, a Big Ten school. I think a lot of people failed to realize that it doesn't matter what their record is, they're still in the Big Ten. They still have the potential to beat anybody in the Big Ten, so I think the practice that we had this week carried into the first half.

On the game plan going into the fourth quarter
We knew it was on us. We told each other it was on us. If they don't score, we win. It was as simple as that. We had no choice but to step it up. Last year in the close games, we would sometimes give up touchdowns at the end of the game. We didn't want to do that this year. It's a new year. It's a new team and we needed to make changes. That was the main change we wanted to make this year.

Michigan State sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun

On going into the fourth quarter up a touchdown...
We just talked about being dominant. We wanted to be dominant all four quarters so the fourth quarter is the finishing stretch. We just tried to maintain our dominance and keep being productive as a D line and as a defensive unit. Being up only a touchdown, it didn't matter. We could have been up 50, we wanted to be dominant. That was our main focus, being dominant.

On being able to close out games this year...
I would say the biggest difference is we're all focused. We're all working together as a collective unit to get to the biggest goal, which is the Rose Bowl for us. We're all working together to get this so we're making sacrifices on each end. Each position we're trying to make sacrifices and we're following the coaching and we're understanding it more. We're getting our tasks done.

On the challenges of Purdue's 256 lb. running back Brandon Cottom...
I think the biggest thing is he weighed just as much as me, maybe a little bit more. Going at that guy you have to understand that he's a little heavier than a normal size back and you can't play him lightly. When you go in there you have to hit him hard and you have to make it count. I think we did a good job with that in the first half, we played a little slow and weren't working like we usually do. As the game went on we realized that we could still create dominance as a defensive unit if we just attacked him. Don't take any plays off, don't be afraid of him and just go after him.

On when the defense started thinking about the shutout...
I would probably say the last two minutes maybe, at the most. When we start we want to be able to shut teams out, but it's not always going to happen. We still give them that respect, but within the last two minutes we started thinking `okay, maybe we have it now. We might have this shutout.' Like I said we always want to give teams that respect because you never know what they can do so it would definitely have to be the last two minutes or the last couple seconds when it was clocking down and you're like `alright, we got it, we succeeded.'

On the missed field goals which preserved the defense's shutout...
I don't think at that point we were thinking shutout, we were more so thinking `okay they didn't score.' Some teams strive on being able to kick a field goal and boosting that team up with a field goal so when they weren't able to capitalize on the two they kicked we were pretty excited about it. We used it to capitalize with our offense.

On having a down week of practice according to defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi and bouncing back this week...
I would say we're going to be fired up like usual. We had a down week this week but he (Narduzzi) is not going to let that slide. He didn't let it slide during the week and he's not going to let it slide this week.

On bowl eligibility being discussed in the locker room postgame...
It was a big focus. Last year, our sixth win was against Minnesota - went down to the last game in 12 degree weather. We didn't want that to happen this year. We want to be able to win early, win big, keep moving forward because as you keep winning the bowls get better and better. When we got to the locker room, it's been a main focus all year - so when we got to the locker room he (Dantonio) definitely initiated that and let us know like `hey listen, we're playing for a bowl game today, don't let this slip through your hands and play every play like it's your last.'

On having numerous quarterback hurries throughout the season but few sacks so far...
The main thing I think about is you have to do better. I've gotten complimented on having a lot of QB hurries but that's not my focal point. I'm trying to get sacks, I want to help my team out. Hurries help out but sacks do a great justice for the team. Going through practice I don't take a play off, I'm not going to lay down. Even if it's a walk-through I'm going to run-through because I want to make sure I know what I'm doing, have my assignment down pat and whatever move I try is going to be successful.

On if the pressure the defense was applying was able to get to Purdue quarterback Danny Etling...
Of course. We had four sacks just as a defensive line. You could tell, he was scrambling through the pocket - he's a great quarterback - he was trying to make plays and I feel like the pressure we had, it disrupted him a little bit and kind of wore on him as the game went on.

Michigan State redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Cook

On his play today...
Below average. Obviously I would have liked to have a higher completion percentage. I wasn't really stepping into my throws. The best thing is we finished strong. We came together as a group at the end. We ran the ball great all game. The offensive line, no surprise, another amazing job - they've been doing a great job all season long. We came together at the end, we finished strong and that's what matters.

On the coaches having redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor warm up but ultimately sticking with him through the whole game...
I saw him warming up but it just means the coaches believe in me and they continue (to think) that I'm the guy and have faith in me. That only reassures me.

On a throw he'd like to have back from the game...
The (Keith) Mumphrey one, definitely. He got behind the defense and that's a throw I have to make. That's all on me.

On if there are any concerns on the team, despite being 6-1...
I don't think there are any concerns. We showed what we're capable of. We played great against Iowa, we played great against Indiana, we moved the ball well against Notre Dame. There's no concerns amongst us as an offense. We've just got to continue to get better and continue to work because we all know what we're capable of.

On being without receivers Bennie Fowler and Aaron Burbridge...
It wasn't that hard. Guys step up. (Tony) Lippett made some great grabs. Macgarrett (Kings) is out there working, Josiah (Price) came up big on that tight end screen. Guys stepped up and that's what you need when guys go down, guys gotta step up.

On the team still having doubters, despite being 6-1..
I heard someone say `do you think you took a step back?' and he (Dantonio) said `no.' I totally agree, a win's a win. Anytime you win, you move forward. That's what we did, we won, we're going to move forward.

On some of his incomplete passes...
I've said it before, it all goes back to footwork. I think my feet really weren't underneath me this game. I gotta step up, step towards my target and I think I really wasn't doing that today. It's all correctable stuff and I can go back and correct it just like I did earlier in the season. Being a quarterback, you've got to put stuff behind you. You can't constantly think about the plays that just occurred - you have to think about the next one. The next play is the most important play so you have to brush all that aside, you've got to push it away. When you make one bad throw after another it does kind of get in your head, but I just gotta be mentally strong.

On his confidence level...
My confidence is still high. I've always believed in myself. I've always had confidence in myself no matter what the situation is, no matter how I'm playing. I always believe in myself and I always will.

On the low scoring output...
Obviously you want to score more points. I know we're capable of scoring more points. I thought we rushed the ball exceptionally well. We need to pass the ball better, and if we pass the ball better it will probably lead to some more points.

On the next step going into next week...
I think the running game is good. We just have to continue to build on that. The offensive line is doing a great job in pass protection and in the run game. Running backs, all the guys are stepping up at the tailback position. We just have to get better at passing. It's obvious you saw today it wasn't that good so we gotta get better at that.

On the heavy set formations...
We showed some of that against Indiana. It's just something the coaches like, something we're good at. We take pride in our running game here at Michigan State and that's what we're all about.

On the last two drives of the game...
We came together as a team. Guys were making big plays. Protection was great by the offensive line. We came together as a unit and finished strong those last two drives. We were able to hold onto the ball at the end. It shows the kind of football team we have. We have good character, we believe in ourselves, we're confident and we showed that by coming together at the end and making a scoring drive at the end and then holding onto the ball.

On Tony Lippett's touchdown pass...
We've run it a lot in practice. Haven't really had an opportunity to run it yet but thought it was a great call. I'm happy for (Andrew) Gleichert to have his first touchdown. No surprise that Tony made that play because he's got a great arm.

Michigan State junior running back Jeremy Langford

On finishing the game...
We wanted to get the win. It felt good to be in there at the end of the game and help our team with the win. It felt great.

On how he's grown as a player...
It's like everything you do; you get better as time goes on. I think I've been getting better, my coaches have been telling me that I watch film more. I think I'm going to continue to get better. I just ran harder, breaking tackles and making them miss. That's the key part and what I've been working on in practice. I've come far from the beginning. I was running hard, but now I know the game better and feel like I'm growing as the weeks go on.

On gaining experience in breaking tackles...
It was about having the mentality that I can break the tackles. At the beginning of the season, I wasn't really thinking about it, but as we go on, I'm a running back and I need to have the mentality that I can break tackles.

On his goals for the game...
I just wanted to do whatever I had to do to get the win. I want to get the win, to win in the Big Ten and at home. I try to do my best at whatever I do, whether that's pass blocking or getting four or five yards.

Michigan State senior safety Isaiah Lewis

On the first drive...
We're used to seeing big backs, big guys, because it's the Big Ten. Things happen; plays happen. They're D-1 players just like the rest of us. We can't underestimate them. Just because they don't have a good record doesn't mean they're not good players.

On the week in practice
We were saying to prepare for them like it's the Rose Bowl, like it's the championship game. That's how we go into every week, preparing like it's a championship game. I feel like we practiced well. I feel like we always go hard, but your coach is always going to hold you to a higher expectation. They're not used to us being good. They're used to us being great.

On Purdue's run game...
I respect them for trying to do that. We saw that they were trying to run, trying to come at us a little bit, but we're used to stuff like that, people trying to test our defense. When you're a top-rated defense, what do you expect? They're going to try and test you. They're trying to go deep, they're trying to run it at you and they're going to try and test you. How good are you?

On his interception...
I didn't know I was inbounds. I saw the quarterback throwing deep and I thought, "I need to get this one. I don't have one yet this season." So I'm running for it, I caught it and by the time I noticed I had the ball, I saw I was way out of bounds. I saw a dip in the ground way out of bounds and didn't think I got the pick. I didn't know that I got my foot down until everybody came at me jumping in the air. I got my foot down, but I didn't see it until I watched the replay on the jumbotron.

Purdue senior cornerback Ricardo Allen

On the defense...
Today, I think we did really well limiting big plays. I feel like everyone is taking it more personally now, not saying that they weren't taking it personal from the get-go, but everyone is really cranking down now. Everyone's saying they have a chance to play - it's not just that somebody goes down and gets hurt and then someone ends up in a practice or in a game that never had any reps. We are keeping everybody fresh, we're rotating everybody, and we're staying aggressive. We need to keep learning and getting better at what we do. We [the defense] have to make more negative plays and we need to get some turnovers.

On the freshmen stepping up...
It's always a great thing [to see freshman stepping up]. Looking forward to the future, those freshmen are great. They get in there, they're fresh bodies, and they don't lose a beat. [Freshman defensive back] Leroy [Clark] is really stepping up, the wide receivers are doing really well, and the defensive line is amazing. [In the future] those defensive linemen will be some of the best defensive linemen around.

What do you learn from a game where you were able to compete the whole time?
At the end of the day, we don't look at the scoreboard. You play every down like it's the first play of the game, you play every down like it's the last play of the game. We go out there to play as hard as we can. We love being in a close game, we love when it's a fight all night, but, yes, we would like to come out with wins. We are taking steps in the right direction. We have a bye week to better ourselves, get stronger, and get healthy.

Purdue senior safety Taylor Richards

On bettering the team...
We've got to get turnovers; and with those turnovers we have to score. If the defense from the other team [Michigan State] gets a touchdown, we have to match that. We're playing good football, we just have to step it up and take it to another level.

Had you seen Michigan State's trick play on film?
No, not that I can remember, but that's football. There's always something new every week - we have to stick to our keys and play assignment football.

Purdue freshman quarterback Danny Etling

Did this feel like a game of inches today?
Yeah, I mean, I had [R-Fr. Wide Receiver Cameron] Posey on a seam route and I was holding it for as long as I could there, and I didn't see what happened at the end, but I know it wasn't completed and I was on the ground so I couldn't really see it but I knew it was close. It was just a few inches. We're centimeters from being great, we've just got to find a way to get them. We've just got to keep working hard, keep fighting each week to get better. We always talk about giving the extra effort and it's hard to go a long, hard way on teams. I mean, we've just got to find a way to give that extra effort, get that extra broken tackle, pull a string on one to [Freshman Wide Receiver David] Yancey down the seam or to Posey and just find a way to complete those balls. You want to get the passes back and you want to do it again, but it's a great learning experience for me and for everyone else. But I'm tired of learning; I just want to play well.

On losing by a small margin...
I think a loss is always tough for me. I just don't like to lose, you know? It's just a bad feeling either way, honestly, so I don't know if there's in how to lose. There are no victories morally.

On losing the fumble after being sacked...
I thought the corner was going to sit on the out route that I was trying to throw, and looking back - I'll probably watch the film - I don't think he sat on it and I was a little bit concerned about it. I told Posey to watch out in case he does because if he jumps that, then it's a pick six the other way. So I held onto it half a second too long and just got hit and I really didn't see it coming so I couldn't protect the ball and I was in the motion of throwing it. It's tough to see it, but I'm going to get better.

Was the loss because of inefficiencies on offense?
We just shot ourselves in the foot just too much. We were shooting ourselves in the foot. We were moving the ball really well. I thought we were doing a great job on the offensive line, doing a great job with the running backs, the receivers. We were really moving the ball well, we were getting plays on third down. We've got to worry about just us this bye week, work on fixing the mistakes, and keep improving.

 

 

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