Oct. 28, 2012
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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio
"Very exciting locker room and exciting for our football team right now. I'm very exited for our team. I thought, obviously, we played very well defensively pretty much throughout the entire football game. Offense made plays down the stretch when we had to make it; we had some missed opportunities in the first half. We were sitting there with three points really until the last minute of the game, so credit Wisconsin certainly. They are a great football team and this is a very tough environment to play in, but I'm really happy for our football team, very happy for Andrew Maxwell. To be the quarterback and take the ball down the field at the end of the game and score, I think that's what you dream of and then to come back in overtime and win it like that, those are the things. It was very fitting it went to Bennie Fowler. Every football team every season has defining moments, one way or the other, and I think it sort of defined us a little bit today. We've been close ... and what I'd like to say I guess is basically, hey we're not going to quit. I said that last week, we won't quit on people. We've always hung in there and that's a tribute to our team leadership on our football team and our chemistry as a group of people and individuals."
On the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter...
"I think that Maxwell was sharp, he hit a couple of passes down the chute, down the middle there, and great play calling by (Offensive coordinator Dan) Roushar there. Then he got hot on the out-cut. I think he stood in there under pressure and then we were able to run the ball a little bit in the overtime possession there ... I didn't even see it. I just knew that everyone was jumping up and down, I figured we completed it, it was a touchdown. Exciting for our football team."
On the Spartans' defense...
"The majority of (Wisconsin's) running comes from their great tailbacks, from Montee Ball and from James White and from Melvin Gordon. That's 200 yards a game, so we stopped the run. Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and his staff do a great job and, as a defensive coach, I take great pride in that. I think what we did was stop the pass as well in the second half. (Joel) Stave's very sound, I think he does a great job under pressure. He's relaxed under pressure and can deliver. I'm sure that that hurt them because you know he was the guy that was in charge at that point in time for them, but our guys just kept playing. We just kept playing. We just said, hey, push them, push them back way back, I guess. We just kept playing and our guys had enthusiasm, they had a lot of confidence at that point."
On the defense's response to MSU's late fumble...
"I think the defining moment of the game in terms of the overall picture of that game, because you have to play it as they come, but when we fumbled the football and they get it on the 18 or whatever it is and we hold them to three, that's big. It at least puts us one score from tying it. Had they kicked a field goal, it obviously would have been much more difficult, I mean had they scored a touchdown."
"When you go through tough times, it makes you a little bit resilient and you're close. We've been close, we've been a play here, a play there and we just need to come up with those plays. Somehow, someway at the end of this game we came up with the plays. It wasn't just one guy, it wasn't just the touchdown throw at the end of the game. It was a number of people making plays offensively, defensively throughout that last you know five, six minutes of the game, seven minutes probably."
On stopping Montee Ball...
"We do what we normally do, but we do a pretty good job identifying who's what and trying to stop what they do best. A lot of the things they didn't even do, they change up just like everybody changes up. But what you have to do is be able to tackle in space, get off blocks you know obviously we pressure some. I just think we had out motors running again which we've had really all season long."
On Andrew Maxwell...
"I've got a very confident young man on the field and the guy that was going to step up and go. I felt that coming out the second half. I think sometimes when you're a young player you just don't want to mess it up, let's just not mess it up. You can't do that with the quarterback position, you have to go at it. I think that's what he did the second half. Even if we had just had three points he was going at it. The throws were there, they were on target. I thought he did a great job scrambling. Really excited for him and for his family and for our Spartan nation."