MSU Spartans
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Michigan 28, Michigan State 24
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 3, 2007

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Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantoinio

Opening Statement ...
The guys rallied back in the second half. In the first half, I think we probably had some dropped balls, and we needed to move the ball a lot more effectively. Defensively, I thought we weren't tackling very well. In the second half, I thought we came out and played very, very well. When we were up by ten, the ball came out, and they had an outstanding drive, I don't think I have to recount it. We had some outstanding drives by our offense. I thought (Jehuu) Caulcrick and (Javon) Ringer did some tremendous things out there, we caught the ball better, and we moved the ball up and down the field a little bit.

On how the team will build off of the game ...
We're going to keep fighting, and I guess the key thing is at points like this that we'd better be strong leaders - our coaches, our seniors, and myself. We need to be able to look people in the eye and continue to critique things and help things, and build on the positives. I thought we had this football game at the end of the game, but it slipped away from us once again. You'd like to think the more times we're in these situations, the better we're going to become at it.

On the success of Michigan State's running game in the second half...
I think that emotion has a lot to do with it, to be honest. For whatever reason, we caught fire emotionally. I think our running backs found creases. Outstanding run by Ringer, reversing the field and going down the field - a huge play in the game. I guess we willed it. We came out in the second half, we said some things in the locker room that needed to get done and we got them done.

On Michigan State's penalties in the first half...
I think we made some bad decisions out there on penalties. We lost our composure at times, and we need to be able to correct that. We had a bad error on the sidelines leading to their first touchdown in the second half, the one that made it 21. You need to be able to keep your composure on the field, and that's a lesson that we all have to continue to learn. I want our players jacked up for these games, and I want them playing with excitement. I think that's what college football is all about.

University of Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr

On the courage of the team ...
Well I think first of all Michigan State did a tremendous job. We were very effective offensively in the first quarter and we played good defense, we made a good stop there after the initial drive led to a field goal. But for the next quarter or two quarters, they did a great job of shutting our running game down and they played inspired football.


I thought offensively they really had us on our heels, and when you get down ten points in this stadium with six minutes to go, you're up against it. I think all the credit goes to our players and coaches because they kept their poise, we had one penalty offensively in there, but they stayed together. And you can call it what you want, but to me they showed a real toughness, resilience, togetherness and that's the only way you can win the game the way we won this one.

On three straight wins in Spartan Stadium and the seniors being undefeated against MSU...
There aren't many since the Paul Bunyan trophy originated in 1953 - there are not many stretches like that in there. Guys like Shawn Crable and Jack Long will be able to leave here not having lost in this series, and that doesn't happen very often. So I think they got something that they will be awfully proud of. This was a special game in this rivalry and my guess is there are going to be many games like this in the future because I think Mark Dantonio is going to do a great job here.

On the performance of starting quarterback Chad Henne...
This guy, if you want to define courage, one way to do is to mention Chad Henne. This guy has been that way since the day he got here and he has never received the credit that he deserves. What he did a couple weeks ago to Illinois, what he did today - as a coach, I can only admire and respect and love him for it. Because his teammates I think feel the same way about him but he's just a guy that loves to play and loves to compete. Every quarterback I've had since I started as a head coach - tough guys, smart guys - but there isn't anybody tougher than Chad Henne.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Don Treadwell

Opening Comments ...
Offensively it certainly is probably a tale of two halves. Obviously there were some missed opportunities offensively that we needed to cash in on, quite frankly, that were available to us, and we didn't do it. When you are playing in any game, certainly your big game and your rival, you have to make the most of those opportunities. We game back out the second half, mindset obviously being we were going to run the football, move the ball, see where we're at from that standpoint.

The guys really we challenged, they did a great job in my opinion - up front and certainly in the backfield, opposite from running the football in the second half, that was the difference there. We just needed to play two complete halves, and put them together. The frustrating thing is there were plays to be made, and we didn't capitalize on them, particularly in the first half. I thought we established a little bit more of the run game in the second half, got some rhythm going and those kind of things, but we have to finish. We had another series there where we got the ball back, and we were three- and-out. You can't go three- and-out against a good team.

On being conservative ...
I think sometimes it's just a combination of things. I am sure as we go through it, with the quarterbacks - if it was a pass called, where were his reads at. Those are things you just continuously talk them through. Can't say just as I stand here today in front of you, that he didn't see this, or he didn't see that. That wouldn't be fair until we have had a chance to see the film. Certainly, certain calls are placed to put the ball, to give us a position to do that. We are going to have to wait to see the films.

On turning it around in the second half ...
I just think that the kids really had a mindset when they came back out the second half, that we had challenged them, and this is what were going to do, this is what we needed to do, in terms of being more effective in running the football. We were not pleased with our running performance in the first half. So we really challenged them that way, and we were going to put it in their hands that way, and then they responded. But again, we have to respond at the end of the game as well.

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Opening Comments ...
Defensively, obviously, I thought we did a pretty good job stopping the run. I am awful proud of the way the kids go out there and play hard every down. Obviously, those last two series we would like to take some things back, we could have had the ball bounce our way a little bit. Sometimes we like to a little luck every once in a while. But the kids played their tails off and that's all we could ask for as coaches. I guess alltogether defensively, players and coaches, we need to make a few plays when we need to.

On Ross Weaver's position on the final touchdown ...
Yeah, again, there were a couple times during the day we were in position to make plays we didn't make. Again, that is something that we just have to continue to get better at fundamentally, and go get the ball. There were a few times, that ball is up in the air, and we have a guy there, and that is all I ask for - but we have to make a play.

On growing from this game ...
It is the same thing you tell them after the game here, and our kids are tough and resilient. They know they are right there, and our kids will be fine. Our kids are tough. Coach Dantonio does great job keeping them together, and as you see all the towels out there, we are one, we stick together, and that's what this team is all about. Again, they fight their tails off, we just have to make some more plays to get a `W'.

Michigan State junior quarterback Brian Hoyer

On his emotions after the loss...
Oh man, it's tough. I can't even put into words how terrible it feels to lose, not only to those guys, but two weeks in a row to lose like that. It makes you sick.

On what the team was trying to do on the final drive of the game...
We just tried to move the ball down and put us in a position to score. They started blitzing us and we thought maybe they would play base coverage, but they started blitzing us. We had to get the ball out quicker than we like to.

On the play in which he under-threw Devin Thomas in the first half...
He got open so fast and the only thing in my mind was, `don't over-throw him.' I thought when I threw it, `alright, it's a touchdown,' but maybe the wind got it, I'm not sure.

On the team not taking advantage of their opportunities...
When you play a team like those guys, you got to take advantage of every opportunity and I'm sure there are a bunch of opportunities we could have gone back and had and changed the outcome of the game. It's tough because you look back and wonder what you could have done differently.

Michigan State senior defensive end Jonal Saint-Dic

On the disappointment from the loss...
I put my body on the line for my teammates, and they did the same for me. It came down to the last play. We worked hard and none of us put our head down. We have two more games left, so we'll be fine.

On how the team will bounce back...
We're all going to go out to practice this week and work hard. We know what we are capable of doing, we just have to finish the game. We're not giving up at all.

On not wanting any sympathy...
I left it all out on the field, so don't feel sorry for me and I don't want anybody feeling sorry for Michigan State. We're going to be fine. We all believe in each other and we're hungry out there, so we're going to keep working hard.

Michigan State Senior Running Back Jehuu Caulcrick

On Michigan State's turnaround in the second half...
We just came out of the locker room and told ourselves, "Hey we've got to believe, we've got to play for each other out there." The linemen have to come out firing off the ball, and they came out in the second half and did that. We just came out and were ready to play our game. We didn't execute as well as we could have in the first half.

We've got to keep the defense off the field, we've got to keep the punter off the field.

On where the team will go from here...
Get ready for Purdue. The lesson that you get out of this is that we're a good football team. We can play with people. We can't just sit there and wait for breaks to come our way, we've got to make our own. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that are there for us.

Michigan State Senior Running Back Javon Ringer

On his 72-yard run that helped set up an MSU touchdown...
I just tried to follow my blockers to the left, but there wasn't much space. I got grabbed and I wasn't trying to go down, I knew we needed a big play. Thank God, somehow, I was able to snatch out of it, I turned around, cut back and saw open field and I just ran as hard as I could with the energy I had left. I'm just happy I was able to do that just to give us another score.

On the team's mindset during the game...
Throughout the game, even in the beginning, we were just trying to stay positive. We knew, just like we've been doing every game this year, no matter what the score, just as long as we keep fighting, we'll be in it until the end. We came out and made our adjustments and kept fighting. When we did take the lead, it felt pretty good, I really thought we had it, but Michigan is a good team and we just couldn't finish it off.

On what went on during halftime...
Everybody was giving a little speech trying to motivate all of us, just making sure everybody kept their heads up. The defense was still doing good, but on offense we were struggling a little bit. A lot of our focus was on the offensive line and I felt they really came out and stepped it up in the second half.

On the team's play in the second half...
We just played angry. That's kind of all the motivation that we need to come out and just keep fighting. Just like every game we've lost, it's always been a dogfight to the end and that's what we're going to continue to do until the end of the season.

Michigan State Freshman Linebacker Greg Jones

On making big plays in important games...
We've all got to go out and make plays. There's nothing in practice that can prepare you for a moment like this. We're a team and we're always going to be a team. Right now, we've got to get over this hump and make it happen. We will make it happen.

On the team's mindset entering the final two games...
Right now we've just got to get focused. We're going to go back, watch some film and correct our mistakes because eventually we're going to make things happen. I have faith in this team; offense, defense and special teams.

On his first experience in the rivalry...
Back home we had rivalries in high school, but there was nothing like this. I found myself firing on all cylinders and I think the team was firing on all cylinders.

Michigan State Junior Wide Receiver Devin Thomas

On bouncing back in the next two games...
Right now we've got to get to six wins so we can get that bowl bid. We should have gotten it tonight, so it's a tough one. We've got to move on though so we can play these final two games and hopefully get that bowl bid.

On the attitude in the locker room...
We're always going to have hope. We're never going to give up, this is just a salty feeling. We've got to bounce back though, it's all we can do.

On playing top teams to the wire...
We know that we can hang with the best. We've played every game right down to the wire. We've just got to find a way to get over the hump and get a victory.

Michigan Senior Quarterback Chad Henne

On the comeback...
During the two drives at the end, guys really stepped up and our receivers did a great job. The offensive line protected very well. The plays presented themselves, and we took advantage.

On Michigan State's defense ...
We knew all game long that we could move the ball on their defense. Obviously, the three and outs didn't help, but we were kind of hurting ourselves. I missed some throws and we couldn't really establish a run game. We really stepped up at the end of the game though, they were switching up some of their defenses and we attacked it.

On Michigan State's ten-point lead...
Teams always get caught in that bind, having a lead late in a game. We got caught in that a couple times, but you have to keep playing. You have to keep fighting to the end of the game. Two years ago this game went to overtime, three years ago in went to triple overtime. This game goes down to the last minute and you have to keep playing.

On beating Michigan State four years in a row...
It's a great feeling, they are a great team and they play us well every year. It's a rivalry game and being state champions four years in a row definitely goes down in history.

Michigan Senior Safety Jamar Adams

On talk in the defensive backfield in the last few minutes...
We got excited. It's a drill we work every day in practice. We studied their film. We knew what they were going to try to give us. The defensive back made some great calls. The front did a great job giving pressure.

On Michigan coming back through all the injuries ...
I think it shows a lot of character in our leadership. Coach Carr and the coaching staff show a lot of leadership, along with the captains. They show leadership with the seniors. This is a team with great character. We're just going to continue to fight week after week. Fight in practice, and hope for the best.

On Michigan State's mindset late in the game ...
They were getting excited. The crowd was behind them. When you're at home against a rival team and you start having some success, you're going to get excited. They were feeding off their crowd, and that's all it was.

On Michigan's passion fading in the fourth quarter ...
It wasn't our passion fading. We came out and did a great job in the first half stopping the run. I think we did a great job with our run. I think we thought they were going to come out and pass the ball a little more. But they came out with a new fire. They really came out there and ran the ball really well in the second half.

On what the talk was after the touchdown in the fourth quarter ...
We were just talking about how this is the game on us now. We're on the field now, and we had to go out there and stop the run. We knew they were going to run the football, so it was just up to each individual man to go out there and execute.

Michigan Senior Linebacker Chris Graham

On the Michigan mindset coming out into the second half ...
We knew that they would come out and pressure us again with those two backs. They got some yards, but we made some plays and we just had it in our head to get three-and-out; get the ball back to the offense and go from there.

On the sack on Michigan State's last drive ...
It was real big. It put them in a bad situation where they were forced to throw the ball, and not run it all the time. It took them out of their gameplan; that was a great play.

On if he was surprised Michigan State played smashmouth football ...
Not at all, they have athletes just like we have. We've watched those guys all year, so we knew we would have to come in and play until the last minute, just like we did today, and the guys worked hard for it.

On trash talk from Michigan State with seven minutes left to play ...
Well those guys are basically just trying to get you out of your mode. It was really nothing, just guys going back and forth; it's more of a distraction. It had been going on all game, each team plays hard, and so you are going to look for it.

On if he thought Michigan State was thinking the game was over with seven minutes left ...
No. they were trying to make plays too, they have athletes just like we do. They're going to try and make something happen at the end so their team can be in favor.

On feeling they were on the ropes when down by 10 points ...
I felt like it, I felt like we were kind of on the ropes, but I knew we had guys that work hard every day. Guys are going to give their all regardless of what the outcome will be. We just came up with a big play, and it came out in our favor.

On not losing to Michigan State in his career ...
It's a great feeling. It's an in-state rivalry. It the championship game for us - who can have the most swagger, and talk the most mess later on. It means a lot to me, we are 4-0 against this team, and it's amazing, those guys play well every year. It goes down to the wire every year, so you know what you have to do every year.

 

 

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