MSU Spartans
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Purdue 17, Michigan State 15
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 4, 2006

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Michigan State Coach John L. Smith
On the Spartans battling back...
We got some breaks. We got a ball or two out on the ground and came up with a couple of fumbles. The one ball hit the pylon, so we came out of that without any points on the board. There were some breaks, but there weren't enough breaks to keep us going and to actually win the game. We hurt ourselves again with penalties and a few dropped balls. We just have to play better. We didn't play well enough to win on both sides of the ball.

On the team's effort...
They played hard. I don't think it was a lack of effort. I'm proud of our kids, now we just have to come in tomorrow and get ready for Minnesota and see if we can't finish this thing up on a right note and send them out as winners before it is all said and done.

On Brett Swenson's kicking...
I asked him before the game, `How long can you make one going with the wind,' and he said, `47 yards.' So, I knew we had at least a yard to spare and he banged it through. He's going to be really good before he's done. He's really good right now. He gets it off quick. He's solid and has a real mental toughness to him.

On Drew Stanton's play...
He just battled. On the touchdown pass, he ran around all over the place and ended up making a great play - it was just athleticism. He's going to look at the film and he's his worst critic. He'll kick himself in the tail, but he also gave us a chance and he hung in there. That's a kid that we are going to go to war with because he deserves it.

On not getting any points out of the on-side kick...
Anytime you pull one off like that you expect to get something out of it. If anything, you get three points and you are in pretty good shape. We didn't get anything out of it and went to opposite direction. That didn't help us much momentum wise.

On the play of the defense...
I thought for the most part, the defense played pretty darn good. We had a couple of coverage busts, but we got after them and made some big plays. We got them out of field goal distance one or two times with some sacks, so I'm proud of the kids. I thought, for the most part, they played hard - just not hard enough and good enough at the right times.

On the Javon Ringer returning to the lineup...
He deserves so much credit. He is just a stud, without a doubt. For him to come back as quickly as he has when they said it was going to be a season-ending injury, you can't say enough. It's a matter of him wanting to get back, he's telling himself, `I'm going to heal myself.' He's gotten in the weight room. He's a great competitor and he's going to be a great player here. He's one of those kids you love to have on your team, you wish you had 15 or 20 Javon Ringers.

On senior day next week...
It will be the last time the seniors will be able to put on the green and go to the stadium. It's a special day for those guys and hopefully they can end it on a winning note. We're going to have to come in tomorrow ready to go.

Purdue Coach Joe Tiller
On the decision to kick the fourth-quarter field goal on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line...
We had a couple of timeout situations that I was hesitant about. Actually, we had a play, and I called the play but I kind of chickened out on it because at that point in the game a field goal would put us ahead. If we had not converted I would kick my own butt from here back to West Lafayette. It was just too big of a risk to take. I thought we had a good play called and I think we would have been fine with it, but you start playing the `What if" game. I'm the guy who made the call, but if you put that call on the headset and say `What do you guys want to do,' they say `It's your call coach, it's your call.' Anyway, that was the thing to do, and it certainly put us ahead to stay, and our defense played extremely well all day long. Our defense has been playing well for the past three or four weeks now, so I felt pretty good about that.

On the play of the defense, particularly in the red zone...
Right after the onside kick it was a strategic play, a good decision by Michigan State to do it, our guys were lackadaisical in spreading out. They start with that bunch alignment, and as they move your blockers are supposed to move and we just stayed there and stared at the ball, so it was a good play on their part, but our defense went out and made the ball move backward in that situation. Just another really good effort from our defense, and I think Brock and the defensive coaches are excelling at this point in the season, which I think is important.

On the play of Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton...
I don't think you can ever say, `This is what's going to get it done against Drew Stanton.' He's a heck of a competitor, and what an athlete with the ability to make things happen with his feet. I think although he throws the ball well, I think he's more impressive with his feet than he is with his arm, and his arm is very good. He's a guy that you've got to defend the entire part of the play, not just nine-tenths of the play. It's a great throw for the touchdown by him, and we were fortunate to get out of here with a guy like that, that has those types of skills.

On the play of the offense following the last couple of weeks...
You say you left points on the table, I think you leave points on the table when you go for it on fourth down and you don't make it or something like that. But to throw for a touchdown in the end zone and get called for offensive pass interference, I've been writing officials up for nine consecutive weeks about holding receivers. Our receiver is running a vertical route and he's locked up with their defender and they call us for offensive pass interference. I don't understand that. I didn't understand it at the time, I don't understand it now, and I won't understand it tomorrow. Then at the end, I thought it was a great effort by (Kory) Sheets to try and get the ball in the end zone and he ended up hitting one of our own guys, and you cannot criticize a player for effort; he was doing what he could do to get the ball in the end zone. I don't think we necessarily left points on the field, we just had some weird things happen to us today, and I think it was really important the way our team hung in their and won the game in the fourth quarter. I said at the start of the season, and I'll say it again, `I like this team,' and that hasn't changed, I haven't wavered from day one.

Michigan State Senior Quarterback Drew Stanton
On the touchdown pass to T.J. Williams...
It was one of those things where they dropped eight, and we had great protection up front. All those guys did a great job and T.J. kind of snuck in the back of the endzone. I saw him the first time, tried to roll back out, then came back to the sideline and saw him still wide open and my depth perception kind of helped me out a little bit, and threw it to a place where he would be able to catch it.

On the late interception...
It was one of those things. We've been running the play successfully, the guy getting there, and kind of sitting in the hole. I probably should have just checked the ball down, no doubt about it, and kept the clock going, chewing up the clock. I tried to make a play and the guy picked it off.

On overall performance...
It's frustrating because if a couple plays would have gone our way, it would have been a different story.

Michigan State Senior Defensive Tackle Clifton Ryan
On defenses ability to get sacks...
We were able to get to them three times, I think that limited what their offense could do. We held them to 17 points, and coming in I think they averaged nearly 30 points (26.1 points).

On feelings toward defense and coaches...
I'm proud of this defense, I'm proud of the defensive coaching staff. We came out and gave these guys our best shot, we just came out on the short end of the stick.

On the tough week...
I have to take my hat off to Coach Smith and his assistants, they took it like men. They prepared like they were still under contract with MSU. Those guys responded in a first-class way and they deserve a lot of credit.

Michigan State Junior Defensive Back SirDarean Adams
On the difficult week...
It was tough, but it wasn't really tough because Coach Smith wanted us to be men. He wanted us to know that tomorrow isn't guaranteed and take this week like a normal week.

After the fumble was ruled a touchback...
A lot of the time the ball hasn't roll for us this year but that time it did. We were so excited, but we lost a tough game.

On remainder of schedule...
We have to bounce back, we have two more games to become bowl eligible. We played a good game, even though we made a lot of mistakes. Purdue is a pretty good football team, one of the top pass offenses in the country.

Michigan State Senior Offensive Lineman Kyle Cook
On the fan support...
Those were the fans that are loyal to us, the fans that have been there every game. It was good to see them come out and good to see them support us.

On the tough week...
It was a tough week. After all the news of your coaches getting fired, that is your family. It is very tough mentally on you, physically it's the same, week in and week out. It weighs more on you mentally.

On Stanton's interception...
You can't knock Drew for it, he is trying to make plays.

Michigan State Sophomore Running Back Javon Ringer
On making his comeback to the playing field...
It felt really good. I hated sitting at home and watching my team lose, especially with me not being able to help. So I had a lot of motivation trying to get back, and I have a real prayerful and spiritual family, so their prayers and having a good relationship with God helped speed my recovery. It meant a lot to just come back and play with my friends, and with the coaches.

On the coaches...
Me personally, I like the coaches, especially John L. Smith. As a person I think he is great. But I understand it is a business.

On his speedy rehab and recovery...
I was kind of stubborn. I was always trying to do extra stuff trying to help get my knee back. I know I got hurt for a reason but I had to come back and play with my friends. I just thank God personally, for bringing me back and after playing on it. I feel no pain. It felt like I never left.

On the last home game of the season...
We are going to bounce back quick, seeing that is the last home game. We have to focus on Minnesota, and we have to get this win for the seniors and for us and for the coaches.

Michigan State Junior Linebacker Kaleb Thornhill
On the week...
It was a tough game. It was a tough loss. It's hard to take, but we were fighting out there and that is good to see, but we've got to come out with a victory. This whole week has been tough on us.

On the game preparation...
We came out to play and the coaches prepared us and gave us a great game plan. We just couldn't pull it away. I don't know what to say. I think we played well. Purdue gets all the credit, they had a game plan too.

On Coach Smith...
I know the guys really wanted to come out there and put it all on the line. I know we had a chance to win, and just couldn't pull it out. After the game Coach just reminded us to show some character. I just can't believe we couldn't pull that one out.

On the season...
One thing I can say is this year has been fun for me, just being out there and being healthy. Last year almost wasn't fun because I was in so much pain on Saturdays. This year I feel like I can get out there and give it my best.

Michigan State Senior Linebacker David Herron Jr.
On the remainder of the season...
I think all of us are frustrated. It's really hard when you lose games like this, and you shouldn't be happy. We need to keep our heads up though, and that's what Coach said. We still have two more games to look forward to, and we still can have fun with it.

On the end of the first half...
That was by far our worst drive (defensively) of the game. We missed a lot of tackles and that opened things up for them, and they took advantage of it. We allowed them to come right down and score. I think that drive really hurt us.

On the defense...
We made some steps today. We came up and held them on third downs a few times and held them to field goals. We seemed more comfortable out there.

Purdue Senior Defensive End Anthony Spencer
On how the Purdue defense handled Drew Stanton...
We made a lot of game-time corrections on that. It was basically us just trying to get pressure on the quarterback and making him get that ball out as fast as we could.

On Purdue being able to play a complete game...
That's what we've been working on since I got here; trying to play a full 60 minutes and I think we did that today. Everyone on the defense played their hearts out today and so did the offense. I think it was the best 60 minutes we played all year.

On the Purdue defense being on the field for most of the third quarter...
That's what you practice for. That's what the summer is for and that is what conditioning in the summer and winter is for; these types of games late in the season.

Purdue Senior Kicker Casey Welch
On getting chosen to kick the eventual game-winning field goal...
Chris Summers is a great kicker and I didn't know I was going to be going out there until third-and-eight. I had a great hold and a great snap, the offense did a great job to get us in position and I did the easy part kicking it.

On what the moment means to him...
It's almost a storybook ending to my career here. It's been five years since I've kicked a field goal in game and for me to get a chance to go out there and help the team get towards a potential bowl game is amazing.

Purdue Junior Running Back Kory Sheets
On his fumble near the Michigan State goal line...
When I was heading toward the end zone there were three or four guys hanging off of me and I was just trying to stretch into the end zone. I reached and someone hit me and the ball came out.

On what the victory means to Purdue...
Today was a real big one for us. After the past few weeks we needed this one and to come into Michigan State and get a win like this is huge.

 

 

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