Add to Calendar
Skip to main content Skip to footer
BUY TICKETS

Post-Game Quotes: Maryland

Nov. 18, 2017

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  USATSI Gallery  |  Photo Gallery 

Head Coach Mark Dantonio
 
Opening Statement…
Probably should’ve brought some hot chocolate in here with me, to be quite honest with you. I think we had a little bit of everything out on that field today. From a weather standpoint, we had fog this morning and we had the wind and the rain, then it went to snow. The field dissipated. I thought the field was in good shape when we got there, but it dissipated pretty quickly. Very, very proud of our football team. Embraced the weather, got a big win, scratched it out. I thought our defense played very, very well. Offensively, ran the ball very effectively especially early in the game. LJ Scott had a big game for us, which was very important, 148 yards. Good opportunity to send our seniors out, to close out with our eighth win here. Now we can look for number nine. Hey, we scratch and claw for wins, that’s all I can tell you and excited for that opportunity to play for nine wins this next week. I’ll take some questions.
 
On the importance of having a good running game with the weather conditions and LJ Scott’s performance…
I think, first of all, that it was critical to our success. We weren’t throwing the ball very effectively, obviously. The weather had a lot to do with that. I looked up there when the snow was coming down, it’s just difficult to even see through the snow a little bit. Then as the game progressed it became more like we didn’t have to take the risk to throw the football. We had a three possession lead. We just sort of felt like, hey let’s just grind it out, let’s get the four, the five, get the first-down and that type of effect. I thought Coach Warner did a nice job calling the game there with that and that was directed from me. Didn’t want to take the risk there throwing the ball down the field and having a turnover or something of that nature. We weren’t throwing the ball that effectively. I agree with you, very critical and LJ had a great game and he made some great cuts and got vertical and broke some tackles.
 
On if this was one of LJ Scott’s better games…
I’m not sure, going to have to look back. This was a very effective game for him and it’s a good point to launch from.
 
On if he can recall ever winning a football game with only 20 yards passing…
No I really can’t. That’s going to be a question someday; Who threw the ball for 400 and won, who threw the ball for 20 and won? It was tough out there, the environment was tough, the weather was difficult. I think where it was really important was in the wide-receiver’s cuts down the field. Maryland did a nice job at the end of the game, getting some vertical routes, but they had to throw the ball down the field, just did not want to do that at that point in time. Thought our offense did a great job in the first quarter. The third quarter especially, taking the time off the clock even though we didn’t score, we took time off the clock in those situations.
 
On the blocking this game…
I think it looked very, very good. It got movement and changed the line of scrimmage and then the rest of it just was the running back I thought once you got to the second level, things of that nature. Gerald Holmes did as well. He got to the second level at times and ran the ball effectively. Had an opportunity to go ahead 21-zip early, it would’ve been in the second quarter I believe, but good hit by them, the ball comes out so we deal with it.
 
On if the word astounding is a good word to describe the team this year coming off last year…
No I think workman-like would be a better word, hopefully. I think our guys came back with that, I think last year was not normal, it was something that a lot of things go into that. Just like there’s a lot of things that go into a Rose Bowl year, things got to go well. Then some years, some other years, they don’t go as well. Sometimes you get injuries or you have situations. Last year we had three quarterbacks and every one of them got hurt. We lost games. Our linebackers were out, things of that nature. It takes a toll on you, I think, in terms of an emotional toll on you as well. When you win games, you win them close, that’s a positive. That’s an emotional positive, you always feel like you’re going to be able to get to win. I thought our energy continues to be very good in practice, our guys know what we want to do and they do their very best to try and do it. Very proud of our football team because it’s a bounce back year and usually when you have those types of years like that, there’s a lot of, I don’t know, there’s just a good feeling about it. Coming off of last week’s game as well, my biggest concern was how were we going to respond? Playing for so-called, if we had won the game the week before, we would be playing to represent the East today. I didn’t know really how our guys were going to respond. What are they going to play for? What’s the reason now? Because playing for bowl games is a little bit of an intangible. You know you’re going to a bowl game but what bowl game? You really don’t know so it’s a little bit of an intangible type thing. Very proud of how we embraced everything, came out and played. Played with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy and that sideline was live.
 
On what the coaching staff thought Maryland would do with their quarterback situation…
Really weren’t sure. They’ve thrown the ball from previous games with (Max) Bortenschlager and he was effective. Really their two running backs, 2 (Lorenzo Harrison III) and 6 (Ty Johnson), were very effective, especially last year. That was the number one thing. We had to make the game at least one-dimensional, which I thought we did do that. They got out a couple times but not for very much. Thought we played well, played well on third-down toward the end of the game. End of fourth quarter, the last six minutes they got one. They got players. There are no hall passes in this league, there’s just not. Maryland came, I thought they played hard as they have every snap this year.
 
On the impact of the crowd this game…
Yeah I thought they were, they were the passionate fans, those were the ones. It was loud out there. You could not… I could not yell to our players on the field and they couldn’t hear you. It got loud out there and they were passionate Spartan fans. That’s another part of it. They embraced it. They had a little bit of will as well, just standing the elements. They should be congratulated and the win is their win as well so they got an A as well. I’m very excited about win number eight, sets up number nine, that’s what it does.
 
On an assessment of Maryland’s coverage…
Tough to say without watching the film but we thought their corners were very good. This morning I watched all the big plays against them (this year) and really only two of them were against their corners. All year long and last year as well, I thought their corner play was very good. Got some plays down the shoot or some things of that nature, crossing routes or backs out the back field for some big plays but they really play well on the perimeter and I thought they always do a nice job. You’d have to watch the film probably to see, give a real good idea.
 
On the impact of Damion Terry to the program…
Damion’s been a warrior. When you’re the number two quarterback sometimes you don’t get to take as many snaps but you remain vigilant, you remain ready, ready to go at all times. He’s put the time in. He’s had some moments here. He played very well, I thought, last year versus Penn State as a starter, so he has started for us. He’s played good football for us and he’s been a valuable team member here. Damion is a team person and he’s done an outstanding job.
 
On Chris Frey’s leadership and the emotion of his last game…
I get emotional on the last game usually, when we play the bowl game or something like that and it is their last football game because I’ll be around. He’s been a mainstay for us. He’s been a warrior in terms of how he goes about his business, his practice, his preparation, what he tries to do as a leader to the best of his abilities, then his aggressiveness. His aggressiveness and his play and his want to on the field. One thing you know about Chris Frey, you’re never going to have to ask him, did you go hard enough? Because he’s going to go, he’s going to give you everything he’s got, every single play. When he runs out of gas, better put somebody else in for him because he is out. He’s been a great Spartan here; he’s been on the front side of a lot of wins here. Very happy that this senior class is going out in this fashion.
 
On what sticks out about the senior class…
Well I think I said that on Tuesday, to me what sticks out about our senior class is that they’re the bounce back class, really. After last season, they came in this year with a lot of young players, not a very big senior class and they had to make something out of it, because it starts with them, it starts with their leadership. Because at the very beginning, who were our leaders? They were our seniors. Some other guys have worked their way into that, younger players but they wanted to set things right and they’ve been able to at least win eight games. Doesn’t mean we’re going to win nine or ten but we’ve won eight. We’ve sort of turned it back, back in the right direction, banked on that.
 
On Mufi Hill-Hunt, Hunter Rison, Josiah Scott
Mufi’s out for the season, we lost him with an ACL, MCL. The other two, maybe could’ve played a little bit but Josiah we held, kept him out. Both will be back next week.

Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin

Opening remarks…

I thought we’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunities when they’re there and we didn’t. Once again, we started off slow, so we got ourselves behind, and with the conditions (being) the way they were, it was hard to move the ball and score a lot of points. I was proud of (QB) Max (Bortenschlager) coming back into the fourth.  We were able to throw the ball and move a little bit. We had some chances and we didn’t execute when we needed to.

On making offensive adjustments when Bortenschlager came back in the game…
The conditions were better to be able to throw the ball, and earlier it was raining and we were struggling to throw, and we knew that coming into the game, they had like 9-10 in the box on the snap, so we needed to be able to [throw the ball]. I think in the fourth quarter actually it got a little better, it was more suitable to throw the ball and that helped us.

On being impressed about coming within 10 points vs. a ranked team on the road…
No. We’re here to win games.

On preparing for the snowy conditions…
All these guys have played football growing up, they all played those games before.

On the Michigan State’s performance running the ball…
They ran the ball well, especially early on. We solidified some things up, I thought we played good defense in the last three quarters but unfortunately you’ve got to play defense for four quarters. So, we started out 14-[to]-nothing, that’s hard to overcome no matter who you’re playing, especially when you have weather conditions and everything else.

On Michigan State RB L.J. Scott’s performance vs. Maryland’s defense…
He’s a good player, he runs the ball well a lot of times. I think [Michigan State] did a good job opening some holes for him. Early on we didn’t do a good job fitting a couple of the runs and they had a couple of big plays, I think, and we got that corrected and fixed.  We played it pretty well from there on out but that was all they needed really.

On OL Marcus Minor’s first career start…
We’ll have to watch the tape to evaluate [his performance], and I know he did some good things out there, he battled. The kid’s going to be a real good football player, he’s a true freshman playing right tackle, he played last week against Michigan, didn’t start but played.  We felt very comfortable that we did everything.  You can’t plan anything within there today, so I think he played well and we’ll watch the tape.

Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach Dave Warner

On if the weather impacted the play calling…
Yeah, yeah it does. We still had situations where we need to throw the football. You know we have to get better at that. We threw the ball for how many yards a couple games or a couple weeks in a row, we certainly didn’t look like it tonight. So we need to be balanced, but we came into the game knowing we needed to run the football. That was a big emphasis all week and we did a good job. Our guys up front did a great job blocking. I think LJ (Scott) and the backs ran hard. The defense brought a great game to give us some good situations and then we should have put it away in the first half.

On keeping Gerald Holmes in check on senior day…
He handled it okay. I mean, he’s not the first guy to fumble. He’s been one of the most consistent guys with the ball over the years. That’s his first fumble this year I believe and he’s been very good throughout the years. Other guys have fumbled throughout the season. It’s his first one, so you just say, ‘hey hang in there, you’ll get more chances.’ He runs hard and I think he did a great job of that and I felt bad for him. We got him in again in the second half and certainly would have liked to get him in more, but happy that he was part of today’s game.

On Brian Lewerke’s play…
I think 2-for-14 obviously is not what we want from our quarterback. We have to be able to execute in somewhat bad conditions. We just need to be better and I thought given the chance, not that we gave him that many chances I guess in the second half, but the chances he has he just needs to be a little more confident. He needs to sit in the pocket a little bit with some confidence that we are going to protect him.

On the inside zone…
As I mentioned trying to run the football coming into this game a big part of that was inside zone. You know we’ve had our reads, our inside zone read for Brian (Lewerke) and he’s run those before, but it was more of an emphasis this week. He did a great job reading I thought.

Michigan State Offensive Lineman Brian Allen

On preparing for a game in this weather…

Yeah just to embrace it really. We knew this was going to be our chance in Spartan Stadium for the seniors and not until next September for the younger guys. We just wanted to make it special and with the weather we just kind of embraced it and it didn’t really affect us.

On liking these weather conditions as a lineman…
Yeah I mean at the same time you want to be able to move and sometimes the surface didn’t allow us to. It’s kind of frustrating from that standpoint, but at the same time it’s a chance to run the ball.

On how it feels to play for the last time at Spartan Stadium…
I really didn’t get that emotional. Everything I did, I kept telling myself this is the last time I’m going to do this as a player. It’s kind of sad to think about it. It still really hasn’t hit me and I’m sure when we get to that final week I’m going to think, ‘crap it’s over.’

On the season so far…
We had a lot of confidence going into this season and a lot of high expectations for ourselves. Even the ones that we had and didn’t meet necessarily, so now we are just going to adjust and do the best we can. We knew that we were going to be able to have a good year this year and come together and win games like this and get the ball kind of rolling again.

On coming back from games like OSU...
Just like you said, just kind of shake off last week. There’s nothing you can really do about those tough losses until you get to today to forget about them. We carried that with us all last week and just to be able to come out and play good enough to get the job done. Now we are feeling could and next week we have a chance to flip the script an go from 3-9 to 9-3, so it’s exciting.

Michigan State Linebacker Chris Frey

On being part of a senior class that held the program together…

That’s something that all of us talk about, all of us talked about in our senior speeches , having the opportunity to be a senior and a leader on a team that was 3-9 and being able to put them back on top and back where the Michigan State Spartans are supposed to be. So, it’s definitely satisfying, but at the same time we’ve got to win two more games, and to be able to put 10 wins on a record is impressive even if we don’t go to the Big Ten Championship.

On singing the fight song at the end of a win for the last time at home…
Not really different as a game, it’s the same game and you go out there playing every Saturday and I do this because I love it. You try to soak in every second of it, try to enjoy every second of it, because time’s limited, we have a 60-minute game, and you only get a certain amount of time on that field, and it’s my last one so I tried to take every second that I could to be out there.

On walking off the field for the last time…
I did a little prayer at the Spartan head, and I was a little bit muddy on the Spartan head. So, I prayed, said hi to my grandma, gave a little prayer to my grandma, and then took my time walking off the field. There were a couple other seniors out there, and just trying to thank them for everything that they’ve done for this program and spend  time with them.

On his favorite memory with this team…
I think my favorite memory, there’s endless memories, you spend every single day with these guys, and you get to know them so well. Tthey become your brothers, but as a team my favorite memory was the Big Ten Championship in 2015. To be able to go out, win a Big Ten Championship, it’s a hard thing to do, and we were able to do that. We played a great team in Iowa, and we were able to come out on top and put a ring on our fingers, and that is definitely my favorite memory here.

On finishing the season with this team…
Matt (Sokol)’s been my best friend since the day we got here, we roomed together as freshmen, roomed together for two years after that. We became really close. It’s tough, because these guys you’ve spent so much time with, you’re not going to be able to be with those guys anymore. You hear all of our NFL guys come back in and say ‘cherish every moment here because when you get to the next level it’s not the same,’ and just trying to spend every second I can with the guys on this team that mean everything to me. They’re my brothers, and they’ve had a huge impact on my life.

Michigan State sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke

On Chris Frey and his leadership…
Very important. He’s been here through a lot of stuff. He’s been here for the ups and downs, he’s just a very vocal guy. He’s not afraid to get in people’s faces and be the guy talking before the game to pump people up.

On getting emotional watching the senior class go out…
A little bit, yeah. It’ll probably hit us – hit them, hit me – more for the bowl game, but with today being the last game in Spartan Stadium, yeah.

On the snow in today’s game…
It definitely wasn’t fun. It was probably the most cold game, that was my first snow game I’ve ever played in, and probably the most cold game I’ve personally ever played in. It wasn’t easy to throw the ball as the stats show, but we ran the ball really well.

Michigan State senior running back Gerald Holmes

On what he was thinking on his last time playing in Spartan Stadium…
It was going through my mind before the game, and how would I handle my emotion after the game. It was a long run and a long journey. The biggest thing is when you play with multiple guys over the years at Spartan Stadium and knowing when that time ends you won’t be able to get back on the field with them. Definitely an emotional thing, but also a blessing.

On what he was thinking when he fumbled close to the end zone…
I was running hard and being me, but when I fumbled I drew a blank. It’s something I try and pride myself on not doing.  I had the ball secure and was trying to split two defenders and the defensive end made a good play on me.

On what his emotions were like walking from the hotel to the stadium and through the tunnel for the last time…
There really weren’t a lot of emotions going on. It’s still a game. A game we needed to win. I was trying not to focus overall on the senior day aspect. A lot of emotion hit me after the game. 

Maryland sophomore running back Lorenzo Harrison III

On how the weather conditions impacted the game…
We definitely prefer better conditions, but both teams played in them. It wasn’t like any team was at an advantage. We just needed to better as a team.

On his coach’s comments about playing only three quarters…
We all agreed with him that football is four quarters, and if we miss out on one of those or don’t come to play it will come back and bite you. We just have to play a full 60 minutes of football.

On if they are proud on how they played against a ranked opponent…
We are not looking for moral victories. We expect to win and the plan coming in was to win. There were some positives and some negatives We will take the positives and keep going.

Maryland junior linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr.

On the effort of holding Michigan State to only 17 points…
We had a nice couple of strings of three and out defensively. We just did a good job of being in the right place at the right time. We were bending, but not breaking. At the same time, they had a lot of yards rushing and we got to be better at stopping the run.

On what his last game means to him next week hosting Penn State…
Next week means a lot to me. It means even more to be home hosting Penn State. I just want to go out with a bang and have fun doing it. I’m looking forward to my senior day.


 

 

Partners & Sponsors