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Post-Game Quotes: Indiana
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 19, 2011

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Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis
"When we hired Coach Dantonio, the vision of painting roses on the cleats were the expectations going into every season and those continue to be our expectations. I'm very proud of our football program. I'm very proud of our football staff, our fans, the marching band and everybody who is a part of this program including President Simon and our board all the way through. It gives me great privilege and honor to present to our captains and to present to our head football coach, the Legends Division Championship Trophy and our an opportunity to travel to Indianapolis for a championship game after we take care of business next week."

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening Statement
"It's an outstanding win by our football team. More importantly, today we came and finished. We finished and came out in an emotional game. For our seniors, it was their last day here playing in this stadium. That's an emotional time for these guys. We were able to do that by playing some of our best football. It was not in doubt because of the way we came out. We weren't flat and we had a lot of emotion. We made a statement as a football program. This signifies where we wanted to get to be able to get to where we want to go, if that makes any sense. The journey is not done. This is exciting. We just need to finish next week. I think that's how we're built around here. We want to finish the job. The (regular) season ends next week. It's nice that we're able to get this before the season ends. It takes a little pressure off of us I guess in terms of going to Indy. But the pressure still exists to finish and play our best football near the end of the season. And that's what we want to try and do. I want to congratulate our senior class, winningest senior class in the history of Michigan State football. They're doing great things. They are doing things that haven't been done in a long time here and they're doing things that need to be done for the first time in this modern era of football in the new Big Ten conference where believe me, it's extremely competitive in all games and at every turn. I want to congratulate them on being the all-time winningest class. When you back that up to last year's senior class in the same capacity, it makes a statement. This program is in great shape. I said this last year. I watched that film of Kirk talking last year after the Penn State game. He mentioned championships are talked about every single day here, on a daily basis. It's because of their belief in the system and belief in what's going on here that we're able to establish that. It's the players that make plays, it's the players that get this done. I want to congratulate them. I look forward to next week and finishing the job.

"I thought first of all, as far as the game, the guys came out and played very effectively, very well. I thought Cousins was sharp. Again, our offensive line doesn't allow a sack. There were no turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. I thought the play calling by Coach Roushar was very good. We ran the ball effectively. Our special teams was solid. Our defense was very, very good as usual. We got out to a commanding lead...We got a lot of players in. We gave a lot of players the opportunity to play as well."

On if it makes it special to win championships with the group of kids he has now...
"It makes it extra special because it's something that we built. It wasn't in existence when we came. This football team has won 23 games and lost eight in the last four years. We're 20-4 in the last two years. It's the players that do that. When you come together as a group, it's amazing when everybody works in one direction what we can accomplish. Recruiting services are one thing, we just get players who we think that can play. We get players that we think can overachieve and they buy into a system and we buy into them. I think that's why we're successful."

On how it is to be in the running to win a Big Ten Championship again...
"We had an opportunity to go different places and do different things this past year. One of the places we went as a staff, half of our staff went to see the Packers. I used to be Don Capers' graduate assistant when he was the (defensive backs coach at Ohio State in 1983). He had a series of steps to a championship. One of them was to be able to handle success. We talked about that a lot in our football team. Basically, one out of every 10 teams that have had success, they can repeat. We've talked about that a lot and I think this football team and program shows that we can handle this success that's been thrown at us. That comes back to leadership at the ground level. It comes back to leadership at the coaching aspect or the administration as well, Mark Hollis and our administration. Ultimately, it's our players who play and they have done a tremendous job leading and setting the bar. They continue to set the bar higher for the next group. That's what will allow us to reach our dreams of a national championship again. I think those things can happen as long as we keep getting players that will buy in and more talent, more experience with different ways to do things great things can happen."

On putting in the rushing play for Joel Foreman...
"I don't know, it just sort of came to me on Thursday. I said let's run Joel Foreman on a sweep here for fun. Don't tell Roushar. So we just snuck one in there and (Mark) Staten had it termed right so everyone could understand what to do. I said we may do that on Saturday if we get the chance. Everyone was like no, no don't do that. I just felt like we need to try and be people that can make dreams come true sometimes. This is a dream come. We have other dreams that we want to come true. But for an offensive lineman to be able to run a football, that's a dream come true. He has three yards and he told me he broke a tackle too. I thought it was a great experience for him. He's got the game ball for that. He took it as a matter of fact."

On if he will rest anybody next week...
"No. We need to there with the idea that we need to win that football game. We need to continue to build. We'll go there with everything that we've done, all the plans that we've made and all the same focus. We will go there with the same focus. We don't want to take the shine off this trophy. We don't want to diminish this at all and lose our last football game and then say okay, alright let's regroup and go to Indianapolis. That's not our intent anyway. We'll go there ready to play. Northwestern is an outstanding opponent. You know how it is. They've always played us well. We've always played well against them. It will be a tight game. That's just the way it goes up there. We need to have our emotions."

On how different it is knowing this year that they control their own destiny...
"It's just the fact that you play one game at a time. I think it was a week ago or two weeks ago, we figured out that we control our own destiny. It was a good feeling that we can play our way into it. I think the end result is the main thing. How we get there, there's many ways to get to where we are trying to go. How we get there, I don't care how. It's just that we get there. I'm glad it happened this way. We're not going to take the shine off of that trophy. We want to play well at the end. We want to continue to play well in November."

On Keshawn Martin's journey throughout his career here...
"Keshawn was on the radio show the other night. It was interesting how we recruited him. He was an unknown. He didn't go to any camps. He was a quarterback and a basketball player. The guy never ran track until his senior year. I think that they taught him how to high jump in a gym. He had never jumped in a pit before. He jumps 22.6 and wins a big meet his first time jumping. He's an outstanding athlete. We watched him for about 15 minutes on film. I got the film midseason in 2007. I immediately called him up, offered him a scholarship and got him up here. Before he got too heavily recruited, we got him committed and he's been solid. He's a great young man. He's got a knack for all kinds of big plays as you saw out there. He makes tough catches and he almost broke a couple punts. I think he scored in every way possible probably for us. We will deeply miss him. He's a lot of fun to be around and he's a great player."

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson

Opening Statement...
"It was a poor performance by us and Michigan State played very well. Our defense was pretty bad with missed tackles. Not very good play but credit to Michigan State, they came ready to play and they're a good team."

On the defense taking a step back...
"Well we're playing a team that had a good run pass mix and when you play bad it's tough. MSU is last in the league in rushing and today they had 174 yards on the ground, and when you can run and get normal downs and have a decent quarterback who can convert on third down you're playing on your heels. Poor tackling and execution to stop the run game on our part."

On the play of quarterback Tre Roberson...
"He didn't get much help; we didn't run it well and he didn't get many attempts. I think he's handled things well but it was disappointing today because they didn't really do anything that they haven't shown and we should have been more prepared."

On the upcoming game against Purdue...
"We just have to use it to figure out who we are as a team. The rivalry is a part of it. The biggest rival I ever played was my high school rival. Everyone's got that big rivalry, and we are just lucky to have that big game every year and have a true great rivalry. We have to play better though; the game is mostly about us improving as a team."

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Opening Statement...
"Obviously I'm really happy for our seniors, happy for our players. Kids played their tails off. We had the attitude the whole week that we were in the driver's seat, and just keep driving all the way to Indianapolis and I think we're going to do that. Our kids played hard, played smart--except for two dumb penalties. When I say played smart, they played well as far as just playing option responsibilities with some of the stuff [Indiana] does. They threw a couple of new wrinkles at us. Quite frankly coming into the game with as much stuff as they stuff do option-wise and three backs and all of that kind of stuff, it's a little scary with all the stuff they do offensively. Our kids really did well and stuck to the game plan. Max Bullough did a great job getting us lined up, he does a tremendous job. He makes sure everybody else is in place. We got a lot of guys in to play as well. It was good to see those younger guys get in the game and really step up and really [Indiana] didn't move it much on those guys as well."

On the approach to next week's game at Northwestern...
"We're finishing business, as Coach Dantonio would say. It's not over. We've got one regular season game, we want to go 10-2 into that final game, the championship game. Our kids will come to play, I have no doubt. Takes a little bit of weight off their shoulders a bit."

On Kevin Pickelman...
"Kevin Pickelman is a super kid. He's tough, physical and he's made a lot of plays in the last few weeks for sure, more than most nose tackles. He's really gotten much better ever since his freshman year he just keeps getting better. He's gotten better through the whole season here. We don't want anybody staying the same, we want them to keep getting better. He's a tribute to our program."

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar

On Keshawn Martin's senior day performance...
"He took some what looked like average plays and made them spectacular...The one big catch on the sideline, he accelerated and went down the sideline and there was no doubt, you could see it. Most of those are run-pass checks for us, and Kirk did a good job of getting the ball out to him and Keshawn just took over and played. Really going back for a number of weeks he has really been a difference maker, he's been very explosive. Explosive plays have been a big part of what we've done."

On Kirk Cousins...
"I think when you're able to step back and look at him, like any outstanding quarterback, he simply has won for us. A throw here and a throw there and we can be critical or we can be awfully applauding about what he does. It's his day-to-day preparation. It's him on Monday spending the extra hours in the film room, and I think it's a tremendous example to the entire organization. You can't say enough good things about Kirk, he's a winner in every sense of the word and I think we're awfully fortunate to be a part of his tenure here."

Michigan State Senior Quarterback Kirk Cousins

On being able to have all of the seniors leave the field during the third quarter...
"It meant a lot. We talked about it midweek, we talked as a team about the moment and what that would feel like on senior day to be able to leave the right way. The basketball team has something like that, and we wanted to be able to leave this stadium - especially with all of the accomplishments that this class has had - and to do it in style. We talked about it all week how we needed to start fast in order to do that in the second half. We definitely started fast with a 17 point first quarter and it kept going from there."

On the accomplishments of the team, having not been four and five-star recruits...
"We talked when we first got here on campus in the summer of 2007, sitting around in the dorms eating in the cafeteria together. We said, you know what, we're a bunch of two stars and three stars with an extra heartbeat and we need to have a mindset when we someday line up and play on Saturdays that our two and three stars are coming to get your four and five stars. Obviously we still have some football left to be played, but I think we've done that to this point."

On taking extra time getting off the field after time had expired...
"I've had a lot of moments here. A lot of ups and a lot of downs, all in between, and wanted to enjoy it all I could, and soak it up be able to spend as much time out there as I could. It was great with the situation we were in in the second half to be able to basically take in the entire second half and just enjoy it for what it was. Can't thank the Spartan Nation and the Spartan fans enough. I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given to be a part of all of this for the past five years and just continue to want to leave a mark and leave things better than I found them."

On his greatest memory in Spartan Stadium...
"I would say today is a great memory, the way we played basically a flawless game. We won in all phases of the game; special teams and field position were really helpful today. Going out in style like we talked about doing. I think the Hail Mary play is hard to beat, I think Little Giants is hard to beat. It's hard to compare them. They are all special moments, and that's why you work so hard so you can be able to be in those moments and have success when you get there. Certainly there have been a lot in our four or five year span that will go down in history as being some of the best ever in that stadium."

Michigan State Senior Offensive Lineman Joel Foreman

On his run in the third quarter...
"It came up on Thursday and just kind of got thrown together. I thought it was a joke but I guess it wasn't. That was for every big guy out there who ever wanted to run the ball. I'm averaging three yards a carry, broken tackle, I think that's more than Kirk has, so I'm doing all right."

On his greatest memory in Spartan Stadium...
"Obviously for me any time I beat Michigan is very exciting, especially if I do it here. Like Kirk said there are a lot of different plays that you can think back to and huge moments. Just in my experience and playing in general, the guys I've done it with and just looking over at them in the huddle. Especially here today and seeing those young guys that have really matured in front of my eyes, I can't say how proud I am of them. Just to watch that and watch those guys battle next to me is something I will never forget."

Michigan State Senior Safety Trenton Robinson

On the victory...
"It's an honor, we're so excited. A lot of people can't say they have done that. Everybody is just excited and we're just happy that everybody played for each other today. Came out here today, like Kirk was saying, we just talked about how we wanted to leave here with a bang. Talked about just dominating and our team did that today. Our offense had a great game. Guys like Keshawn [Martin] and Kirk putting the ball on the money, the O-line blocking well. And then my dogs on defense just go out and playing like they do every week. They tell me I play for you, I play for you seniors. It's a great feeling to go out on top and to know we're going to be playing in the championship game right now is a great feeling. But we know that we've got to continue to push forward and get another win and be 10-2."

On his greatest memory in Spartan Stadium...
"This is the most special moment for me right now. The love that we have for each other on this team and just knowing that we're going to get an opportunity to play for a championship, another Big Ten championship, which we set forth to do at the beginning of the season. Just knowing that no matter what happens, we are going to go out next week and do what we do, of course, but no matter what happens we'll be where we wanted to be coming down at the end of the season playing for a championship. For me that's a great feeling."

Michigan State Senior Wide Receiver B.J. Cunningham

On the 63-yard touchdown reception...
"I want to remember every moment of this game. My senior day, my family being here pre-game, every catch I had and you just have to soak it all in. That is what we were told and that is what we are doing still right now. The seniors were sent out well today."

On the seniors making plays...
"The plan was to come out and start fast and then finish strong, I feel like that is what we did. It ended up working out that the seniors were doing their thing and making plays. We just tried to come out and play hard."

On the chance to be back-to-back champions...
"It feels great; we still have a task ahead of us. Northwestern is a good team and we have to come out ready to play."

On going out with two touchdown receptions on senior day...
"I couldn't ask for a better way to get sent out by my teammates. They held it down for us today. It felt great out there in my last game at Spartan Stadium. I am going to remember it."

Michigan State Junior Defensive Tackle Jerel Worthy

On Joel Foreman's rush...
"I didn't find out until pre-game walking in that they had that in. It was a total surprise to me and he gained some yards on it too. It was crazy; it was a great time when you can send your seniors out on a good note. (Joel) Foreman has earned everything that he has gotten out here. He never takes a day off, he has dealt with a lot of nicks and bruises but he continues to start games, and continues to play through pain. If there is anyone with a mindset that I idolize it would be him."

On the play of Denzel Drone...
"Denzel (Drone) has always been a guy that has been very versatile in our program. Even though he may not have got as many starts as he would like, he has always been a playmaker for us and always been a guy that could step up. He is a guy that is going to go in there and get it done. He is going to keep his mouth shut and work hard. He just goes out there and lays it all out on the line."

Michigan State Senior Wide Receiver Keith Nichol

On the confidence of the program...
"When you are winning big games and going out they way you are with big points, and getting big recruits and big playmakers, (Coach Dantonio) has put a lot of confidence into a lot of guys that maybe weren't heavily recruited but now are star players. He has done a lot for this program, and he is going to continue to do so."

On what this means as a senior...
"It is a tremendous feeling being from the Grand Rapids area, going to Lowell High School, and always being a Michigan State fan, even when they weren't doing well. It is great to go out the way we did, send off all the seniors, and get them all playing time. To know that we are going to go to the Big Ten Championship game, there's just so much that went into this game and the buildup for this game. It means a lot to have contributed the way I have and to be a part of this class."

On the Big Ten Championship game...
"We are really going to have to earn it. Looking for a great opponent there when we go to Indianapolis, but we can't look too far ahead, we have Northwestern. They are a great team, great players, great coach, it is hard to be them at Northwestern, we found that out last year, having to win in the last couple of minutes. We have a great challenge ahead of us."

Michigan State Senior Wide Receiver Keshawn Martin

On the senior class...
"We wanted to come out here and leave no doubt that we are the team to beat. We had fun, we made plays, it is great to go out with a win like this on senior day but we are not done. We want to get to the championship game, win that, and get to the Rose Bowl."

On the relationship with B.J. Cunningham...
"It is amazing, me and B.J. (Cunningham) have been here together for four years and he is an amazing person and an amazing player. I am happy for him, the way he went out, I am happy for all the seniors the way we went out. We are going to enjoy this one."

On what it means to know you are playing in the Big Ten Championship game...
"It is great to find out that we clinched the Legends division. It is not done here, we want to go to Northwestern and get our 10th win and then keep going from there."

On being the winningest senior class...
"It is very special to be the winningest senior class, but the guys we have behind us, I don't think it will last very long because those guys are great and they will get plenty of wins here too."

 

 

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