Denard talks about the 2nd half vs the 1st, Hemingway and Roundtree, and his booboo. Kovacs talks about the 4th down play, the NW offense, facing adversity … more.
Question: Can you talk about rebounding from the first half, three interceptions and talk about the second half?
Denard Robinson: “My teammates just kept pushing me and telling me to calm down and do what you can do. We’ve been practicing all week. Just do what I can do.”
Question: Just calm down, where you getting a little excited?
Denard Robinson: “Yeah, yeah. Some throws, I could have easily put it on the guy and I overthrew him….some things I learned from.”
Question: How much of it was your defense playing so much better in the second half for the offense?
Denard Robinson: “Oh yeah, it was a big lift. We came in and made some adjustments and did what we had to do.”
Question: Was there a confidence to this team at halftime even though you were down ten knowing that you could play better?
Denard Robinson: “Oh yeah. We knew that we didn’t play Michigan football and we had to do it.”
Question: When you guys are down and you say you want to play Michigan football, does that confidence from your coaches and the adjustments that they are going to make and how confident are you in them?
Denard Robinson: “The coaches and the players, all of them look at each other, we know we’re going to hold each other accountable.”
Question: When you hurt your hand was there some treatment that you got?
Denard Robinson: “No. It was nothing. It was a little boo-boo.”
Question: When you score a touchdown and you go down on one knee, what is it that you are thinking or saying?
Denard Robinson: “I got to give word to god. That’s who made me and gave me this ability.”
Question: Talk about Junior Hemingway’s play and how he stepped up today.
Denard Robinson: “Junior always going to make good plays. I think he’s one of the best receivers in the country.”
Question: What did you learn from watching Northwestern playing Illinois last week that helped you guys today?
Denard Robinson: “They came up on the run a lot. So that kind of helped us out and we watched the film on that.”
Question: You like those jump balls, one to Junior, one to Roy Roundtree.
Denard Robinson: “We worked all summer on stuff like that, and that’s what the guys do, and all the receivers can get big like that.”
Question: Can you talk about when you got the boo-boo, was it on that one carry?
Denard Robinson: “Yeah. I took a little shot and I had to get out. I wanted to help the team, don’t cost the team, we’re on the goal line.”
Question: When you have a poor first half is there more of an urgency on your part to get it right in the second half?
Denard Robinson: “No. We’re a team and that’s one thing we strive on. We’re a team and it is not just one player.”
Question: What did you talk with Coach Borges about because obviously in the second half you had more success; what was the adjustment?
Denard Robinson: “He just told me to calm down and make the plays that you can make.”
Question: Those fourth down situations that you go for, is that all Coach Hoke or do you ever look at him and…?
Denard Robinson: “Coach Hoke, he gives us the look. We tell him that we can get it and that’s what he do.”
Question: You guys were 14 of 17 on third downs, how big was that just to keep their defense on the field?
Denard Robinson: “That was a big deal. We holding possession of the ball and that’s what we focus on every game. We want to win that.”
Question: Everybody says you learn a lot more about your team on the road, what did you learn about this team?
Denard Robinson: “We never going to quit and we’re always going to fight.”
Question: Have you ever been on the road and had so many Michigan fans?
Denard Robinson: “This was crazy. It was crazy. It was surprising.”
Question: You always talk about your mechanics and everything, do you feel like this game is a step forward for you or a step back?
Denard Robinson: “I think I did alright in the second half. I stepped into the throws like I was supposed to and like coach told me to.”
Question: When you say they are telling you to calm down and slow down, do you feel like you’re racing, your heart is racing in the first half and yours is really to up tempo?
Denard Robinson: “Yeah I guess I get too excited and I just got to calm down.”
Question: How important was that you guys scored coming out of the second half like that?
Denard Robinson: “We needed to do that. We needed to help the defense. We’ve got co complement each other.”
Question: That exciting feeling you had, is that the same feeling you had against Notre Dame?
Denard Robinson: “Oh yeah. This is a Big Ten game and we trying to win the Big Ten, so oh yeah.”
Question: What was the feeling at the end on the fourth down play?
Jordan Kovacs: “We had a blitzed called, I was coming off the edge and the D-line did a good job of opening up the gap. I just came in and I guess you could say that I made the play. I’ve never really seen anything like that. I didn’t know that that was really a rule but we’ll take it.”
Question: What about the defensive adjustments in the second half?
Jordan Kovacs: “Yeah I think we did a good job of adjusting. The coaches drew up a couple of different plays at halftime and for the most part we did a great job of adjusting. Obviously, the first half wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but I got to hand it to this defense, they came out and made some great adjustments, but we still got a long way to go, a lot of improving to do.”
Question: Why do you think you struggled with their option in the first half?
Jordan Kovacs: “They’re a good team. It is a tough task to come in here at night on Big Ten Network and try to compete with guys like that. You got to hand a lot of credit to Northwestern. They’re a very good offense, but for the most part we made some great adjustments at half and that was the biggest difference in the game.”
Question: There was a lot of question about how you guys would respond to playing on the road, how do you think you guys responded to playing away?
Jordan Kovacs: “We knew that we were going to have some adversity. Any time you go on the road it is tough, a night game in Evanston, it’s tough. Like I said, we came out in the second half and did our jobs and that was the difference in the game.”
Question: Did it really feel like a true road game because it seemed like more than half the fans were Michigan fans?
Jordan Kovacs: “It’s different. It is not Michigan Stadium, so it’s definitely a lot different.”
Question: How important were those two turnovers in the second half?
Jordan Kovacs: “Those were huge. Any time that you can get turnovers, they’re huge for the defense and we always strive to get some takeaways and unfortunately, we lost that battle today, but we did have a couple of big turnovers that I think were a big decider in that game.”
Question: On the fourth and inches option play in the first half, what did you see there?
Jordan Kovacs: “Just kind of hanging outside and read the option and kind of came off, instincts took over and just made a play.”
Question: How much was intensity greater in the second half or was that not a problem in the first half?
Jordan Kovacs: “Like I said before, it’s tough to come in on the road, night game. The defense did pick up that intensity in the second half and that was key for us.”
Question: Did Mattison say anything specific to you guys?
Jordan Kovacs: “Not anything that we hadn’t heard before.”
Question: Why was the Northwestern spread giving you guys fits in the first half?
Jordan Kovacs: “It is a good offense. It is a very good scheme. They spread the defense out, but they spread us out to run the ball and they got us on a few bubble screens, but we made some adjustments and we improved.”
Question: How impressed were you that you were able to shut them out in the second half?
Jordan Kovacs: “That’s what we strive to do. The defense knew that we were going to have to step up to the plate in the second half if we wanted any chance to win the game and so that’s what we did and guys made some plays. Thomas (Gordon) made a nice strip and (Brandin) Hawthorne had a big turnover so those were key plays for us.”
Question: Say something about turnovers, that knew you were going to get some.
Jordan Kovacs: “We knew that if we kept flying around and playing hard and get hats on the ball, we were going to get some takeaways and that’s what happened.”
Question: Can you talk about the offense and that maybe the best defense is keeping Dan Persa off the field with long drives?
Jordan Kovacs: “No doubt and I think that is something that our offense has done a great job of this season, like you said, our best defense is our offense and if we’re not on the field, they can’t score any points and that’s key for us. They’ve done a great job of sustaining long drives and that’s what we look for in our offense.”