On being awarded Bennie Oosterbaan’s #47…
Jake Ryan: It’s an honor. Coach Hoke called me in about a week ago and told me I was going to be wearing 47, and it’s been an honor. This game’s awesome for me, and just wearing it is amazing. I’m going to wear it with pride, and represent him as well as I can.
Did wearing it today bring any strength to your performance today? It looked like you were a mad dog out there.
JAKE RYAN: I did a little research on Bennie, and I just feel like he was a really athletic, just – Michigan man, and I feel like, it’s just a number, but I’m representing someone, so I don’t know, I guess a little bit. I kind of had pride in what I did.
Jake, you guys really seemed to struggle when they pitched to that side. What would be going on there as far as their option, and as far as your line and linebackers?
JAKE RYAN: Yeah, I mean, there’s just technique. We just need to improve on our technique, and just get back to the benches and see what we did wrong, and what we need to improve on, and go from there?
Was it anything specific, though?
JAKE RYAN: No, just technique. I mean, we weren’t playing our technique, so we didn’t get ____.
After gearing up so much for Alabama, did it take a couple series before you really knew what you were up against?
JAKE RYAN: Yeah, I mean, we prepared all week. We had a whole week to prepare. But yeah, coming off that Alabama loss, it was tough, but I think just going through that week, we progressed, and I feel like – we’ve gotten that question a lot – I feel like toward the end of the first quarter you kind of knew what was going on, and knew what we had to do, and just got it done.
Did you have a chance to meet any of the Oosterbaan family members that were in town?
JAKE RYAN: Unfortunately, I did not, but I’d love to.
Denard, can you talk a little bit about your chemistry with Devin Funchess? He seemed to be your top target tonight.
Denard Robinson: He’s one of the guys that always makes plays in practice, and we need to use him. His name was called because Moore went down, so I mean, he played a heck of a game.
Obviously, you looked a lot better today than you did a week ago. What were you working on during the week, and what were they giving you today?
DENARD ROBINSON: I think I calmed down a little more, and played Michigan football. We still have time to improve. I feel like we still have to improve, so we went out and played ball today, so…
Can you talk about both of your touchdown runs, and is there a sense that once you break out, nobody’s going to catch you?
DENARD ROBINSON: Oh, yeah. Not to be cocky or anything, but once I get in front of everybody and I see the (endzone), I don’t think I’m going to be caught from behind.
On his individual performance and possibly being Big Ten player of the week…
DENARD ROBINSON: To be honest with you, I’m more focused on the team and the Big Ten championship, more than me winning the Big Ten player of the week, because that’s my goal – to win the Big Ten this year, and I won’t settle for anything less.
More on Ryan being awarded Bennie Oosterbaan’s #47…
JAKE RYAN: Bennie was a really good athlete. He was a two-time All-American and he made a lot of plays on the football field, and hopefully I can represent him like that.
What can you guys take away from this game, and how does playing an opponent that you’re not going to see that type of offense this season. So what do you take away from it that you can use going forward?
JAKE RYAN: I mean, we’re definitely going to take a look at the film. Just technique was huge in this game. They’re really disciplined, come downhill real fast, they’re very physical. I don’t know – just stopping the run I feel like is what Air Force did, and they’re a huge running team, and I just feel like looking at what they did, and how we came to it, I just feel like we can progress from there and keep moving forward with U-Mass.
Can you describe the high tempo offense they have, and how that plays into what you have to do defensively to counteract that?
JAKE RYAN: I mean, yeah, Air Force is very high tempo. We’re not going to play another team like them this year, but just – I don’t know, I feel like – I don’t know how to answer that, but…
What’s it like being on the defensive side of that type of offense?
JAKE RYAN: I mean, it’s crazy. There’s different things coming at you all the time. You have the option, you have the dive. You have to read what your key is, and what you have to look at is key, and playing technique is a big part of that.
Overall, how do you feel about where your defense is at?
JAKE RYAN: I think we’re playing well. We definitely need to get better. As we go on with U-Mass, we need to get better through this week, and go from there.
Can you talk about just that final defensive series and for all the things you guys were not able to stop at certain points today, just kind of take me through the emotion of that, and that final big play.
JAKE RYAN: We all came together, and I mean, we decided ‘we need to get this done; we need to get this worked out and out of here’, so we all came together and it’s a defensive effort the whole time. We just needed to stop them and go from there.
Denard, obviously you had more carries this week than against Alabama. You always say it doesn’t matter, as long as it helps the team. What do you think helped the team best? When you were carrying it as much as you were today, or when you’re running back has more carries?
DENARD ROBINSON: I think whatever’s working. Whatever’s working, just go with the flow and enjoy it. I mean, if the running back is running the ball 20-something times, I wouldn’t mind. If I’m running the ball 20-something times, I wouldn’t mind. If I’m throwing the ball 20-something times, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it takes to win, that’s what we’re going to do?
What works best, do you think?
DENARD ROBINSON: Whatever’s happening in the game, depending on how the flow of the game’s going.
After Alabama, and a close call at home here, people are saying this seems to be trouble. Do you see it just as an improving effort, and that the team is going to get better?
DENARD ROBINSON: Air Force is a good team. That’s a hard offense to stop. I mean, not a lot of teams can stop that Air Force offense, so I mean, we came out and played ball today, and we played pretty well I think. And we just have to keep moving forward, and progress, and get better at everything we do. So that’s how I look at it. I think we did get better than the first week, so we just have to keep going.
(Talk about) chemistry with your receivers today, and what does your team take from last week and build on in preparation?
DENARD ROBINSON: We just have to get back up and fight, and never give up. The receivers – we always had that chemistry, we just had to put it forward on the game field.
How would you assess your comfort level (with the offense)?
DENARD ROBINSON: However Coach calls it, I’m down for it. If he wants me on the center, that’s all good. If he doesn’t—today I threw two touchdowns on the center I think, and I did throw the ball pretty well in the shotgun. So I think whatever Coach called, and that was the line basically giving me time to throw the ball, that’s how comfortable I’ll be.
Is that maybe an underrated part of your progression – how you are under center?
DENARD ROBINSON: I don’t know, I don’t really get into the hype or whatever, so.
On the team going forward…
DENARD ROBINSON: This team, I feel like we won’t quit, we won’t stop, and we’re going to keep fighting, and we’re going to keep doing that. We aren’t going to give up, no matter what.
JAKE RYAN: The Big Ten championship’s our goal, and that’s what we need to get.