Devin, six touchdowns today; thoughts on that?
GARDNER: I mean, it was a great game. The line blocked well, we ran the ball, Denard ran well, Roy caught the ball well. Every receiver that caught a ball, they caught a tough pass, so I’m happy about that.
Devin, how did it change things for you, having Denard in there with you, knowing he was going to take some snaps, and how did it change the preparation?
GARDNER: That’s not a question for me, that’s probably a question for Iowa, how it changes them. It was great for me. That’s just something that they had to game plan for, but they didn’t know, so it was great.
Did it change the week, in the way that you were preparing?
GARDNER: No, it didn’t.
This might be an odd question, but did it feel like a changing of the guard today?
GARDNER: I don’t really understand the question.
Did it feel like the past, present and future were all together in one?
GARDNER: I don’t really know about that. I know it felt great, because I knew that they had no idea what was going to come. They thought they knew. They would yell out ‘Denard’s in the game’, but they didn’t know what kind of play we were going to run, so if that answers your question.
Do you think that gives Ohio State a lot to think about?
GARDNER: Oh yeah, it definitely does. Unless they don’t want to, I mean, that’s fine for me as well.
Roy, Brady said that he’s noticed you’re now catching the ball with your hands more than with your body, letting it go into your body. Are you aware of that? Is that conscious? When did you change – when did that occur?
ROUNDTREE: Back in the spring, actually, when Coach Heck had us on tennis balls, and had all the right receivers, you know, just eye coordination, and just something I really worked on this year, and by using my hands away from my body really helps, because if a defender’s on your back, you have to have strong hands and you’ll be good.
For both of you, it looked like today was the most effective you guys were in the downfield vertical passing game. What was working so well there?
GARDNER: Big plays, you know, Roy made big plays, and Gallon made a big play, so that’s really all I can say about it.
ROUNDTREE: Yeah, just some of the coverages that they were throwing, part of those blown coverages, and Devin was seeing the open throws.
Devin, you obviously knew what was coming today before anyone here, or the fans knew. How exciting was it during the week knowing what you guys were going to unleash? Did you know it would work like this?
GARDNER: Yeah, because it really worked on our defense. They had a rough time, and every time after practice when we got in the locker room, they said ‘mean, they’re going to have a problem with that’, so that was enough for me. If they knew the next day of practice that it was coming, from the first day, they still couldn’t stop it. I felt like the other team would definitely not be able to stop it.
Devin, with Denard taking quarterback snaps here and there, that could potentially throw you out of your rhythm. Didn’t really seem to though. Is that something you had to work through in practice this week, or was it not that difficult to do that?
GARDNER: I mean, it wasn’t difficult at all, because we practiced every day doing it. I would come out for a play, and it would give me a break, you know, to rest, and get my thoughts together anyways.
Devin, I remember earlier in the year when you were playing wide receiver you said you considered yourself a quarterback. Is there a sense of relief for you now that you had to step in because Denard was injured, and you’ve performed, and you’re finally getting the shot at being Michigan’s quarterback?
GARDNER: I really enjoy it, because I’ve always thought of myself as a quarterback, and honestly, I never knew how I would perform either, just like you guys didn’t, so it’s just refreshing to know that I can play quarterback at Michigan.
For both of you, how glad are you that Denard’s injury wasn’t serious enough that it kept him out, I mean, to end his spectacular career on sideline with that elbow injury, and that’s obviously not going to be the case…
GARDNER: I was upset, you know, I mean, that’s my brother. He’s not just my teammate, he’s my brother, so I mean – and any player on any team I wouldn’t like for that to happen. I’d like for everyone to have the chance to play this great game.
ROUNDTREE: I feel the same, you know, he worked hard to get back, and thank God that he got to go out there his last time in Michigan’ stadium and perform well.
Can you talk about the last things you remember walking out of the stadium today?
After the game.
ROUNDTREE: After the game, just getting the W, you know, and going back up the tunnel, seeing all the media taking pictures, and the fans are screaming, I really got chill bumps, and I really enjoyed my time playing here, and I left it all on the field, every play.
Devin, I just want to ask you, I think you were around Fitz when he was injured. What was that moment like? It clearly looked like he was in a lot of pain.
GARDNER: It was heartbreaking to see Fitz in so much pain like that. I’ve never – Fitz is a really tough guy, and I’d never seen his face grimacing like that, and you know, I just pray that he’ll be alright. I just prayed instantly, as soon as he went down, and hopefully he’ll be fine.
Devin, you talked about a relief in how today’s start went. Are you kind of surprised about your progression from Minnesota to now, how much you’ve grown quarterback?
GARDNER: Not really, because after every game, I get coached on those things you don’t see. I got coached on everything I did wrong, and I try not to make the same mistakes. Of course you’re going to make new mistakes. I threw an interception today on a cover-two corner I should have seen, and I fumbled the football, so those are new mistakes that I just can’t let happen again.
Devin, what’s it like – like you said, they were calling out Denard’s name when he was in the game. What’s it like when you’re – you know the play, and it might not necessarily go to him, but they’re kind of keying in on him?
GARDNER: Yeah, because they did it in practice, too. Frank Clark – we were running a tailback back screen and he said ‘you guys, you know what’s coming, you know what’s coming’, and I was like ‘no, you don’t, you have no idea’. You think you knew, but you don’t, and then we threw right over their head, and it happened the exact same way in the game today, and we scored a touchdown.
For the guys that haven’t been through what this week will be like, going down to Columbus what are you going to be able to tell them, Roy, especially as an Ohio guy?
ROUNDTREE: Finish, you know, last game of the year, playing Ohio, you know, ever since those guys got here, we bring it up, and we say ‘beat Ohio’, so I’m pretty sure they know this week is totally focused, and there’s Thanksgiving break, so you get more time in the film room.
Roy, the receivers always talk about how much pride you take in blocking, and everything, but for the third straight week there’s been more passing yards than running yards. Is it fun for you guys to be getting more action downfield and catches and things like that?
ROUNDTREE: It’s always fun, catching balls, being a receiver, but our main thing, like I said earlier, is knockdowns, and plus we had to make the big plays when they’re supposed to be made, and I feel like we all did a great job with that.
Roy, you guys haven’t lost a home game in two years. After the way your career started, just your reflections on that.
ROUNDTREE: Man, the guys stuck it out, and actually became Michigan men, and we actually felt the tradition, and I feel like Coach Hoke really emphasized that. Don’t let anyone come to your house and take over. And that’s something the seniors from last year did, and the seniors from team 133 also did.
Roy, how would you describe the improvement Devin’s made since he first started playing quarterback this year?
ROUNDTREE: A lot. He’s always really calm, but sometimes, you know, he’ll pull one of those moments out where you had to call a time out, stutter the play or something, but I feel like he’s really stayed humble, and led this team, and he’s showed confidence in what he can do.
Coach Hoke said that 18 months ago they started thinking about the idea of using you and Denard quite a bit. Did you ever get a whiff of that? Did you ever have an idea – I mean, beyond the deuce package that it could be something that could be used in this fashion… this much?
GARDNER: No, I never thought that, because if Denard hadn’t gotten hurt, I would be still playing receiver, and we would be winning games in a different fashion, so I never thought I would get to do things like this, like I’m doing right now. I’m just thankful that I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity.