"It was a good outing for our team. I think we had an opportunity to play
a lot of guys in the second half that really needed some experience. I thought
Manningham and Bass both got the ball in their hands a few times, which I think
will help them. Brandon Harrison made a big hit there in the second half. We
got a lot of young linebackers opportunities, the offensive line, a lot of backs,
and quarterbacks…so it was the kind of outing that I like how we came
out and took advantage of the opportunities we had early. There was an outstanding
punt return by Steve Breaston, and then we got a break there where they had
a miscue and snapped over the punters head. We took advantage of those opportunities
and we got ahead. What I like is we didn't slop around and play with a lot of
mistakes. We didn't turn the football over. A lot of good things there. Now
we're ready to go into the Big Ten schedule…eight games…and try
find a way to win a championship."
On Max Martin:
"Since Max got here there have been a few things. A couple of weeks ago,
he had an injury before the first game and was not completely healthy. We'd
been wanting to give him an opportunity and get him some work. I thought he
did a very good job. Obviously down the road here, most of the races I've been
in, you need somebody that can come in and give your team a lift. I think Max
put himself right in the middle of our running back situation. I think he did
a good job. I think the biggest thing that he did, really, was there were a
couple passes where he did a great job of protecting the quarterback. That's
been something that he has needed to improve on. He was great in practice this
week in stepping up and knowing the protections. That's big."
On why it is important to play schools from the state of Michigan:
"I think the truth is, with twelve games coming, the opportunity to play
Eastern, Central, and Western is good for our state from a financial standpoint.
The truth is every time you step on the field you can get beat. They're not
my favorite kind of game because sometimes kids that are 18 and 19 years old
read the newspaper and they make decisions based on what they think is going
to happen or should happen. So there are a lot of things there. But I think
it's great for our state. It brings everybody together. I think Michigan State
will be doing the same thing. I'd much rather play schools from this state because
I think it is better for people from the state of Michigan."
On getting Gutierrez time
"You're always looking for opportunities. The game was in hand so we took
advantage of the opportunity to get him some work. It's like every other position
on the football team…the stronger you are from a depth standpoint, the
better chance you have to reach your goals. We strengthened ourselves at quarterback
today because Matt got a lot of work. He got almost an entire half. There will
be some plays in there where he did very well. I thought he threw the ball sharply.
There are also a couple that he is going to learn from. Anytime you get game
experience, there are things that just help you improve."
On the offensive line heading into the Big Ten
"I think it's going to be a different deal, so I don't know where we are.
We'll find out how we come out of this game first of all. That's the first issue.
We'll have to see if we got anybody back. We are a long way from being where
we need to be."
On Chad Henne:
"We missed a couple of protections in there where he was pressured and
got hit. I thought his focus down the field…I thought he stood in there
on the one touchdown pass to Avant down in the left corner of the south end.
I thought he really showed some toughness by standing in there with a guy coming
down on him. He made a strike for a touchdown. I think he threw the ball very
well. I think this is going to be a new challenge for us…going on the
road. It's a different deal, but I thought he had a good half."
On the decision to play Antonio Bass today:
"What went into that was what I told him when we recruited him. We were
recruiting him to play, and he would have played a lot earlier had he been healthier.
He missed some practice in training camp, but you saw him make a guy miss there.
He almost came out of there with a big play. Manningham did the same thing.
Today will help them and that will help us because those are guys that can make
something happen when they get the football."
On if he is comfortable with where the team is heading into the Big
"Well, I like the guys on our football team. I like their attitude. They
certainly hung in there this week. It's not an easy week. They understand where
we are. There isn't anybody that's not accepting the challenge. That's really
what trying to win a championship is all about. There are always obstacles in
your way. There are always things that you can use as an excuse. But I like
the way they've confronted our particular situation here. I like the way guys
have stepped up. I like the chemistry on this team. But it's about to get a
lot tougher. I think we all understand that."
On Morgan Trent:
"I think he has done a very good job. I thought last week he made two
outstanding plays. He made one on the reverse. He stayed home and we came up
with a big loss. He made another outstanding play defensively on a pass play
where he had man to man coverage on a third down play. He knocked the ball away,
which forced a punt. I think Morgan will get better and better as we go."
On if Mike Hart will play this week:
"I can't tell you."
On if Hart could've played today:
"No, he was not going to play today."
On if you can learn anything from a game like this:
"Yeah, I think you learn a lot. First of all, you're coming off of two
very very physical games where we really didn't have the opportunity to play
some of our younger players. Alex Mitchell needed to play today. He played most
of the game. Bass and Manningham needed to play today. Brandon Logan got a chance
to play today. He needed to play. So if you're playing some of these non-conference
games that are all down to the wire, you don't have to opportunity to develop
and prepare your team to be much better at the end of the season, or much better
than it would be if you didn't have a chance to play them. Just because a guy
is a great athlete doesn't mean he is a great football player. He has got to
prove under game conditions that he can do all of the things that you ask him
to do, because if he can't, he is not going to have the chance to improve as
the season goes along. That's the deal."
More on Antonio Bass:
"He was hurt, so he missed a lot of practice time…particularly the
last week and a half before the first game. But he is a great athlete and he
is going to be a great football player here. That's my guess. So the opportunity
to get him the football today…he had a ten yard run there where he made
two or three guys miss. So did Manningham. What I like is the last two weeks
is they've gotten a chance to practice and were able to learn. They are a lot
further advance than they were three weeks ago. I think they are going to play
a very important role on this football team and I think they're going to be
exciting to watch over the next two or three years."
Any consideration to redshirting Bass:
"No. If he had ruled to where he couldn't play…but it was always
a matter of a few days or maybe a week. There was never any question that it
was a long term injury."