"We're looking forward to playing an excellent Iowa team...a team that
has really established some momentum here in the Big Ten Conference race. When
you look at (Abdul) Hodge and (Chad) Greenway, two of the finest linebackers
in the country, No. 1 in the Big Ten in red zone offense and red zone defense,
which certainly presents a challenge for us. And offensively, I think Drew Tate
is another of the great quarterbacks we have got in this conference this year.
(Albert) Young has done a great job in the running game. And, of course, this
(Clinton) Solomon, with 21 yards a catch is extremely impressive. We need to
prepare and get ready to go into a very tough arena in terms of communication
and in terms of the enthusiasm their crowd brings to their team."
"What Iowa really does is they move their tackles down into real tight
positions on our tackles and make it very difficult to run inside. They're going
to make you run the football east and west, and they're a very difficult team
to run the football on because of the way they play. And to play that way, you
have to be physical. And they have established I think a toughness there and
a pride in defense. Their offense plays to that because they run the football
extremely well, and two those things complement themselves in terms of philosophy
as to how you are going to win. They have got a great kicking game. They always
have great coverage teams and they have always done a great job in the return
game. I think that's where it all starts, being a physical football team that
On the play Jamar Adams and Brandon Harriosn:
" I think I mentioned after the game...I think what Brandon Harrison did
coming in as a true freshman, I don't remember a true freshman, ever, since
I have been here, starting at safety. We have had some that started at corner.
It's a little bit easier out there in terms of what you have to know because
of the nature of defense. But certainly to play inside, and I think Jamar Adams
really had a wonderful game. When he recruited Jamar, we were fully expecting
him to be an outstanding football player. I think with the experience he has
gotten this year, I thought he made great strides late last week. In the second
half of the Minnesota game they came back with some things that they had done
to him in the first half, and a smart player is a guy that doesn't repeat mistakes.
I thought in this game he was physical. He is a big guy. I think that was one
of the real positive things that we took out of this game, that two guys could
go in, and it limited us somewhat defensively in some of the things that we
could do, particularly at the end of the game because we are so thin. But hopefully
we will get (Brandent) Englemon back and at some point Willis (Barringer) back
and I think that, as a team, its going to be a position of strength when they
come back because these two guys have proven they can do some things under the
stress of a big game."
On Iowa's defensive line:
"Well, I think they have gotten much better. And that's always part of
any team because every year you are losing 25 percent of your team and some
years you lose more at one position than others. So I think it's one of the
reasons they have been so good in the last three games."
On if Mario Manningham has surprised him:
"No. I do think that there is a lot to learn at that position. If you
don't line up right...I have seen a number of penalties this year. Nothing ruins
an offense like penalties. Normally they lead to punting the football. You've
got to have six guys on the line of scrimmage. If you don't, it's a five-yard
penalty. If you take a split that is improper, now the entire timing of the
route can be off. There is a multitude of things. I think what [Mario] has really
improved since he got here is his urgency of getting lined up and shifting and
in the motioning and running his routes at the right depth. He ran a wonderful
route on the touchdown pass. He broke it outside and he got the defender to
turn and he made a sensational catch. Now, there are a lot of great receivers
out there, but he caught that ball knee high with his hands away from his body.
That was a magnificent catch. And in the last play of the game, if he doesn't
take the proper split, if he doesn't do everything he is supposed to do, then
that play has a different outcome. I am not surprised because I saw him in high
school film, and he comes from an outstanding program with great coaches there.
He has been in a very competitive high school situation in terms of the competition
they played. So he had great preparation. I saw him play basketball. He's a
great athlete with great quickness, and he is tough. So I am not surprised,
On Rueben Riley:
"I can't say enough good things about Rueben Riley. Because, first of
all, he played almost an entire year a season ago. He stepped in and played
left guard and did a wonderful job. And then he missed most of spring practice
because of an injury he received, I think, the first day of pads in the spring.
So then to come back and be asked to move to tackle which is an entirely different
world.... A lot of times out there at tackle, you are on their best football
player, their fastest rusher. And he's got a two-way go and you have got to
protect the inside and got to be quick enough to not let them get around the
edge and hit the quarterback. To do all that with two casts on your hands and
never, never, complain... never make an excuse, and just go back out there and
fight...that's what Rueben has done. And if you know him, you are not going
to find a better person...better human being. I think our football team is very
appreciative of what he is trying to do under more than difficult circumstances."
On Riley's comment that the turning point for him came after he lost
a starting job last fall:
"There are lot of people who think that, it takes three years for a guy
to be in a program before you really know. Now you may know earlier that a guy
is going to be a great player. We have had some guys like (Jeff) Backus and
Jon Jansen and (Steve) Hutchinson and (Maurice) Williams some of those things
where you knew immediately. But you don't give up on a guy for at least three
years. Rueben was at a stage where I had some concern, and when he did really
fight back after that, I thought he had a disappointing fall a year ago, but
he just kept working hard. And when his opportunity came, he went in at a new
position again, at guard, and did a great job. So yeah, he's got something to
On Riley possibly playing center:
"I don't think his future has been decided here yet. I personally like
the thought of him playing center because he is a very good athlete. I mean
he can move for a guy as big as he is, so we will just have to see. But the
good news is no matter what he is asked to do, he will. He'll have been through
a lot tougher things."
On the special teams since the Iowa game of 2003:
"I think of course, we had some issues that year because we had some injuries
and we had some young guys in there, and then I made some mistakes. I think
Mike DeBord has done a great job. I think our guys have really bought into the
importance of special teams, and I think he is done a great job coaching them."
On former special teams coach Jim Boccher's situation:
"I think you need to talk to Jim about that. I would feel more comfortable
that way. But he is doing great. He is doing very, very well. And you know,
he had a lot to do with the recruiting of Chad Henne and Michael Hart. I mean
he left some very, very good things here at Michigan and a lot of good friends."
On Alan Branch:
"I think Alan has been one of the more improved football players on our
team. I think he is a great athlete. For a guy that size, I think I told you
the story where he was in the backfield in high school and he played basketball.
There is no question that he probably could carry more weight easier than a
lot of people because he is so athletic. But in terms of season, he needed to
get some weight down because of the wear and tear and your ability to recover
and your ability to play in the fourth quarter. He is still a young guy. Twice
on Saturday, he lost containment on the quarterback. Once on the fourth down
play late in the game and earlier on a scramble out of there. But he's been
playing a different position the last couple of weeks than he played earlier.
So those are things that are going to happen when you move guys around. But
he has really shown, I think, great potential. I think he has a chance to be
a great player."
On where he'd like to play Branch:
"I do think with the experience that he is getting [at defensive end],
it's going to give us, our coaches, a lot more flexibility because he has the
ability to play either. But I like him inside because he is so athletic and
he is hard to get blocked. When you have the abilities he has, it makes it very
difficult in the middle of the line. But he also hit the quarterback a few times
in that game and I think he did a lot of good things."
On getting the team re-focused after the emotional victory over Penn State:
"Well, I think it has to begin Sunday. I think the great thing, the thing
that gave us a chance to win the game on Saturday, the thing that gave me a
great feeling going into that game, was the fact that last Sunday, what we talked
about was forgetting the Minnesota game because there was nothing that we could
do. If we didn't let that game go, then we would be thinking about it Tuesday
and Wednesday instead of getting ready for an outstanding team. I don't think
it is any different this week. We have to put that game behind us. I think smart
teams do smart things, and smart teams understand that what you did yesterday
and what you did last week doesn't mean a thing."
On the importance of getting the two seconds put back on the clock:
"Well, I think, earlier in the game and I don't know exactly how it transpired,
[the referees] put four seconds back on the clock at the time. I can't remember
the exact scenario. But when I called timeout, and there is a new rule in college
football this year, or maybe it started last year, where the coach can call
timeout. Up until this rule change, the timeout had to come from a player. When
I asked for that timeout, I immediately looked at the clock, and I saw 32 seconds.
Now, you always understand that just because you are calling it at that time...he's
got to go through the process of stopping the clock and signaling and so on
and so forth. But his job on that play was to spot the ball for the previous
play. He told me, 'Coach, I had to spot the ball.' And I asked him if he would
check with the referee. And the referee fortunately was doing a good job because
he saw it and he said to me, 'I think there were, by the time the call was made,
by the time it got in there, it was 30.' He said, 'we're going to put two second
back on.' I have done that a number of times. I think every coach does. You
are always looking at that clock and you are hoping one of those officials close
to you will see the time. And there is an official assigned to do that, the
back judge, I think, and so that's how it happened."
On if he thought about calling a timeout after Chad Henne's fumble
so it could be reviewed:
"No. Well, I didn't ask. I didn't because that wasn't part of my thought
process. But what I saw, really, the play on tape is much, much closer. I don't
know if they had called it the other way, if they had had enough to overturn
it. But what I saw on the field and what I think is the right call is the one
they made. I think it was a fumble and because of what I thought when I saw
it, I never thought about asking for timeout."
On if the lack of a review on that play concerns him:
"I think what we probably will do, I am sure our officials in the Big
Ten will do, they're going to look at this whole issue and say okay, how much
time has been added to the game and could the games be shorter by giving coaches
the responsibility to ask for the review? Right now, what we have, and one of
the things that some people are complaining about and I'm not one of them, is
[controlling replays]. I don't like to add time to the games, but I think there
are some things that we can do in the rules to shorten the game. I do like the
fact that they have the ability to look at an unlimited number of plays and
get it right. I think that's part of the price we pay for getting it right.
I think there have been a lot of calls that have been made right because we
have this process."
On what does Mike Gittleson means to the program:
"Mike Gittleson? Mike is not a throwback. Mike got his master's degree
here in exercise physiology. I think he was one of the very highest in his class.
He is a very intelligent guy and he understands the human body. And in my judgment,
one of the issues as we go forward in intercollegiate athletics that I see as
a looming issue is all of the things that people are doing. What I really appreciate
about Mike is his dedication, his commitment and his love for our players. He
is a guy that is available. He is a very intelligent guy and we have a program
here in strength and conditioning that is based on safety first, and I'm proud
of that. I have talked with a lot of our players and about three years ago I
took almost a year to study our program in relation to other programs across
the country. I talked to a number of our players who have been in the NFL and
who have had a lot of experience in different training programs and to a man
they had great support for the way that we conduct our program. I think that
Mike Gittleson has done a great job here."
On the issue that concerns him:
"If you look around we have a major issue across this country with young
people and steroids and human growth issues. I think we need great leadership
not only among coaches, but among the presidents and the people who run intercollegiate
athletics because I think it’s a battle that we need to take a zero tolerance
position on. It's here and to think that it isn't here is to put your head in
On what Gabe Watson did to earn his starting job back:
"Well, you will have to ask him. I think he will have to answer that.
I think what is obvious to me, is that his enthusiasm, his intensity, his enjoyment
of the game in the last two or three weeks has been what I was expecting, what
I was looking for. But the rest of that question, you would have to ask him."
On Steve Breaston's play in recent weeks:
"Steve really struggled late in the summer in the training camp with a
hamstring, and so he wasn't full speed, and I think that injury really slowed
him down. And he is a guy that never complains. I think he went through a tough
period there. There is no question about that. But the last couple of weeks,
I'm seeing him do some things that indicate he is ready to go and I think that's
a great thing for our team."
On scoring the first third quarter touchdown of the season versus Penn
"I think our drive in the third quarter was something that we needed.
Our plan was to run inside because of the great speed and quickness they have
outside in the secondary. If you look at that game on either side defensively,
and I think this is true in most games, the defense wears down in most cases
more than an offense. I think neither team, late in the game, rushed the passer
like they did early. And certainly in the second half, we ran the football.
"The only good run we had in the entire first half, I think, was Antonio
Bass's run which was a big play because it led to three points down there. But
in the second half, particularly on that drive that you are talking about, we
ran the ball effectively. Even then, the biggest play of that drive was a great
throw that Henne made. That's a great defense now. I mean there is no gimme's.
And that's why I think Chad Henne made some great throws just throwing the football
away. But on that third down play, he made a great throw and of course Tyler Ecker ran a great route and there wasn't much space in there, but he hit him
and we got a first down on the two and we ran the football in and Mike made
a good run. I think it was extremely important to that game because I think
it gave us confidence offensively."
On Chad Henne's critics:
"I think this. People are looking, in many cases, and when I say people,
I am talking about those vocal critics... The truth is the great majority of
the people that support the University of Michigan, they think very, very highly
of Chad Henne and how he has conducted himself since he has been there. I think
there are always a few that are looking for perfection and they're not going
to get it from anybody. If you look at that game, he made, I think, one bad
throw in there. And that throw, if you know what happened, the play he threw
the ball away. He had all kinds of time. We were going into the north end zone.
The play before that, he got hit in the eye, and so he couldn't see out of his
left eye on the next play. The next play there was all kinds of time and he
finally had (Steve) Breaston breaking open, they had to play to coverage and
Chad threw the ball away because he couldn't see.
"But when you do what he did in the fourth quarter....I mean the throw
he made on the first down play after Breaston's return to start the last drive
was an excellent throw. I mean he under pressure...and in my judgment, that's
how you judge a quarterback, how they react to the pressure. And trust me, there
wasn't a lot of space in that defense and those people can rush the quarterback.
So I think you know, he didn't do it by himself. But I don't think anybody could
ask anymore of Chad Henne. Now, if you want to look across the country, just
tell me how many freshmen have done what he did as a true freshman. But to expect
perfection because he is a sophomore, he is not going to be perfect next year
or the year after. He is going to have some bad days. He is going to make some
bad throws. He is going to throw some interceptions. He is going to have some
fumbles. That's life."