BIG TEN TELECONFERENCE

Ron Turner with the media this week, staying positive read here.

TURNER: We just need to get back to work and try to get better. That is really what we can talk about right now. We have to stay together as a team, and rally together and try to go out everyday and get a little bit better. We did some good things on Saturday, showed some improvement in certain areas, and unfortunately, it wasn't enough. We've got to somehow rebuild the confidence and right now, we are to the point where we are very fragile and when something bad happens, which happens during the game, we get deflated and we have to work through that. The only way to do that is to keep working. We'll try to hit the field today and try to get better.

QUESTION: Transfers in college quarterbacks seems fairly commonplace, and did you have any misgivings about having Beutjer arriving on campus and competing for the job, and can you elaborate on the ripple effect it could have on the recruiting program that loses a quarterback?

TURNER: We knew Jon from high school, so we had checked him out and knew what was going on, and he knew he had to come in here and prove himself. He had to earn the respect from the players and the coaches, and he was willing to do that. The ripple effect if somebody leaves your program no matter what position it is will have an effect obviously because it affects your scholarships, you're always looking to have a set numbers of quarterbacks, linemen, at a time. So it affects the numbers and the prospects of getting somebody else.

QUESTION: Do you see this as something that is a dangerous slope for college football, how you may have just one quarterback, or is it just part of the sport?

TURNER: I don't think it is a whole lot different than it has been. If a kid's going to leave a program for playing time, it is difficult because wherever you go there is going to be competition. You go somewhere and you have somebody in front of you, and where isn't somebody they are going to bring somebody else in. 90% of the time I think it is a mistake when a kid leaves a program and goes somewhere else. Usually if they stay it works out.

QUESTION: Can you talk about what you've been able to get out of Matt Sinclair this year, especially with what he went through in the preseason?

TURNER: I think he is getting better as the season goes. We have to remember he is a first year starter. Jerry Schumacher was the starter last year, so Matt was coming in and played quite a bit, played some outside backer, but he is now playing inside, had a good spring and obviously had the illness at the start of the season that set him back a week and a half, two weeks of practice. Matt's getting more comfortable all the time, there's nothing better than experience and getting out there and playing and see things and make mistakes and you keep doing it and you get better. I think Matt's improved all the time and I think health wise, his weight is still not up where it was. I don't know if his strength is totally up, that's something he's been fighting all year as well.

QUESTION: What is Beutjer's status for this weekend?

TURNER: Jon is very doubtful for this week. He is going to get one more test this afternoon and we'll see where he is. He is not going to practice today and then we'll see what happens, but he is doubtful, and we will know for sure in a little while.

QUESTION: I am interested in your perceptions of Michigan's pass defense. They have done pretty well statistically this year; what do you see on film about that group?

TURNER: Well, I see great players all over the field; they are a very good team. I think their corners are outstanding. You know it all ties in, it's not just the secondary—the corners and the secondary are all very good players. They've got a lot of experience, a lot of starts between them. It is also the linebackers, being consistent with their drops or they are coming after you. They are very good; they are very sound with what they do, very consistent with what they do. They make very few mistakes. They are very dependable, and on top of it have great athletes. It is a great defense.

QUESTION: One of the changes Michigan is going to make this week is putting in number 56 Lamar Woodley, who is a true freshman and a defensive end, and he had a good game against Minnesota. Do you see anything of Woodley that stood out to you?

TURNER: He is a good player. He had a very good game last week, very productive. I see a guy that is going to be like a lot of Michigan players, he is going to be one of the top players in the country, but with the experience he is getting I see he will be a great player.

QUESTION: (Name inaudible): A lot of people are calling for Joe Paterno's head and pointing fingers at the head coach because they are 0-3. Since you are in the same boat, can you shed some light from a coaching standpoint on where the accountability is, do you point fingers at the receivers who drop the balls, players who miss tackles…or I guess what goes on behind the scenes when you are 0-3?

TURNER: The accountability is to everybody and that's we talked about. Obviously, it starts with me as a head coach and that is where it begins. It is a result-oriented business, you either win or lose, so I can understand all the frustration, but the accountability goes deeper than that. It goes through the whole team and we talked about that as a team and that everybody is accountable for what they do. For anyone to call for Joe Paterno is crazy. The guy is a legend and a great coach.

QUESTION: Do you think that in the changing world of college football that there is a different standard for Joe Paterno because he's been there so long?

TURNER: He has earned the respect of everyone in this business and he has earned the right to go through some tough times. He is a proven great coach. Everyone has to go through some tough times, but there is no question he is a good coach and has been a great coach.

QUESTION: You got an up close and personal view of Jeff Smoker the other day, and I was wondering if you could give us some impressions of him and are you impressed that he has been able to overcome the suspension and the substance abuse this year and to bounce back and lead that team?

TURNER: First of all, we had too close a view of him. He is a great player. I thought going into the game he was a tremendous player and very instinctive, a team leader, everything you look for in a quarterback. After watching him from the sideline, he did nothing to diminish that. He is a tremendous and I am impressed that he has been able to bounce back from the difficulties he's had and that shows the true character and toughness of somebody when you go through a tough time and fight through it, be yourself, and know what you have to do to get it done. When things get tough some cave in, but he didn't and he won't, and that's why he has the respect of his teammates and why he is doing what he is doing.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say that you and your fellow coaches and the players are shocked at how things have gone through the first half of the season?

TURNER: Yes it is fair, but there are a lot of words you could use. Shocked, mad, disappointed, and we never imagined we would be having the kind of record and the kind of year we are having to be honest with you. It's happened and we have to work through it. There are reasons for it and everything else, but we've got to find the answers and try to get through it.

QUESTION: When the team walks out on the field at Michigan, I know coaches want their teams to believe they can win, do you think they will have that feeling on Saturday?

TURNER: I don't know, it is going to be tough. That's the challenge we have as coaches and players to build the confidence. We're going into a play a good football team on the road in a tough place, but that's athletics, you have got to believe you are going to go out and win. You can't ever step on the field having doubt believing you can win, and that's what we have been doing this week in practice, trying to go out and get better, making plays when we have the opportunities, and believing we have good football players that can go out there and play with them.

QUESTION: Ron, you have played both Purdue and Wisconsin, could you break down their strengths, and critique both (Kyle) Orton and (Jim) Sorgi?

TURNER: I think they are both great teams. Obviously Wisconsin is very physical on both sides of the ball, they have a great offensive line, great running backs. Against us, they were just pounding the ball and we couldn't do much about it. They have a very good scheme and a very good team. Defensively they have superior athletes and they are very physical and tough to run against. Sorgi is a good player. He manages the team very well, does what he needs to, he is very smart, and does what he can to win. I think Purdue is one of the top teams in this conference. I said that coming into the season. They have nine starters back from last year off a team that led the league in defense, they have a good scheme, very sound, not real complicated, but they know what they are doing and do it well. They have outstanding athletes and outstanding confidence defensively. Offensively they are very explosive. Their quarterback understands the system and has a real good feel for it. They can run the ball, and throw the ball. I think they're underrated and should be ranked higher.


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