Indiana tight end Danny Friend met with the media yesterday and talked about bouncing back from the Wake Forest loss, and what the team needs to do to eliminate some of the mistakes they made against the Demon Deacons.
Q - What is the mood of team after the loss to Wake Forest?
DANNY FRIEND: There is still a lot of confidence and positivity in our locker room, and we’re not going to let this one loss deter us from our goals
Q - Last week (against Wake Forest) was the least amount of rushing yards you guys have had since Michigan State last year. With Michigan State coming in this week is that something you guys are aware of?
DANNY FRIEND: Absolutely. We’re focused on establishing that running game, and we worked on it today (Monday), and it is something that we’re going to continue to work on the rest of the week.
Q - When you generate as many yards as you guys did (against Wake Forest), but because of the turnovers things didn’t work out, what is the key to maintaining the yard production while also eliminating the turnovers?
DANNY FRIEND: Just being more consistent and finishing when we get into that score zone. We have to be able to equalize how many points we get we have to be able to score touchdowns. We have to be able to finish and get into that end zone.
Q - What do you say to a quarterback after a game where he throws for almost 500 yards but also has the five picks?
DANNY FRIEND: Some of those were play calling and protection. Not all of those are on Rich. Yes he had those five turnovers but those are five turnovers as a team. We take those and look at what we could’ve done differently in protection, what we could’ve done differently in play calling, and what we could’ve done differently at the quarterback position. That is something we will work on this week.
Q - How frustrating was it with all the penalties on Saturday?
DANNY FRIEND: It is frustrating because those are self-inflicted things. Those are things that have to be corrected for us to win those types of games.
Q - How do you clean those up?
DANNY FRIEND: People just have to lock in. Mental focus is huge and if you’re off by just a little bit penalties happen.
Q - You have obviously faced Michigan State a number of times. When you look at not only their team this year, but also their program, what do you feel makes them a team that is good and goes to big bowls on a regular basis?
DANNY FRIEND: They are a very consistent Big Ten program. Coach (Mark) Dantonio does a great job with the senior leadership that they have, and how they just continue to replace really good players. That is something that this program (Indiana) needs to continue to do and get better at.