Roth Tries to Escape Holding Pattern

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz compiled a videotape of Michigan offensive linemen holding his defensive end last Saturday. The Wolverines weren't the first team to employ the tactic: "That's what the offense does," Roth said Tuesday. "They hold...It's legal to an extent. So, you've really got to expose it if you want it to get called."

Are you getting held more than you thought that you would?

(Laughs) I expect to get held. It just comes with the turf. Our guys don't do much holding in practice, so I've got to get used to it.

Coach is going to work with the defense because we're obviously getting held. We've got to get a lot of separation and not allow then to get into our body.

During the course of the game, do you try to point this out to the offcials?

No. I never really talk to the officials. Coach usually sees it, and he'll start getting on them. I can't really help it. I just have to play through it.

What was the most blatant time that you've been held this year? Can you explin that?

(Laughs) They've all been pretty blatant. (Laughs) It doesn't really come down to them. It's more me and the other guys. We've got to really work to really expose it or play through it.

How do you work to expose it?

Just run, fight, claw, whatever you've got to do to get through it. Hopefully the ref will make the call. We have to work harder in not allowing it to happen.

Do you get held on every play?

(Laughs) Yeah. That's what the offense does. They hold. That's legal. It's almost an oxymoron. But it's legal to an extent. So, you've really got to expose it if you want it to get called.

How much of it is salesmanship?

A lot of it. I'm not going to be flailing around and dropping to the ground. But you've got to sell it. I'd rather play through it than sell it.

Coach said that he's going to send a tape to the Big Ten office. Do you think that will do any good?

I hope. I can't make the calls. The ref has got to. I can say it until I'm blue in the face. They've got to call it.

Is there one team through your years that stands out as being good at holding?

Michigan is good at holding. They've always got big guys. The whole Big Ten, they're so big. Six foot nine, 300 pounds,they just wait for you to get in close and they just grab you like a bear. You've got to get off of it.

Do they try to throw you off balance?

No. That's why we love the Big Ten Conference because it's physical and holding is allowed. It works to our guys' advantage too somtimes. You can't really get bent out of shape. You've just got to play through it.

Where does Michigan State rank?

I don't know. I'll see in the film. I'll rate them for you. I'll be sure to let you know next week.

Do you look at the film to see how they hold? Is that part of the preparation?

Yeah. You can definitely use moves off of that. If they're holding low, you know where to shoot your hands.

Where do most guys usuallu hold you?

Low. They let me get into them and drive them back, and then they'll grab right underneath the breast plate or over my shoulders. I wish I was 6-foot-8.


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