This is a big victory going into that bye week, you can get some people healthy.
Yes, it's nice. The Debacle in the Desert, as everyone is calling it, is forgotten. We played pretty well at Michigan, but we had turnovers and other little things happening to our disadvantage. Today, we beat a good Michigan State team so do not let that score fool you. We stepped up and our team dug in at some key times - we just played pretty darn good football.
Your pass coverage was salty today. Was that because of a good week in practice or did the film dictate that and fall into our strengths on defense?
Well, it is tougher than the norm when they spread you out with five wide sets and things like that. I think the coaches had a good game plan before the game and we stuck to that. They spread us out and we tried to get some pressure on the QB off the edge. It worked because we got to him, I do not think he was used to the pounding of the Big Ten. But he stood in there and made some good throws. How many times did he throw, like eighty (laughs)? I credit them for playing in a tough place and continuing to battle to the final gun.
Is it tough to go against a guy like that - the scouting report had to show you he scrambles a lot.
He can scramble when he needed to. But, as you saw, they use him in the game plan to run the quarterback draw and some old style option, waggle type stuff. It is tough to defend when you get all spread out and they leave you with nothing in the box but a linebacker. It is tough on the d-line when they run that QB draw. It would not matter if you were playing against them and were the Dallas Cowboys out there. It was just something they do and we had to adjust to it and get the stops. Later into the game, we started to read his tendencies more and made the stops.
Did their scouting report paint a pretty clear picture that dime and nickel coverage would be used so much?
Yes, it did. Of course, when you go against a team that spreads the offense out and has a scrambling QB you will run it more than you are used to. It is similar to what we will have to do against Purdue. It is just a defense having to adjust to different offensive sets.
Were you happy with the line play today?
Yes, we played well and all just game together great. It was just a pretty good day.
The offensive line played well and opened some great lanes to run and throw into.
When we did run the ball (laughs) we made some good runs out of it. We gave Drew some pretty good pass protection as a whole.
When a guy throws for 340 yards and has time to make decisions like he did that has got to make the lineman happy.
The big thing is that we came out with a win, you know. When you do that, that is the biggest thing. It is just good to have Drew behind us, he is an excellent quarterback.
Did the coaches talk to you before today about the fact they might open the playbook up a little more than usual?
The coaches came up with a great game plan. When they do that we just have to do our jobs and execute. When we execute the offense executes. And when our offense executes, well, you see what happens. We put ourselves in a great position to win the ball game.
Is it good to have Brian Ferentz back out there next to you?
Yes it is good because he played a lot last year. It is pressure off my back when he is next to me with that experience. I always know that if I make the wrong calls out there he will tell me, "what are you doing, what are you talking about? that is not right." He has a lot of Coach Ferentz in him, that is for certain. It is just good to have Brian back.
Going into the bye week what is the plan?
No matter if it is a bye week or Ohio State week, we are going to be working hard. Each week we want to get better, that is the big thing. We just have to get better for them, they are a top ten team. In the Big Ten every team is a good team so every one on our team has to get better each play.