Full Transcript: Coach Rod Postgame

Denard and other injuries, the Michigan defense, the running backs, the quarterbacks, and the guys who got in the game today.

Coach Rodriguez: "Overall, I'm pretty pleased. It was a good win. I thought we got better in all three phases. There is also some things that we got to fix, but I thought we played better defensively, a little more aggressive. Offensively, we were able to control the game by running the football well. I thought our quarterbacks, all three of them were pretty accurate and did nice a job of running the offense. Denard (Robinson) seems to be fine. I know that is the first questions that everybody is going to ask. Talking to him and the trainers. He had two things that happened. He landed on the ball and lost his breath and then he tweaked his knee a little bit. I think if he had to come back in, he could have. He will get some treatment and get ready to go and we'll be fine for next week." Question: Did he have an MRI or anything, or a test?

Coach Rodriguez: "No. The trainers couldn't feel that and again, Denard was moving around pretty good on it. I think talking to him and the trainers, and the trainers are more qualified than Denard is. He should be okay."

Question: Can you talk about the excitement you saw from Tate (Forcier) just being back out on the field?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah, I think Tate and Devin (Gardner) both, all of these guys. We were able to play a lot of guys fortunately in the fourth quarter and they all worked extremely hard and it is good to be able to get some guys in there. It was nice to be able to get some seniors in there and get a couple of reps. I wish we'd have been able to get them in earlier. I thought everybody who went in there performed pretty well."

Question: Your running backs… it seemed like whoever you put in there was able to do whatever they wanted to do. Was that because of the line?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. It started up front. I thought our O-line and our tight ends did a great job of blocking. I think our running backs…we have a bunch of them that we want to get ready to play and today, to get them that experience, I think is invaluable. We made some mistakes with those guys a little bit, but there is more depth there and we're going to do need to. To get banged up and going into a tough Big Ten schedule, we had better have a lot of guys ready to play at the skill position. We played a bunch of skilled guys today."

Question: On Mike Shaw's injury...

Coach Rodriguez: "I think the same, pretty much the same as Denard. He is just a little bit sore. I think getting all those guys some reps was invaluable today."

Question: Perry Dorrestein?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah Perry is fine. I think he got a hangnail or something on his toe (laughter). You put 320 pounds on his bad toe, maybe it is more painful than for you and I."

Question: You said Denard could have gone back in, 28-14 at halftime. Did you think about it going into the third quarter?

Coach Rodriguez: "Not at that time no. We were moving the football with whoever was the quarterback in there. I felt very comfortable with whether it was Devin or Tate. I'm glad we were running the ball so well… we were able to do some things. The key for us was just getting a couple of stops and getting some momentum back. I was really frustrated at halftime because we had a touchdown (called) back because of a silly penalty and then we dropped one. At halftime, we weren't really happy. We were happy withwhat we could do, but we weren't happy with the score."

Question: Do you remember your first thought when Shoelace went down?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah I wish he would have stepped out before he got hit. That was the first thing. Denard is such a competitive guy, he wants to score on every snap. You don't want to hinder him from that thought because sometimes you can, but when a hit is inevitable and you're not going to get any more yards, just scoot out of bounds and go to the next play."

Question: How much better is this 4-0 team would you say than last year's 4-0 team at the same point?

Coach Rodriguez: "I don't know…we're deeper and offense for sure. We're deeper at just about every position offensively. Defensively, we're younger. Again, last year is last year and this is a completely different year. This year is this year and next year we'll be different as well – it'll be better. At least that is what we expect. I thought last week, we did not play well. We certainly did not play well on defense or special teams and I thought this week, we did a lot better in those two phases. We didn't punt, so I couldn't tell you that and we didn't kick field goals, but I thought our kick return, punt return…we caught the ball. Fortunately, Drew Dileo did a great job and we had a couple of penalties in the special team's game and that really frustrated me as well. So we'll get that cleaned up this week."

Question: Do you feel like your team is as prepared it can be going into the Big Ten? You couldn't really use the kicking game too much today but beyond that….?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah I think so. I think there are enough positive things that we can grow from and enough negative things that we can fix. Our guys, again if you talk to any of our players about their goals and what our goals are as a team, the first one would be is to win the Big Ten Championship. Everybody starts 0-0 and the league competition starts this week. We're playing a very good Indiana team, very good. Our guys know that from last year and they will know that from watching the film starting on Monday."

Question: Is this as an efficient offense game as you've had since you've been here?

Coach Rodriguez: "Well with 34 first downs and we didn't punt. I would say it was pretty efficient. I felt comfortable the whole day that we could get first downs and we didn't have to do a whole lot. Like every other coach, you go in with a list of plays this big….and inevitably we run about this many of them….which is probably a good thing, because you didn't have to show as much to your next opponents. The whole key was executing and I thought we executed well. Up front, I thought that was where the difference was. Our guys were able to handle it up front."

Question: On the performances turned in by his quarterbacks….

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah against Bowling Green and what we were doing today, I thought all three quarterbacks where very efficient. Tate has played and he has shown that he can play and Devin is a talented guy. We wouldn't be playing Devin if we didn't think he was ready. Now is he as ready as Denard or Tate, maybe not yet because he is just first year player. We can tell by practice that these guys are slowly getting it. The neat part for us, is that all three of those guys have not hit their ceiling yet, not even close. I'm talking about, they've gotten a whole lot better, but you're talking about first and second year players. When you're in a system for three or four years, things become so much more natural for you and quicker for you and decision-making, it is really going to be exciting. It is a tough deal, because you usually only play one at a time. So you got to be an unselfish player to be in the role that they are in and you got to be all about the team and I think those guys are right now."

Question: Did you see something from Tate today that you maybe didn't see last year?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah, the same as I saw from Denard. I think he is more comfortable seeing the field. As they go throughout their careers, they start seeing things that coaches see. As far as not just focusing on one thing on a play, they see the whole field and why a play should work when it is supposed to work. It wasn't a perfect performance. We will go back and watch the film and be kicking ourselves for this and that, but for the most part they controlled the offense."

Question: Just to be clear, are there any followup tests for Denard at all? Do you have to get x-rays or anything like that?

Coach Rodriguez: "No. I don't believe so. I don't think there is anything there. You get some ice and (treatment) and rest it for a couple of days."

Question: Are you impressed with how far Tate has come with his maturity issues that he had this offseason and before?

Coach Rodriguez: "I'm impressed with a lot of our guys maturity, but everything is still in progress. There are young men that come into the program as 17 and 18 year olds that maybe are not men, they are boys, and what you want them to do is leave four or five years later being a man, being a Michigan man. Get a Michigan degree and be all about the team and also have some individual success to go along with that. That's our hope and expectations for everybody in the program."

Question: (Defensively) where do you want to see improvement?

Coach Rodriguez: "We can tackle a little better. They hit a couple of screens on us and that was a frustrating because we knew they were going to be a big screen team. It looked like we missed a couple of opportunities tackling guys. But I thought we played more aggressively. I mentioned last week that I thought we were on our heels a little bit. Today, I think we were more on our toes. I thought we hit a little bit better, a little more physical today. We got to continue going forward with that."

Question: On whether Broekhuizen will be the kicker next week….

Coach Rodriguez: "Maybe. I'm not being vague on this. It may depend on how long and what hash. It may be the same answer next week as well."


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