Post Game Full Transcript: Coach Rod

Coach Rod on injuries, on his decision to punt late in the game, on Denard's performance, more.

Question: How stunned are you at this margin of defeat?

Coach Rodriguez: "Not the margin of defeat…I'm just disappointed we didn't play better. Our guys played hard, but we didn't play well and they played well. You got to give them credit, they played well. We made too mistakes against a good team to win today."

Question: You guys have been very good in the red zone all year was that a big difference?

Coach Rodriguez: "It certainly played a part in it. They had the couple of interceptions in the red zone and we settled for the one field goal. We were just a little bit off, not just in the pass game but the run game as well and sometimes that happens and you got to be able to overcome it with another big play offensively or play on special teams or something on defense, a turnover defense or something that like. None of those things occurred today."

Question: On defense, was there a common thread with the big plays?

Coach Rodriguez: "Until I watch the film, I really can't tell you where the breakdown was on the two long runs. It didn't seem like miss tackles. I don't know if we had guys that reached in his gap or didn't fill the right gap or something. That was disappointing. We didn't tackle well and it looked like sometimes we were going after the ball maybe pressing a little bit, trying to strip the ball out…I don't know, but we did not tackle well for sure today."

Question: Denard (Robinson) said he was too excited. What did you see in him today?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah, he wasn't as sharp as he had been. Sometimes you got to remember he is still a young player and this is his six game for him and he's a competitive guy, but after we watch the film with him and see exactly what he is thinking on some of those things we'll have a better answer. He competed and he tried hard. We just weren't sharp. We dropped passes today. We missed a few protection things that was easy at the end there as far as assignments go. I don't want to say it wasn't our best effort, but it certainly wasn't our best technique wise and thing we could have done or needed to do."

Question: How about Denard's run game? It didn't seem like he had the maybe opportunity that he's had. What happened in the run game with him in particular?

Coach Rodriguez: "Again, I'll have to watch the film and see what happened on some of those breakdowns. Whether it was hesitation to wait for the hole to open up or what have you. It didn't seem like he had a lot of creases and we had some more things planned for us. I thought we moved the ball pretty well and had some things going, but we didn't finish…we didn't finish some drives and that hurt us today."

Question: What kind of things did you tell Denard, especially after those first two interceptions in the end zone and what did you see from the sideline on those drives?

Coach Rodriguez: "The one in the end zone, I think we may have been able to break open in front of them, but those are situations where we can live for another play or take off and run. He did that a couple of times but that one, certainly have to be more careful on that. He's a great competitor and he'll be fine. Again, this is just his sixth game and I've told everybody all along that he is a first year starter. He's not a fourth year senior that has been there and there are going to be moments that things don't go exactly the way we want it."

Question: Updates on Tay Odoms and Mike Martin?

Coach Rodriguez: "I think Tay Odoms may have a broken foot. I don't know what's up with Mike. I know he got…I think it was on a cut block or something there. I haven't seen him yet."

Question: James Rogers?

Coach Rodriguez: "James was having cramps from what the trainers were telling me earlier, but I didn't see them come back in there. Those once you get them, they are hard to get rid of."

Question: How do you explain the decision to punt there with six minutes to go, you're down 17?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah it was probably a mistake. I thought we would get a quick turn around and maybe get a minute and half, two minutes off the clock and have it. We did get the stop and then we run into the punter and give them the first down again. If I had do-overs, I wouldn't punt. I was trying to get their attention then, but it was too late and it was my fault."

Question: How key would it be and maybe challenging will it be for the 24-hour rule and forget about this one and move on and do what you have to do?

Coach Rodriguez: "It'll be difficulty for 24 hours but once we get back to watching the film and practicing on Monday. We got a pretty good…better than pretty good team, we got a real good team coming in next Saturday in Iowa in all three phases and they've had an open week to get ready for us. We're going to test our guys mettle sort of speak and we'll have to crank it back up and get ready to go."

Question: Was there anything from Michigan State that you guys weren't prepared for? Did they show you any new things?

Coach Rodriguez: "No just from a defensive standpoint there wasn't. Again, I'll have to see offensively. I knew they threw the reverse pass and we had guys close to being in position to make plays, but we just couldn't close the gap from a speed standpoint to get there and make the play."

Question: Did they do some specific things to contain Denard did you feel?

Coach Rodriguez: "No. They played well. They got off block and we didn't block as well, I do not think. Again, let me watch the film."

Question: Having seen them now in person; how do they compare to last year defensively? Are they a different team?

Coach Rodriguez: "No. We played really poorly against them last year. We had a couple of drives at the end. This year, we moved the ball better for three quarters anyway, but we did not finish some drives. It was just one of those days. I think we had one possession where we had three drops in one possession. Again, as coaches we have to look back and see what we can get better at and try to put our guys in position to make plays."

Question: You have any idea of what happened on the field goal block?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. A little bit of a low snap, a little bit of a low kick I think. It did not look like we had a lot of penetration but it looked like it was a low snap that caused a low kick, I do not know but it wasn't kicked very high."

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