Steve Schilling Looks back, and ahead

The Senior talks about his upcoming last game in the Big House, about the Wisconsin defense, about turnovers, and about the Michigan defense.

Question: You have seen a lot of senior classes come and go in your career. What is it about this week that will be special for you?

Steve Schilling: "The obvious, the last game in the Big House, having played here for four years now and I think people walk out with their parents. Last week was the last time I ran out and touched the banner and I'm just kind of passing the torch on to the next senior class. I can remember last year, it was obviously the Ohio State game and we came up a little bit short and it was tough for all my friends that were seniors going out that way so definitely want to leave the Big House with a win."

Question: Coach talked about the difficulties that this senior class has gone through and the ups and downs a little bit; what has the experience been like?

Steve Schilling: "It has been an interesting obviously not one that I expected when I came here, but I wouldn't change it for the world. We had a couple of years that didn't go our way and luckily this year we've got seven wins so far and get back to a bowl and hopefully this is the year that turns the tide and Michigan gets back on a bowl streak and a winning season streak for a long time to come. I'm proud to have been part of the senior class this year."

Question: What about these two next tough games. You are arguably getting your toughest two opponents of the season. It would be great to leave the seniors with a win against Wisconsin but then to follow up against Ohio State.

Steve Schilling: "That's the big one obviously and they've got us now six or seven years in a row. That would just be a great capping to this season. It's a season that has been better than the last two years. Get back to the bowl, get back to the winning record and then if we can cap it off with a great win down in Columbus that would just set this program up for obvious success to come."

Question: You guys have pass protected pretty well this year, but Ryan Kerrigan had four sacks. Was it one great player or was it something that you guys didn't do very well?

Steve Schilling: "He's a great player and we didn't put ourselves in great situations too where we weren't running the ball very well and we got into a lot of third and longs and things like that and he was able to pin his ears back and really come at us. This year, we have been running ball good so our third down situations, passing situations have been a lot of quick game shorter stuff and he was able to really work all his moves and obviously he is a great player, pretty much a first round pick, projected I feel like and he got after us a little bit."

Question: A couple of defensive players have talked about finding their swagger; have you noticed in practice?

Steve Schilling: "Yeah definitely. The energy has been there the last two weeks. Obviously, the big stop at the end of the Illinois and it carried over to this week's game and they've been playing really well and they struggle a little bit through the middle of the season. They wanted to prove that they were a better defense than they were showing I think and definitely see the energy in practice and those guys are excited to come out and try to prove themselves against two pretty good offenses the last two weeks."

Question: What challenge does the Wisconsin defense pose for you guys?

Steve Schilling: "They're always a tough defense, good against the run and obviously this week we struggled a little bit in that area, struggled compared to what we've been doing the rest of the year. We got to get back on track. We have our meetings today with Coach Frey and break down what we did wrong and get that back. They're always a tough physical defense and someone that is tough to run against. That's kind of how our offense goes is starting with our run game. So we've got to focus on that."

Question: The offense has had ten turnovers the last two games and a Wisconsin that is willing to control the clock; how important is it to play flawless?

Steve Schilling: "Yeah it's huge. Every week we set our keys to victory and at the end of our key to victory whatever that week is, we put ball security always and it is something that we preach every week, taking care of the ball. Coach Rod calls the ball the program. You're giving away the program if you turn it over. The last few weeks and in the three games we've lost, the Michigan-Ohio State at least, there were a lot of turnovers in those games too. You can't win games with turnovers. The last two weeks we've been lucky to come out with a win and it is always important to us and Wisconsin can control the clock and run the ball real well, so we need to be able to stay on the field and score points as an offense."

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