Full Transcript: Coach Hoke Post-Game

Coach Hoke talks about the team's performance yesterday - what he liked and didn't like ... and injuries ... and Notre Dame.

Brady Hoke Opening Statement: "For all of you that stayed dry, good for you (laugher). Obviously, it's an unusual circumstance to have the weather kind of stop the game when it did. I think Bill (Cubit) and myself both had concerns (with) how long we'd be stopped, how many times we would be stopped. I've got so much respect for Bill as a football coach and as a person and I think both of us we worried about the kids. You go out there and you play your heart out, then you're back in for another half hour, you get a five-minute warm up, and then all of a sudden a lightning strike comes again, and then you come back in. It didn't look like this was going to get any better. So it ended probably not the way all of us would like it to, but as long as those kids can be healthy and no one got needlessly hurt, then we're all for it. As far as what did go on out there on the field, turnover margin is a statistic that's very important in the game of football. Our offense did a tremendous job taking care of the football, and our defense created three turnovers, obviously two of them were for defensive scores, which is always fun. But I think our guys really understand that message that we sent about taking care of the football and defensively I think some guys did a nice job up front of applying some pressure or if you were a guy who was coming on a blitz. (Jordan) Kovacs did a nice job, Jake Ryan and they all got good push. The game itself, we got a lot to work on. You look at our kickoff coverage, I thought was not near what it needed to be. You look at some of the third down conversions, and I haven't really looked at that total number yet but that is always a big number that you want to look at. I was pleased with the 190 yards rushing the football. You got to control the line of scrimmage to do that. I would say the other thing that was pleased at was that we didn't have any penalties, and that's an important part early in the season, all season long, but I thought our guys did a nice job for that part of it."

Question: You said that you've been waiting for a long time, did you ever see it happening like that at all?

Brady Hoke: "No I don't think so. It was kind of wild - wet and wild (laugher)."

Question: How a big of a momentum changer was the Brandon Herron interception return?

Brady Hoke: "Huge. We talked all week. Offensively, I think they're a very good football team. I think he (Bill) is one of the great offensive minds in college coaching, and the way he uses tempo, the way he uses personnel, and the quarterback Alex Carder, who's as good as any guy that we may play all year. He's got some great weapons out there. At the same time, I think we need to push the pocket a little more. I think also in some of the zone coverage aspect, we need to challenge a little more, be a little tighter."

Question: Word on Troy Woolfolk?

Brady Hoke: "He sprained his ankle; his other ankle and if we would have needed him, he was going to go back in, but the other guys held in there pretty well."

Question: Talking about the defense, it looked like once you got blitzing there quite a bit there, did that have the impact that you wanted?

Brady Hoke: "You have and I know Greg (Mattison) has talked about this, you have a plan, and you have certain things, and you want to make sure that you have enough bullets for your guys, and that was all part of it. Obviously at times when they're in what we call ten personnel/four wides that you can outnumber them. The key to it is the guy who is unblocked having a great path to the quarterback and that helped us some."

Question: You guys talked about getting Denard Robinson to pass more, hand off more, to have him be the third leading rusher today is probably a good thing, isn't it?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah. We just had a plan, and Al (Borges) had a plan that he thought would be successful against what they did defensively. Denard is always going to have a hand in what we do. Number one he's the quarterback, but secondly because of his ability to run with the football."

Question: What ultimately made you choose Fitz (Fitzgerald Toussaint)?

Brady Hoke: "I thought he finished off fall camp real well, thought he had a nice finish."

Question: What about Herron's playmaking ability?

Brady Hoke: "That was good. Obviously, they were timely and meant a lot to where we are in the football game. I think Brandon's a guy who will continue, as a senior for us, as he learns a little more concept wise, will continue to grow."

Question: You had three players that you didn't dress for team issues, can you just address that and is that a one game thing?

Brady Hoke: "I think it was addressed. We didn't dress them."

Question: Can you talk about Denard in the first series coming out. It looked a little more like the spread?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah. Al and I had talked, and he was going to start the game with the 38/39 sweep, the quarterback sweep. That was a comfort level probably, you want him (Denard) to feel good about, and I think we blocked it well. I think he got a first down on it. I think we were in and out of (spread) enough. I think with (Michael) Shaw's run and I think on Fitz's couple times he pounded it up with the power play, those were good also."

Question: Where there times when you looked at the defense and said, hey this is how I want it to look today, where there a few times?

Brady Hoke: "Well it's never I, it's we. But we're a long way from any kind of defense that we want to represent Michigan with."

Question: How about the standpoint of building a little confidence in them by the fact they made a couple of plays?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah I mean that's great, and it's really good. It's always fun to score on defense. But there is a hundred different things in that tape tomorrow that we'll address and correct and get better with."

Question: Just to follow up on that, how do you assess because early on I think Carder was 14 for 15, but then the defense did take over later. So when you step back at it and look at it, how are you going to feel about your defense right now?

Brady Hoke: "I would say not very good."

Question: You had a very physical camp, do you feel like at least you could see the fruits of that with some of the play?

Brady Hoke: "I think there is a mindset that they understand how we're going to play. I think you could see it a little bit, shoot I don't know what you call it, third quarter up front on both sides that it was going to be more physical, it was going to be more attacking, it was going to be that kind of deal. So I think you can feel that. I thought there were some hard runs. I thought Fitz ran the ball up in there pretty hard, took some guys on, which you want to see out of your backs."

Question: Did you rotate on defense as much as you thought you would?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah, pretty much. I think if we would have been in our base front more, we probably would have rotated just a little more, but I thought we stayed pretty fresh. As you all know, well some of you do, it was pretty humid down there, pretty hot down there. We did have a pretty good wind there for a while, but you wanted to keep those guys fresh during the course of the game."

Question: How long will you let yourself enjoy your first win as a head coach before you think you about Notre Dame?

Brady Hoke: "Well, I understand they're on TV, right and they're delayed. So we'll look at Notre Dame."

Question: What did you see out of the long runs Fitz and Shaw had?

Brady Hoke: "I think number one, I think they both found…had good vision, let me put it that way. I think Michael has got a little more top-end speed, so he was able to get away from the safety. But if you noticed on the one long run by Fitz, he lowered himself to go through a guy, and if you watch, you see Junior Hemingway launching himself to try and get a block over the top. That was exciting to me. That was good football to me."

Question: Anything specific with any senior leadership going on today during the game, was there anything specific that you saw?

Brady Hoke: "The one thing I'd say Troy, he got banged up there and all that, and he worked himself in the trainer's; Paul Schmidt and his crew did a great job, but he worked himself, and you could keep hearing him on the sideline encouraging on both sides."

Question: Do you expect Cam Gordon back for Notre Dame?

Brady Hoke: "Yes."

Question: Can you talk about how your special teams played, you gave up a couple big kickoff returns?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah kickoff returns were awful. On the one, the defense had been on a long drive, Herron gets the pick, and he runs it back 90-whatever yards it was, and the celebration, which you want to see - it's beautiful because it's fanaticism for the game. All those guys, not all of them, a lot of them are on your kickoff team. I thought about taking a time-out and it would be a time I think we didn't have a TV timeout. We put some other guys in, and the other guys, to their credit, Frank Clark was in there, and he made one hit for sure, and probably should have had another one."

Question: What did you see on the missed extra point?

Brady Hoke: "We got knocked back a little bit, and we'll correct that. In fact the young man did correct it."

Question: On an unexpected delay, do you treat that like a halftime in the locker room?

Brady Hoke: "Here's the first thing that went through my mind. We played Northern Illinois in Muncie when I was at Ball State. We had a 45-minute delay, we were winning the game I think 14-7, maybe 14-0. We come back, Garrett Wolfe ran for 355 yards. So I wasn't feeling really good about a delay."

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