Full Transcript: Kovacs, Koger on ND O and D

Tight End Kevin Koger talks about the Notre Dame defense, and Jordan Kovacs talks about the Irish O - and on who's playing Michael Floyd on the scout team this week.

Kevin Koger

Question: What do you remember about their defense from last year?

Kevin Koger: "They're big and they're fast. They play really well. They got a great middle linebacker, (Manti) Te'o. So we've got to play really well to win the game."

Question: Do you feel the offense was efficient?

Kevin Koger: "No, I think we can play a lot better than we did. We started out slow even though we took the first drive in for a touchdown. I feel like we can play a lot better this Saturday night if we execute better than we did on Saturday."

Question: What do you mean specifically?

Kevin Koger: "I guess we just feeling it out a little bit. We had a couple three and outs in there and a couple drives. That's not acceptable. We plan to score every dry and the didn't happen, but we can play a lot better than we did."

Question: Do you guys feel comfortable in the offense at this point or are you still working at it?

Kevin Koger: "No we definitely feel comfortable. Every week we have a couple plays to put in for game plan for the opposing defense, but for the most part we feel comfortable where we're at."

Question: Your role has changed a lot this year. How are you feeling comfort wise?

Kevin Koger: "I'm definitely feeling very comfortable to the point where I can look behind me and I can instruct like a Ricardo Miller on what to do in the play or the route and help him out. That's how comfortable I feel with the offense."

Question: What was it like when you made that catch and you got drilled right at the beginning? You don't want to get hit but at the first game of the first year at the beginning of the year, it probably wakes you up a little bit?

Kevin Koger: "I really don't mind. I'm a bigger guy and getting hit by a safety, so I should expect the contact and I don't mind it as long as I catch the ball."

Question: It looks like you guys got the running game really going there right before everything got canceled. Can you just talk about blocking schemes and how you were able to get rolling there?

Kevin Koger: "I think it was more of a tempo and we got into a groove later in the game and I feel like that helped us a lot. We got into a groove and we executed like we should have been in the beginning of the game and that helped us out a lot."


Jordan Kovacs

Question: Greg Mattison calls you a Michigan football player, what does that mean to you?

Jordan Kovacs: "I don't know what he thinks, but Michigan football defensively is about making big hits, making big plays and just flying to the football. So that's what I hope he means."

Question: How much did that quarterback change mean to you in prepping for this game?

Jordan Kovacs: "Obviously, they're both very good quarterbacks. I'm not exactly sure who we're going to be seeing. I think it is up in the air a little bit but they're both big time quarterbacks and we just got to prepare like we're going to play both of them."

Question: You're biggest concern about the defense coming out of Saturday and where you need to improve the most?

Jordan Kovacs: "I think in stopping the run and just getting the line. We've got to do a better job of communicating. I think it was tough last week. Obviously on the first drive, you could see that we were struggling a little bit but then we kind of settled down and we just got to get comfortable out there and communicate with each other."

Question: What does this game mean to you and there is not a "clock" for this game, but I'm sure everybody was well aware of where it was on the calendar?

Jordan Kovacs: "It is a huge game. It is a national rivalry. It is always a physical game and it is a fun game to be a part of it. I'm just excited for Saturday to play underneath the lights."

Question: How comfortable do you feel in Coach Mattison's defense right now?

Jordan Kovacs: "I'm comfortable. I think the rest of the guys are comfortable, but it all comes with game situation and getting guys reps and I guess I'm just fortunate to have played a couple of years. Guys are getting settled down. They're getting comfortable in gaining some confidence in themselves and that's what we need. We need guys to get comfortable and make plays out there."

Question: How uncomfortable where you two years ago when you made your debut against…?

Jordan Kovacs: "I was uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable. I would be kidding myself if I said I wasn't, but I think it is just important to go out there and try to relax. That stadium should feel like your home. You should be comfortable out there and just hone in on your personal responsibility."

Question: What makes Michael Floyd so good?

Jordan Kovacs: "I think he is a big guy obviously. I think he's what 6'4", 6'5", I do not know. I think he is a really good blocker. I was watching that South Florida tape and not only will he make plays down the field catching the ball, but he'll come off and hit you under the chin to make some plays for the running game."

Question: Now that people have let go the story of you being a walk-on, is that a good feeling for you?

Jordan Kovacs: "That walk-on chip on my shoulder I think is something that I'll always carry with me. It's funny because the guys a few years ago, we had a lot of walk-ons and they started this thing that they called the ‘Walk-on Nation'. I told them that I just try to represent it every week and we joke about that. I'm proud of being a walk-on. It is nothing that I regret or nothing that I'm disappointed in. I like being a walk-on, I like playing out there and I think that it is a special thing."

Question: Coach Mattison said you guys keep points of defensive stats on the board, is that thing a pride among you guys, do you guys talk about it?

Jordan Kovacs: "We don't talk about it much, but I think everybody wants to be up on the top of that board. I think it is important to go make plays and get some personal points. I think I would be kidding you if I told you nobody really wanted to be on top."

Question: Have you hit anybody as hard as you Alex Carder on Sunday?

Jordan Kovacs: "That was probably my biggest hit. That was probably my biggest hit. I think a lot of people could have made that hit. I think the D-line did a great job of opening some gaps for me and there was perfect coverage and all I had to do was come through and put my helmet on his chin."

Question: What was the reaction like in the team meeting room when you watched that film?

Jordan Kovacs: "We didn't get all the way too it. We were cut maybe two to three plays before it. The guys liked it. They came up and told me after."

Question: You haven't seen the replay yet?

Jordan Kovacs: "I've seen the replay but not with the rest of the team."

Question: Have you seen his photo?

Jordan Kovacs: "I've seen the photo, it is a pretty neat photo."

Question: Who finished second in points?

Jordan Kovacs: "I'm not sure. I just saw the defensive backs, but yeah I'm not sure who finished second."

Question: Is it different having a head coach that is more defensive minded?

Jordan Kovacs: "Yeah. I think that helps the defense a lot. I think offensively, they really help us out, they control the ball and they run down hill, eat some clock up for us and they help us out a lot."

Question: Knowing where Brandon Herron came from and the fact he wasn't even scheduled to be a starter until the middle of the week or whatever, is it impressive that he turns in a big game like that or did you guys kind of see that and he's just waited for an opportunity?

Jordan Kovacs: "I thought it was pretty impressive. We always knew that he was an unavailable athlete, but he played out of his mind on Saturday. It's funny, we always knew that he was one of the fastest guys on the team but as soon as I saw him running down the sideline I knew nobody was going to catch him. I knew that was six. It was an exciting play for him."

Question: Has he tried to race some of the other guys? I know Troy Woolfolk talked about how fast he is.

Jordan Kovacs: "Troy will tell you he's fast and Denard; they're obviously both fast. I'm telling you, I think Brandon Herron is right up there with them. That would be an interesting race off."

Question: Is it helpful to have a guy like Daryl Stonum on the scout team when getting ready to play a Michael Floyd?

Jordan Kovacs: "Oh yeah. It is a huge help for us. At the same time, I don't think you can put a guy out there and say that he is Michael Floyd until you're in the game. That guy is huge, he makes big plays and he's going to be tough to stop."

Question: Is Daryl playing Floyd during practice this week?

Jordan Kovacs: "Yeah, he's been wearing the #3. He's giving us a great look, but I do not think you can emulate him."

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