Coach Hoke Opening Statement: "That was an exciting football game. I thought both teams and I've got to give Brian (Kelly) and his staff and kids a lot of credit. I thought both teams fought and they fought for 60 minutes. It wasn't pretty at times on both ends of it. Like I told our players, it's great to win. There is a lot to learn from this tape, but if you go out there and play for 60 minutes and win the football in the manner that we won. Our kids, I'm real proud of. Terrence Robinson on the last kick off, two seconds left, watching him bust his butt to get down the field to try and cover. There were other guys doing the same thing, but that's the thing as a coach that you take away from your team. We had some adversity and we fought back. We never really got on track early in the game, didn't have any momentum, any rhythm. When you look at it from an offensive standpoint and defensively. We didn't start as well as we would like, played a little better there for a while and then it was back and forth. We've got a lot to look at and a lot to work on. It's great to win and great to win for our seniors the last time they play in this great rivalry, so now we move forward."
Question: After Denard Robinson throws the interception in the end zone, do you say anything to him or is he enough of competitor that you just leave him alone and he has got something left?
Coach Hoke: "You just watch and you know he is a competitor. He will look at it tomorrow. He may have saw something there a little better than maybe it was. I never say anything to him unless it is a bad/poor decision. I didn't think that was a poor decision."
Question: What are your thoughts on momentum for an individual player, a program, a fan base, a team, like a win like this can give to your program?
Coach Hoke: "I think there is momentum. I do think you gain some momentum and I think for us as a team, it will be a great learning experience that is amazing when you do play 60 minutes of football and do you stay together as a team and you compliment each other and lean on each other. That for us will be part of the teachings and parts of the lessons from this football game."
Question: It seemed like your receivers were kind of hit or miss tonight. Is there something that they all do together with why they are able to make spectacular catches and struggle at other points?
Coach Hoke: "I think it just being a human being. I think we all have good days and bad days. We all maybe right something good one time and not so good the next. I'm sure it never happens in here. I'm not being sarcastic, really (laughter). In truthfulness, there were probably three balls in the first half, maybe one in the second (half), maybe four total that would've moved the sticks for us, would've given us a little more momentum. We weren't very good on third downs on either side. I think they were eight for 14, which is good for them and bad for Michigan defense and I think three for nine when you look at where we were. There is no explantation besides we have to do a better job of concentrating, focusing and catching the ball."
Question: The experience that they had against Notre Dame, last minute come from behind victory, how much do you think this helps this offense, this defense, a guy like Denard and knowing he's been there before?
Coach Hoke: "I'm sure it helps. I think that's a great question. I think any time you compete, but at the same time, every team is so much different. Your seniors are different. Your leadership is different. Your playmakers to some degree may different. All those things and I think that is a good question for them, maybe if they had a little more juice at the end because of that. I don't know."
Question: Do you feel like Michigan is getting closer to playing the Michigan football that you expect?
Coach Hoke: "No. We're a long way away. You're going to get sick of me saying that, but we are. Expectations for this program is way too high for us to think we're we need to be. We talked about that after the game as a team. We've got a lot of things that we can do better on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. We're not near where we need to be."
Question: What were you thinking to yourself with all the stuff that you mentioned? Your defense was giving up big plays but then you were getting turnovers and suddenly your on the drive and making big plays, just talk about how crazy it was at the end.
Coach Hoke: "I was thinking we're going to win the game. We're going to find a way to get it done. When you've got some guys who have the ability. The last drive, we had offensively #16 ability to elude and evade and step up and throw the ball. That's something that we always have going for us. Wanted our team to stay composed and poised. We've done two minute drill since we've got here in January, we've probably done a 1000 two minute drills with different scenarios, different time outs, different one on ones and twos on twos against each other because those are the most pressure situations that you have on the football game. I was confident that we knew how to handle that."
Question: How important are turnovers when an offense is moving the way Notre Dame was?
Coach Hoke: "Huge. That probably is a bright spot. I think we were a +2 and had a chance to be +4 if we do some things maybe a little offensively. Obviously, they moved the ball, made some plays, ran the ball well. Michael Floyd is a pretty special athlete in his own right. But for us and maybe how we see it, they hung in there, hung in there. I think Jordan Kovacs had an interception didn't he? That was a tremendous play and it was a tremendous play because it started on the line of scrimmage being a good play. It started with the call defensively because we gave them a blitz look and everybody bailed out. I think it confused them a little bit."
Question: You said you thought you were going to find a way to win this game. Where did that thought come from when you're down 24 to 7 and it looked like Denard was not having a good game at all.
Coach Hoke: "I didn't know if he would specifically, but I'm as optimistic about anything as anybody in the world, which I always think that way and I always feel that way. I don't know. I just have a belief in these kids, a belief in this staff and what they've done with these kids and I believe in Michigan."
Question: You didn't get a whole lot out of your running backs outside of Denard. Was some of that the way the game unfolded?
Coach Hoke: "I would say I'd give them some credit because I think they're more stout up front when you look at them from a defensive perspective, but I also would say we've got to be better at the point of attack. I didn't see a whole lot of room, maybe a couple of times in there when we didn't have the greatest vision in the world running the football. It all starts up front on both sides and we've got a lot of work to do there."
Question: Is the 30 second drill different than the two minute drill and was there any question that you were going to throw that pass rather than go for the field goal?
Coach Hoke: "With eight seconds left? (Yeah) We had two time outs so we were going to at least give it a shot in the end zone and if Denard would have scrambled and got tackled, thinking we had enough time to call time out. I may have gone for the touchdown and gone for the win."
Question: What do you think of night games now?
Coach Hoke: "What time is it, 12:15. It was a great event, great enthusiasm. The energy was awesome. Our kids loved it. They won't like tomorrow as much because it is going to come a lot sooner but as far as playing at night. High school football you for the most part play at night and so I think those guys think it is back playing high school football and we've got a great stadium, a great crowd, great passion on both sides. It was fun. I had fun."
Full Transcript: Coach Hoke Postgame
The Michigan Insider Top Stories
Peoples-Jones Wins PSL, Updates RecruitmentDetroit (Mich.) Cass Tech's Donovan Peoples-Jones leads Cass to PSL Championship, updates recruitment and more.
The Michigan Insider6:05 PM
Evans suffers concussion, 'we'll see' for MSUMichigan coach Jim Harbaugh says freshman running back Chris Evans suffered a concussion vs. Illinois.
The Michigan Insider5:40 PM
Michigan Next on Visit Docket for No. 1 Va.OTHighland Springs (Va.) 3-star offensive tackle Mekhi Becton has scholarship offers from across the country, including one from Michigan. After months of by building a long distance…
Scout Football5:11 PM
WATCH: Harbaugh gives Walker updateWatch as Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh addresses the status of true freshman running back Kareem Walker after dressing for the first time this season.
The Michigan Insider2:34 PM
Harbaugh on Dantonio: 'He's done a great job'Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh isn't interested in looking at the struggles this season for Mark Dantonio and Michigan State.
The Michigan Insider12:53 PM