Full Transcript: Martin-n-VanBergen Postgame

Mike Martin and Ryan VanBergen talk about the performance of the D-Line, and of Blake Countess ... and about Big Ten play starting.

Question: Talk about the defensive's line play overall … and Brady talks about being able to feel somebody out there; did you feel Mike out there today?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Oh yeah absolutely. Defensive line wise, we thought that we had our highest production day. Honestly, you've got to watch the film and see how well we really performed, but I thought Mike did a great job of getting after the quarterback and when he wasn't there, I was there and then neither of us were there, Craig was there. We did a really good job up front of getting to the quarterback. We didn't register some big numbers as far as sacks or anything like that, but as far as QB hurries and pressures, it would be interesting to see that stat because I feel like we were making him move his feet all day, which changed up some of his throws."

Question: Do you think that was the best you've guys played this year and is it close? Did you guys change anything in practice this week that would make a difference?

Mike Martin: "We didn't change anything schematically. We had by far the best week of practice as a team collectively this week and it definitely showed up on the field. I was interviewed earlier this week and I said the way we practice directly correlates with the way that we play. We started out fast on Tuesday, had a great day of work, from Wednesday to Thursday and then we tied it together on Saturday. It all ties together and I'm glad we put it on the field today."

Question: A lot of quick change situations especially in the third quarter, can you talk about how you responded to that and is it a confidence builder?

Ryan Van Bergen: "We've been pretty solid on sudden change situations all season as far as defensively not allowing a touchdown and holding them to a field goal when they have good enough field position for it. That's something that our defense prides ourselves on. We're really intent on making sure that the teams do not get the best of it when turning the ball over because it is going to happen, you're going to turn the ball over. The main thing is don't let that translate into points that's how you get beat. Our defense, that's one of the things on our bulletin board, that's on our wall. One of the things we have to be good in is sudden change situation, pride ourselves on that and we've done a good job so far and we hopefully will continue that."

Question: What was it about that first quarter and that first drive especially, was just knowing the opponent maybe better than the previous weeks?

Mike Martin: "That's a part of it, but I like to say that it is as simple as us coming out with the most intensity that we have had in the first quarter this season and that's something that we have to remember that we did and build on that. It went right into the second quarter and when halftime came around, we made a few adjustments, but we came to play every single quarter. So we've got to start fast and finish out strong, which I think we did this week."

Question: On Monday, Brady called out the front seven and said that is where he would like to see the most improvement. Do you agree with that assessment and was that all the motivation you fellows needed for today?

Mike Martin: "Coach Hoke holds us to a very high standard and that's something I said Monday in the press conference. He is going to have the highest standard of any defensive line in the country and we definitely don't want him to lower that bar for us. I think Mike would agree that we haven't played our best game up front and I would probably go out and say that this was not our best game that we could have played. We played better but the standard is so high that any missed assignment, missed tackle, miscue or anything like that, the wrong alignment is not going to be tolerated so everything we do on every single snap is perfect that that's the standard we have for ourselves and that's the standard that the coaches have for us."

Question: Ronnie Hillman has been able to hold onto the ball well how were you able to get a couple of turnovers from him?

Ryan Van Bergen: "There is a lot of parts to that question (laughter). He's a good back and we knew he was an explosive player, but when it comes down to it, we have the most explosive player in the country in my opinion in our backfield so we get to play against Denard. So we've learned how to take angles and stuff to guys with some speed. As far as that call, Mike was actually the one who sprung me on that as far as they were running a toss to the boundary side and we were running a stunt where Mike was supposed to come up the field first and I was supposed to loop underneath. He picked the guy that was supposed to block me so I just took off on my horse just thinking, I've almost caught Denard before maybe I can catch this guy. Our corner did a good job of turning him back in, we practice that all the time. Two months ago, spring ball that might not have happened, I don't remember who the corner was, but he made him turn back in and we all know in pursuit on the defensive line, if you catch a running back, you throw your arms as hard as you can and you hope that ball comes out. It was a good break for us. If they score on that possession game might have went a little bit differently. Just fortunate to have it done and Mike definitely set me up on that."

Question: Did you see things on film with Lindley that when he was under pressure that he was a different quarterback?

Mike Martin: "Yeah that's something that we talk about as a D line and as a group. We knew that if we got into his face and got pressure to him, press the pocket on him, he would get happy feet and would miss throws. He's a good quarterback. He can sling that thing around. If you don't get in his face, he can throw it as well as anyone. We made sure that was a big thing for us to push the pocket and do whatever we can to get into his face."

Question: Did either one of you sense that this was a tough week in some ways for your head coach and how did he handle it?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I didn't think it was a tough week for him personally. I think there was definitely a media factor, as far as it was hyped up to the fact that it was his old program and stuff. College football is a transitioning world. Everybody moves around. It just happens that they were on the schedule and he didn't treat this any differently. He had some inside information as far as maybe more so of how he was playing as far as the personnel but nothing to the point of making it any different than any other week. We had to have an intensity for practice, which as Mike said we did. Having a four quarter game, which defensively we came along. I wouldn't say we had it, but we had a better week than last week."

Question: Now that you guys are through the nonconference schedule, how does what you guys have done for the past four weeks set up for the Big Ten and how is it different than the past few years?

Mike Martin: "We've been here before as a team. Like you said, we have Minnesota next week, Brown Jug, it is a huge game for us. We've got to make sure that we can do whatever we can to prepare as best as we can for the Big Ten and it is really, we have to put it behind where we've been before. We've just got to make sure that we build on this week and make sure that we keep taking steps forward and improving as a team and not getting caught up in the hype of being 4-0. It is always good to win a football game and San Diego State played a great game. I give it to them, but we have to move on. We have to make sure that we build on this week and continue to move forward."

Question: Coaches talked all year about the goal of being Big Ten Champions; how often do they talk about that and now that the Big Ten opener is next, how much is that stress going to be?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I would imagine that the intensity is going to pick up. We've had some pretty intensive practices, but the way that Coach Hoke has been talking about even through fall camp and these first four weeks, it has always been about the Big Ten. Everything is in comparison to the Big Ten. We have to play better or we won't compete against the Big Ten. We've got to be better up front or we won't be able to play in the Big Ten. The Big Ten standard is higher than any other expectation. So in order for us to be competitive in the Big Ten the way Coach Hoke wants us to be, we're going to have to step it up. We want to be Big Ten Champions. We haven't had a good record in the Big Ten, anybody on this team since we've been on it. It's a big thing for us. We've started off 4-0 nonconference schedule but to come out in the Big Ten and have a strong showing that is a big deal for us. I can tell you that all the guys in the locker room are very excited and hyped up to get started on the Big Ten schedule and see what we're really about it."

Question: Is there a sense of pride even though you've downplayed it as much as you guys did in helping your coach defeat the team that he just left a few months ago, even though it was just another game.

Mike Martin: "That's not something that I think was on our line. Bottom line was to win the game. We've got to win the game no matter what. So we can go into the Big Ten ready to go. We always want to win for coach. We always want to win for Michigan and this program. It is what it is all about. It is really not about coach and he'll say that to himself. It is not about him, it is not about me, it is not about Ryan, it is not about anybody except Michigan and this program. For us to win for Michigan that's the bottom line."

Question: Blake Countess came into this game in a critical situation, what was his demeanor like and how much confidence do you think he took away from a game like this where he played pretty well?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I think Blake is one of those guys, as a true freshman you can get some guys that get wide eyed when they come on the field. He reminds me of a Donovan Warren when we first came in. He was very focused. He has a swagger about him and he is very confident in his abilities and I think the more reps he gets, the more time he'll see, because I think he'll prove that he can play. I think the coaches are slowly getting more comfortable with him and rotating him in and unfortunately Troy (Woolfolk) went down and I do not know if JT (Floyd) came back or not, I don't remember, but we had some guys that went down a little bit and he stepped up and that's something that we have as a team is the expectation for the position. It doesn't matter who you are. That position is expected to be played a certain way and Blake proved that today, he did really well."

Question: How much of the turnovers that you've guys have over the four games is a result of a play making type of mentality in going for something.

Ryan Van Bergen: "I think it is just an emphasis. We have such a strong emphasis from Coach Mattison and Coach Hoke, almost to the point where you don't want to hear them any more, just turn them off in practice because they're always talking about run to the ball. That ball is going to come out. If you counted it percentage wise you're probably not going to get a ball out too often as far as running to the ball but when it does, it feels great. When you buy in like our defense has bought in, all of a sudden the turnovers starts piling up for us and I think everybody is starting to take notice that we've gotten way more turnovers this year at this point than we did last year, in the last couple of years. Because of how much we emphasis it, how much we practice it and how much we believe that if we get 11 hats on the ball good things are going to happen."

Question: Does this 4-0 feel different than your past two 4-0?

Mike Martin: "Our mindset is so much more physical. We have a much more physical aspect from Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison, we just have a focus, a mission to make sure that we can do whatever we can to win each week. I don't know if I can say it feels different or anything, but I know that this team is confident and we're confident in us being able to make plays and guys being able to come in and make plays. So whatever we can do to prepare ourselves to win is going to happen."

Question: How big was it for you guys to go out and get a three and out right after kick off after the slow starts you guys have had in games so far this year?

Mike Martin: "That's something we talked about in the locker room before even coming out. That we had to make sure that we came out strong like I said before and make sure that we get a three and out, so we can get the ball in our offenses hand. Whenever we can watch our offense, we always play better defense. That's something that coach always talks about and make sure that we can have the momentum in the beginning of the game so that we can ride it out. That was huge for us and we just had to make sure that we stopped them on third down conversions."

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