Full Transcript: Roh and Avery Postgame
Question: What is it like to have the football in your hands and a whole lot of empty space in front of you?
Courtney Avery: "It's awesome. I can't even explain the feeling."
Question: How did the game plan change when Marqueis Gray was out due to injury and how successfully did you guys execute it defensively?
Craig Roh: "The game plan was just to line up our front, line up our game plan. We knew that if you're lined up correctly, we can compete with the best of them. It really didn't matter who they had in back there at quarterback. It was just a really good effort by that front seven."
Question: Did you sense Minnesota getting frustrated or demoralized at any point?
Craig Roh: "I mean, you don't really concentrate on the other team. You just concentrate on yourself. We were just getting checks in and we played a good game. So that's about it."
Question: Obviously you expect to win every game but do you ever think that you would be able to physically dominate as much as you did on both sides of the ball?
Craig Roh: "We always believe that we can…we do have the ability to do that. We just have to play our techniques right. The more we listen to our coaches, the more we can dominate like that."
Question: How important was it to finish the effort with a shut out as they were coming down until the big fumble?
Craig Roh: "Yeah I mean that's huge for us. There's a goal for us every week to finish the fourth quarter. We have fourth quarter play and us finishing has been a huge emphasis since winter conditioning. We'll have something at the end of our workouts to just finish. We just go to finish."
Question: Why is this defense better this year?
Craig Roh: "I mean, it could be a variety of things. I don't know exactly what it is, but I'm just thankful to be a part of it."
Question: Obviously there is some stronger competition yet to come but what does what you've done thus far do for this defenses confidence?
Craig Roh: "I'll take this."
Courtney Avery: "Go ahead, Craig, you got it (laughter)."
Craig Roh: "It gives us confidence obviously. We know how we can play. Going further and further into Big Ten play, we can gain more and more confidence, but we're still miles away from where we need to be."
Question: Can you talk about the defensive backfield last season versus this defense?
Courtney Avery: "We were pretty young last year. We had a couple injuries as you guys know. I just feel…we feel a lot more comfortable back there now. We have a bit more experience and we have a lot of depth, so I think that's great for the back secondary."
Question: When you picked up the fumble, did you know you had such an open lane to the end zone and did you run out of gas, were you tired?
Courtney Avery: "I started slowing down a little bit. I may have run out of a little bit of gas, but not too much. I just saw the ball and I just saw open field, and I said, no way I'm falling on this one."
Question: The defense seems to have a relentless attitude in swarming to the ball as a defense, talk a little bit about coming to that point.
Craig Roh: "Yeah, our coaches, it starts with the way we practice. We're not allowed to not swarm to the ball - ever! It's just natural in the games that we just…even if one guy misses a tackle, there will be five more there."
Courtney Avery: "It's just second nature now."
Craig Roh: "Yeah."
Question: Obviously ten points in the last three weeks, pitching a shut out today; was this as complete of a game defensively and also offensively was this Michigan best game of the season?
Craig Roh: "I mean, it's our most complete game so far. We can still improve a lot, and we will improve a lot."
Question: Courtney you played as a true freshman last year, how difficult is it to make the transition to play defensive back from high school senior to a true freshman, and what have you seen from Blake Countess and his progression so far?
Courtney Avery: "It is a lot of difference. A lot of people don't really realize the big jump that it is but the game's a lot faster, the receivers are a lot faster and everything, but you get comfortable. I see Blake, Blake's doing a really good job. He seems really comfortable out there, and he's doing a great job, and he's going to continue to improve."
Question: Just talk about depth that Blake Countess provides to the defensive backfield with his work the last couple of weeks?
Courtney Avery: "Great depth. It just really adds a lot of depth. We can rotate guys in and essentially not take a lot of steps back or not take any steps back, so it's great."
Question: Is there talk on the sideline, let us keep the shut out, let us do everything we can to preserve this first one in 2007?
Craig Roh: "Yeah always. As a defense, the shutout is the pinnacle of what a defense always wants. You always don't want them to score any points. There was not for a second there where we were going to let up.
Question: You've been around for a couple of unbeaten starts, does this one feel different to you?
Craig Roh: "We have so far to go before we're at that Michigan level, and today was a good day, but it's a step forward to becoming a great Michigan defense."
Question: Do you feel you have a better chance this year of maintaining the start?
Craig Roh: "Well just the emphasis that all the coaches have had on finishing, even the second of the season. We're going to have that at the forefront of our minds as we go into Big Ten play and so I think we will be improving every game."
Question: Can you just elaborate more on shutting someone out after the struggles the last few years?
Craig Roh: "It's great. It's nice to pitch a shut out and be dominant."
Question: Do you feel like the improvement on the defensive beside being a little older, a little wiser, is it more of learning new things that you didn't know before or things you're just doing better?
Craig Roh: "I think these coaches are doing a great job of giving us keys that we can take into the games. It really helps during the games, it helps you play faster, as I said before in practice, they won't let us not pursue to the ball, and I think that's a huge thing as well."
Question: Do you feel like you guys have a swagger that maybe you did not have the last couple of seasons and is this defense feeling like it can control and impact games versus being controlled?
Craig Roh: "I don't know about swagger, but I definitely feel we do have more of a swagger, but we just have so much fun out there and I really do trust every guy on that defense. All of them are some of my greatest friends."
Question: Courtney did you ever throw for a touchdown, rush for a touchdown and catch a touchdown in the same game? Courtney, how often have you seen the 2-QB package?
Courtney Avery: "No I've never done that before. It is just amazing and it just shows the versatility and athleticism that he (Denard) has."
Question: How often have you seen that package where they had Devin at quarterback and Denard at running back in practice?
Courtney Avery: "I only saw it one time. I don't know how many times have you seen it?"
Craig Roh: "I don't remember."
Courtney Avery: "I might have only seen it one time, so it was definitely something new for us."
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