Brady Hoke Opening Statement: "It was good to get back out and play football and compete after two weeks ago. I thought our team prepared themselves well and came out and responded a little bit. They took the ball down the first drive there and scored. I thought our guys held their poise together, went back and talked about it on the sideline, adjusted a little bit and it really wasn't that much of an adjustment that needed to be done. I was pleased with that and offensively, we rushed the ball well and Fitz (Toussaint) obviously did a good job, but overall they all did. Really it goes to your offensive line. That was a good part. I didn't like the end of the first half because we needed to get seven points and not kick a field goal. That is something that we've got to be able to do however we've to do it. Whether it is running the iso up there, a quarterback sneak or whatever. We've got to score points and that was too big of a situation in the football game and to have too good of field position not to do that with 158 left. That is disturbing. The touchdown at the end is disturbing because Michigan, the expectations are for the position and who's in there. So we've obviously got to work that part of it too."
Question: Talk about getting your wish of a running game from the running backs and Fitz do enough today to kind of win that job?
Brady Hoke: "I don't know we'll see. I thought he did a nice job and I thought the guys up front did a nice job. We'll see, we'll look at the tape as a staff and see the things that he did well. It is always easier to see them when they do good things because they're usually biting off big chunks of yardage. There are other things that go along with it, but I thought he did a nice job today."
Question: How big was Mike Martin's safety?
Brady Hoke: "It was great momentum and when you score defensively, it always for your team, always brings great momentum, great morale and all those things. Mike has been playing good football for us. I think he has continued to be a great leader for us and work hard. I was real excited for him."
Question: What is going on with Jordan Kovacs injury and what is going on there? Did that hurt you guys that first drive?
Brady Hoke: "No. Again, the expectations are for the position. So if you're in there, it is the way we expect you to play."
Question: Can you talk about how those guys played in Jordan's absence?
Brady Hoke: "I thought Thomas (Gordon) played aggressive. I think Troy (Woolfolk) we were moving anyway. So it was one of those things that worked out well. Troy has got some makeup speed that other guys don't have and that's good. I'd like for him to be just a tad more physical at times, but I think he did a good job. They tried to tempo us a little bit. So he did a good job of getting us in and out of what we needed to be looking like back there."
Question: You had 339 yards rushing, but you also did a lot of other things with Devin Gardner coming in and throw back passes and stuff like that. The diversity there, is that what you're trying to achieve?
Brady Hoke: "Part of that is there is no question when you're able to throw some things at a defense or a team and for us, the two quarterback system or whatever you want to call it, formation, it forces guys to work on it. I think there is enough variety and in fact, there is a lot more that we can do with it. It really forces a defense, you have to spend now ten minutes a day on that package or whatever, I think that helps us, yeah."
Question: What did you say to the defense after the early Purdue touchdown?
Brady Hoke: "We just talked to them. We came down the bench and just said we've got plenty of football left in us. There was not any yelling ripping. The one thing that I liked about …it happened earlier in the year too and they've stayed together and they've come back and played well. It is them communicating with each other, which is the good part."
Question: You said Troy was moving to safety anyways?
Brady Hoke: "Yeah."
Question: What will your defensive backfield look like when Jordan gets back?
Brady Hoke: "We'll either have four, five or six guys in there (laughter)."
Question: When do you expect Jordan back?
Brady Hoke: "I don't know."
Question: Overall thoughts on the defense, is it getting better week-to-week in your mind?
Brady Hoke: "I don't know. I'm really thinking … we'll find out more next week. I think it is a work in progress. I can feel and hopefully you did, our linebackers you could feel today. Two weeks ago, I didn't feel them. Today, playing downhill and playing physical through people, I could feel that today. If we can grow from that and keep that consistency then we'll get better."
Question: You talk about getting back to playing Michigan football, on both sides of the football, can you talk about what it means and how close this game was?
Brady Hoke: "Michigan football as I know it is playing defense first and foremost and I think nationally when people think about Michigan football and playing defense and then running the football, being able to run the football and knocking people off the line of scrimmage. I think that's what in my mind Michigan football is."
Question: Desmond Morgan got his second start, can you talk about what you like about him?
Brady Hoke: "I think he's a very instinctive football player. As a linebacker, I think that is critical. I think he's a guy that has a nice burst and will be physical at the point of attack and I think he's going to play a lot of football at Michigan."
Question: The 37 carries by the tailbacks with one taking the lead whether it is Fitz or whoever with 20, is that kind of what you envisioned with the running game?
Brady Hoke: "Is that what they had? 37? Yeah that's pretty good. Yeah I think that's a good number."
Question: Talk a little bit about the status of Taylor Lewan and Ricky Barnum up front?
Brady Hoke: "Ricky, he hurt his ankle. Taylor, I don't know his leg hurts. That's what I know right now."
Question: You talked about last week about how happy you were with your team with the health of your team; how do you feel about the health of your team now after this game?
Brady Hoke: "It's football. Guys, that's why you have guys on the team that compete and they just got to keep improving and when their opportunities come they need to take advantage of it."
Question: Can you elaborate a little bit about the resolve of this Michigan team after a loss considering the last couple of seasons they really haven't responded that well?
Brady Hoke: "It is hard for me to compare that to anything that happened before. I've liked our team. I like how they like each other. Maybe that's corny or whatever, but from where I sit I like that they respect each other and they want to play for each other in my opinion and it shows. It shows how they practice and it shows out there today. I don't know…look they're on scholarship to get a great education and to play football. They are expected to do both."
Question: Three-way tie in the division is that something that you talk about or embrace halfway through the Big Ten schedule?
Brady Hoke: "Every game is a championship game. We've said that since Minnesota. There are six to eight plays a game that are going to be the difference. Somebody said Mike's safety was a difference in this game from a momentum side, yeah, no question. Next week we're on the road and it is a championship game."
Question: You mentioned a couple of times that the offensive line responded well today, was that a specific area that you guys challenged after the last game?
Brady Hoke: "Yes, no question about it. I can say that every week though because that is where the game is played. Those two lines, that's where the game is played. You guys like talking about running backs and stuff like that, I like talking about center and guards, defensive tackle where the game is played. That's the fun part."
Question: You said all week that some of the freshman would play a lot more this week – how did they do?
Brady Hoke: "I'm going to kill one of them. That's not fair. Read it in the obituaries (laughter). Those guys are playing hard and there's some talented guys. Blake (Countess) is a talented guy and he's got good instinct, Desmond does and Frank Clark does and Brennan Beyer does. It is great that they're getting all the time that they are and they have a great attitude."
Question: Are you expecting Kovacs back this year?
Brady Hoke: "Yeah."
Question: With the Taylor Lewan, he did have a leg booboo apparently, does that lift an offense with Taylor coming in and playing hurt?
Brady Hoke: "Yes. I think it hurts your team."
Question: Was Fitz maybe a little dinged up coming out of Michigan State and was he a more rested back?
Brady Hoke: "Not really. He wasn't beat up or anything. (Vincent Smith) Smitty has been the only one that has been beat up as of late with an ankle but nothing terrible. He saw things better. The touchdown run was a great run for a lot of reasons and not just by him but the receivers and what are receivers do down the field and that's an important part of it."
Question: You said you want Troy to be a little more physical, is safety a more naturally fit for him?
Brady Hoke: "I don't know. I think with the emergence of how Blake has been playing, I always believe you put your best players on the field and Troy is probably in the top 11, 12, 13 guys on defense."
Question: Obviously Mike Martin is a big part of this team, but when he plays like that and you get that kind of production out of him, how does that change the way you play defense?
Brady Hoke: "I think it sets a ton for how you play defense. It doesn't change how we play. We're going to play the scheme and everything that we have. I think when you see a guy who is lining up over the football and rushing the passer and then they throw the dig, I forget what route it was and the guy made us miss and did that and 16 yards down the field he's making the tackle, that means something – that means something and that will get pointed out because that means something."
Question: Did you make a concerted effort to run the running backs?
Brady Hoke: "Gosh I wish it looked like that every week. We want to do our due diligence to try and pound the football in there."
Question: I know you are pleased with the way your freshman played, are you at all concerned about playing four, five or six freshman on defense at the same time?
Brady Hoke: "Nope."
Question: Is that because you see them practice….?
Brady Hoke: "Yeah. I don't have any concerns about it because of how they play and how they practice."
Question: You talk about difference makers and you got the safety and Courtney Avery got the interception, do you feel like the defense was the biggest difference in this game?
Brady Hoke: "I don't know. I think we responded defensively well. I think I would tell you that I think our offense complimented our defense."
Postgame Full Transcript: Coach Hoke
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