Postgame Full Transcript: Coach Hoke

Coach Hoke on how Ohio played, on Denard, on the seniors, on this team, on the importance of this game ...

Coach, can you take about the, perhaps, heart palpitations that were going on late in the game there where two touchdowns were basically taken away, one by penalty and one by review and your defense had to go out . What was going through your mind at that time?
Well, there was probably easier ways to get to the end of the game, but you know, honestly, it was so much fun watching those guys compete and watching them play together as a football team that it, it…I was having fun. The way they encouraged each other and the way they fought for each other, and, you know, there wasn't a doubt in my mind, but, I think a little different anyway.

Brady, was there something important about, the biggest play of the game at the end was made by a defensive back considering some of the struggles at the beginning of the game.
Well, you know…it…they did a nice job. You've got to give Ohio credit. They stretch the field, which is part of what they do offensively and I thought Miller threw the ball well and they max protected a bunch, so if you've got four guys or five guys comin.' They could pick them up and that was a good plan and the way they run the ball and then I think, his ability to run the ball, and the dual-threatness that he presents, we got distracted a little bit with our eyes from a technique standpoint and they were able to hit some, but the kids kept playing and Courtney made a nice play.

We talked about it last week, but was this Denard Robinson's best performance…?
Let's hope the next one is John. He played well. He played…he played with a lot of energy and he played with, in my eyes, he played with a toughness. He went after some of those runs, especially in the 2nd half and that tells you a lot about him and how he feels about his teammates.

Brady, I had a feeling you wanted to win this game any way you could, but the way you pounded the ball and with Robinson, I think one of them said, ‘wouldn't be denied,' does that make it more gratifying?
Well, the last drive that Fitz scored on and then didn't score on, was the offensive linemen. It was neat to see Koger and Denard going up to the offensive line and saying, we're going to ride you guys. You're going to win this for us; making it a ten point game. It was kind of neat to see how they all have the same belief.

Coach, right before the last attempt, the play where they had receivers running free, what happened on that play?
I don't know. I didn't see it well enough. I'm sure he ran a double move and the guy bit on the double move.

Did you think he was going to catch it?
You know, if he catches it, we've got work to do.

One of the more satisfying wins of your career?
You know what, what satisfies you is, when you see those kids in that locker room, and you saw them on the field, how happy… because it's been a struggle. They want to work in Jan and it wasn't easy and it's fun as a coach to see them and how they responded and how hard they worked.

Do you think you guys will be invited to a BCS bowl?
It's—I don't have that decision. I think we have a good football team. Somebody will make that decision.

Coach, since day one you said that Ohio was the most important game on the schedule. Having played it, having won it, just, what do you think now?
Haven't changed my opinion; it is the most important game on the schedule, and in 364 days, and I don't how many hours, we're going to be teeing it up again.

At any point, did you feel like the fact that you guys hadn't beaten them in so long weighed on your players' minds in preparation in the last year, during the game or during the week?
We never talked about it. We never spoke about the last seven years. It's not fair to this team and it's not fair to the teams that played in this game for seven years, so for us to comment about seven years…it'd be disrespectful for those teams.

Do you feel that your players felt any pressure whether it was commented on or not?
I don't think so. I don't tin so. I mean, I think they were…we had an unbelievable intensity and a focus about our preparation. They've been like that most of the year. Maybe there was some more this week, but I didn't sense any of that.

Brady, you've emphasized from the start, how important this game was for your seniors, what was it like being able to celebrate with those guys on the field afterward?
You know, one of them, Ricky Barnum threw water on me, but…just to see ‘em, you know, happy. That's the neat part. The investment and the commitment they've made as a team, and it's special. It's special. It's one of those good days.

The affection you have for your seniors was visible during the ceremony before the game. After the game, what'd you say to those guys?
You know, I don't remember. It was kind of a blur, but I just told them in there, how proud I am of them. And I can tell you, if we had gone out there and gotten beaten, I would have told them the same daggone thing: that we're proud of them and what they've done for Michigan.

Coach, can you talk about the confidence you had in your D-Line and some of the stunts at the end and how they paid off?
You know, those guys are pretty smart. Ryan is really a good, smart football guy and so is Mike, so you feel good about guys when you give them a little bit of freedom and I think they enjoy that too, but we needed to do something and we needed to, obviously, clog up some of the lines inside, and at the same time, hopefully get some good pressure on them.

Brady, what happens to the clock when it says 2,925 on it?
It goes to zero. It was 2,926.

Can you talk about the love you have for your seniors and obviously, how much work they've put in…when did you know they were, sort of, returning that and that they were coming together and …
That's a good question. It really…and I know that's why you asked it, ‘cause it's a good question, but, I think, after spring ball and then, this summer and fall camp. You know, it was…we were tough at fall camp and they responded tough and they responded together, and then, just the little things, the respect you see a guy at the training table…that he has for another guy. All that stuff, and that's what makes teams ---good teams, is when they have that respect for each other and you could see it during the course of the game. The offense telling the defense we've got your back and the same thing, and that doesn't happy every year. And so, hopefully, the guys who will be in that role next year, hopefully they've learned.

You talked about this specific team being team 132, can you just talk to how you'll remember this specific team and this specific senior class and how you'll remember them?
Well, I think they're a group that obviously had been through a lot and they faced a lot of adversity through their career here, but they persevered and they stuck together and it's a special group.

Brady, you already talked about next year's game…these two programs are forever linked. Urban Meyer is reportedly going to be named the next coach at Ohio State, do you have any thoughts on competing against him going forward?
You know, the good thing about coaches….we don't do the competing. It's the kids. It's the guys on the field.

Molk said that you emphasized this game a thousand times more than has been the case the last few years, what were you doing to emphasize it more, and I have one more question, a punting question, what happened on the snap with Will?
Well, he just, obviously, took his eyes off it, and, like I told him, how many of these snaps do you think you've caught over the course of your career? You know, there's a probability that happens. You may drop them some time. If you've caught a thousand, you know, then, you may drop one, but you won't drop the next one.

And then….
We just….we end every meeting with Beat Ohio.

Is that at the end of every practice? Practice something for Ohio State every day?
You know, I think we….yeah, I don't know.

Brady, we've asked you lot…there was a question earlier about Denard, we've asked you over and over again about Denard this season, every time and you've backed him every time….what kind of statement did he make as your quarterback today?
You know, I don't know who he's making the statement to, because, he's our quarterback and will be our quarterback at Michigan, so when you ask that…Denard went out there as the quarterback of Michigan, and went out there to help his teammates and be accountable to his teammates on his performance and he couldn't do it by himself, no one ever does, but I thought he played an aggressive, controlled football game.

Brady, you've got two 1,000 yard rushers now, and you're not a stat guy, but… I didn't know that. That's good.

What does that say about the balance to your running game and your ability to run the ball?
Well, I think, you know, the ability in that the guys up front and what they've done and that the offensive staff and Denard has done in this kind of makeshift---a little bit---offense that we have and then, I think Fitz and the maturity that he's shown.

Coach, Ryan said this is one of the best team victories that you've had. Do you feel that way?
Yeah, I think, you know, whenever we win, it's a team win, but I think the magnitude of the rivalry and all those things, you know, always means a little more.

Coach, the players talked about how much respect they have for you, how do you feel about your team and how do you about your first full season, regular season as head coach?
I love my team. I love the kids on this team. I love how they represent Michigan, and…what was the last question?

How do you feel about your first full regular season.
It's fun. It's fun…look, I've got the best job in the world. I do, cause at 230 every day. I get 115 guys that I get a chance to make a difference in their lives. What could be funner? Or more fun? Is that right?

Inaudible question about seniors contribution in the win:
You know, I just think, for our seniors, and it doesn't matter. We have some seniors that didn't play a snap, but they played plenty of snaps on the look team and the scout team, and they've been tough and they get in the weight room at 515 three days a week and go to class, and, one of them is going to law school. I'm proud of all of them. I don't care who ---we kind of touched on some of them. This is a team.


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