Hoke Says Team "Never Panicked"

After Michigan's 27-19 triple OT victory over Northwestern, Brady Hoke reflected upon his team's resilience, discussed the performance of his young tailbacks, the memorable last second field goal, and more.

Brady Hoke opening remarks: “Thanks for coming out. You know, it was a game where I think our defense really kept us in the football game, and I think we thought from the overtime, the offense started making a couple more things happen down in the red zone. That’s one thing both offense and defense we have to continue to work on is our red zones. Those haven’t been as good as we’d have liked them to be. But offensively, I thought we started doing some nice things. We started the games, after the kickoff, we drive down and we got to finish better in the red zone. We get the field goal, but we have to do a little bit more with it. We were 0 for 10 at one point on third down, which is not a number we want and will be better. But the two backs, I think Derrick (Green) and De’Veon (Smith) did a nice job, averaged 4.4 yards per carry between the both of them. I think Devin (Gardner) had some form of running the ball 17 times, five of them were sacks and there were probably seven or eight called runs, and the rest of them scrambles. He threw 43 times and did a nice job. We’ve got some that we dropped, and got some that we got some that we need to be a little more accurate and read through a little bit more.  At the end of the day, two things: Gallon jumping on the ball on the punt late to save time. It was a smart football play by him. And then I can’t give enough credit to – I told you after the game, it was one of the best team plays I’ve seen. When your field goal team gets on the field and guys on offense get off the field. I thought (Drew) Dileo, where he was, ran a vertical route on the other side of the field, and his effort to get there and slide in and hold. Gibby not really having a chance to go through his normal kicking procedure.  Jareth Glanda, you can’t say enough about his snaps and punts with that wind, the PATs and field goals, but that whole team and the team getting off the field did a tremendous job. It gave us an opportunity to keep playing and win the game in three overtimes.”

Question: What did you see on film in the running game that you liked?  There seemed to be more creases and a better job there overall.

Brady Hoke:  “Well I think the three guys inside really established the line of scrimmage when you watch the tape. They were able to get started better, our backs were. I thought with the bubble screen and the fake bubble, pulled the linebacker a little bit which made a little better angle for a guy to combo up to. Both of those guys are pretty much downhill runners. They had a chance to run north and south because of their size and their style. They had pretty good vision most of the time. We thought one in the end zone and in the red zone….thought we probably read that one wrong, but for the most part they ran hard. But they got started.”

Question: Will Fitzgerald Toussaint start for you and can you comment on Jake Butts play, I don’t know if we asked you about that after the game.

Brady Hoke:  “We’ll see where we shake out at the end of the week with who will be the first back in. Jake Butt is coming along,  He is a freshman. He made a great catch. It doesn’t surprise any of us, because we’ve seen him do it in practice. But he’s a guy who’s really maturing into being a good weapon for us, and also just developing as a football player.”

Question: I know obviously it is always a competition but did Derrick and De’Veon kind of force your hand to make this even more of a competition now at running back with the way they played and the way they ran?

Brady Hoke:  “I don’t know if it’s more. I think we always have a competition, like you said. You’ve got to give them credit, though, for how they played.”

Question: It is obviously a long season when you have some disappointments, what  does a game like that to allow these guys to celebrate and then to look at on film the next day do for you in terms of preparation for the next one?

Brady Hoke:  “There’s no question we needed to go out and play Michigan football and fight for 60-plus minutes. I think the teaching moments that are so critical for a team and especially when you’ve got young guys, just what you did with their hurry-up field goal. That and how we practice it and how we do it, the emphasis that’s made there. I think winning the football game, you can throw the weather in, you can throw a lot of things in that they responded well and never panicked. It was kind of neat on the sideline. The offense was out there, and the defensive guys were chanting offense.  It was like high school. It was neat. They were having fun. We did the same thing when the defense was on the field. They really, as a team, played, and they cared and they were accountable.”

Question: The last field goal, it seems pretty fortunate that Dileo was on the side of the field that he was to kind of slide in.  If Gibbons was a right footed kicker, would Dileo had been on the other side?

Brady Hoke:  “Yeah.  If he was a right footed kicker.  No it wasn’t planned that way at all – believe me.  He was just part of a play that we like in those situations.  It just happened that Jeremy (Gallon) was the guy we went to and he was over there.  That would be hard to put together.  It just worked out.”

Question: So if Drew had caught it that thing never would have happened?

Brady Hoke:  “If Jeremy doesn’t get on the ball on the punt to save time on the clock.  That was a  huge play – huge play.”

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