Mattison: Defense is 'Growing Up'

Greg Mattison addressed the media on Tuesday as Michigan prepares for Kansas State this Saturday.

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison

Was practice a bit chippier today?

Mattison: "I don't know if it's typical of bowl practices. I think it's typical of teams that really are vested and teams that want to do well. I've been proud of these guys. They got here yesterday, a four-hour flight, and came out on the practice field and they practiced as hard as they could practice. They're doing the right things and doing what you're asking them to do…I like this defense. I like these kids. They're growing up. We'll see what happens in the game, but if they keep practicing like they're practicing, I think good things are going to happen."

Have they grown up more in recent weeks?

Mattison: "It's almost in the last three weeks, either the young guys have really figured it out or they're saying, ‘OK, we're not young anymore.' There's no longer where you really have to yell at them, correct them. They go hard and they try to do the things that you're asking them to do."

What do you fear the most from Kansas State's two quarterbacks?

Mattison: "Well, you don't fear. But they present a challenge in that 15 (Jake Waters) can throw it and he's mobile. 4 (Daniel Sams) can run it and he can throw it enough to keep you honest. You've got a combination of two pretty good things right there. They've got a good offensive line, and their offensive line has started 40-some games each. They've got a good running back. It's going to be a good offense. Their wide receiver, (Tyler) Lockett, if you don't do a good job on him, he's going to get a quick one. They've got a very good offense."

Have you played anyone in the past few years who has been similar to their two quarterbacks?

Mattison: "We were lucky enough to play for two years here against the best there is. Our quarterback two years ago was pretty darn good, Denard (Robinson). So we're going to see the speed in there. We faced some really good quarterbacks in the Big Ten. I don't know that you go into a game in the Big Ten where the quarterback doesn't have the ability to make it hard on you. We played against some good ones."

With the dual quarterbacks, are they similar to Northwestern in that sense?

Mattison: "Somewhat. I'm a real strong advocate of the Northwestern quarterback (Kain Colter). I think that kid is really good. And I think this kid's really good too, No. 4 (Daniel Sams). The Northwestern kid is so quick, he'll make you break your ankles…This guy's a little bit faster, but with some quickness."


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