Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke App State
Opening statement ... "It's obviously good to win a football game to start the season. I mentioned to you many times before, this team has worked really hard, and they've done a nice job. I think the leadership throughout has been good. I thought we played hard. I was a little concerned in the second half when they had the opportunity, and they were running the ball on us through the middle of our defense. We've got to do a better job there, but I thought the kids came out and played hard. Disappointing, no turnovers defensively, and we only had one sack. They [Appalachian State] get the ball out of their hands pretty quick, and that's just part of what they do, but we should have been better than that. We had some opportunities and have to make them when you're there."
On the area he was most impressed with ... "I think the biggest thing was, we weren't competing with the scoreboard, we were competing with our abilities. That's what we talked about going into the game, and how we wanted to play and how we wanted to go about every down. Statistics are statistics, and you can look at them and believe them or you can look at them and know that's not the true answer, because there are a lot of things this football team has to do better."
On Jabrill Peppers' status ... "He'll be all right. I'll be honest with you, at halftime, we just decided not to bring him out second half. It's nothing life injury or anything; he will be ready next week."
On the decision to give Devin Funchess the No. 1 jersey and how he played in response to that ... "The young man asked me about it, and I said that's fine. I said call a member of the Kramer family, ask them, and that's what he did. Ron Kramer may have been the best player ever to play here, best athlete ever to play here. So he talked to Kurt, his son, and Devin being more of a wide receiver, obviously, he thought that's what he wanted to do. And believe me I asked him who has worn No. 1, and he started with Anthony Carter and went down the list, so I think that he earned it."
On the importance of 100-yard rushers in football ... "I think we wanted to run the ball, and to have two, 100-yard rushers is a good thing. We wanted that offensive line to play together. We talked about taking them out the series before the last touchdown, but, really, they hadn't played as much together, Khalid (Hill) has missed some of camp and getting him back in and playing with him and the combination of him and Joe (Burzynski), getting Mason (Cole) as many snaps, especially with a quality guard next to him, I think was important. I thought Jack Miller did a really nice job with our offensive line -- between the communication I was very impressed with Jack and have been all camp. There was a sequence in the series, two series in the second quarter where we lost some yardage on a couple of runs, and that bothers me, and I think we want perfection, and that's good because our standards should be high. That bothered us. There were a lot of big runs in there. You watch Jehu (Chesson) block, (Amara) Darboh block, you watch 'little Fleetwood' [Dennis Norfleet] block, those guys open up a lot of the big plays."
On his expectations for Devin Gardner and how he performed today ... "We wanted him to, number one, manage the game, take care of the football. I think he made some really good decisions. I think he changed a play or two at the line of scrimmage, more than one or two, and I thought he played 'locked in' to what was going on. I think with Doug (Nussmeier) being on the sideline I think helps in this situation, because of being able to talk to him between series, make some adjustments."
On whether the success of the offense early on came because of the shotgun, spread formation or was it a product of the opponent ... "Anytime you can run some of those spread things you've got a pretty mobile quarterback, one of those dual-threat guys they talk about, and I think having the ability to run some of that, whether you're going to make it, your backbone of what you're doing, I think defenses have to prepare for it. I think it's always good to have that in there."
On the importance to getting off to a good start to give your guys confidence ... "I think that's important. I think we think our football team was ready. You could tell how they really prepared the whole week. I think it was important to get on the board. It was important for the defense to get on the field first. We talked about our kickoff team going down and setting the tone and at the same time defensively setting a bit of a tone, and I think they did in that first series. The offense kind of feed off each other a little bit, and it was good to get on the board. We were at 14 for a while, so it was good to respond. I still think coming out in the third quarter, we need to do a better job in coming out just like we did in the first quarter."
On Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith both rushing for more than 100 yards ... "I think it's huge for our football team, and it's huge for both those young men. They're both big backs, but they're different. As you notice, Smith, he would rather run you over than play tag or try and make you miss. Green has a combination of both. It was good to have those guys have success, and I think it speaks, again, to what the receivers did and the offense line did."
On whether or not Appalachian State's success in the run game was about personnel fits ... "I think it's more about fits; I think it's about guys didn't get off blocks. You go another series and all of the sudden the same guy who didn't get off a block, he was getting off a block, and it's a plus one or a minus one. So it's the consistency of doing that every time."
On how the offensive line will change with (Graham) Glasgow available to play next week ... "How it changes, I'm not sure yet. I think that's an option that we're glad we have, but I can't tell you if it's going to be a change right yet."
On preparing to play Notre Dame for the last time in the near future ... "It's always been a great football game. Bo (Schembechler) would say it kind of lets you know where your team was early in the season because of the similarities of the athletes that are on the field. From that standpoint, I think for college football, it's a great rivalry and the significance of being the last one down there, yeah, there is significance to it."
On whether he saw what he expected out of his football team today ... "I thought they came out aggressive. Just being on the sideline and watching body angles and the leverage that they were playing with and finishing blocks. The last play of the game, (Patrick) Kugler is in there, and he finishes a block, on a guy about eight yards down the play. That was the only play he played, and he made the most of it. I think we're a long way from being what I think we can be. We just have to keep working. That's the great thing about this team. They've come in with mojo, and they have worked every day. They love working together."
On what he liked about the defense ... "I thought they were pretty tight on coverage. I think that part of it, and we have worked real hard on being tighter in the coverage aspect. I think the flow of the linebackers, all three of them, because they rotate, and depending on what defensive package we're in, James Ross, and James plays some of the normal defense also as an inside guy, but you felt those guys. You felt them as much as anything, breaking on balls and cleaning the hits up."
On Doug Nussmeier's work with the offense ... "You know what, I guess the only thing I would say to that is we won the football game. We got in the end zone. We play Notre Dame next week."
On the impact of having Doug Nussmeier on the side lines ... "You know what, he gets in my way! (Laughter). I'm trying to keep him off the field. I think he wants to go out and play. But I think this year, at this time, being with the quarterback for, I don't know, nine months or whatever it is, I think it's important that he's there with him. They can communicate. I think it's the same with the offensive line."
On whether he anticipates more coverage on Devin Funchess ... "He's definitely someone you need to pay attention to. I think as the year goes on, as he keeps working and as he keeps learning and keeps developing, I think that maybe more people will bracket him a little bit, put a corner over the top of him, run him and safety over the top, but then that helps (Jehu) Chesson and (Amara) Darboh and it helps Norfleet, and those other guys."
On the advantage of Devin Funchess only playing wide receiver ... "Well, I think that helps, yeah, there is no question about it. I think moving him back and forth is something. There is a lot to learn. And in this offense there is a lot to learn for a wide receiver when you talk about splits and minus twos and plus twos and all those kind of things for certain routes and plays. Football is geometry, it really is. How they decide on the spacing of it is huge in an offense."
On his overall assessment of the special teams ... "We were a little too deep on the onside kick. We had talked about it, and we had done it with them, and we just didn't react. It will be interesting to see the replay and see if we're back on our heels a little bit trying to get depth. Anytime you can generate points in your special teams; I think there is some statistics out there that you get 70 percent more chance or 75 percent more chance of winning a football game, and one of those is based on blocked punts. We wanted to be aggressive. Didn't know exactly what we were going to get totally from them, because in pregame they lined up in a pro style punt, and then obviously they were spread punt with a shield when we got to real live bullets."