Hoke Postgame Presser Transcript (Utah)

Brady Hoke reflects upon Michigan's disappointing 26-10 loss to the Utah Utes. Michigan's headman discussed the ongoing woes on offense, Devin Gardner's struggles, the performance of the defense, and more.

Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke

On the game in general ... "Obviously, we're very disappointed in the outcome of the game. I thought our kids came out very ready to play. I thought they demonstrated that the first drive down the field, and I think the defense, what they did early in the football game was indicative of how they prepared and how they practiced and how they got ready to play the game.

"I think, obviously, you have a punt return against you for a touchdown, anything in a kicking game is momentum, and we had some momentum and then we gave up the touchdown on the punt return, which is very disappointing. You look at it from the standpoint of taking care of the football, you know? We've talked a lot about that. Probably more than I'd like to or you would like to talk about it, but that's one thing we've got to do a better job of. That's constantly coached, and we talk about it. Sometimes those things happen, and we've got to make sure we're going back to work, working hard on it, and we can't have that happen through the Big Ten season.

"We talked as a team afterwards about what we need to do. I reminded them of the 1998 team, which was a team that went to Notre Dame, I was part of that team, and lost, and lost here at home against Syracuse, then went off and won the Big Ten or part of the Big Ten championship. Those goals, our goals are all out there. I do believe we have a team that can do that. Now you can't play the way you did today and do that. We realize that. But we've got a bunch of guys in that locker room who every day work their tails off and are supportive and believe in each other."

On what he sees in the team to believe U-M can contend in the Big Ten this year ... "That's a great question, but I think the one thing that I have is I'm with this group of young men every day. These kids, I know how they go to work. There are things that we did very well today. We did some things not as well as we needed to, and we've got to improve on that. We've got to go back to work, and that starts with me as the head football coach. It starts with the assistants, everyone who is in Schembechler Hall. We've got to do a better job for those kids."

On the second-half turnovers and the need to be able to finish ... "Yeah, and there is no question that that's one thing. We start a drive, we have some success with it, we get a sack, so you're behind the sticks again. You don't like to play offense that way. We had a penalty that put us back. So we've just got to finish those drives. First drive of the game really, the execution and what was going on was good, but we settled for three points. It was a great kick by Matt (Wile). It was good to see it from him, obviously, but we want seven points, not three points."

On the plan for the quarterback moving forward ... "I think number one it's way too early for me to assess that until Doug (Nussmeier) and myself look at the tape. One thing I can tell you is sometimes it's good for the guy to come out and just watch and see what he can see from the sidelines. So there are not going to be any answers to that tonight. We'll compete and challenge like we have every day, and then we'll have a starting quarterback against Minnesota."

On not reaching the red zone with the offense in the two losses ... "I don't think there has to be an overhaul. I think it's the execution, the little things that we need to do. Again, that starts here. We've got to do a better job with that part of it. I have a lot of faith in those guys who are out there on the field."

On Utah's first drive of the second half ... "I wish I could tell you exactly what happened. We were very disappointed in that drive though. I mean, that's not the way we wanted to start the second half. The couple under routes on third down, we didn't execute as well defensively as we needed to. I think the pace on one play we had just gotten set, and we weren't all the way where we needed to be, but that drive bothers us and bothers me."

On what the team did during the 2.5-hour delay and the goal coming out to finish the game ... "Well, the goal is to win. So that's why we come back out, to compete. In the locker room, I think, sometimes, and we had the one a couple years ago with Western Michigan, I think we went back out and played and then came back in. So you have a little bit of an idea about it. But this was a long one.

"We fed the kids a little bit. They ate some stuff that's good for them so that they can go out and play. They relaxed. They all have iPads these days, so some of them relaxed and especially when we knew it was going to be an hour and a half, maybe two hours. Then we came together. We had a great plan for warm-ups and what we did there, and really, they were excited to get back on the field."

On any particular area that stands out ... "I think the ball security issues are probably our biggest issue when you look at it overall. I think in the secondary, Jourdan Lewis played his tail off today. He may have played his best game. If you don't write about the play he made to keep them out of the end zone, then you don't know anything about the game, because that effort that he made from all the way across the field, I can remember Woody Hankins did that down in Ohio in 1996. Kept them to a field goal, and that was a 13-9 game. We show that clip every year of a backside corner doing that, and that's what he did."

On Willie Henry's interception ... "You know, Willie will tell you he probably diagnosed it, but I think Willie popped out, did a nice job, got his hands up. Willie's a pretty athletic 305-pounder. It was a good football play. I don't know what else to say about it. He made a good football play, and that's what you talk about if you're not to the quarterback -- get your hand up. And he got his hand up and did a nice job."

On how concerning pass protection is ... "I thought our quarterbacks stepped up. You know, sometimes on pass protection, when the ends are going up the field, sometimes you feel like, boy, they're getting closer. But there was a pocket in there the majority of the time. Not all the time. Obviously, when you have four sacks you're not excited about it totally, but I thought there were some good things in the protection, and Devin (Gardner) had a chance and Shane (Morris) had a chance to step up."

On his level of concern with the offense right now ... "I'm concerned about everything we're doing. Do we want to be better offensively? Yeah, no question. Do we want to score points? That's part of the game and what we want to do. So am I concerned? We need to play better. We've got to make sure we execute better."

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