Hoke: "We Did Some Very Good Things"

Brady Hoke reflects upon Michigan's 34-10 victory over Miami (OH). The Wolverines' headman discussed the defensive showing, the second half improvement by the offense, Devin Gardner's performance, his team's turnover problems, and more.

Transcript courtesy of MGoBlue.com

Opening Statement: "Number one, it was great to play back at home, first and foremost. It was great to win the football game. We needed to come back and move forward. It's always better to move with a win. I think from an offensive standpoint, we did some very good things. I think the second half obviously we took care of the football, didn't turn the ball over, and completed some drives that we had. I think the running game, where we wanted the run the ball the whole game, but the second half I think we stayed away from some negative plays that put you in bad situations, and we were able to run the ball. I thought Derrick (Green) and De'Veon (Smith) both did a nice job. The offensive line worked very hard. I think the guys on the perimeter did a nice job. Defensively holding them to 2-of-12 from third down perspectives, getting your defense off the field, more opportunities for our offense. The rush for the second week, in looking at our defense, we played that very well, the front seven did, or if we were in nickel situations, the nickel, when he was involved. Those were the positives of it. We only got the one pick as far as a turnover. We've got to do a better job there. I think we harassed the quarterback. I think Brennen Beyer on the one sack really made just a great play, in my opinion, because he finished the play, and how he finished it. It was good to be at home, like I said. We've got to go to work. Utah is a good football team. They're a tough football team. They've had that MO [momentum] for a long time. I think Kyle (Whittingham), coaching against him in the Mountain West, playing against his teams, they're always a physical group. We'll have our hands full."

QUESTION: Is that about what you wanted to see, aside from the five minute stretch in the second quarter?

BRADY HOKE: "Yeah, number one, our guys came out with energy. I think part of that was the crowd I think when the game started. I think part of it also is they are a very close team in a lot of ways. So them coming out, playing hard. Would we have liked to have had a better first half and taken care of the football? Yeah."

QUESTION: Devin Gardner and his receivers... what kind of versatility and depth did you see in the absence of Devin Funchess?

BRADY HOKE: "I think the addition of Jake Butt helps, getting him back and healthy. We kind of picked our spots with using him in some ways. But (Amara) Darboh and (Jehu) Chesson are both very talented. (Dennis) Norfleet gives you a great spark. Freddy Canteen is starting to get back to where he kind of was last spring. Having some depth there helps. Obviously Devin Funchess can be a difference maker because of his athleticism and size. But I think the other guys did a nice job."

QUESTION: Do you expect Devin Funchess back next week?

BRADY HOKE: "We'll see."

QUESTION: Talk about the role that Ryan Glasgow and the noses played in limiting that run.

BRADY HOKE: "I said this to Ryan before the game. I thought he had his best week of practice, his best week of football that I've seen from him in all areas.
He played that way. I think between (Bryan) Mone, (Onodre) Pipkins, him and Maurice Hurst, which all four of them played in there, it's a good group, and it's a growing group. It's a good group to be around."

QUESTION: How concerned are you about the slow start to the running game? It's on the verge of getting there, two steps back, another step forward.

BRADY HOKE: "I think you're always concerned about it. Would we have liked to run the ball better in the first half? No question, at the start of the game. But at the same time if you go through, and it will be interesting to watch the tape, the first series of the game, some of the things that we wanted to try and establish from a formation standpoint. You're trying to get your feet wet a little bit to see how people are going to defend you as a team. But we need to run it better. That will be a main focus this week."

QUESTION: Brady, Devin Gardner throws that pick in the first half, then looks nervous the rest of the way. How did he play?

BRADY HOKE: "Maybe you thought he was nervous. I didn't. I didn't think he was. I think the ball he threw, it will be interesting again, you only see it once, to me it was a little high, but it was on target. I don't know if Jehu (Chesson) got a chance to try to go get it either."

QUESTION: Thoughts on the cornerback play, particularly Jourdan Lewis coming back with an interception, and Jabrill Peppers defending.

BRADY HOKE: "I think the guys we played, we rotated through Blake (Countess) and Jabrill (Peppers) and also Jourdan (Lewis). I think they played tighter coverage. We did a few things different with some of the blitz things as far as we played some zero coverage, which we don't play a lot of, but thought we could play it -- lining up at the sticks, those kinds of things. We'll watch the tape, but I think they all did a nice job in there."

QUESTION: You mentioned being able to use the crowd to jump back from last week, and it helped early. I'm sure you heard some of the boos at halftime. What is your level of concern about the team having to deal with that?

BRADY HOKE: "You know what, we've got great fans. You know what, they've got high expectations like we do. As far as the players, they know they can only control what they can control, and that's playing the best Michigan football we can."

QUESTION: You allowed eight first downs and 33 yards rushing. Overall how satisfied are you with this defensive performance?

BRADY HOKE: "We played pretty good rush defense so far. Now, I think the schedule continues to get tougher. We'll see what kind of defense we are as we go through it. Thirty-three yards, yeah, you're happy with that. How many attempts did they have? Twenty-four. They weren't going to try and run it much. But I do think Chuck tried to run it enough to keep us a little more off balance."

QUESTION: Brady, if you could talk about two of Derrick Green's runs, what you saw, what you liked about them, one being the touchdown where he sprinted left, another being a third and short.

BRADY HOKE: "Yeah, again, I'm going to say this, Ryan Glasgow had a great week. Derrick Green had a great week of practice. Probably as good as I've seen from him. I think (Doug) Nussmeier would say the same thing because we've both kind of said it together. He had a great week. He was finishing runs, he was really coming out the other side. It will be interesting to see how he felt he played. If he missed a read there, sometimes that happens. But I thought he played a nice football game."

QUESTION: Brady, turnovers are usually amplified in a loss, maybe less so in a game like this. What is your concern level? I think it's seven now.

BRADY HOKE: "Really concerned. Seven in three games. One in three games you don't want. It's the ball security issues that we've got to do a better job with from top to bottom."

QUESTION: Brady, Jabrill Peppers, is he bringing what you expected?

BRADY HOKE:" Without watching the film, without watching him every play, not being able to judge fundamentals and technique, I think he played well. He's gifted. I think we all know that. He's got makeup speed. He can be wrong once in a while. He kind of makes up for it. He's got an attitude that he plays with. I'd say him and Dennis (Norfleet) are two guys who, during fall camp, they were at each other's throats every day. They're so much alike that way, competitive wise."

QUESTION: Can you talk about Dennis Norfleet's impact on special teams.

BRADY HOKE: "Dennis, number one, he brings so much to our team in a lot of ways. His energy, the way he goes out to practice, the way he challenges guys. I think that's special. But him on the kicking game, where he makes most of his mark right now. Last week he had 33 plays that we were trying to establish, and established pretty well. But he's a guy who has a lot of energy."

QUESTION: Then Jake Butt's impact today?

BRADY HOKE: "Obviously Jake is getting healthier every game. I don't think he's probably where he would feel being 100% yet. He's a big target. He's a physical guy. I think he always will have an impact."

QUESTION: Brady, can you tell us what you think Wyatt Shallman was thinking on that play?

BRADY HOKE: "Well, here's what happened. Justice (Hayes) was communicating mine, mine, mine, and Wyatt didn't hear him. The one thing I think we can do a better job at is making sure he understands, we do it every Thursday, that he can fair catch that ball. But I think the way we had lined up, we knew how we were lining up, we had Justice up enough, we were hoping he would be able to field him without a fair catch. He just didn't hear him."

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