U-M / Northwestern Postgame: Brady Hoke

Michigan headman Brady Hoke reflects upon his team's 10-9 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats. Hoke shared his thoughts on his squad's defensive performance, his Northwestern's decision to go for two, the perseverance shown by his players, and more.

Opening Statement...

Brady Hoke: "I'm really happy for our kids. You know, again, they work hard. They've done a great job all year coming to work and competing. It was not pretty in some ways. From an offensive standpoint we've got to do some better things. When you look at converting third downs we weren't very good, especially in the first half, and defensively in the first quarter we weren't very good on third downs. It took a while to get in a rhythm a little bit. I think we're still not getting in the end zone like we'd like to. That's something that we've got to continue to work on and continue to get better at. Defense answered the bell a lot. They faced some challenges, some adversity and did a nice job with it, but that's why they came to Michigan to play defense and so they count their blessings every time they get to go out on that field and play defense. That's kind of the mindset and mentality that this group has had...I think we've all felt, you know, the last few games we've gone into overtime with Northwestern and Pat's teams and it looked like we were going there again and we were fortunate enough...really Frank did a nice job and the coaches in the box did a nice job because it was the same two-point play they had ran a year ago and they really had a great idea. So I think that helped and obviously the performance is always with what the kids do. So I'm happy to win, very excited to win. We get a little bit banged up like you do in every game and we have an opportunity for guys to rest and then finish like we've started a long time ago."

On Northwestern going for two...

Brady Hoke: "I think I was a little surprised, but at the same time I think Pat (Fitzgerald) has shown his team he's got a lot of faith in them. I think as a coach you always think about what you would do. I can't tell you what I would do. I know in that drive to get them down there they were pretty successful and so maybe that was a part of the thought process."

On special teams...

Brady Hoke: "I think they had a big role. I think Will Hagerup probably had his best day punting. You know, they fumbled the punt and we're down the filed doing what a gunner should do...overall we had the one block. I think that was a combination of two things. It will be interesting to look at on film. Some of it...Matt tipped it a little low and I also thought he didn't do a good enough job on the wing position getting a piece of that guy, but...we talk about those teams it's really a microcosm of your whole team because you've got offensive guys and defensive guys playing together on those."

On third downs...

Brady Hoke: "I think they're a byproduct...some of it is what you do on first and second. I think that's always part of it. There's certain distances that you'd really like to plan and I think that's part of it. We had some opportunities, and it'll be interesting to watch on the way home, that we could have taken advantage of. Either the receiver was not in the progression or in the progression. The quarterback gets off his mark a little bit. They brought more pressure against us then they have anybody else all year and they really upfront and the backs did a really good job of picking it up."


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