U-M / IU Postgame: Brady Hoke

Michigan headman Brady Hoke reflects upon his team's 34-10 victory over Indiana. Hoke shared his thoughts on his squad's defensive performance, Drake Johnson's performance, and more.

Opening statement ... "It was good to see the kids, as hard as they worked, and I say that weekly, and some of you may believe that, some of you don't, but they work their tails off every time we go to practice. They work their tails off as a group. They really are accountable to each other. And that's important.

"Obviously we got some good performances from some guys who haven't played as much. I'm talking about (running back) Drake (Johnson) as much as anybody. He's gotten a lot of second reps now since Derrick (Green) went out. We always thought he was talented, and he took advantage. He saw an opportunity and did a heck of a job."

On the play of junior/sophomore receiver Amara Darboh ... "Amara played a little bit as a true freshman and then sat out all last year. I think the confidence, and again, for both of them (Drake and Amara), being in the system for the first time and learning a little bit of a different system; they are both very talented, they both work extremely hard, and it's nice to see those kinds of kids when they get rewarded because of their hard work and what they do. We have Devin (Funchess) on one side and Amara on the other, and it maybe opens things up a little better."

"We talked about keeping the ball inside and in front. The guys up front defensively, (Chris) Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, Bryan Mone, Matthew Godin, Ondre Pipkins, that helps our linebackers and that helps the whole defense when you get that. I gotta give credit to how the kids leverage the football - that's the biggest part of it, if you're a cut back guy, cut back, if you're a chase contain, you gotta chase contain. From that standpoint it was really a team defense.

On junior/senior defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow's fumble recovery to start the second half ... "It's kind of fun during practice because it's him and his brother (Graham) pounding on each other. There's a competitive nature in those two. He's going to try to give a second and third effort, and to some degree he needs to because that's what he does best. He's not the quickest guy, probably not the most athletic guy, but he always goes over and above when you talk about the effort he gives."

On the motivation of a bowl bid ... "That's always something you should think about. It's nice to get, as coaches, sometimes you get those extra days of preparation and practice with youth and in some ways that's good. The other thing is, because of injury and necessity a little bit, you start finding some other guys and developing guys in the system."

On junior/sophomore running back Drake Johnson and his journey with physical setbacks ... "I think if you know anything about Drake he's always been very motivated and a hard worker. I would say that he, because he's getting more chances with repetitions in practice, that's helped quite a bit. He made some very good cuts, he accelerated through cuts. That's some natural ability that he has."

On what Drake Johnson brings to the game ... "He's more of a slasher than the others. The one thing he does have is a very good burst when you look at the gears. He's got the ability to take it the distance also."

On Drake Johnson becoming more of a primary focus in practice ... "We're very happy with his performance, very impressed with it. I know we'll look at the tape and make those judgments, but we're pretty excited about what he did today."

On tight end Jake Butt's status ... "Jake Butt will be back next week."

On the distractions from this past week ... "Let's talk about what those kids did. Because there's only so many opportunities they have. Have they stayed together and been accountable? Yes, that's what they've done. Like I said, we'll talk about it on Monday."

On the linebackers ... "They did a nice job with their gap integrity, that's a big part of it. When you get combination blocks, that's a big part of it, and I thought they did a nice job with it."

On junior linebacker Joe Bolden ... "Joe's always focused, No. 1. He comes from a football family, his uncle was a coach, his dad was a coach, the whole family. He's always ready to play. He's probably as intelligent a football player as you'll find. He also is very good at diagnosing things, so it was good to get him going. Last week, some of that problem was on the defensive line. We were better today, which made the linebackers better."

On the IU drive in the third quarter ... "That's one of the possessions I didn't think we were disciplined enough in getting lined up, which we did a good job of all day. And the communications, because we got caught once. That's a big part of it. We have to keep working. That was disappointing, but it was good to see how they came back."

On fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner looking beat up ... "He's getting better every week from the initial injury. And he was better this week. Has it hurt some of the designed runs? Yup. I think he's a little more cautious when he does take the ball and run. We just have to keep getting him healthier.

"There's no doubt, we all have to get better and do a better job. He's got to get a little better getting the ball out. The third-down conversion to Darboh was a great throw; even the touchdown he powered through it. But yes, we have to do a better job there."

On Indiana's last drive ... "I think we lost a little intensity; that can't happen, but I think it happened. We'll address that really tomorrow. But we can't lose that edge that you have."

On the decision not to go for points at end of first half ... "No. 1, we had just thrown a pick and set up three points ,and so there was not much in my mind that wanted to go two-minute drill. And the other thing is we were also getting the ball in the second half. Our defense has been playing too well to put them in a bad situation. Just calm ourselves down at halftime, make some adjustments, which the coaches did a really nice job of, especially in the running game. I wasn't looking forward to the defense being challenged again at that time."

On the team's motivation ... "They're playing for each other. They really have done a nice job of going to work. They're no different than any Michigan fan, coaches or anybody else; they have high expectations, and they've been able to, for some of the youth, they've been able to focus on what's next. That's what they've done. I wish I could tell you there's a secret to it, but that's what I've seen them do."


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