Postgame Player Comments Part 1

John Navarre and Chris Perry answer questions on the CMU game.

John Navarre

On Michigan’s success rushing the ball:

"We stuck with what worked. Those guys worked hard and like we talked over the off season, we're going to be able to do that. We have the talent and we have the work horses to do it. Once it started working we kept with it."

On Chris Perry’s performance:

"Chris was awesome. I'll say this, he did what we expect of him. He brought his game, protected the football well, saw the hole, and he ran hard. We've seen that from him all off-season and parts of last year. That's what we expect from him. So he did as good as expected, and if he keeps on pushing he's going to get better and better."

On Steve Breaston’s punt returns giving good field position:

"Field advantage is huge. That's why the kicking game is so important. Those guys give you great field position and as an offense you go out there with great confidence and your not limited. You’re not handcuffed coming out of your own black zone, so that's huge. They did a great job with that and they've been working hard on that over training camp."

On not converting red zone opportunities early in the game:

"It's the first game and you don't want to use that excuse, but we wanted to do some things and we really didn't know what to expect from them down there with them having a new defensive coordinator and not seeing what they were run. But that's no excuse. We still should have capitalized. We have to make a better throw down there. Plus, the penalties brought us out. I think for a first game as far as penalty-wise and mistakes and assignments, we were pretty good. Our goal was we didn't want to have any, but we did, and we corrected those and shored that up in the second half."

On if the offense performed up to its expectations:

"No. We’ve got high expectations and our team does as a whole. We could've played better and we're gonna get better. That's how the season goes. We're gonna keep on pushing and we're not going to be satisfied. We're going to get better. Opponents are going to get tougher and that was a good opponent we had today. They put a wear on the defense with that no-huddle. What we want to do is control the ball and if we keep on pushing with that, we'll be all right."

On what they could have done better:

"As a team we want to eliminate mistakes. We were kind of sloppy and we missed some assignments. But like I said, it's not entirely a wash. It's not what you typically expect out of a first game. We expect no mistakes. We did have some, but not as many as a typical first game. So, I think we're gonna get better and we're gonna keep pushing. Like I said, if we stay hungry then we're gonna achieve our goals."

On if they wanted to try to answer CMU’s initial second half score with a rushing drive:

"We always want to establish the run. We kept it on the ground because the ground game was working so well. We're not going to get away from it if we're getting 8-10-12 yards a crack on each play. We wanted to stick with what was working. You don't go into a drive with a designated type of strategy saying this is what we're going to do. You go with what the down and distance are and what they're giving you defensively. We stuck with what worked there and we didn't want to get away from it."

On what he thought of the field turf:

"It's good. We practice on it enough. In our first practice it was a little slick, but it held through today. It's a great track. It's a fast track and I think we ran fast today. It's nice having a field that sticks up and holds your footing. It does get warm, but we practice enough on it that we're prepared for it."


Chris Perry

On his thoughts about the team's rushing performance:

"I feel like we had a good game rushing the ball. The offensive line did a great job opening up holes and the receivers did a great job blocking. When that all comes together I have no choice but to run well."

On why he was successful running the ball:

"I took what the defense gave me. After the offensive line opened up holes and the receivers blocked I just ran. I think I did a good job running to where the open areas were. That's something coach always tells us, take what they can give me. I think I did a good job of that today."

On David Underwood’s performance:

"Dave ran real well. He did a great job running the ball. He took what they gave him. He made cuts and ran hard. That's what we need out of Dave."

On breaking the record for most yards rushing in an opener by a Michigan back:

"It's nice to have, but it's not that big of a deal. We have 12 more games to go including the bowl game. It's something to put away and I'll look at it after the season is over."

On if he realized during the course of the game that he had gone over 200 yards:

"No, I wasn't thinking about that at all. I was just running. I was just hoping we'd score again. They looked like they were gaining some momentum and I wanted to go ahead and stomp all that out."

On if the offense really liked answering CMU’s first score of the second half with a drive that consisted mostly of rushing the ball:

"Yes, it's something we love to do as an offense. Either way, if they go down the and score, we want to come back and score...running or passing. It doesn't matter how we do it, just as long as we do it. We like to come back and answer when someone else scores."

On whether he noticed a difference between the new field turf and natural grass:

"No, not really. It's just a little bit harder. The grass is a little bit softer but it's really not that big of a difference."

On whether he felt quicker or faster on the new turf:

"I think so, I don't know. I really don't pay that much attention to it. I just run and if I look at film and I look faster than I'll be able to answer that better on Monday."

On whether he thought the team performed up to its expectations:

"I think we did what we should have done. We could have done a lot more. There were a few times we were in the red zone and we should've converted. Through mental mistakes and not converting we didn't make the touchdowns we need to make. That's something we can't have against better teams. We’ve got to convert every time we're in the red zone."

On if the team exhibited frustration at halftime:

"There was a lot of frustration at halftime. Our team has a lot of expectations and our expectations are very high. So when we don't perform well we let everybody know it. Everybody on the team takes accountability for what they did wrong, then they try to come out and correct it after halftime."

On what exactly they were frustrated about:

"The defense was frustrated about how they were rushing the ball on us. We have a great defense but people were just not making plays at times and the defense was real frustrated with that. The offense was frustrated with us not converting in the red zone. That's something we need to do to be a successful team."

On what to take from the victory:

"It always feels good to get the season opener out of the way. To have a good game and have a 'W' at the end always feels good. It gets us ready for Houston next week."

 


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