Brief Presser Highlights

It's obviously a rivalry week because the responses were even more guarded than unsual. At one point sophomore WR Jason Avant quipped, &#8220;you guys are asking some questions that I just can&#8217;t answer,&#8221; when responding mostly to questions about the infamous <em><strong>second</strong></em> in 2001. UM&#8217;s field general was also very focused with his remarks, directing his commentary only toward the game this year and his own team.

-Jon Shaw was singled out for stepping up in the absence of Marlin Jackson
“Any time you have guy like John, a fifth year senior, that steps up when you need him…that’s really what team is all about.”

-The kicking game was noted as a plus
Adam Finley punted the ball as well as he has since he has been at Michigan. Brent Cummings, Carl Tabb, and Ernest Shazor did a good job covering punts.”

-The offense made big plays
“I think that’s what you have to do against a defense like Purdue that’s bringing 8 or 9 guys in the box and their safeties are making hits 2 or 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The fact that we could make some big plays was important.”

-On MSU’s defense:
“They’re physical, athletic and get a lot of people to the football…. The most impressive thing to me is that they’re #1 in the league in turnover margin”

-Marlin Jackson will play this weekend.

-Ernest Shazor is playing well.
“Ernest at this point in the season is a force. He is big, can run, and is always around the football. He played his best game (vs. Purdue) since he has been at Michigan.”

-On Jeff Smoker:
“He is playing his best football since he has been in college…What I like about him is he knows where to go with the football, he doesn’t throw many interceptions, and he’s accurate.”

-On Jeremy LeSueur:
“He’s playing as well as you can expect a corner to play.”

-On running the ball:
“The truth is defenses can dictate what you do by putting 8 or 9 people up there…when they do, you throw it.”

-On injuries:
“We’re certainly hoping to have Grant Bowman back…hoping that Jacob Stewart will be back, but we’ll have to see tomorrow…Alain (Kashama) will be back.”

-On Ron English and Bill Sheridan:
“Bill Sheridan is a great football coach. There are a lot of young guys being developed and playing well up there (on the defensive line.”

“Michigan has had a lot of great secondary coaches. I was one of them! (Laughing)…Ron English is as good as any secondary coach we’ve had here.”

"On Saturday, with Jim Herrmann’s leadership, they came up with a great game plan.”

-Most notable quote…Coach Carr described the big ten scheduling practices as “Interesting.” (Recall that MSU had a bye last week…and PSU had byes before the Michigan game in past years).

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