"I think obviously there’s a lot of positive things in the Illinois
game things we can learn from, and there’s some things that are not so
positive. But I think the time of possession... we won the turnover battle.
Looking at the two turnovers we had, which obviously had a lot to do with the
deficit at half, one of those throws was in my judgment caused by the wind.
It took the ball. It was a significant wind. The other one was Chad misread
the coverage and that’s something that continues to be apart of his learning
process. I thought the time of possession was significant. That had to do with
the fact that we had some great drives, one of which did not lead to a score.
But because our defense came up with a big interception really twice there in
the 3rd quarter, with the time of possession, we had an opportunity to wear
Illinois defense down, and that’s what happens when you have the football
as much as we had it. There are some things obviously in the kicking game. I'm
very disappointed in the penalties because that is a battle that we lost. Certainly
going into a game with Purdue, that we have this week in West Lafayette, one
of more difficult places to play in the country, we've got to cut down on the
penalties. We got to do a much better job there. We can't have big mistakes
and we're going to have to play our best game of the year."
On Rivas' missed field goal:
"I think the thing that you have to look at is he has been outstanding in field goals. That wind was across the field and the snap was good the hold was good. I think he hit it very well. I think the wind took the ball and blew it out of there. I don't fault anybody on that play I think that’s Mother Nature."
Purdue is a very very quick defense. A year ago their major asset they had a great front four with three senior linebackers. They don't have the experience but they have the same kind of speed and athleticism up front, a very good secondary, and a well conceived defense. I think offensively, they've got three offensive lineman back, the best receiver statistically in the history of the Big Ten, and of course a great quarterback and a running back (Jerod) Void that I like a lot, a great kicker, it's an outstanding football team."
On the chop-blocking controversy in the Wisconsin/Purdue game
"Well, I did see some comments. I saw some comments that Coach Tiller made regarding some of the comments that the Wisconsin coaches have made. I've watched the film very closely. I think there are some critical issues here. Number one is we must have rules that protect the player. That's the major purpose of the rule…to protect the safety of the players. The major responsibility of the official is to protect to safety of the player."
"Some of the discussion over the rules of the plays that I saw…the rule is clear. If a player is being blocked or engaged by another player above the waist, he cannot be blocked below the waist by another player. In my judgement, that happened in this game. There should have been some penalties called there. That does not mean that those are malicious or that it's dirty football. It's just that they occurred, and in my judgement they must be called."
"Well, he has continued to work hard and he is a guy that has been around. He has done great job in every area. He is getting a little bit healthier. I think that is the reason."
On if the change had more to do with Pierre's improvement or something Lamarr wasn't doing:
"Well, like I always say, it's better to be three hours too early than one minute too late."
On Scott McClintok's interceptions:
"The first interception was off of a zone-blitz and any time you're blitzing and playing zone coverage, you're short a man. So it's very important that they guys that are playing zone take the proper reads. Scott made a great read on that play. I was standing directly in the line of the flight of the ball. As I saw the ball thrown, I thought it was going to be a completion. Then all of a sudden McClintok broke in. I don't think the quarterback saw him. I think he made a great individual read. I think that was partly his experience and partly his ability. He's a guy that can really run."
"I think the second interception has a lot to do with the call. You see so many criticisms of dropping eight and rushing three, and nobody talks about the times that it works. In that particular play, he (Jim Herrmann) dropped eight, so you have an extra guy which creates a very different type of read because the quarterbacks don't see the eight man drop a lot except maybe at the end of the game. But on that particular play, Scott was in the right place. I think it was the call that Jim made that put him in the position to make a big interception."
On the play of the corners:
"I think Marlin Jackson made one of the best interceptions I've seen here. It was a great individual effort. I thought for a second there that he may run it all of the way back for the touchdown. I think Leon Hall and Markus Curry are getting a lot more attention. People aren't throwing the football towards Marlin very much. That's not to say that Purdue won't. But I think in the match-ups they're going to get a lot of action. I think they've done a good job. We had three interference calls there and I think that when you bump and run, some of those you're going to get. They weren't each 15-yard penalties because one was a spot foul on the slant. But that comes from being aggressive. It also is going to lead to tighter coverage and hopefully fewer yards after the catch. That's really what you should be able to get done if you can cover people tight. But it all goes back to the type of rush you have. Every corner I know is much better if there is good pressure on the quarterback than he is if there isn't"
On if Michigan sticks to playing the corners on the right or left regardless
of who they're playing against:
"We have the capability to match up. For example if we were playing against Braylon Edwards, because Braylon is such a difference maker, we would either double cover him or we would want to try to put our best corner on him. So you make those decisions on a game to game basis. We have that capability. But that makes it much more complicated because now you're not just the right corner or the left corner. If there are no tight ends on this side, you've got to see if anybody comes out. If there's nobody, then you've got to go to the other side. In the meantime, a lot of times you see guys running over late and not getting lined up right. That's unsettling. And sometimes the guy that you want to match up on is not in the game. So now you're looking for a guy that's not in the game. And that leads to confusion. So there are a lot of substitution issues when you do decide to match up."
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