Monday Presser Highlights (Week 12/Ohio State)

<p>Coach Carr recapped the <strong>42-20 victory</strong> over the Wildcats and previewed the match-up with the Ohio State Buckeyes.</p> <p><em><strong>Link to Carr's full presser comments also included.</strong></em></p>

Opening Statement:

"After reviewing the film, certainly we would have liked to of play for four quarters offensively. I thought defensively, with the exception of a long touchdown run where we did not fit the defense like we wanted to, I thought we did a lot of good things. I think the best thing about that game was our kicking game. I thought we gave ourselves great field position in the kicking game and did some very good things. I thought Steve Breaston, to have him back healthy and where he was a year ago is a great asset for our football team. And of course, it's always great to end your last football game at Michigan as a winner. Our seniors were able to do that. So now we're ready for the greatest rivalry in college football. We're looking forward to going to Columbus to play in this game."

On Breaston having time off:

"He had some time off in terms of practice. I mean, we held him out and rested him, but you understand… he wants to play. When he had to have surgery on his hand, we did the surgery on a Monday, the next Tuesday…ten days later he practiced. He came in after the Indiana game, and we had had a couple of returns. Grant Mason had one, and I said Steve, 'what's your last name?' kidding him. He said, 'I'm going to play this week.' It has to deal with a guy's will to play and Steve Breaston is as tough as any player I've ever coached."

On Ohio State's offense:

"Well I think they are a very talented football team. They're very young at some positions just as we are but I think the thing that gets your attention immediately is it's a very very explosive football team in terms of ability to score quickly. I felt a year ago that (Santonio) Holmes was going to be a great football player the way he played against us. I was really impressed and I think he's having a great season. Troy Smith is an extremely mobile guy. He's got a great arm. And of course with Ginn, and the ability he has to impact a game, is as impressive as anything I've seen. They are very explosive team both in the kicking game and the offensive side of the ball. Defensively I don't see any change in what they always are. They are younger because they did replace an outstanding front, but these guys are outstanding in their own right and they are bigger. I think they are a more physical front than they have been and they have outstanding linebackers."

On Comparing Ted Ginn and Steve Breaston:

Ginn, I wouldn't be surprised to see him at quarterback, because they are moving him around a lot, and of course the kicking game, I don't know I would have to give that some thought.

On biggest challenge that he faced with the team:

"I think the greatest challenge we faced was at quarterback when Matt Gutierrez, a few days before the Miami of Ohio game, came down with that shoulder. Then obviously we are confronted with playing and making a decision, communicating all those things to our teams, trying to get our seniors, making sure they supported Chad Henne. We had to go into that game with the confidence that he would do the things we ask him to do. We could not go in there after 3 weeks of practice and do things we could have done with Matt Gutierrez, so I think it was a challenge for everybody in our program. I think the good news is everybody on our team did embrace Chad. I think he proved to them along the way that he could handle the pressure and that he could deal with all the things that he had to do from a communications standpoint. I think he proved to them what kind of person he is, and so certainly in game competition. I think he's improved dramatically and I think that improvement has been game to game. Against Northwestern I think that certainly was one of his best games."

On if the Ohio State offense has changed:

"I think they've changed a lot. I think they've had a significant change from the standpoint they are doing a lot of things with Troy Smith that I think really take advantage of his ability. They are using him in ways they haven't used any of their quarterbacks and I think the reason they are doing it is not only the quarterback, but the emergence of Ted Ginn. Looking at some of their receivers I still expect we will see some of the old offense. I think Hamby is an outstanding football player. I think they still have an ability to do some of the things they've done in the past. I think that's really the difficult challenge that we have defensively, because until we get there, it's very hard to judge exactly what we get, because they've had some injuries and that factors into a game plan."

On if he enjoys playing in the atmosphere down in Columbus:

"I think anybody who is competitive, and I don't think there's anybody that's not competitive that is in the Ohio State program, and certainly I hope there's certainly no one that's not competitive in our program. I think that's a joy that you experience as a competitor. This game is very, very passionate. This rivalry is very passionate. I think it's the ultimate in terms of playing in front of passionate people. There's nothing quite like it."

On if the rivalry has changed much:

"Is it still as bitter and ugly as it always has been? ... "I'll say this. From a fan standpoint, I think it's changed. I think it's much different than it was, unfortunately, but I think amongst the players and the coaches, I don't think it's ever been bitter. I think it's always been exactly what it should have been, and that is two programs that are represented by guys that play as hard as they can, and when the game is over they respect each other. To me, that's what a great rivalry should be. I think we've always had that. I don't remember it any other way."

On Chad Henne saying 'we hate them and they hate us' when talking about the game:

"That's because he's not been in it, yet. I think the word hate, I guarantee you that is not part of this rivalry. I think when he's through he would not characterize it that way. I understand that's going to be portrayed as that and they probably have guys that say the same thing. I think anybody that uses that term I would use this term: I think if you're at Michigan, you hate to lose to Ohio State and I think if you're at Ohio State, you hate to lose to Michigan. I think that's what Chad Henne meant, so print it that way. That's why I don't think how we got in here. Who allowed him to come in here? I said they may say, yeah, we hate Michigan, but it's not in the hate in the sense of personally or institutionally. It has to do with losing, because you're representing all of those people who want passionately to have their school win."

On why the defense has given up big plays in the running game:

"I think part of it is the competition. I mean, I see there were 450 yards rushing for Michigan State on Saturday. That speaks to something. Noah Herron is an outstanding football player. There's always a combination of things. I've said this, and I don't think enough people understand it, because if they did they would view things a little bit differently. There's always another team on that field. Those guys are trying to win, too, and they're competitive people. They have abilities, and sometime in the course of a game they execute and things happen. Good for them. That means that they may be bad for you. Well, give them credit. Now, do you work against that? Yes. But because big plays, they impact the game as much as anything else, so you're always trying to prevent them. Are you going to have no big plays against you, not if you play great competition, I don't think so."

For the entire presser, click here.

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