Indiana Post Game: Coach Carr

In Coach Lloyd Carr's post game presser he commented on the diversifying the offense, the play of Chad Henne, the status of Make Hart and Adam Kraus, and much much more.

Opening statement:

"I thought we did some good things in there. We certainly did not start the game like we would have liked to. We gave up a big play for a touchdown, but I thought we bounced back. I thought we did some great things in the kicking game. I thought we controlled the running game, which was really what we thought was the most important thing we had to do defensively. Offensively I thought we had good balance, and we had an opportunity in the second half to get a lot of guys some playing experience."

On how soon after the game he started thinking about Ohio State:

"Well, I don't think you ever stop thinking about them."

On the status of Mike Hart and Adam Kraus:

"Well, Hart could have played. I waited until the game started. I wanted to see what kind of start we got off to. He was bugging me to play, but I think this extra three or four days heading into Tuesday's practice will really put him right where he wants to be. We made that decision based on next week."

"Adam Kraus practiced this week and he'll be ready to go."

On Steve Breaston's ability to return kicks:

"He's got an instinct. In other words, I think it takes a fearlessness to take the ball when you know there are 10 or 11 guys running right at you. It takes a fearlessness to accelerate. I think the human part of it is to try to pick your way. Steve has the instinct that is born into great punt returners because he will hit the crease. He will accelerate, and certainly he did that today."

On if there is something he can put his finger on that explains why the team was able to turn the season around after starting out 3-3:

"I think certainly the win here at home against Penn State, particularly in the way that we won the game…on the last play of the game…I think that certainly got us going in the right direction. But I felt going into that game that the people here have resilience. They're tough-minded. They're people who have made the great investment in their athletic careers. They have a belief in each other. I think more than anything else, they understood that no one can do it individually. They had to come together as a group of people, trust in each other… make each other accountable. I think those are the things that will enable you to fight your way out of most situations, and I think they've done that."

On if the first-half score proved the team was focused on Indiana:

"Well, I think it did. I told them the thing that we were going to know as soon as this game was over…and everybody would know…was whether we improved or not. You either get better or you get worse…the old cliché'. I think that's a thing. Certainly from an individual standpoint, that's everyday. I think certainly as a football team, that's been something that has been our goal. And yet, it's not something that's easy…to stay focused. And of course, this was a different challenge for us because we were big favorites. When you are favored and you a game like the next one in front of you, it’s easy to get distracted. It's easy to start to do things that don't allow you to play your best. So, I think we did good job with that."

On getting the passing game going and implementing new plays:

"I think during the course of the season we've tried to find ways to get Antonio Bass more involved in the game…the same with Mario…so we can spread the ball so that we're not just a team that relies on Jason Avant or Steve Breaston. So I think that really diversifies us more than we were at the beginning of the season. Certainly in the bye week we felt like we felt like we had to improve some of the things in terms of the execution of our passing game. So, I think we did make some improvement. But I'm sure the film will show some other areas that we need to continue to improve."

On Chad Henne's performance:

"I think he played very well today. When you sit up in the stands or when you sit on the sofa watching on TV, it really looks easy. And it's so easy to say, 'well he should have done this', 'he didn't so this', 'he didn't do that.' But I think he's had a very good year. I think he is a much better quarterback than he was a year ago. Today I think he got better."

On the Ohio State game:

"I think you have to first decide how you're going to try to win the game. I think that's something you try to do on a weekly basis. Sometimes that's determined by the strength of the other team, or by their weaknesses, or what your strengths and weaknesses are. And certainly, as I've looked at them, I don't think there are any apparent weaknesses. I think they have a great defense, I think they are very very explosive offensively, and they have a very explosive kicking game. I think what we have to do, in all phases of the game…we've got to play to what our strengths are. And yet, regardless of how we try to play the game, we've got to be able to adapt to the game as it goes depending on what happens, because in that kind of game a lot of things can happen. That's the exciting thing about it. Nobody knows how the game is going to go. Not even you (laughing)."

More on Breaston:

"I think one of the most difficult skills in all of sport in to hit a baseball. I think the most difficult skill in football is to catch a punt when the wind is blowing and people are coming down at you, and you know there is a good chance you're going to get hit. The thing that really, in my mind, showed his courage is the first time he got hit. The next time, he should have fair-caught the ball. He caught it and made good yardage with it. I think what he did showed the kind of courage he has. It's a thing that takes great discipline, great concentration, and fearlessness. I think he has all of those things."

On the explosive return games that both Michigan and OSU have:

"I think going into this game, that's something that both teams…big plays in the kicking game can turn the game in a hurry. I think we’ve got to do a great job preparing for their return game, and certainly Steve is a weapon for us. I think that dimension makes for a great football game because on a return, you make one mistake and it's over. Looking back at the history of this game since I've been in it, special teams almost always play a critical roll in winning or losing."

On if there is one thing the team is doing a lot better now than it was at the beginning of the season:

"I think we’re playing much better defensive football than we were earlier with the exception that we still have not proven that we can prevent big plays. We gave up one today. I think it's an era of big play football. And yet, I think you have to make teams earn their points. "

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