Jake Long To Play; Players Preview Bowl

Jake Long gave Michigan fans a bit of good news Wednesday when he revealed his availability for the Alamo Bowl. The 6-7 330-pounder indicated that his injured foot didn't require surgery. Comments also included from Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Pat Massey, Garrett Rivas, Ross Ryan, Carl Tabb, Pierre Woods.

Jake Long

On how how it's possible that he is available for the bowl game:

"I went to go have surgery on it Tuesday (after the Ohio State game), and they told me that it was an old injury and that I did not have to have surgery on it so I didn't have to get it repaired. They said I did it in high school, so having surgery would just make it worse."

On what the injury was:

"Just like a sprained ligament in my foot."

On how it feels now:

"It's feeling a lot better, had a lot of the rest and rehab and I'm moving well."

On when the doctors determined surgery wasn't needed:

"Actually, I was passed out and they looked under with a fluoroscope, moved it around and they came to the conclusion that I didn't need the surgery. They said it was going to be a 50-50 chance I would wake up with screws in my foot or not, and I didn't, so I was pretty happy. (Laughter)."

On if he has any pain:

"There's really not much pain and it's doing pretty well."

On how it feels to go from being out to being able to participate:

"It feels great. When they told me before the Ohio State game I needed surgery, it just hurt having to miss another game and when they told me I didn't need it, it was awesome. I'm going to go out there and try to do what I can to help my team."

On if this game is his opportunity to show the season is not a total loss:

"Yeah, absolutely, because I was hurt all four games I played and I didn't play like I could have. I really think going into this game I'm going to be 100 percent and I'll be able to show what I can do."

On the problems in the running game this season:

"Michigan tradition has always been to run the ball and we haven't run the ball like we wanted to this year, and especially the Ohio State game. Our practices we're definitely focused on running the ball and getting back to running. All this game, we're going to be focusing on running and try to run the ball down the field."

On if the problems in the running game:

"You can't blame it on injuries. As an offensive line, we haven't played like we should have. I don't know, I think injuries play a little part of it but you can't blame it on that. I think this game, we'll be ready to go."

On if there a big difference between 8-4 and 7-5:

"It's a huge difference. If we can win this game and play well, we'll leave the seniors with a good win and get us ready for next year."

On if this game is the start of next year, or the wrap-up for this season:

"I think it's both, because bowl practice is a big way to get the freshmen and the younger guys a lot of practice and get ready for next year. Then we're still preparing for a game, so this is like a whole new season, a one-game season and we're going out there and try to send the teams out on a good note for this season and also prepare for next season."

On if he feels the general public is down for this game:

"Absolutely not. San Antonio, I hear it's a good place, a fun place to go. And Nebraska is a good team and it's going to be a good game. We're not worried about what the public says. We're just going out there and play our game and try to win."

On if the team is disappointed about not being in the BCS, not playing on January 2nd:

"We always try to play our best and either win a championship and play on either January 1st or 2nd. That's always a goal we have. I know it was disappointing, the season we had. You know, we had a good season. It just didn't go our way. The Alamo Bowl is going to be a good game and it should be fun."

On if this season was a wake-up call regarding the parity in the Big Ten:

"It's a wake-up call showing us that yeah, we are competing for the Big Ten, we're not guaranteed the Rose Bowl, and we can go anywhere. We just need to focus on getting back to winning the Big Ten so we are guaranteed that Rose Bowl spot."

On not meeting goals:

"Every game we have personal goals and team goals. We always set most of our goals but our goal is to win the Big Ten and go to a BCS game and we didn't fulfill that. We did hit goals, but next year, we'll definitely have our mind set on the Big Ten."

For more player comments on the Alamo Bowl, click the following links:
Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Pat Massey, Garrett Rivas, Ross Ryan, Carl Tabb, Pierre Woods

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