Q & A: "BG" Says MSU Game NOT Personal

After Michigan's 28-24 comeback victory over Michigan State Saturday, sophomore DE Brandon Graham spoke with the media about why the defense struggled in the second half, how the unit bounced back in the clutch, whether the game was personal, and more.

Question: You guys came out the first half and you shut Michigan State down. When they came out in the second half and they were gashing you guys. What was the difference between the first half and the second half with their running game?

Brandon Graham: “I think that we just got kind of relaxed a little bit. We had to get our heads together. We just stayed in the lead and everyone just kind of died down a little bit, and they came out with their intensity. But once we came up at the crucial part, like when we needed that three-and-out, we came through and everybody had their mind in the game instead of elsewhere. I think that is what it was. We just were kind of elsewhere because we had the lead.”

Question: How did you guys get it back together like that at such a crucial point in the game?

Brandon Graham: “We all just came up in the huddle and we just were talking. Coach (English) just got everybody fired for this drive and we were like ‘three-and-out… three-and-out… and we make history. Three and out that is what we are going to do and make history.’ That is something we strive on… making history. Everybody did not think that we could do it from the first 2, so we’re just trying to keep the drive alive.”

Question: The Javon Ringer run... obviously it had to be frustrating for Shawn (Crable) because it looked like he was going to get the guy on a two-yard loss. Did he say anything afterwards? Did you guys try to talk him up a little bit to make sure, ‘are you okay’, ‘are you over that play?’

Brandon Graham: “Naw. That is one thing coach always do. Coach always says that if you run and get him at the 1, we’ve still got hope because we can stop them and they get a field goal. That is what we strive for. If they get in the red zone, we strive for a field goal or sacks if we can.”

Question: What was going through your mind with that play? Obviously it was something that just was kind of uncanny out there. Because it looked like you had him.

Brandon Graham: “Yeah. It was kind of like, ‘dang, if had all just been running and hit him instead of thinking that Crable had him, we would probably would have stopped it.’ Stuff happens. That is part of the game. It was a good run. We stopped them and came back and won.”

Question: How much of a lift did it give the defense to see Chad (Henne) run back out there after he got injured again during the game?

Brandon Graham: “Oh it felt real good. He’s got a lot of heart. That is one thing that we try and have. I think we had a little bit more heart than what they had out there.”

Question: A lot of guys on the sideline said they could not tell if Mario (Manningham) had caught that pass or not. What was going through your mind when you saw it up in the air?

Brandon Graham: “I knew it was good. That is Mario. I mess with Mario all the time. I know he does not drop nothing in the clutch like that. So it was like, if he did, that was like a once in a lifetime thing. But yeah, I was kind of happy. My hands were up all the way. No doubt that he caught it.”

Question: Is this personal for you guys beating Michigan State?

Brandon Graham: “Naw it was not personal. It was must more like what we needed to do. We need them to respect Michigan. They’re always throwing stuff out there, but you know we don’t retaliate. We just let it go. We show it out on the field and that is what we did tonight.”

“I am happy. Everybody is happy. You know it feels good, but we got Wisconsin next week and then we got Ohio State. We need to make sure that we get that done and then we can talk about really happy we are.”

Question: What was going through your mind when you guys were down and they made that comeback in the third and fourth quarter?

Brandon Graham: “Our mind was that we have been here before. That is what we said all the way through. We have been here before. We made our mistakes and now it is time to (overcome) them. This is our chance right here. This is our drive and nobody was rattled. That is one thing that I was surprised by. Nobody was rattled. Everybody went out there and knew exactly what the game plan was. It is just like the two minute that we run every practice. We run for situations like this and we came through.”

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