Carr Speaks to the Press

Lloyd Carr spoke to the media in his weekly press conference on Monday. He provided review of the Iowa game, and a preview for this weekend's matchup with Michigan State.

Opening Statements:

"We lost to an outstanding Iowa team on Saturday. In looking at the film and the statistics, there is no question that the most glaring and most significant statistic in the game was the time of possession. That is directly related to third-down conversions, and we were five of 15 on offense and Iowa was nine out of 18. Their ability to sustain drives and our inability to sustain drives left our defense out on the field too long. We had two opportunities for big plays, and we didn't make them. The only turnover of the game was a momentum changer that led to our downfall."

Regarding the status of Cato June:

"Cato was released from the hospital yesterday morning, and he is going to be fine. All of the reports came back positive. It was a concussion, and he is going to be fine."

On the reactions of the U-M players getting ready for MSU:

"We have good kids in this program, kids that have great character, and they are like all kids because they sometimes make mistakes. They are the right kind of guys and people because they played hard and will continue to play hard."

On enjoying this rivalry as a coach:

"You don't play or coach this game if you don't like to compete."

On using last year's game as motivation for this year:

"The only thing that I am interested in talking about is this week and this game."

On turning around the running game:

"The one thing that you try to do is run the ball more."

On Adam Finley stepping to kick field goals last week:

"I think what Adam Finley did in that game from a punting standpoint gave us a chance to win. He created great field position for our defense with great punting and good coverage against a team that was very explosive in the punt and kickoff return games. And of course he made a big kick in a big game, which was his first opportunity as a field goal kicker at the University of Michigan. He knocked one through on a great kick and he's been hampered because of those knees, and I think that he showed what kind of guy he is. That kick gave us a great lift on our sideline and gave us great momentum in that game, and we felt like we had a great chance to win."

On the difficulty of Finley making that kick being more mental or physical:

"I think that it is both. During the Penn State game he hurt his ankle and up until then he was starting to come along on his field goal kicking. Last week he had a very good week, so I think that it will give him great confidence. To have not kicked in as long as he had as placekicker and to go in and make that kick says a lot about a guy."

On Finley taking over all of the placekicking duties:

"I think that he will."

On MSU's change of quarterback to Damon Dowdel:

"You are dealing with a guy that has outstanding mobility. Morris Watts has always done a good job with moving the guy around, and I think that he will have a good plan to play to his strengths. He is a guy that can hurt you in a lot of different ways."

On competition at punt returner:

"There is always competition."

On MSU receiver Charles Rogers:

"I think that he is a great football player. He plays with a lot of emotion and has great ability. He runs great routes that stretch a defense like nobody I have ever seen. He can change a game, and he is one of those special players that you have to know where he is and in most cases you will need help because there isn't anyone that is going to cover him by themselves."

On Marlin Jackson covering Rogers:

"I don't know that. We don't know where he is going to line up."

On being surprised at MSU's start this season:

"I don't have any comment on that."

On what he sees about MSU on film:

"I see a very talented football team. I see a team in the Wisconsin game that played extremely hard up front. I think that their offensive line is excellent, and they have a good scheme. Defensively they ran into what I think is an excellent running team in Wisconsin that spreads you out and has a very mobile quarterback. But I thought they wore Wisconsin down at the end of the game because they were a very physical team. They made a game of it after falling behind 21-0. I thought that they played very hard but hurt themselves with some penalties."

On making it easier to refocus after a loss playing MSU this week:

"I don't think that it matters any week. You have to get ready to play."

On the tougher team winning this game:

"It is a game of physicality, it always is. It is not just this game, it is any game. Generally speaking, the team that is the most physical has the best chance to win."

On this being a bad rivalry:

"For all of the years that I have been here, I think that it has been a great rivalry. I think it always will be."

On being out-toughed against Iowa:

"I think we just got worn down. I thought that we played very hard, but it was disappointing that following our turnover, we just couldn't hold them. Certainly the last quarter and a half is not representative of the way that we want to play football. But I think more than anything else it is due to the fact that we left our defense on the field too long. I don't care how great of a defense you are, when you are on the field for 37-38 minutes out of a 60-minute game, you are going to wear down. That is why you have got to be able to run the football."

On what he expects from his team this week:

"I expect our team to play as hard as they can, which is all you can ask."

On the emotions of the rivalry with the players:

"That is due to all of the things around you. It is part of the whole thing. You guys (media) are out there stirring everything up to get the conversations going with two universities this close. In terms of the players, you want a team that is emotionally charged up, but you have to be in charge of your emotions and play smart."

On enjoying talking to the media:

"I love it."

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