Taylor & Srs. Get One Last Shot at the Bucks

Michigan sr. DT Terrance Taylor set aside time to chat with the media about his last game against the Buckeyes, what this games means, leading his team this year, the direction of the program, and more.

Question:  How confident are you that in seasons to come that this will be an aberration and that the seniors will have helped laid the foundation for bigger and better things?

Terrance Taylor:  "I'm very confident because you know, simple fact that this class showed that we're not going to give up no matter what.  Even though things went bad, we played our hearts out every game and we didn't get down on ourselves when it seemed like the whole world was against us.  Just being a Michigan man, no matter what's happening, you're going to play hard and you're not going to give up on the season.  I think the guys are going to get that and they're going to learn that they are going to run with that once they get the right personnel to do the things that Rodriguez for them to do."

Question:  I think everyone realizes the transition would be difficult, but I am assuming that you never thought it would be like this at 3-8?

Terrance Taylor:  "Naw, I never thought it would be like this.  I kind of figured that it would be kind of bad.  I figured we would still go to a bowl game.  It is what it is.  I enjoyed myself and I learned a lot and just having a chance to put on the wing helmet again is real special.  Things like this happen.  It shouldn't happen at Michigan, but it did and I'm pretty sure it will never happen again."

Question:  Can you talk about the suplex that you put on Northwestern RB Stephen Simmons last week and if you have anything planned for (Chris) Wells?

Terrance Taylor:  "No.  Keep watch.  You might see a little something if I get an opportunity to (laughter).  It was my last (home) game; there was a lot of emotions going through me.  It was a funny thing the coach came up to me after the game and the coach was like, ‘quit supplexing my running backs.'  I was like, ‘I'm sorry, I didn't mean to when I did'."

Question:  So it was calculated?

Terrance Taylor:  "No it wasn't calculated.  He just kept trying to run – heat of the moment

Question:  Did you tell Simmons that it wasn't him, as you had your own things going on?

Terrance Taylor:  "No, so much him and me."

Question:  Did he react at all; did the air go out of him or anything like that?

Terrance Taylor:  "Oh I wasn't paying attention.  I was too busy getting up afterwards."

Question:  On the flip side you had a late hit there that was a bit costly; what was going on there?

Terrance Taylor:  "It wasn't late.  I watched it on film.  It wasn't late."

Question:  Was it to the head; a blow to the head?

Terrance Taylor:  "Naw.  I would never do anything like that."

Question:  Shouldn't have been a penalty or flag for that?

Terrance Taylor:  "No, no.  In the fun of the game it shouldn't have been a penalty.  He threw the ball, his arm was still moving and then I hit him.  Simple as that."

Question:  You seem to be a very upbeat guy... is that fair to say?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah."

Question:  Is it hard to say that this year?

Terrance Taylor:  "Kind of, but somebody…I just can't be moping around man because everybody, a lot of people feed off me and things that I do.  If I'm moping around, then lot of people will be moping around and I don't like to mope around because it makes everything much worser.  If you enjoy what you do, because a lot of can't do this.  People can't play or can't go to school here and I have an opportunity to do that.  I'm blessed no matter what happens during the season.  Why not be happy."

Question:  Is there any chance that this game means more to Ohio State than it does to Michigan?

Terrance Taylor:  "I doubt that."

Question:  You guys talk about Notre Dame and Michigan State as rivals and some guys can even say that they have more passion for one than another; do you single Ohio State that this is "The Game" every year?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah.  I haven't beat them yet.  This is a hunger inside that I want to beat them.  This is my last year.  This is one of the reasons I came back; one of the reasons I didn't leave early.  I didn't want to leave without beating them and I'm going to do everything in my power to get everybody ready to do that."

Question:  Do you sense that a lot of guys share that sentiment?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah, I know every senior shares that; juniors, some of the sophomore, the freshman have yet to learn the true meaning of Ohio State week – they will."

Question:  How much does a win on Saturday against Ohio State erase the heartache that you might feel?

Terrance Taylor:  "It won't erase it, but at least we'll have accomplished one of our goals.  It won't make things so tough, but it's hard, but it won't erase it.  It's still going to be there.  It just seems like, if we beat Ohio State, ‘oh it wasn't that bad'.  Like we went 11-0 and lost to Ohio State, no one talks about beating every other team and losing to Ohio State.  They talk about how we lost to Ohio State with a penalty.  It won't erase it; I'm not saying that, but it will make it a little easier to deal with."

Question:  What have you seen Rich Rodriguez that makes you think he understands this rivalry, this game?

Terrance Taylor:  "It's kind of hard.  I'm pretty sure he understands what it means to a lot of people and how important it is, as a rivalry it is and how long it's been going on and the kind of game it is.  Until you're there and you see it with your own two eyes, it's totally different.  I mean, I don't really know, I can't get inside his head to tell you how much he fully understands, but until you're there, it is kind of different than what you see on film."

Question:  What has he shown you in other rivalry weeks this season though?  Has he been different; have you seen a different coach?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah, it is more up-tempo, more that we need to get this, this is an important game kind of stuff and it is.  It should be known and I tell a lot of people that, especially the freshman that this game is a little more important, different level of importance.  Even though every team is equal on your schedule, you got to pick it up a little more this week."

Question:  Obviously one of the reasons you came back, but where did another shot at Ohio State rank?

Terrance Taylor:  "Number two."

Question: What was number one?

Terrance Taylor:  "Degree."

Question:  You going to get that by December?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah, December."

Question:  Is there a part of you that enjoys soaking up what they throw at you (in Columbus)… how they react to you down in that stadium?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah.  I enjoy playing here.  I enjoy playing at everybody else's house because the fans and how it seems like everybody is against you and everybody is booing you and then you go in there and win and the crowd is quiet early in the fourth quarter.  It is fun going different places and getting wins because it brings the team closer together; it's just you guys out there with a stadium full of people that don't like you, especially out there.  I'm pretty sure we going to hear it, a couple of Toledo yells or Appalachian States that's the kind of norm you get down; who cares."

Question:  You said that you think Rodriguez understands the rivalry but until you see it with your own two eyes, you don't really know; do you guys educate him at all? 

Terrance Taylor:  "No.  I'm pretty sure that some people are talking some about it.  Everyone knows about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry but until you're there, you don't really have an idea of what kind of game it is.  What kind of environment it is, things that other people will do to win.  Learning process.  Make you sure you have a good take on it once you get down there a couple of plays in."

Question:  Are you able to take any satisfaction from personal success?

Terrance Taylor:  "Right now, it's just about me; it's just about doing the things…if I'm having personal success, I'm helping the team out a lot.  It's just about making the best out of my senior season, in a way that I really wanted to push myself hard to make it to a bowl game, but it didn't happen.  I wanted to push myself to win last week's game and it didn't happen.  I'm going to push myself even harder for this week.  I'm pretty sure that everyone is going to push themselves harder for the next guy.  It's about playing harder for the other 14 seniors."

Question:  How close did you come to leaving last season?

Terrance Taylor:  "I was pretty close.  I just thought about it.  I didn't feel right leaving without my degree and leaving without beating Ohio State.  It didn't set right with me.  I'm a better person for it.  I'm better conditioned.  I'm smarter.  I'm more physically strong.  This season made me…I got think skin now."

Question:  Thick skin huh?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah a lot of things bounce off."

Question:  Where did they tell you, you might go in the draft last year?

Terrance Taylor:  "Early second."

Question:  So you turned down quite a bit?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah."

Question:  Overall you feel god about your decision despite the team's record and that sort of thing?

Terrance Taylor:  "Yeah.  I mean despite everything I enjoy being around them.  My class and the seniors and some of the young guys and just the team, being around Schemblecher, walking down the steps and into the stadium.  I enjoy everything about it, but it is something you'll remember that you were part of a process to make things better.  Somebody somewhere is going to take a real harsh time to get things going in an upbeat direction and this is one of those years.  I kind of figured that and that was one of the reasons, I was…maybe I shouldn't come back, because I got a feeling that things are going to be a bit different it is going to take a while to catch on.  I just wanted to be part of the process to show the new class and the new recruits that this is what Michigan is about; this is how we handle business and this is what we don't do and this is what we do.  I learned that from Coach Carr, (Lamar) Woodley, Leon (Hall) and guys like that; Mike Hart."

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