Carr Discusses Outback Victory

Following a thrilling Outback bowl, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr spoke with the media on the victory.

On the team's depth improving this season:

"John Navarre is a much-improved quarterback. I think Chris Perry is a much-improved running back. So offensively we are a better football team than we were a year ago. Defensively we will have to see how we do in this game because we're certainly somewhat depleted at the linebacker position. But I think that our confidence is much better than it was a year ago."

On using the time before the game to prepare mentally for Florida:

"I think when you have an opportunity to play in a bowl game at the end of the season, you have an opportunity to go back over some to the plays and situations that you had during the regular season. You have more time to work on making sure that your players are aware of the mistakes they have made and you have more teaching opportunities. Your meeting schedule allows you to teach more and younger players get more repetitions and practice."

On the offensive line's development this year after the Iowa game:

"I think that David Baas and David Pearson have really made tremendous strides. The problem that we had in the Iowa game was that we went out hoping that Chris Perry could go out and play at full speed as opposed to moving B.J. Askew to tailback like we did the next week. I think that more than anything else was a factor in that game. But I do think from the midseason on we played much better up front and ran the football much more effectively."

On Florida being different from Michigan's other opponents this year:

"The biggest change that I see with Florida this year is that defensively they give you more looks, more disguises, more coverages than anybody we've seen. I think when you look at a team that is as good in total defense as they are, it is because their defense did not give up big plays, which goes back to their very good secondary. Their secondary is talented, that covers very well and doesn't give you big plays. Anytime that you don't give up big plays, you have a great chance to win. Offensively, they spread you out with their system. The first thing you have to be able to do is match up with all the different formations and personnel that they utilize. They substitute a lot, which stresses your players from the standpoint of first being lined up properly because if you don't cover a receiver, (Rex) Grossman will find him to give them a first down or more. So you have to be able to get lined up and then he is going to get them into the right play. Their offense is designed to take what the defense gives them and to control the football. If you look at Grossman in the last four or five games of the season, he has played extremely well. The guy that really scares me is Ernest Graham. I watched him a year ago, and I think he is an outstanding football player. Their tight ends are outstanding receivers and they give you matchup problems and Grossman can get them the football. So they spread you out and you must tackle well."

On the perceptions of which college football conferences are the best:

"I think that is one of the great debates in college football. That is one of the great things in college football and I think the media is much involved with that. You have a lot of people in the SEC that think SEC football is the best. Of course within the Big Ten Conference as coaches and players, I think that we have great confidence that we can match up on an annual basis with any conference. You get your perceptions from the non-conference records of the teams, but I think ultimately their reputation as a conference is predicated on how they do in bowl games. So I think those perceptions and the debate that it stirs is great for college football."

On the team being down in Florida for a long period of time:

"I do know from previous experiences that time has gone relatively fast. I do know that the players have really enjoyed this trip. You will always look at the game and how you played as the determining factor of that. If you don't play fast and make a lot of mental errors then you may as a coach say that we were here too long. You try to go back and evaluate every game you have and certainly in the bowl game you want to be able to put your best effort forth and if you don't you have to try and figure out why."

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