Graham Won't Stop Believing

After Michigan's 38-36 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers, senior defensive end Brandon Graham says he won't give up on the the last two games and neither will his team.

Brandon Graham:  "I believe that God has a plan for us and maybe it wasn't for us to win the Purdue game, but I believe that the two biggest games are Wisconsin and Ohio State.  I believe that if we have to keep having to faith we going to win.  That's what I told the team in there – keep believing.  I know we fight so hard for it not to go our way.  I believe God has a plan for us."

Question:  How much did it feel like Illinois in the second half there where things started snowballing again?

Brandon Graham:  "Got to look at the film and see what happened.  They made big plays.  Big plays kill us every time.  Third down we got to get better, third down plays.  We just got to get off the field."

Question:  You gave a speech on practice on Monday, what was the response from the players and did you get a good feeling all week?

Brandon Graham:  "Oh yeah, oh yeah, everybody was jacked up, because we're trying to get to a bowl game, trying to get that sixth win.  We just trying to win out.  We didn't do it today, but like I said, I believe God has a plan for us.  I think these last two hurt."

Question:  Describe the locker room after the game.

Brandon Graham:  "It was kind of dead at first.  Then Zoltan said something and then I spoke up and then got a lot of pressure off people back.  We just said let it go, it's over with.  We got to deal with it like we've been doing.  We just got to get that taste back that W, for us to get back on the good side.  That's why I believe these last two is us.  I'm not guaranteeing it, but I'm just saying that I believe that after looking our player's eyes that we going to get it done.  It's a tough one.   It's all about what's in your heart.  If you boys want to quit on us just let us know, we get some people in that want to fight for us, but nobody is going to quit.  The guys are playing for us and the boys know that they got to keep believing.  In football, you got to have a winner and a loser, we just got to get on a winning side that's it."

Question:  As a senior on this team and as a leader on this team, what do you have to do to make sure that your two games mean something here to finish out your career at Michigan?

Brandon Graham:  "Step my game up a little bit more.  Got to keep coming, make big plays so the team can feed off of it and then everybody else will want go to out there and make plays.  Just carry over and that's it just step my game up."

Question:  If somebody has to put their arm around Jason Olesnavage, that extra point and say, it'll be alright or is he cool?

Brandon Graham:  "He's cool.  He made the big one… (the missed extra point) that was just a mistake by him and it can be corrected.  Usually he's been good all year.  For that to happen, I know he was beating himself up, we not going to beat him up.  In a way, we just going to let him know, just keep going.  Flush it and just keep going."   

Question:  You guys have been outscored 75-12 in the second half combined in the last three game, what is going on in the second half of games for both offense and defense?

Brandon Graham:  "Well it used to be in the beginning.  We were a second half team, but it has kind of died down and started going the other team's way.  We just got to get off the field and get better on third downs."

Question:  Is that an embarrassing stat to know that is not an opinion but a fact?

Brandon Graham:  "Yeah it's embarrassing but at the same time, we know that we way better than that and we just trying to prove it to you all.  Let people know that we work every day, we just got to be in position, got to have a little bit better technique and better conversion on third down."

Question:  Do guys still believe in that locker room?

Brandon Graham:  "Oh yeah.  Everybody still believes.  We cry and all that but come Monday everybody back to work, laughing and giggling and ready to go for next week.  We just flush it out because we know we better than we've been playing."

Question:  Brandon you said three times now you got to get off the field on third down; we've heard that for five or six weeks in a row; why is that not happening?

Brandon Graham:  "I wish I had the answer for you.  I'm telling you that you've got to have better technique, just from being real close to stopping them.  This right here, man that long play, we were right at the quarterback and he just stayed in their one splint second and the ball bounced their way and stuff happens for them.  They want the third down just as much as we do, but we just haven't been winning."

Question:  Are you going to have a lot of people say after these last two weeks, you don't have a shot at Wisconsin or Ohio State; how are you going to react to that?

Brandon Graham:  "Just laugh and keep going, keep pushing.  We know that we can play with whoever we play.  It's just all about us playing a little harder and getting better at our technique.  As a defense, we need to get off the field and I'm going to let coach say what's going on with the offense, but I know we are going to keep fighting."

Question:  You obviously came back for something other than this, do you think to yourself maybe this is not what I envisioned?

Brandon Graham:  "Naw.  I enjoyed it all the way.  I didn't want to grow up too fast.  I wanted to enjoy my years here. I love Michigan.  I love being here. I love playing for the team.  It might not go our way sometimes, but I'm a team player and I just do whatever it takes for the team, if I did my all for the team and we still lose, then you can accept that, but I know we way better than what we've been playing."

Question:  Does it help your confidence at all playing a team that you beat last year?

Brandon Graham:  "Yeah we know.  We know they want to come back at us because the way we won last year, but we just trying to take it away.  Like I said before, God has big plans for us these last two games."

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