Coach Rod: "We're Not Stopping Anybody"

Rich Rodriguez reacts to his team's 45-24 loss to Wisconsin. Michigan's headman discusses the continued woes on defense, the personnel changes that were unveiled versus the Badgers, the Wolverines' redzone offense, next week's match up with Ohio State and more.

On this being a game that looked like many others this season:
Rich Rodriguez: "Yeah, it sure is.  We can't stop nobody.  Sometimes you even know what they're doing and you still can't stop them… that's the most frustrating thing.  If they trick you a few times you understand that… but when you know what they're doing and you can't stop them, then we've got major issues to fix."

On Wisconsin turning it on in the second half with their run game
Rich Rodriguez: "I was disappointed that we let them complete some passes in the first half.  We had them in third and longs.  Those are situations you should win and we didn't.  In the second half they ate up the whole clock.  We didn't have many possessions at all offensively."

On Michigan's redzone offense
Rich Rodriguez: "The lack of execution on the one that we missed a field goal… should have scored a touchdown there.  We're at the point now where we can't afford to let any possessions not come up with some points because we're just not stopping anybody."

On facing Ohio State
Rich Rodriguez: "We gotta make plays in all three phases.  The effort is there, but you know… it's got to be more than effort.  It's got to be effort and execution.  As coaches we've got to do a good job putting them in position to make plays, and right now it's not happening.  We've got the biggest game on our schedule coming up.  As I told the team… we need o have our most focused week that we've had all season."

On Brandon Graham's play
Rich Rodriguez: "He's a special young man. He's a special player and he's a great leader.  He tried his tail off to make things happen defensively.  We just need more help."

On Michigan's defense:
Rich Rodriguez: "We were playing hard, the effort was good, but the opening start and long situations and the obvious pass, those you wish you could stop. That was the most disappointing part of the first half. In the second half, we knew everyone in the stadium was coming and we still couldn't stop them. That was frustrating."

On Wisconsin's running game:
Rich Rodriguez: "They had several first-and-20s where they kept running the ball. They felt comfortable offensively and we didn't have enough possessions in the second half and just didn't execute when we had the opportunity."

On momentum shifting:
Rich Rodriguez: "You get a little momentum going and certainly it bodes well for you if you can keep it, especially on the road. We let their crowd back into the game. Momentum shifting is something we've struggled with all year."

On his decision to change around the defense:
Rich Rodriguez: "We were really reaching defensively to find an answer to try to stop them."

On Michigan's tendency to let down in the second half:
Rich Rodriguez: "In the second half it just seems like, defensively, we're not able to get off the field. Our offense needs to be in a rhythm and we're not on the field much offensively. When the other team is controlling the ball, it's hard to get into a rhythm offensively. I think it's a combination of things. We need to evaluate everything – the players, teams, and try to come up with answers. That's my job as a coach."

On considering starting Denard Robinson at quarterback:
Rich Rodriguez: "There's consideration every week, but it's not been his effort, but more of his concentration on getting better and doing the things he's supposed to do on and off the field. We generally redshirt our freshman, but I told Denard that he didn't have that luxury this year. He's gotta play."

More on Brandon Graham:
Rich Rodriguez: "It's neat to see a guy who loves football so much. He gives it such a great effort. He's a great leader. His has such a joy for the game and how much passion he has when he's playing. We're certainly going to miss him. He's a great player and a great young man."

More on next week's game against Ohio State:
Rich Rodriguez:"There's no question we've got one more chance. I've asked the team to be extra focused. We've been focused all year, but this is the biggest game of the year. Our guys know that. It's not going to be a game that either team needs to get fired up for. It's Michigan and Ohio State. We got a lot at stake. It's at our place and it's our senior's last game. The focus this week should be great, I just hope the play next week is great."


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