Question: How did it feel to score that touchdown?
Ryan Van Bergen: "The touchdown was pretty cool. Leaving high school I knew I wasn't going to be on the offensive side of the ball any more. I thought my days of scoring touchdown were pretty much over. It felt good to get into the end zone, but it would have been better if I could have helped us win that game. It was kind of bittersweet."
Question: Can you just talk about what it would mean to beat Ohio State this week.
Ryan Van Bergen: "It would mean everything to this team. Obviously we've had a lot of disappointments later in the season and we all remember having a bitter taste in our mouths walking away from Ohio State last year in Columbus. I think that taste is still there and for us to go out and get the sixth win or beating the Ohio State for the seniors and stuff at home would just be huge and it would be a great lift for this team."
Question: It would make you bowl eligible but I assume beating Ohio State takes precedence over being bowl eligible?
Ryan Van Bergen: "Oh definitely. Ohio State, I don't know what their record is (10-2). I think they've had four or five consecutive (wins) on us, so that is something that we are looking to stop. It would be huge for us to beat Ohio State especially after they've already earned a share of the Big Ten title at least."
Question: Given where they are and you guys are where you are in the standings, is there a sense around from other people that you aren't expected to win this game and how do you guys react to that?
Ryan Van Bergen: "I guess if you want to look at records, we are probably underdogs going into this game, but I think a lot of people who are around Michigan-Ohio State rivalries records kind of go out the gate when you step on the field. Different teams show up to play this game. Hopefully we can regroup and be a stronger team coming into this than people are expecting."
Question: What will you guys do as players to prepare that is different than what you've done the last few weeks?
Ryan Van Bergen: "Practices and stuff will stay similar, but I just think mentally preparing this group and group preparation as far as watching film with our respected positions and stuff – you always do a little extra for Ohio State. You have to do because it is a big game. We go into the film room and just watch a little bit extra or we'll go through another couple of plays or something. We will definitely be better prepared for this game than we have been all year."
Question: Are you guys any closer to figuring out what ails you guys defensively, especially in the second half?
Ryan Van Bergen: "I would say that we are getting close, but there are still fundamental errors that we are making, technical errors. As they are decreasing, we are getting better and better, but it is still not a good enough effort. We gave up some 40 something points. You can't give up 40 something points and expect the offense to pull you out of that. We have to get better and especially against Ohio State with a good offense, we have to be better this week."
Question: I know they are different schemes, but where are you now versus at this time last year because you set the record for most points given up last year, you could break that again this year; so where is this defense at?
Ryan Van Bergen: "I just think that the mistakes that we're making aren't exactly un-similar, because they are not sustained drives that we're giving up. We're giving up big plays. I know that's not better. I think that if we can stop giving up the four or five plays that gives them 60 yards or a touchdown, we can really turn the games around in our favor. We just got to get better on assignments and not give up the big play."
Question: In the second half, obviously hasn't been good the last month, is there anything that can be traced to; there hasn't been a lot of rotation this year on defense, are you guys wearing out at this point of the season?
Ryan Van Bergen: "I wouldn't say that – no. I think if you draw a comparison to other teams in the Big Ten, there is not many teams that are doing much more rotation or less rotation than we are. I think it is just technically and fundamentally we are making some mistakes that practiced earlier in the season, got away from scheming other teams and have to get back to as we go to execute our game plan against Ohio State."
Question: You've been around for a couple of these games now; what's the biggest difference between a Michigan-Ohio State and a Michigan game versus somebody else?
Ryan Van Bergen: "The Michigan-Ohio State game is just different. The intensity level. You can try and match it with another game but really it doesn't come to you like it does against Ohio State. You go through an Ohio State game and the hits you don't really feel them. Different bumps and bruises you might feel during another game, you don't feel. It's like you are on the front line of a battle. It is close to a war that you can come. We all enjoy it. I know we enjoy it on our side, they enjoy it on their side. It is just great to get after it as passionately as we do."
Question: So you don't feel the hits during the game but on Sunday morning…?
Ryan Van Bergen: "On Sunday, you realize you played against Ohio State and you realize that you left everything on the field, which is a great feeling and it is painful at the same time. It is a great experience."
Full Transcript: Ryan VanBergen
The Michigan Insider Top Stories
Oregon DL Commit Intrigued by MichiganMichigan is in hot pursuit Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb defensive tackle Rutger Reitmaier, and the Oregon commit will likely visit Ann Arbor in the near future.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 2:53 PM
WATCH: TMI Previews Michigan vs. MSUWATCH: TMI's Josh Newkirk and Sam Webb preview Michigan vs. Michigan State, as the Wolverines try to win in East Lansing for the first time since 2007.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 9:11 AM
Thomas embraces Brown's 'dude' termsMichigan's Dymonte Thomas has embraced Don Brown's coaching mannerisms, being called a "dude" is one of them.
The Michigan InsiderTuesday at 4:03 PM
Recruiting Breakdown: Michigan vs. MSUMichigan and Michigan State face-off in a Big Ten rivalry battle. Before the Spartans and Wolverines take the field, take a look at their recruiting history and what their
Scout FootballTuesday at 3:57 PM