Jack Gitler Q&A

Senior defensive end – and occasionally linebacker – Jack Gitler joined the weekly Monday press conference. Gitler, who Greg Jennings jokingly calls ‘Babin,' talked about the loss to CMU and the upcoming game with Bowling Green.

How was your weekend at Central Michigan?

Big flow of emotions up and down. It was different in practice this week, people responded coming off that Northern Illinois loss. People came out and wanted to play differently. I didn't have a thought of what would happen in that game and even with five minutes left I was like ‘man, I can't wait to see [the media] on Monday.' [We were up] 14 points, but it was rough. It's all about finishing.

Why was the team not able to finish the win Saturday?

Three minutes left in the game we were up by 14 points. Defensively, really 57 of the minutes we played it was lights out. It was little things, not just missing tackles but also missing the chance to hold them in bounds [to keep the clock running]. It's all about finishing, it's all about caring about winning more then the other team does.

With how much the defense improved this past week how hard was it to face that loss?

It's defiantly a heart breaker. We came in and with how our defense was ranked across the country; it's not good. You come into this game and it's a rivalry game and they put up [553] yards against Toledo. The defense came out and wanted to play well and you finish the game and see you lost by three in overtime and it's like ‘oh my gosh, how did this just happen?' In the game there was no though it was going to happen, but when it finally did it you just couldn't believe it.

Where does the defense go from here?

Up. I can't wait for [Monday night], I cant' wait for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I can't wait for the whole week of practice. Everyone who was at the [CMU] game saw a different defense.

How important was it to have Paul Tithof back last weekend?

I joke with him about how he's a little guy running around out there, but he makes plays. Ameer Ismail for how he stepped up the past couple games, he really did well coming in. But having Tithof in there it felt good. You know that Tithof knows what's going on. We do hitting drills with the linebackers some times and it's scary because he almost has no care for his body… he'll throw himself at people just trying to make tackles. It was definitely nice having him back making plays.

If you were Bowling Green coming into this game would you think Western Michigan is a dangerous team?

If I was looking at I would definitely think Western is a dangerous team just because of how we stepped up last weekend. They look at it and see how we played against Central and how they played against Toledo; we really showed something. They might think ‘well, are they going to come out and play like they played against Northern Illinois, or are they going to come out how they played against Central?' Our defense is looking like we can turn some things around and show something for these next three weeks.

What kind of problems will Bowling Green's style of offense present for you guys on defense?

Their quarterback Omar Jacobs is a good scrambling quarterback a lot like Josh Harris. They throw a lot of high completion percentage passes, which helps with their interception to touchdown ratio. As a defense we really haven't studied a lot of film on the yet but we'll start studying it [Monday]. Playing against a team like Bowling Green, they have a system installed that they run perfectly. The good thing is their running game is a lot like everyone else's with the option out of the shotgun thing and we've seen it now.

Being a high school state champion wrestler just like Jason Babin, how has that helped your football playing?

It helps a lot. When I wrestled it was actually the first sport I ever did as a team. Wrestling really helped me especially going up against a tight end and getting leverage on him first. In wrestling they talk about wrist control, in football they talk about getting your hands inside and getting control so it's kind of the same thing. I think I have a better feel for things just using my hands more.

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