Press Conference Quotes 9.30.08
Press Conference Quotes
Head coach Tim Brewster
"My thoughts on the game last week, I was very disappointed. It was a great opportunity to go in and win a football game against an outstanding opponent in their backyard. We had outstanding preparation going into the game. We did a lot of things well but there’s a real disappointment in losing our first game. We were 4-0 and now we’re 4-1 and it was simple as to why we didn’t win.
"When you look at explosive plays, Ohio State had 11 and we had four. When you look at the turnovers, there were three for Minnesota, one for Ohio State. That alone tells you who won the game. We cannot turn the football over, we’re not an explosive enough team at this point to turn the ball over and come back. We need to do a better on both sides of the ball of getting explosive plays on offense and stopping them on defense.
"We knew going into the game Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells were going to be a tremendous challenge for our football team to tackle and they were. They were as advertised, very good football players. I’m very proud of our young football team to go into the environment that we did on Saturday and play 60 full minutes. We’ve identified ourselves as a team that will battle and compete for 60 minutes. That’s what you’re supposed to do as a football team. I give our players tremendous credit for that mentality.
"Our full intention was to go in and beat Ohio State and we felt like we had a great opportunity to do that. As we move forward, we’re a 4-1 football team and we’re getting ready to play a good team in Indiana.
"When you think about Indiana, the guy that comes to mind is Coach Terry Hoepner. I don’t think I would do the game justice if I didn’t think about Coach Hoepner and how the Big Ten and the Indiana football community misses him. Bill Lynch would be the first to tell you that the resurgence at Indiana is the result of Coach Hoepner.
"Thinking about the Indiana team, they’re very explosive offensively. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the country playing in Kellen Lewis. They have him playing a bunch of different spots and have him playing next to another quarterback, Ben Chappell. He’s a very good passer and we know Indiana beat us last year because we didn’t do a good job against Kellen Lewis. For us to have a chance to win against Indiana, we’re going to have to do a good job of defending Kellen Lewis. Not only when he’s at quarterback, but when he’s at receiver or in the backfield. He’s a smaller version of Terrell Pryor, a tremendous athlete with the ball in his hands. We did not tackle him well last year.
"It’s a big game for us in the conference. We have not won a Big Ten game since I have been coach at Minnesota. It’s an opportunity to win a conference game at home in front of our crowd. Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd behind us to push us ahead to a victory."
On: Indiana’s Offensive scheme
T"hey’re a spread offense. They like to do things differently but they run their offense a lot like we do. Those types of images will help us in our preparation."
On: Facing another running quarterback
"I think that when eight out of the eleven teams in the Big Ten are spread teams, you are going to see a lot of very dynamic quarterbacks. Dynamic quarterback play is part of the spread. Any spread team you are going to see a dynamic quarterback for the most part. They’re all very talented players and their ability to defend that will determine if we win or lose."
On: Leaders on defense
"Traye Simmons leads the nation in passes defended so obviously he’s a playmaker. Marcus Sherels is as well. Eric Small had a great game and really played well. There isn’t a specific position where guys have stepped up and taken over but we need more of that. On the offensive side of the ball we need guys to step and be explosive playmakers as well."
On: Willie VanDesteeg’s play
"He’s been very consistent. Willie has been playing very well at a very high level. Just because you don’t see sacks doesn’t mean there isn’t productivity. There’s been great pressure by Willie and I think you need to be careful whether a guy has been productive or not. Willie has been great so far this year. You’d love to see more sacks, but to me I don’t think sacks are a great indicator of productivity. I think getting around the quarterback and forcing the guy to move his feet is as important as sacks."
On: Stopping explosive plays
"You have to make the tackles and make plays when you’re in position. That’s a huge part of it. A lot of it last week had to do with the God given talent of Terrell Pryor and Beanie Wells. They are supremely gifted players and it isn’t easy to tackle those guys in space. But it’s part of the game at this point and we need to do it."
On: Mike Maciejowski going in on a two-point conversion
"Mike is a very well liked player on the team and is well respected by his teammates. He is a team guy and he exemplifies what a great teammate is. He sacrifices individual goals for the good of the team. The only thing he cares about is the team winning. I thought it was very appropriate to get him in the game in his own backyard. I was really excited that he was able to convert the conversion and that’s a memory he can take with him for the rest of his life. To me, it’s easy to reward people like Mike Maciejowski."
On: Importance of first Big Ten home game
"I think it’s big and it’s a game where we will put an emphasis on the conference aspect. It’s a chance to get our first Big Ten win as a team. I really think there’s some real significance there."
On: Gaining momentum this week
"I think it has to do with confidence. Winning breeds winning and losing breed losing. We want to win football games. We won four in a row and after losing, we were crushed. They were disappointed because they truly felt they had a chance to beat Ohio State. You know you have something good going when you feel that sting of losing. There were a bunch of guys hurting because they lost a football game. We want that winning feeling back because there is nothing like winning and the excitement that it creates."
On: Big Ten upsets
"Week in and week out, the bottom line is if we don’t prepare properly, any team can beat you. From top to bottom, this conference is competitive as any in America. I think you can see that with Northwestern beating Iowa. We’ve got an outstanding conference and if you slip up just a little, you’ll get beat."
On: Da’Jon Mcknight’s performance
"He’s a kid that really wasn’t a football player, he was a basketball player and played football for the first time as a junior in high school. I saw the kid and was wowed by his athleticism and I really like his demeanor. Each and every day he’s been a scout player and making great plays against our defense. I was not surprised at all to see him come up with a big play against Ohio State. He’s a big kid who can really run and has great hands."
On: Defense’s Improvements
"From the first day, we’ve been about attacking and swarming. If you have the chance to make the play, you have to make it. You need to be swarming since you never know where the ball might pop up. You see a lot of guys making plays because a lot of people are around the ball."
On: Similarities in Indiana and Ohio State
"You’re going to see some similarities in the spread offense. They’ll try to use their athletes to create mismatches and outrun you. It’s kind of an advantage for us since we see the spread every day with our offense so we just have to focus on stopping their weapons and being in the right position at the right time."
On: Comparing Ohio State to Indiana
"Terrell Pryor is more of a lengthy guy and Kellen Lewis is more of a slippery runner. The biggest thing is running to the ball and making sure there isn’t just one on one tackles."
On: Expectations from linebackers this upcoming week
"I think that we need to meet our responsibilities and be more in the box, ready to make plays. As a defense, we just need to be consistent and having our leaders step up."
Sophomore QB Adam Weber
On: Playing at the dome in a Big Ten game
On: Importance of Indiana game