Penn State-Michigan Post-game Quotes

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Sept. 23, 2007

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Penn State Coach Joe Paterno

On the fumbles during the game ...
"It is hard to win when you turn the ball over in your own red zone. The other two were close and both were challenged, I believe we won the first one and lost the second one."

On Michigan's defense ...
"They came out really aggressive and a little bit different then what they displayed in prior games. I wouldn't say they caught us off guard, but they did play a good game."

On Mike Hart's touchdown ...
"I have yet to see it, I was told by my men upstairs they he was a yard short. I asked the referee close to me about it and he said he didn't make the call."

On the nine-game losing streak to Michigan ...
"I judge every loss the same way and I don't like losing. I wouldn't say they have my number. They just play a strong game against us."

On stopping tailback Mike Hart ...
"He is a good back who seems to get stronger as the game goes on. No, we didn't come in with a defensive plan to stop him. We played an equal balanced defense and we played good. We don't have a bad defense, we just didn't play great."


Penn State Wide Receiver Derrick Williams

On what they're expectations were coming into the game ...
"To win. That's everybody's expectation when you're going into a game. Unfortunately, certain plays and things didn't go our way and Michigan came out with the victory. They have a great team. All credit goes to their defense right now. They stopped us and they won the game."

On whether it was hard to come back from two turnovers ...
"It was hard. The game is all about turnovers, penalties, and making the plays and we had all of those. That's one thing that we're going to work on."

Penn State Placekicker Kevin Kelly

On his consistent field goal kicking performance during the game ...
"The whole week I've been kicking the ball great and I didn't miss any field goals. Coming into the game that was my goal; to just execute and do the best that I could. I think that did help the offense a little bit, but unfortunately they couldn't get things going."

On the leadership the team's leaders displayed during the game ...
"Our leaders and seniors definitely stepped up. It just wasn't how we planned it, but our leadership stepped up."

Penn State Cornerback Justin King

On how the defense feels ...
"We felt that we came out and battled. It was a good offense and we knew that we were going to play against good receivers, linemen, and running backs. We came out, we were prepared, and did everything we felt we could."

On what U-M quarterback Ryan Mallett showed them today ...
"He is a great quarterback. He showed a lot of confidence and poise back there. He will be a very good quarterback."

Penn State Quarterback Anthony Morelli

On whether there are any positives that the team took from this game ...
"Michigan is a good team. We came into the Big House and we were able to start capitalizing in the end"

On how important leadership is to them ...
"We can still get it done. We just have to let it play out, work hard, and get better. It's as simple as that. There's nothing else you can say about it."

On how many good opportunities they didn't capitalize on ...
"There were at least two good ones. We should have capitalized upon them and won the ball game."

On how he felt he played ...
"Not good enough to get the win. The win is all that matters to me."

On Michigan's defense ...
"They played a solid game. They had a great scheme for a lot of our plays."

Penn State Cornerback Lydell Sargeant

On whether being on the field for a long time exhausted the defense ...
"Coach Paterno does a pretty good job of keeping us conditioned. We just have to be ready to play 100 or 20 plays, whatever the offense does."

On his emotions after his interception late in the second half ...
"I felt like they had a pretty good drive going there and the defense had to make a play to stop them from getting a field goal and getting a score early. I think that helped us, but there's not much we can do. They scored 14 points. We can improve and we didn't play our best game, but we have to look forward to next week."

Penn State Linebacker Dan Connor

On what the worst thing was about the way they played today ...
"We worked hard. It's a physical game and the guys were going hard and they were working. "


Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr

On the game ...
"I thought it was a great football game and a game that I loved. I want to compliment Penn State on the way they played. I thought it was a real physical, hard hitting football game. For us it started with our special teams. Going into the game we felt that it was a critical part of it. Our coverage teams were outstanding. Our kickoff team did a great job. We had a real good return on a kickoff. (Punter) Zoltan Mesko was outstanding, and he has been outstanding all season long. We did have a miscue on the one field goal...but with that exception I thought our special teams provided a great field position. I thought that was particularly true on the opening kickoff. Our defense was really outstanding. We gave up one play in the fourth quarter, but they were relentless, they played hard, they tackled well and they were tenacious. It was a beautiful thing to watch, so we made some strides there. I think offensively we felt that we had to run the football against what I think is an outstanding defense. I thought our players and our coaches did a great job."

On Ryan Mallett's performance ...
"Managing the game, I thought that in the second half he was much more comfortable. One thing about (Ryan) Mallett, he doesn't get rattled. I thought what he did that really made a difference was in the fourth quarter, he made some big throws. Under pressure, he's got an ability where he can move up and still see down the field. He made some really critical throws in that game."

On running Mike Hart ...
"I'm not dumb. Mike Hart is a great competitor. He loves to win. That's why he is one of the best players to ever wear that uniform."

On Hart's blocking ...
"He is unbelievable. I saw him make three key blocks -- that Dan Conner is a great linebacker. Sometimes when a guy forty pounds heavier is coming your way, you want to move out of the way, but Mike Hart never wanted to. He met him head up each time."

On Jake Long ...
"I know this and I might be a little biased, but if there is a better offensive lineman in the country, I'd like to see him.

On the difference in the defense the past two weeks ...
"Sometimes in life you get a wake-up call."

On the biggest difference in the team over the past four weeks ...
"I think they are playing with a higher level of concentration today. They have learned that if you stick together, you can accomplish anything."


Michigan Tailback Mike Hart

On why Penn State was unable to stop the Michigan ground attack ...
"The linemen did a great job. When you have linemen that get onto the linebackers and the safeties, it's hard for them to stop us. Then (Ryan) Mallett started throwing the ball, too. He was throwing some short passes, so it kind of mixes things up. The linemen did a great job today. The thing about the zone (running scheme) is if they get penetration, it's hard for us to run the ball. It doesn't matter how many people they have in the box. If they get penetration it's hard, but they weren't really getting penetration today. That let me get to the second level where I can make my cuts."

On Ryan Mallett's performance in the fourth quarter ...
"He did a great job. It's all about finishing and we finished today. The offense held the ball. We wanted to get one more first down (late in the fourth quarter) so we could run the clock out, but we got a couple key first downs and made them use all their timeouts. Mallett made a couple great third-down plays. Our defense went out there and did a great job stopping them. When that happens, it feels good knowing that we can finish a game like that."

On how he feels about the team starting 0-2 and now sitting at 2-2 ...
"It feels great. This team has come a long way since the first two losses. We still have to improve on some things, but we've come a long way and I'm proud of this team."

Michigan Safety Jamar Adams

On how the defense has improved over the last two weeks ...
"We have just worked harder in practice and then in the games we've done a better job of executing the defensive coverages."

On the gains in confidence among the defensive players ...
"We've gained a lot of confidence. You go out there and you play like you've played the last few weeks and you gain a lot of confidence. But that confidence starts in practice. That's something we want to try and maintain -- continue to practice hard, continue to have high enthusiasm and high energy so we can carry it over to the game."

On how the PSU turnovers benefited Michigan ...
"Turnovers always change the flow of the game. That's one thing we always talk and preach. We want to cause turnovers. It changes the momentum. In particular, with the running back fumbling the football, it changes his running style sometimes because he can't run as hard as he was before because he's worried about dropping the football. He had some problems fumbling before, so we wanted to go out there and try to get some turnovers off of him."

Michigan Defensive End Brandon Graham

On the defense's improvement over the last few weeks ...
"We decided right now that we can't take any teams lightly because (Appalachian State) came in and surprised us. We're going to be focused and we have goals that we're serious about. We prepare for every team now and that's all we can say. We're having fun now, too."

On what Defensive Coordinator Ron English said to the defense before PSU's last drive ...
"He said, 'turn it up.' Every time we huddled he said, 'turn it up and beat them down until they're finished.' That's what we did, we turned it up. He said, 'don't quit because it's going to be a dog fight until the fourth quarter.' That's what we did."

On the defense's improvement on stopping the run ...
"This is something I expected -- shutdown defense. That's something that we always talked about. Coach English has seen it in us. Every week he says that we can get better in certain spots. He breaks us down critically. That's what we take and that's what we work on for the week. We have the run game. Now we have to work on everyone doing their job in the passing game."

Michigan Quarterback Ryan Mallett

On the win being a relief ...
"We had a lot of fun out there. We just have to get the next 'W'. We have to keep going, keep getting better."

On how this game was different from last week ...
"We felt like it was a different speed and we made good adjustments. The offensive line made great calls and the defense was outstanding. We played pretty well."

On his touchdown run ...
"I actually made a mistake on that read and the offensive line did a great job blocking. I was trying to make a play but without Mike (Hart). Mike had a great block and so did the receiver out there -- I don't remember who it was but they all did a great job out there."

On what his mistake was during his touchdown run ...
"I just didn't throw it. That was the mistake. The receiver ran a great route."

On his mindset after throwing the interception ...
"I'm thinking about the next play. That's what you have to do."

On quarterback Chad Henne's help ...
"With Chad (Henne) in the press box, it's a great help. He let me know if I missed something. We're ready for Chad to get back."

 

 

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