Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald
Opening statement... "Credit goes to our opponent, obviously. They came back in the second half
and made the plays that winners make. We turned the ball over and they capitalized on it. Now as
coaches, we've got to look critically at a number of things. No. 1, we've got to look schematically
to see how we can help our guys. No. 2, make sure we've got the right people in there at the right
times. We lost momentum again. We've got to do a better job of picking each other up. There are a
bunch of guys in that locker room that are very disappointed in the way we played but we'll stick
together and we'll find a way."
"I'd like to thank our great fans tonight for the support, especially our students. It was absolutely an
outstanding environment. We thank them and expect it moving forward and we'll see them back in
a few weeks for homecoming.
On any specific shift in momentum in the game... "I don't think we ever lost control, we just turned
the ball over. When you give up scores off those turnovers, that's where you get the swings. We
have to play better team football together. We thought we had a good plan coming into the second
half. Again, we as coaches didn't think there was anything schematically that we didn't adjust to
properly. We feel like we stopped ourselves and that's a little disappointing."
On Michigan QB Denard Robinson...
"He's pretty good, probably the best that we've seen in a while. He's outstanding. We had a plan
to try to take the ball out of his hands and I think for the most part we were able to do that. There
were some things that we obviously didn't do so well. He's going to throw the ball up there for you
and we got three [interceptions] and we should've gotten at least five. If we get those two other
ones, it's a completely different ballgame. We wouldn't lose momentum. They get it and they make
those big explosion plays. It's difficult to overcome."
On the offense's use of the option attack...
"We've got a pretty spectacular offensive staff. They're creative and we'll find a way to use our
weapons to the best of our ability. We play to our players' strengths and we've got two pretty
dynamic playmakers in Kain [Colter] and Danny [Persa] and we get both of those guys on the
field in different ways. We'll build on that package and expand it and we'll use those weapons
appropriately. We had the backs in the mix tonight and we had Drake [Dunsmore] and Jeremy
[Ebert] making big plays. Christian [Jones] made a nice catch too. We have a lot of guys that can
make some plays."
On two second-half turnovers ...
"It comes back to the team playing better team football. We cannot turn the ball over and expect to
win. We cannot let the ball go over our head on defense. It's tough, it's demoralizing to the defense
after they play their tails off. We have to be more aggressive on the perimeter and we have to do a
better job coaching the guys up."
On Northwestern safety Ibraheim Campbell...
"At times he was spectacular and then he had a chance for another big play and almost had three
picks. He was in great position, but their guy made the play. He's continuing to work to get better.
It's been five games into the season, so he has five games worth of experience. He's very talented
and he's going to continue to get better."
Northwestern Player Quotes
Quarterback Dan Persa
On NU's play in the second half... "We just can't turn the ball over like we did. We came out, went
three-and-out, then executed moving the ball for the next two drives. We were moving fine and then
we had the turnovers."
On the team's performance and loss... "Yeah, it's frustrating but we have no one to blame but
ourselves. We have to look inside ourselves to see what we need to do to pull it out and I think we'll
On the fourth-quarter play during which Persa lost his helmet... "I was dropping back and saw
pressure so I ducked. He ripped my helmet off and I continued the throw. They didn't call it, so it
wasn't a penalty."
On the game day environment and sold-out crowd... "It was a good environment. I think we just let
our fans down. We have to play a lot better than we did."
On preparing for next week's Iowa game... "We just have to stay consistent. The sense of urgency
has to go up. We can't go down this quick in the Big Ten schedule. We have to keep doing what
we're doing, but we have to put more time in. We're doing a lot but we have to do more. Obviously,
what we are doing isn't good enough. "
On Drake Dunsmore's deflection... "That was my fault--I threw it behind him."
On Christian Jones' performance... "I think he's really talented. He's an exciting player and I look
forward to giving him the ball more."
Defensive End Tyler Scott
On game-planning to stop Denard Robinson...
"It was focused on holding back the run, because when he runs, who knows what's going to
On explosion plays in the second half... "Yeah, it kills you. When you are consistently working so
hard to stop an offense, those plays really hit you hard. You got to just flush it, focus on to the next
play and stop them because big plays are going to happen. You have to stop the momentum and see
what you can do."
On Michigan's success on third down... "They just made plays. We didn't execute here and there
which was huge. That's one of our goals as a defense -- to get off the field on third downs. We didn't
On Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson... "He's fast. He's a playmaker. But if you focus on doing
your job--like we did for the most part--he can be contained."
On the defense's performance... "I really think we lost focus. We had one-man breakdowns and that
will kill you when it comes to crunch time. We have to fix those issues and if we do, we'll be a pretty
Quarterback and wide receiver Kain Colter
On NU's performance on offense in the first half...
"We looked pretty sharp. We made plays. I really thought having Dan (Persa) and me in there at the
same time really worked. It's tough. I feel like it's the same story every game. We're up in the first
half and then somehow we just lose it. Once we put four quarters of Northwestern football together,
I think we could be a really good team. Until then, we have some work to do."
On Michigan's performance/defensive adjustments in the second half... "They didn't make too many.
Early on, they played a little bit of man coverage when I went out and played receiver. After that,
they played zone coverage. It's no excuse. We have to make plays. They didn't throw anything at us
that we had not seen before. We just have to fix it."
Head Coach Brady Hoke
General comments on tonight's game...
"I think as a football team we did a nice job of complementing each other tonight and facing some
adversity on the road being down 10 points. We talked about it at halftime, you know we had three
penalties in the first half, three interceptions, so we weren't playing Michigan football. We needed
to play Michigan football."
On how Northwestern played...
"Believe me, I give Northwestern a lot of credit, they're a well-coached, tough-minded, physical
football team. I just really liked how our team respects each other and how they'll play for each
On Denard Robinson tonight...
"He's a competitor. He's a sharp guy. He has tremendous energy and is a leader on our team and
I just think that him and Al [Borges] talked a little bit and talked about what we wanted to do
offensively. Again, you go back to making sure our fundamentals and techniques are there."
On Dan Persa...
"We talk a lot about red zone defense and keeping people out of the end zone. I think Dan Persa, No.
1 he's a tough guy; No. 2, he's a smart guy; No. 3, he's an unbelievable competitor and you knew he
was going to get some of his."
Michigan Player Quotes
Safety Jordan Kovacs
On defensive adjustments in the second half... "I think that we did a good job of adjusting, the
coaches drew up a couple different plays at halftime. For the most part we did a great job adjusting,
obviously the first half wasn't exactly what we wanted, but I've got to hand it to the defense. They
came out and made some great adjustments. But we've still got a long way to go, a lot of improving
On why they struggled in the first half... "(Northwestern's) a good team, it's a tough task to come in
here at night on Big Ten Network and try to compete with guys like that. So you've got to hand a lot
of the credit to Northwestern, they have a very good offense, but for the most part we made some
great adjustments at half and that was the difference in the game."
On their struggle with Northwestern's spread in the first half... "It's a good offense, it's a very good
scheme, they spread the defense out but they spread us out to run the ball. They got us on a few
bubble screens but we made some adjustments and we improved."
Quarterback Denard Robinson
On rebounding from the poor first half... "My teammates just kept pushing me and telling me to do
what I do. We've been practicing all week, so just keep doing what I do."
On Michigan's sense of urgency in the second half...
"We're a team, that's one thing we thrive on. We're a team, it's not just one player."
On the injury that brought him out of the game at the end of a drive...
"It was nothing...a little booboo. I took a little shot and I had to get off...I didn't want to hurt the
Defensive Lineman Mike Martin
On Michigan's response to Northwestern's up-tempo offense...
"It was something to adjust to. I feel like if you ask them, they had some things to adjust to as well.
The game's all about adjusting and kind of being able to tweak things a little bit."
On the momentum shift that occurred after the third- quarter touchdown...
"We had adversity. Being able to come out when there were turnovers and situations where it's
just as easy to go out there and say `Dang, why's this have to happen,' but we came out there with
excitement and we were excited to play defense."
On what made Northwestern's offense so successful in the first half...
"They did a good job of keeping us off balance and we weren't in position a lot of times. Guys were
confused a little bit or weren't in the right position in pre-snap."
On what changed in the second half...
"We knew we had to come out and make a statement in the second half, period. Coach Hoke -- he
never says much -- he knows we're strong mentally as a team, and the biggest thing was that we had
to make key adjustments as a defense. Coach (Greg) Mattison did a great job and we did a great job