OPENING STATEMENT: “That was a team that will be contending for the national championship. They served it up pretty good to us today. The thing that I was proud of was the attitude and effort of our young men. They kept fighting. This is not the situation that you’d like to say you were able to play a lot of young guys, you’d like it to be in a situation where you were up 59-0, but we did get a chance to play a ton of young guys. And we will move forward with some of those young guys. We brought in a good recruiting class and we’re going to give them a chance to play. I’m not going to say they are going to start, or they are supplanting anybody or anything like that, but there are some good young athletes on this team that we are going to start force feeding and we did so today a little more in the second half. We need to go back to the drawing board, continue to work hard and believe we can make progress regardless of the score. We need to stay together, believe in each other, trust each other, support each other, hold each other accountable to our standard and that’s what we are going to do. It’s a really good group of young men and they are determined to find a way and maximize their abilities. I think this, as disappointing as it was, was a game we can grow from. That’s what we are going to focus on.”

IS ZION [TURNER] OVERWHELMED?: “I’d hate to say he was overwhelmed. I think we were overwhelmed as an offense today. I wouldn’t put it on Zion, but I understand the question. It can be really daunting as a freshman quarterback in that environment. I’ve watched two defenses this year that just absolutely jump out at me on film and that’s Michigan and Georgia. They are elite defenses, as good as I’ve ever seen in college football. They put the brakes on us today. I think it’d be easy to say that Zion is overwhelmed, maybe because of experience, but not emotionally overwhelmed.”

HOW HAS ZION HANDLED THIS SITUATION?: “He’s handled it okay. What I would like to see and we’ve talked about it with him, is more of a sense of urgency from him. Part of that is him trying to figure things out. This is not the situation we wanted him to be in. Ta’Quan [Roberson] was our starter, but this is the situation we find ourselves in, so we have to continue to work really hard to find things that he’s comfortable doing, that work for him. Unfortunately, today we were going against a defense that doesn’t have a weakness. They do not have a single weakness on that football team. That’s a great college football team and a great defense. It’s an understatement, but they made it really difficult on us.”

SPECIAL TEAMS MISCUES; BLOCKED PUNT AND TD RETURN, WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THOSE TO, WAS IT LACK OF EXECUTION?: “The first one was, the block. Anytime you get a block, number one, you need to look back at your scheme and you have to evaluate as coaches whether you gave your guys the chance to have a successful down. I probably should have called timeout there, I don’t know if we were as settled as we should have been. The punt return, we had probably five guys around him. You need to tackle. Football is a violent, physical game that commands a certain amount of courage, a certain amount of will and a certain amount of ability to absorb some pain and lay it out. We went down there and for some reason we were a little hesitant, which I haven’t seen out of these guys. And I’m not saying that they don’t have courage and that they won’t play through pain because they will because they are good young men. On that play, I don’t know, we just didn’t tackle, we were hesitant. It’s a little bewildering. I’m not sure why. I need to find out why.”

DEFENSIVELY, YOU GAVE UP 59-POINTS, BUT YOU HAD SEVERAL TACKLES FOR LOSS AND BRANDON BOUYER-RANDLE HAD A GOOD GAME, IS THAT AN ENCOURAGING SIGN FOR YOUR DEFENSE?: “When you sit here right after a game, it’s hard to think about good things when you get it handed to you like that, but as we look back at some of the things that you said, I think there will be some things we can build on. I think Brandon has been a good player for us through the first four games. He plays with the relentlessness that you really respect. He does make plays in the rush game and the pass game. He can rush the passer. You can move him all over the field. Eric Watts is another guy like that. And of course Jackson Mitchell, Ian [Swenson] and Dal’mont [Gourdine]. Those guys are guys that really care and play good football. We just need to continue to work hard to surround them with guys that play with that same type of energy. We are finding them. Today disguises some of the things that we did do well. I’ve never been beat 59-0, ever in 35-years, so this is kind of new territory. So it’s hard to find good things, it’s hard.”

WHY DID YOU WATCH GEORGIA FILM?: “They played Michigan last year in the college football playoff, so as we were breaking them down. And I love watching good defense. I’m a defensive, supposedly a defensive coach. I didn’t look like one today.”

WHAT MAKES MICHIGAN ELITE?: “They have 140-players that are big, fast, strong, physical, well-coached, they play with violence, they play with energy, they don’t miss tackles, they challenge you, they run the ball well, they pass the ball well, their QB runs it well, they have speed all over the field. I looked down at pregame warm-ups, it was like they had an army down there, they had so many players and they are all great players. I don’t think, they ARE a contender for the National Championship right now. It’s not in dispute in my opinion.”

WHEN YOU CAME HERE, YOU SAID IT WOULD BE A PROCESS, DOES TODAY MAKE IT ANY EASIER TO ACCEPT?: “No. Like I said, I never had a day like this in my career. It’s a new experience, I don’t like it. Those guys don’t like it. Those guys don’t like it probably more than I don’t like it because they were the ones out there on the field spilling their guts on every play. What is encouraging to me is their attitude. We’ve all been in games that get away a little bit. When you put young guys in and you’re winning, everyone is up and you are encouraging them. When you put young guys in and you’re losing, I think at times, the older guys lick their wounds and sit away from the action. That’s not what I saw on this team today, so that’s encouraging to me. The way they entered the locker room after the game today, not joyous, very determined, but not defeated. We have to build on those things because it is a process. What we asked them to do at halftime and I said this when I first got the job, there will be times where we have to evaluate this team based on our effort, our willingness to compete when times are tough and ignore the score. That’s what I asked them to do at halftime and like I said, we need to look at the film and see who really did that and who didn’t. The guys that did that, we are going to play them. The guys who didn’t, they will either do it, or it will be hard for them to see the field. My hunch is we aren’t going to find a lot of guys that didn’t compete, or didn’t play hard.”

CAN YOU PROVIDE INJURY UPDATES?: “Nate [Carter]. He’s got a second degree shoulder separation. We were down to two backs. Victor Rosa. Really, we were down to one back because Burnsy [Robert Burns] is a fullback for us, but he played halfback. We moved one of our safeties to running back late in the week. We’ll see what it looks like when we get out of here. I think Nate is an incredibly tough young man. It killed him not to play. He came in the locker room and they worked on him with several different pads during the first and second quarter trying to get him comfortable. He went out there and just went after it, but it was not the right thing to do to keep him in the football game. He could not protect himself and we were not going to do that.”

2 years ago