Rose Bowl Press Conference: Day 2
Dec. 29, 2006
2007 Rose Bowl Quotes
USC Defense Press Conference
December 29, 2006
USC Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt
We're excited about this challenge ahead of us a couple days on Monday. Hopefully we're up to the task. I think we will be. Watching film the last couple weeks of Michigan it's obvious they're a great football team, especially on offense. They run the ball really well. They're effectivein the passing game, throw the deep ball really nicely. So we've got challenges ahead of us but I think our kids will be up to the challenge and I think it's going to be a great game.
On Michigan's Mike Hart:
He's a really good zone runner. He does a nice job picking his way through the holes and through the trash. He has a good offensive line, they've been together for a long time and have a couple All-Americans. He has fumbled the ball a little, all great players have made some mistakes. Ithink what's really apparent is we have to get our guys on the ball, swarming the football and we do a nice job with that. We have good defensive team speed, and hopefully we can get their athletes in a bad mood on Monday and create some turnovers for our offense. So hopefully they give us that opportunity, we'll just wait and see.
On the differences between the two teams since their meeting in the 2004 Rose Bowl:
I think they may have gone back and looked at that film probably a couple weeks ago when they had a lot of time. They haven't played in a while, so I'm sure they've watched a lot of games. They're a little different on offense now, I think they have a new offensive coordinator from three years ago, so they're doing some different things. Their running game is a little different than in the past, a little simpler, but they're very effective. I think their passing game has consolidated a little bit and they're a little more protection-conscious possibly, so we'll just see how it goes. They're a little different team than they were in 2003 and so I don't know if that's in their mindset that they would look at that game and say, `ok, they're going to come back and do this against us.' We're a little bit different on defense too, even though it's basically the samecoaching staff and same head coach, and he definitely has a lot of input on defense. We've changed in three years, and tweaked some things on defense, so it will be a different game.
On the Michigan Offense:
We're concerned about their running game, because they do it so well and they stay with it and stay with it, and they pick at ya, pick at ya, and you might be effective against them for a while, but low and behold you break down and they'll get you. They do a nice job. Their offensive line, you can tell is well schooled, they know who they're blocking, they target really well and if you make a mistake, and if you're out of your gap, they'll get you. Their running back is very effective in their scheme. He has good vision, and it's not like he is the fastest guy, he's a very good zone running back and we've got to do a good job. They're big up front obviously, they're always big up front, but they move really well. I think a couple of their guys are really good football players. They don't make mistakes, so we've got our work cut out for us.
I like our matchups, no question. I think we have really good team speed, I think our front moves really well and I think our front is very, very competitive and I think its going to be a heck of a game because I know they're competitive too. We'll just see how it shakes out on Monday.
The thing is, in what's really important for us, is our back end guys, the secondary guys have to do a really nice job of staying on top of the deep ball. They do a nice job double moving and lulling you to sleep with some things, so we've got our work cut out for us, but it all starts with the running game.
On USC`s linebackers:
I think they played really well this year, maybe even better than expected. I know that we really had high expectations for them going into the season, but they definitely played up to our expectations and a little beyond. I think Keith Rivers, who is here today, has had a sensational season. At times last year he showed some nice things, but wasn't as consistent as he has been this year. I really think he's been our most consistent linebacker throughout the season. Some other guys get a lot of hype, but I think Keith Rivers has done a fantastic job for us along with a couple other linebackers. They've done a nice job, we've asked them to do a lot of different things systematically and it's hard to do a lot of those things because we change from week to week and things like that and they've done a nice job of picking them up and playing really well. So we're really happy with the line backing core.
DE, Lawrence Jackson
On creating turnovers:
When facing a good running back like that that does a good job protecting the ball, you can't really rely on the first person to get the ball out. You've got to hold him up and let the otherguys come in, and I think that's where we're more effective as a defense is swarming to the ball, so that will be a great opportunity for us.
On Michigan`s Chad Henne:
The coaching staff really trust him. They ask him to do a lot of things at the line of scrimmage: make audibles, change the play. And he's handled it really good and it's a weapon they utilize every game. He's a leader out there. He makes tough throws, he stands in the pocket, and hejust has the confidence in his team. He`ll stay in the pocket, he`ll take a lick. He doesn`t really get sacked that much but he`ll take a good hit as long as he gets the ball off.
On if they will have trouble getting to the QB:
I don't think so. They're not the big bad wolf and we're not the three little pigs. They're a great group of guys and they run great schemes and they block really well. But we know that anybody can get sacked on any given day. We've faced teams that have only given up a few sacks up to that point in the season, but we know we can get there, it's just a matter of the defense playing together. Stopping routes and making the quarterback hold the ball and then the defensive line beating their guys and getting to the quarterback.
On the defensive line working together:
It takes four defensive linemen to get a sack. When you see one guy get a sack it's really not just him. There might be a defensive tackle who does a good job of when a quarterback goes to step up he's got nowhere to run so he's stuck so a defensive end gets there, and vice versa a defensive end gets around and makes a quarterback step up, so it's important for the defensive line work together. But you get a lot of sacks out of making the quarterback hold the ball. Like I always say if the quarterback's in rhythm and just dropping back and throwing the ball it's really hard to get there. You've got to make him look to his second and third option.
On learning to make sacks:
Sacking the quarterback is a habit. Once you get there, everything goes back to normal. `Okay, I have to do this, I have to do that, this is what it feels like. This is how much force I have to put in.' But if you haven't got there, you don't know what it takes. You don't remember. Youmight try to hard or put too much energy in the wrong spot. You don't trust yourself. Obviously the book that everybody hears about helped out a lot, but just getting to the quarterback a few times helped me settle down a lot.
LB, Dallas Sartz
On Oscar Lua handling a back-up role:
He's handled it really, really well. Better than I could ever foresee anybody else doing it. It's not easy when you thought you'd be starting coming in your senior year, and having a player like Rey (Maualuga) coming in and taking it from you. Rey's a tremendous player too, so it's definitely rough for everybody. But he's battle through his entire college career, through a bunch of knee surgeries, but he just keeps bouncing back, always has a smile on his face and rolls with everything.
On Michigan`s offensive style:
They run a good solid offense. They do a lot of screens, a lot of boots, a lot of nakeds and stuff. A good offensive team like that will keep you guessing and mix it up and do all they can do to try and get it down the field.
On rebounding from the UCLA loss:
It's tough after any loss, especially against a cross-town rival fighting for the national championship game. But what's done is done, and this is a great bowl game to play and a great team to play against. People would kill to be in the position we're in, to be able to play inthe Rose Bowl here in L.A. with all our fans supporting us. So it doesn't get much better than that.
On similarities between the last USC-Michigan Rose Bowl:
It's a similar game because it's two great teams going up against each other again. Two big offensive powerhouses with great weapons going up against very solid defenses that love to play out there too. But we're not the same team we were back then. We have totally different players out there and our defense this year is a little more fast and a little more physical and we're doing some different schemes and trying to mix it up a bit.
LB, Oscar Lua
On creating turnovers:
It's been a tough season for us as far as turnovers. We'd led the country in that the last couple years, but I think we've struggled with that a little bit this year in part because our defense is so young as opposed to how it's been in the past. Myself and Dallas (Sartz) are the only seniors on that side of the ball. But we got the ball out when in mattered in later parts of the season and the coaches have emphasized it throughout the season. It's always been a big part of our game. It might have been why we had such tight games earlier this year. But the emphasis has always been there and we'll continue to put forth the effort to try and get the ball out and it showed that it picked up a bit later in the season. With Coach Holt and Coach Carroll leading the charge we'll be just fine.
On Michigan's Mike Hart:
I think that he's kind of small is actually one of his bigger attributes, because it's so hard to try and get underneath a guy who's 5'9' because if he gets lower to the ground he'll become like 5'3' and to try and tackle someone that low who comes with so much force is really hard. He hit's theholes really well. He's not going to blow you away with his style or his speed, but he's just one of those natural football players. You think of guys like Lofa Tatupu or Kerry Colbert, they weren't the physical specimens but they were the best players on the field. I think that's the case with Hart. He lets his O-line open up the holes and lets the plays develop and then he hits them hard with a full head of steam.
On where Michigan is strongest:
Where are they not? That's the question. These guys are great. You watch film of these guys and they check off from one thing to another and that's the confidence they have in their quarterback and Hart does an amazing job running the ball. He looks practically untackleable sometimes when he's in the hole. They swarm on him but he just bounces off like a pinball. But that's just something that you have to respect and attack. They check from a pass to a run and a run to a pass, and it's not that often you see in college football that much responsibility handed off to a quarterback.
On returning to Rose Bowl success:
We definitely want to see ourselves win because the last two times we've been to the Rose Bowl we've not come out in the manner that we want to. We want to go back to the Rose Bowl and follow up and what we actually really set forth which is to own the Rose Bowl. Losing to UCLA, losing to Texas, we haven't put forth the effort to show that we do own the Rose Bowl. We want to get a victory to reiterate that we are the team that owns the Rose Bowl and that it is our home in our own backyard, so I think that's definitely what's on our minds.
On any weaknesses in the defenses:
The only thing that we can see, if anything, that could be attacked on both of our teams is pass defense. We've both had our times throughout the season where we've been struck in both passing games. That's something that's easily fixed in a day's practice let alone a few weeks of practice, so it's hard to say how we have any edge over them or how they have any edge over us.
On Michigan`s offensive line:
This offensive line is monstrous. They're huge guys, they execute real well. They zone block like nobody I've ever seen zone block. It reminds me of Texas' offensive line last year. They don't try to get you, they just zone you. They wash you by the play and allow Hart to come down the field and roll. I think that's the best combination and the hardest combination for a defense to counter. You've got a running back running full speed downhill and you're a linebacker trying to fall back. If you get a hold of him he's still going to take you down three yards.
CB, Terrell Thomas
On the health of his shoulder:
My shoulder's pretty good. I started practicing on Monday and it feels really good, it feels really stable. It's just been an awkward situation. I've been no-contact to get no setbacks before the game but I'll be ready to go.
On USC`s young defense:
I think over the season we grew together and I think that's the difference. You could actually see after Stanford, that stretch of games, we did not allow any team more than 15 points a game, and that wasn't for no reason. We just started playing like a team.
On the UCLA loss:
It was honestly hard, I think a lot of people honestly had to sit down and really get over it. I talked to my coach about it a million times. It was really hard, and wasn't something that we're used to. Honestly, going into a big game, knowing everything that was on the line and listening to you, that was real hard. But we've got a big game coming up against a big team, but I think that's the biggest thing. When I found out it was Michigan, that took away about 50 percent away of my mood, me feeling bad or what not.
On the team chemistry:
Honestly, we grew together more than ever this year. We all hang out together, at Disneyland, we all somehow were all hanging out together. It may have been a group of five here, a group of five there, but from the walk-ons to the starters, to the second string, we're all close. We all joke around, we all know our responsibilities and I think that's what the difference is. The team has been able to gel so much.
On Michigan's QB, Chad Henne:
He honestly has an arm, it's ridiculous, honestly. I mean watching the film sometimes, he just swings the ball around pretty easily. He's a good quarterback, he has good wide receivers. Honestly, I don't think he gets the respect he deserves, because he has a good arm on him. He's not very mobile, but he's got a great arm. One of the best we've faced this season.
LB, Keith Rivers
On coach why Pete Carroll is so successful:
He gets the most out of his players, from Monday through Thursday, he's going to make it harder than the game so that when we go into a game it's easy. If you practice all week at game speed, when you go into the game, you won't have so many surprises. That's another thing, during the week at practice we try to simulate everything, like three-and-two, thirdand-long, all type of game situations. Dog pile, we simulate a dog pile, so that there are no surprises and we're prepared for whatever may happen.
On missing out on the Championship game and being at the Rose Bowl:It's definitely hard, we didn't achieve what we could, we didn't get it done. We're always fortunate to be in the Rose Bowl, its our goal every year. We have a sign in our locker room that says, `own the Rose Bowl' so, we're very excited for this opportunity to play against a great Michigan football team.
On getting past the loss to UCLA:
It's been a couple of weeks, so I think everybody's gotten over it. Like I said about the coaches doing a good job, they've done a good job of getting everybody past that and getting us focused on the task at hand.
2007 Rose Bowl Quotes
Michigan Offense Press Conference
December 29, 2006
Michigan Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord
Number one, we're excited to be here. I think the reason we are here is because of our players. From an offensive stand point, the guys that are up at this table with me are great people, great leaders. They really have taken this offense over and demanded of the younger guys, and again, we're looking forward to our game against USC. We're going to be playing against a great defense and we look forward to those challenges.
On long break between games:
I think we've had that the entire season and that's because of their character and their leadership that they have and I think that hasn't changed from the end of the season until now. Everything that these guys have done, starting back in January when they started the off season conditioning program and everything, they have had great leadership and these ere the guys that have done it. We really haven't worried about that as coaches because of these guys' leadership.
On the USC offense:
Number one, I think it starts with their players. They're very skilled, they're fast, they're tough, and it starts with them. Their scheme is excellent. They do a great job of having a short side of the field pressure, as well as the wide side of the field pressure scheme, and then they also have an internal pressure scheme where they'll bring the linebacker or free safety up the middle. They create problems for you all over the field with their pressure and that's one thing we're going to have to do on offense is do a great job of getting into the right plays against those pressures and then being able to block them assignment wise.
On offensive balance:
I think when you look at the way we've gone into playing, I would say, the great defenses we've face this year, when we've played those teams we really have been basically 50-50 early in the game run and pass. Trying to mix it up as much as we can on first and second down. Trying to keep them off balance a little bit, and also trying to start the wear-down process. I don't think you can go in against a great defense and be one-dimensional. I don't think you can go in and just run it, I don't think you can go in and just throw it all the time. So we've got to be 50-50 and that's the way we've got to start the game and go from there.
On if they looked at the film from the 2004 Rose Bowl vs. USC:
We went back and looked at what we did. We have different schemes now than what we had then but you do want to go back and see how they attacked us and see how much they've changed, so yes, we did that.
On why USC was effective on defense in the 2004 Rose Bowl:
It started with they had great personnel on defense. They had some new things for our offense at that time blitz-wise that we hadn't seen in the past, so sometimes that creates a problem as well. We've practiced against everything now. This is a very multi-schemed defense. This is more multi-schemed than what we've faced the entire year, so what we've been trying to do is practice against all of it. We've tried to be very organized and take a little bit at a time and go through it. I think anytime when you get in a big game like this, we're going to make some plays, they're going to make some plays and you just hope you make more than they make.
On what distinguishes USC`s defense:
They have a lot of different fronts, a lot more than what we have faced from teams. Usually a team will play maybe a couple fronts and bring everything off of those two fronts. They play multiple fronts. I mean every front that you could imagine, they have in their scheme, and they bring all these pressures out of those fronts. So it changes up your assignments and things like that. What we've tried to do is simplify things in the way we want to attack, but yet we still want to get in the right play, so it will put pressure on Chad (Henne) that way.
On how USC built their defense:
I think what they've done going back in the past is they started with a base. What they've done with Coach Carroll being there, and I think being involved in the defense very heavily, is they started with that foundation and then they've just progressed from that adding things. So it's been something they started with and now they're to this point where they've got multiple things.
On USC`s linebackers:
They are great players. They've got great speed. They'll play three linebackers and they also play Cushing as an outside backer who will rush in and drop so they're really playing multiple forms where sometimes they have a three linebacker set or a four linebacker set depending onwhat they do with him. So, very talented, great size, great speed, it's a great combination.
On if the receiving corps is healthy:
Yes, and we had Mario (Manningham) out for part of the season and we had to adjust a little bit, and now that he's back we're at full strength. Any time you're at full strength you're a better football team. We're a better football team now because of our health, so when you have those guys you just have more guys that can make plays and more ways to attack.
On how the receivers work together:
Steve Breaston is a guy that has great quickness and a guy that we've used underneath the coverage a lot. Whereas Mario (Manningham) has got great speed to get down the field and we've pushed him down the field more. And Adrian Arrington we've done a little bit of both with. So we're trying to put guys in the right spots into our formations and trying to use their talent thatway.
On the development of Michigan`s Chad Henne:
First I think Scot Loeffler our quarterbacks coach has done an outstanding job teaching him football, and football is so complicated today that that is a credit to Scot and Chad (Henne). But we do now, because of Chad's experience and knowledge, we put a lot of either/ors on him. It doesn't mean that you're going to have great plays every time, but what it does is it reduces the chance of bad plays. And that's really what we're looking for when we're trying to get into thebest play possible, we're trying to get into a play that we have the best chance at success with.
On who has improved most during bowl preparation:
Brandon Minor has played, but Brandon Minor I think has really improved through the bowl preparation. Offensive line-wise I think Justin Schifano has really improved through the bowl preparation. I think there's a lot of guys who have improved, and they should improve because of these opportunities. Greg Mathews has played this year but the bowl preparation has helped him.
On USC`s defensive schemes: On the long layoff: LT, Jake Long On Michigan's Mike Hart: On USC's Lawrence Jackson: On winning his first bowl game: On being part of the Rose Bowl tradition: WR, Steve Breaston On the Texas game: On playing USC: On his career at Michigan: On losing to Ohio State: On the motivation to finish the season with a win: On his role this season: RB, Mike Hart On keeping sharp in the off time between games: The fact that we compete everyday. I mean, we've got a great defense ourselves, so going against them everyday, that's enough right there to keep your game sharp. So we go against them and their scheme, even though its not the same that USC will do on the field, that gets us ready for game speed, even though its not all the way up there at full game speed, but it's as close as its going to get so that's all you can do. On the importance this game has on next season: On preparing for the game: On if he feels he's accomplished all he wants: QB, Chad Henne On being in the Rose Bowl: On his leadership role: On USC's defense:
On the excitement for the game:
We've very excited to be here. This is the best bowl there is, and we're playing the best team over the past five years. If you can't get excited for this game, I don't think you should be playing football. It's a tremendous match-up, it's the best bowl in southern California and L.A.,what's better than that? So it wasn't very hard for us.
We've faced a lot of teams that have brought pressures from all around. But I really can't compare them to anybody because they run things that I really haven't seen yet this year. They run a `Bear' type defense on normal downs. It's where they cover all the inside linemen with the defensive linemen. It's something we haven't seen on a normal down this year. It's usually like a shortyardage/goal line defense and they run it in their regular package. It should be a challenge.
It's nice in the beginning because you get healed up a little bit. But it was hard at first to get back out there but we've been practicing for six weeks now. I think all the rustiness we had has wornoff and now we're healthy and we're ready to go.
On if they watched film from the last Rose Bowl vs. USC:
We went back and watched the sacks we gave up that year because we gave up like eight or nine sacks. They still run some of the same blitzes that they sacked us on that time, so we went back a couple times and watched those plays, but really it's been the coaches, we watch film mostly from this year.
He's just a great guy to be around. Every day you see him in the locker room and you know you can go up and talk to him and laugh with him. He's a caring, passionate guy, and then on the football field you see him every week doing the things he does. But we see him every day, thethings he goes through, the moves he makes, the blocks he does. He's just a great overall person and a great friend to everyone on the team. When he`s excited and when he`s talking and being all hyper, that`s when everybody on the offense and the whole team really feeds off that and it just gets going.
He's a great player. Watching on film, he's a big guy and he's thrown around some guys. He's great in the run game but I think his best quality is the pass rush. He's fast, he's got lots of moves. It's going to be a lot of fun going up against him. When you turn on the tape and watch USC, their D-line definitely catches your eye. Jackson is probably the best defensive end I'm probably going to face all year. And then their nose tackle is amazing, he's quick and powerful. They've definitely got talented guys up front.
I haven't won a bowl game since I've been here. A lot of the guys haven't won one. We don't know what it's like to experience that. We've really just been down to business when we have to be. We've had a lot of fun and good times but we've really buckled down. We want to do everything we can to come away with a win. We want to prove that we can finish a season.
I grew up in Michigan about an hour away. Big Michigan fan. Watching Rose Bowls and seeing all the tradition and all the fun and everything that goes along with it. It's a true honor to play in this game and to be here representing Michigan. We're just really staying focused and want to come out and play and win.
On being in the Rose Bowl:
It's just the excitement. It's on January 1st, playing on New Years, it's just a great game to play in. You get pumped up, more than any other game, just ready to go out there and compete against one of the best teams in the nation. You just want to go out there, get some competition, and show them what you got.
I don't really think back on it. I did some great things in that game, and my whole thing is can I repeat it? That's what I work for every day, just to repeat a performance like that. I think I can. This is my last game to try and do that in college, so I'm going to go out there and try my hardest, and hope to repeat that, or even better.
Like I said, they're a great football team. We played them earlier when I was a sophomore, and they had tremendous talent and good players, and this is another team that reminds me of the team we played before. We just want to go out there and compete with the best.
I had some ups and downs, and there'll be up's and down's no matter where you go. But through it all, I'm happy. I accomplished some things at Michigan that no one has ever accomplished, and I'm happy with it and I just hope to end it with a win. It will be really emotional, but you want to control all that, let it all go, and at the end, just sit back and think about it. I've been here for what seems like forever, but it went by so fast, and when it's all done, then I'll think about it. I'm just going to go out there, enjoy it, enjoy it with my team and a win would be appreciated. To go out there and get a win, it'd probably be one of the best moments in my football career.
It didn't take long. I think we knew we had a chance when USC did lose, we thought we were going to be in it, but then when we heard, we were disappointed but we knew we were going to play a great team. When you think about it USC was the No. 2 team in the nation before they lost to UCLA, so they're still a great team. We had disappointment, but the team we are, we just moved on. We knew that if we'd just won that Ohio State game, we'd have been in that championship, so when we lost that game, it wasn't really in our control. We let the computers take over, and they didn't pick us, so we've got to move on.
I think that's a motivation. You want to be one of those teams. We want to finish 12-and-1, we're a great team, regardless of how you see it and if we are to get this win, we'll be one of the greatest teams ever to play at Michigan. I think a lot of people see that we still have a chance to do great things.
I think I've played a good role on this team. At the beginning of the year, my whole thing was to make plays the coaches give me. I was able to get first downs when we needed first downs, I made key plays on our returning game, so I think I did a good job of playing my role this year.
On Head Coach, Lloyd Carr:
He's a funny guy. You guys always see this straight up Lloyd, but he's a good guy. He's a funny guy. He makes jokes, the jokes aren't always that funny, but he makes jokes. He's just laid back. He cares about his players and he lets you know what things need to be done, and he's just really passionate about the game.
It's always hard. Getting four or five weeks to prepare for one team, you don't need that much time to prepare for one game. It's really hard because there is only so much you can do, so much game planning you can do. You don't want to over game plan, you don't want to think too much, and that tends to happen at times. You don't get the full contact that you get in the game, you get hit in practice, but it's never at full speed like it is in the game. I think in the game, you'll just get used to it.
Look at the last couple of years. USC and Michigan (2004 Rose Bowl), it was a huge game, and USC won, and look at where they were the next year. They were a top 10 team in the nation and went on to win a championship. Look at Texas, they came in, and were a top 10 in the country the next year after that. It's a huge game and everyone knows, it's probably the biggest bowl game for next year and everyone knows that. It's a huge game, finish the year out strong, and get your team ready for next year. I think this is a learning experience, you know what you have to do to get ready next year because you know what kind of team they're going to have if you want to face them again. Win or lose, it's a learning experience and you have to get ready for the next season now.
I think you have to go into every game like it's a championship game, especially this one. As good as a team USC is, as good as a team that we are, we both could be in the national championship. We're both championship caliber teams, so we have to prepare like it were the championship game.
Not at all, I haven't won a Rose Bowl yet, I haven't beat Ohio State yet, I haven't won a national championship yet. There are a lot of things that you can do to improve yourself, and I have a lot of things to do.
On having a long break between games:
Well, definitely we've been practicing for the last six weeks, and of course coming back from Thanksgiving was tough because we were off for a week and just a week can throw you off. But we've been practicing for so long now that rhythm and timing is on target right now and we're pretty much set for the game.
There is so much tradition that comes with being in the Rose Bowl. I think we're the two teams that have been to the Rose Bowl the most. It's another bonding experience for our team to come together, focus together, and play together.
Definitely, the first two years was more of a physical, going out there doing tasks physically, but now its more vocal. Quarterback means having both attributes as a leader, and I really developed that through the off season and definitely this season, stepping up in times when our offense needed a boost and pick up. So definitely I've been trying to take a hold of that and encouraging our players to play better. I'm really kind of calm and collective, and I've had to work into that (being vocal) and coach has definitely helped me through that process.
Every player on their defense is really talented. The thing that really makes them is their coaching and their multiple coverages that they give us and pressures. They throw so much at you in a year, you watch the 12, 13 games they've played this year, they've got different game plans for each game, so you're kind of picking out what offense is our offense for who they've played. We've been watching every game pretty much and just picking out bits and pieces of what they'll face against us, so it's definitely been a process. I'm sure they're going to throw three or four wrinkles in there, They had four weeks, we've had six weeks, so we're definitely going to have some different things for them. We'll play it out. They definitely have a great defensive front, and their linebackers run well. First off we're going to have to establish a run game and then protect me in the pocket, that will be our biggest concern.
On USC`s defensive schemes:
On the long layoff:
LT, Jake Long
On Michigan's Mike Hart:
On USC's Lawrence Jackson:
On winning his first bowl game:
On being part of the Rose Bowl tradition:
WR, Steve Breaston
On the Texas game:
On playing USC:
On his career at Michigan:
On losing to Ohio State:
On the motivation to finish the season with a win:
On his role this season:
RB, Mike Hart
On keeping sharp in the off time between games:
The fact that we compete everyday. I mean, we've got a great defense ourselves, so going against them everyday, that's enough right there to keep your game sharp. So we go against them and their scheme, even though its not the same that USC will do on the field, that gets us ready for game speed, even though its not all the way up there at full game speed, but it's as close as its going to get so that's all you can do.
On the importance this game has on next season:
On preparing for the game:
On if he feels he's accomplished all he wants:
QB, Chad Henne
On being in the Rose Bowl:
On his leadership role:
On USC's defense: