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September 6, 2014

Brady Hoke


THE MODERATOR:  We'll go ahead and get started with Brady Hoke.
We'll start with an opening statement.
BRADY HOKE:  Obviously, Notre Dame played a very good football game and we didn't.  And you got to give them a lot of credit.  A lot of credit to what they did on third downs, either defending us or their third down opportunities that they converted on.
We have got to go back to work, and we will as a team.  You don't want to have four turnovers in a game.  That doesn't help you.
The red zone, we didn't help ourself in there.
From the penalty side, we put ourselves behind the sticks a little bit, offensively.  And again, you got to give them a lot of the credit, too.
But, we will bounce back, because this is a very resilient, hard working group of young men who know what it takes to win.

Q.  After Gardner started fairly quickly, I think 6‑6 and then ‑‑ did they bring more pressure, did your offensive line struggle?  What sort of fell apart after that?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, I think a little bit.  It's never one guy, it's never one piece of the offensive line, or the quarterback, or the routes, or whatever.  When those things happen, it happens as a team.
He started 6‑6.  I think we got to give them ‑‑ we crossed the 50, and they were going to bring more pressure.  And that's what they did.

Q.  Can you talk about Ray Taylor, any status up date?
BRADY HOKE:  I'm not going to talk about any of those injuries.  Number one, I don't know enough about them.

Q.  Jabrill, he dressed, but could he have played?
BRADY HOKE:  If he could have played, we would have played him.  We evaluated all those guys before the game.

Q.  But then you dressed him, just to ‑‑
BRADY HOKE:  No, he went out because we were evaluating him before the game.

Q.  You said you're pretty confident this team will bounce back.  How do they bounce back from such a humbling loss here?
BRADY HOKE:  Yeah, it is.  But, I think they have all been humbled some time in their life.  I think that is part of the resiliency this group has.

Q.  Your guys were pretty adamant about how bad they wanted this because it was going to possibly be the last meeting.  Were you surprised at how lopsided this ended up being?
BRADY HOKE:  This game?  Yeah.

Q.  You talked about Devin.  Did you ever consider pulling him at any point?
BRADY HOKE:  No.  No, he's our quarter back.  Unless he somehow doesn't come to work every day, doesn't come to learn, all those things, he's our quarterback.  And we wanted to put points on the board.

Q.  Did it feel like he slipped into some of those habits maybe he had last year with holding onto the ball?
BRADY HOKE:  Well I think, obviously ‑‑ I don't think he slipped into all those habits.  I think he's a better quarterback.  I know he is.  He's a better quarterback than he demonstrated today.

Q.  You talked about this team will bounce back.  But, does it need something different?  Does it need some changes from you as the head coach, something, either personnel‑wise or anything like that?  I know in the immediate aftermath it's hard to know, but what about that?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, I think that is hard to know.  I think when you evaluate it, and we'll evaluate it on the bus on the way home, how guys played, who didn't play well, who played well.
Because there were some guys who played pretty well.  Jake Ryan, I thought he played a pretty good football game.  You could feel him out there.
Jack Miller did some good things.  When you watch that, you know, the bad part was we good shots behind the sticks too many times and got out of rhythm offensively, because we were running the ball halfway decent.
That was encouraging to see.  But then, obviously, I think halftime it was, it turned into a game we needed to throw it a little more.

Q.  Everett Golson is a guy who didn't make it out of the first half the last time you faced him.  He was considerably better tonight.  What are the biggest differences you've seen in him, going against him?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, I think they also use him well.  I think Brian does a good job.  There's a lot of three step game in it, a lot of slants.
I think that he's matured.  I think I said that this week coming in, he's a much better quarterback than he was two years ago.  Just watching the Rice game, I would say the same thing after watching our game.

Q.  You shuffled the secondary a lot?
BRADY HOKE:  Some of that was because of injuries.

Q.  But even you took out Blake at one point.  What did you see there that you didn't particularly like?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, we have played a lot of guys back there in the past.  Stribling, we wanted to get him some live reps in there.
Sometimes you take a guy out, and he gets a chance to watch from the sidelines a little bit, and maybe picks up a few things.
We didn't play well in man coverage.  You get called for two interference calls, and we got to play smarter, early, and then the guys are a little bit‑‑ get a little bit worried about playing press.

Q.  This is I believe 0‑4 against the big three rivals on the road the last 4 years.  What is this team missing to get over the hump?
BRADY HOKE:  Winning.

Q.  What do you need to do?
BRADY HOKE:  You win the game.  You play, you don't turn over the ball.  You don't give up big plays.

Q.  Is this a mental thing at this point or what do you guys do?
BRADY HOKE:  You will talk about it enough into it being a mental thing.  I don't think it's a mental thing.

Q.  What do you think it is?
BRADY HOKE:  Just what I said.  Can't give up big play, can't turn the ball over.

Q.  When the game is that far out of reach, Gardner often puts his body in positions where he takes hits.  He took hits in the fourth quarter.  Why were you playing him at that point?
BRADY HOKE:  Because he's our quarterback.  He's a quarterback.  We're going to play some other really big games on the road this year, and for him to keep improving, he needs to play quarterback.

Q.  Is it a huge risk, he took a hit in the last play?
BRADY HOKE:  Yeah, anything's a risk.  To me, the risk was starting him, maybe.  I mean, I don't know.  We're trying to develop a team.

Q.  You might have touched on this a little bit already, but what specifically was your message to the team after the game?
BRADY HOKE:  After the game?  Number one, give Notre Dame credit for how they played.  It was a total butt kicking all the way around that we all took.  Going back to work tomorrow as a team like they will.  We have got to get a lot better.  I think we learned some things, that we got to get better at.

Q.  It looked like your quarterback was under pressure a lot, and their quarterback wasn't under pressure a lot.  Is there a disparity in the trenches or was that scheme?
BRADY HOKE:  I don't know.  I don't know about that.  He had to run enough.  He did a good job of evading a lot of rush.
And so, I think there was pressure there, and then it sometimes is hard to get pressure on three step game.

Q.  You mentioned you feel like this team will bounce back.  Adversity‑wise with a young team, do you worry though that mentally if they get off track?
BRADY HOKE:  I really don't.  Not with this team.

Q.  Why not?
BRADY HOKE:  Because of what we have seen everyday from them.  From their work ethic, for how they care about each other, all those things.

Q.  Devin took a good shot at the end.  Is he okay?  Gardner?
BRADY HOKE:  Like I said, I'll talk about those injuries when I know more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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