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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 21, 2014


Kurtis Drummond

Travis Jackson

Jeremy Langford


Q.  What do you expect to see from Michigan in this game offensively?  Do you think Devin Gardner may be used more than a running threat than he was against you last year when they mostly kept him in the pocket for tailback run play action?
KURTIS DRUMMOND:  They have a great quarterback and great athlete in Devin.  I would envision them using Devin to all his strengths, just trying to get him out of the pocket more, maybe throwing the ball down field more.  But they'll work on their game plan, and we'll be ready for whatever they're trying to do.

Q.  Guys, I'm sure you've talked about it with yourselves and amongst each other Michigan week.  How different is this week for you as you prepare and what do you do as players internally to make sure the energy is where it needs to be throughout the entire week?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  Yeah, Michigan's a big week for us.  Definitely Coach D has definitely put an emphasis on Michigan week.  It's kind of a battle for the state, so that's a big deal to us, especially being seniors up here and being our last time playing them, it's really special for us.
You could kind of throw records out the window in this game.¬† You kind of go out there and it's a slobber‑knocker of a game, and that's how it's been for a long time and that's the way we like it.

Q.  Two years ago when you guys were in the building and the case was empty, what was that feeling like knowing that you had it here, you liked it here for a few years and then it was gone.  Do you look back to those feelings to draw emotion?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  Yeah, you wanted to win the game, and you lost it in a close game.  At the same time you know you've got to play harder.  Come out to win and play harder, and not take too much of a loss to it until you get it back, work hard to get it.

Q.  You guys have handled Michigan pretty well lately, and yet there still seems to be this edge, and obviously the game is so important.  The word that keeps coming up is personal.  Why do you take this game so personally, for any of the three or all of the three?
KURTIS DRUMMOND:  I think any rivalry game you're going to take it personal.  This rivalry game, like Travis said, it's about battle for the state.  Each year is a good game.  Both teams come out and playing hard, a lot of emotion.  Regardless where the game is, the atmosphere is always crazy.  So it's more so just a battle of the state.  We're playing for not only ourselves but past Spartans and future Spartans to come.  It just comes down to when you get out on the field, you really understand why the game has so much intensity behind it.

Q.  I'm wondering how and why a kid from new Albany, Ohio Got engaged in this rivalry and when the light went on for you in this?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  You know, I came up here and as soon as I met with Coach D in the summer of my junior year I knew I wanted to come here.  As soon as you come here you're all in, and Coach D talks about being all in.  You really don't understand the Michigan rivalry until you're a mart of it and you play in the game.
Like you said, when you step on the field, the intensity is up there.¬† When you come to a big‑time college football program, these are the games you love to play in because it has so much history to it.¬† It just has so much behind it that makes it so special.

Q.  (No microphone)?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  Yeah, you just step on the field, and like I said, it's a battle for the state.  There's just so much at stake.  It's one of those games that you can throw the records out the window.  It's one of those games where you come out and both teams play so hard.  It's the epitome of college football.  You really enjoy being part of games like that.

Q.  Kurtis, obviously last year there was a lot of talk about the minus 48 yards rushing and all of that.  As a defense, do you guys use that as almost like a benchmark like that's what we want to do again?  Had you guys talked about it at all this week?
KURTIS DRUMMOND:  No, that's not something we talk about.  We understand it's a new year and a new team.  What we did last year means nothing this year.  We have the same goals every week.  We want offenses to be held under, and what we want to allow or give up as a defense.  So this week I think everyone will come ready to play and everybody will be excited for practice.  But there's no talk about last year.

Q.  Speaking of goals, for Travis and Jeremy, do you guys have any goals for what you want to do on the offensive side of the ball?  Kurtis, you said there is a goal on how many points you want to hold them under.  What is that goal for this game?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  I think if you look at the past games, the team that rushes the most wins the game.  That's going to be very important to get our rushing game going.  So that's definitely something we're going to focus on this week.  Their front seven is very physical.  They play really fast.  We just watched film on them on Sunday night and yesterday, so they're going to come ready to play, and that's going to be a difficult task for us.  But we need to get the run game going and have it be consistent through all four quarters.
JEREMY LANGFORD:  What Travis said, we talk about wins, the line of scrimmage has a better chance of winning this game and does what we have to continue to do to get the ball the last couple of weeks.
KURTIS DRUMMOND:  Our goal every week is 17 points or less.  We feel like we have an explosive offense enough to be able to put up more points tonight.  That's just the goal we setback since I've been here.  So that's just been our goal.

Q.  Michigan hasn't scored a touchdown on you guys since 2011.  Is that something you guys have talked about as a defense, to hold them to not score a touchdown again?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  As a defense, you don't want anybody to score a touchdown on you regardless who you're playing.  Like I said, we haven't talked about last year because last year does nothing for us this year.  So the guys on the team understand that they're going to have to come ready to work this week and bring their emotion and be able to bottle it up no matter what on Saturday.

Q.  As a guy from a state who has been in this rivalry and seen this rivalry up close, what does this week mean to you personally?  Looking back at that 2012 game, especially a guy like Chris Norman who was a senior and losing that last game, what did you see in that and how it impacted those guys?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  It hurt last year playing them when you don't get the victory that you want.  That is something I want for our seniors this year.  I know we have to continue to play hard and play physical.  It's really getting freshmen ready for how the atmosphere's going to be, because you know it's going to be a physical game, the crowd is going to be loud, and we've just got to get the freshmen ready to help us on the field.

Q.  (No microphone)?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  Personally, you just want to win.  You want to win every game.  This game has a little more emphasis on it.  It's about the state of Michigan and not to worry about anybody talking bad about you because we did what we had to do.

Q.  Travis or any of you, the Paul Bunyan Trophy has to be the ugliest trophy in all of sports.  How beautiful is it when it's in your locker room and you're talking it around?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  I think Paul Bunyan's a beautiful man, so I'll pass that question on.
KURTIS DRUMMOND:  When you see him in the locker room, you see guys paying more attention.  It kind of raises more awareness, raises more enthusiasm throughout the locker room when you see a trophy like that in the locker room.  It kind of brings more of an edge to you on the practice field.

Q.  Travis or Jeremy, you talked about the running game getting going and how important that is in the game.  The last two weeks how much success you've had then, having a couple more guys involved, does that step things up for this week a little bit?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  Yeah, the offensive line has done a great job up front and keeping people healthy, so they open up a big hole.  So the rest of the running backs have to deliver behind the offensive line, they'll do a great job.
TRAVIS JACKSON:  I think as an offensive linemen you have three guys back there running as hard as they do, and it definitely motivates you to block for them.  And they're led by Jeremy, and Nick Hill and Williams and those guys just run so hard, it's a pleasure to block for guys like that.

Q.  Jeremy, when you were just getting here is right when the rivalry was starting to turn around a little bit.  But when you were growing up and at John Glenn, was it always a lot more Michigan than Michigan State?
JEREMY LANGFORD:  Yeah, when I go back now, it's still a lot of Michigan fans that I never really paid attention to or even knew.  In high school I didn't really pay attention to the rivalry as much as I do now as I got older.  But now I realize you feel a lot better when you go home and you just beat Michigan and the fans and the people that support them are looking at you.

Q.  Travis, I think what everyone wants to know is a year ago at this time we saw your now famous chant or jump or whatever it was you were doing.  Do you have anything new planned for this year?
TRAVIS JACKSON:  No, I think I hit my peak in that regard, so I'm kind of backing out of the game now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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