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October 21, 2014

Matt Limegrover

Q.  You guys used a lot of different receivers, what did you do to get them motivated and involved, spread out?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  I think all of the above.  There's no doubt that the more we can get those guys involved the harder they're going to play.  And they're starting to figure out that the better we run the ball, the better they do their job on the perimeter and blocking and running.  Good routes, maybe even when we're not particularly targeting them throwing the football, that that ball is going to start finds go them a little more.  The great example is KJ May, he's been battling his tailend off all year, blocking, trying to do all the little things we asked him to do and he benefits because now we're able to find him on a route.  That's some good, positive momentum we have going with that group right now.

Q.  Coming into fall camp I know developing a fullback was a big area for you guys.  How do you feel now with the lead Miles has made?  Are you getting to the point you're able to do a lot of things you were able to do with Mike last year?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Absolutely.  It's interesting you bring that up.  If you listen to Coach Kill over the last couple of years when he talks about junior college kids, he'll talk about guys that game four or five of the first season is about when they start really settling in, even if they've been here for spring, it's just a process.  And right about the time we hit Michigan, we started to really notice a difference in Miles, that dependability, being able to go out and doing the things we were asking him.  And looking comfortable, not being a fish out of water.
That's been a really, really nice ‑‑ I don't want to say surprise, but it's been an added bonus for sure, to have him at the point he is game 6, game 7 in the season and feeling as comfortable and playing as well as he has.

Q.  How big a lift for your whole offensive unit to have a game like that, where the defense, maybe didn't have its best game, but you really needed a big number and then drive after drive they delivered?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Yeah, you know what, I think ‑‑ I don't think there's any doubt, because we kind of knew at some point that it was going to have to be us stepping front and center.  And didn't know when it was going to be, didn't have any idea.  We talked about that.  We said there's going to come a time where this thing is going to get put on our backs and we need to be ready.  It just so happened it presented itself on Saturday.  I give a ton of credit to our defense.  The turnaround the first half and the second half and there at the end of the game.  And for us to be able to say, okay, we've got some work to do, it's our turn to step to the forefront and pick up the defense a little bit and do our part.  I think the kids felt a lot of satisfaction in that.  I think there was a lot of positive energy that came out of that situation.

Q.  Coach was calling Saturday the best game from your offensive line.  You're probably your group's biggest critic.  What did you feel?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  I'm not going to go against the head coach.  But here's the problem.  One thing you need to understand when you're an offensive line coach, you never have a good day.  There's never a day when all five of those guys do everything right every play.  I'm a perfectionist, those guys know it.  We win a game and I go into the film room, and if you're an outsider, you'd think we lost by 30.
But that's where ‑‑ we're not where we need to be.  They know it.  I know it.  We're getting closer.  I love the way they're competing.  They come to work every day.  They're going to come today and I know they're going to come ready and to get better.  For those group all playing well at the same time it's like trying to herd cats.  It's hard to do.  You try to get as many as you can for as long as you can playing well, and we're doing.

Q.  Have you got a true No. 3 in quarterback, and can you talk about him?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Well, I don't know, do you know something I don't know?  That we need to be ready with the No. 3.  I think jock fairly really has separated himself in that group.  He's an interesting case, walk on kid from here at Roseville.  He came over and spent a lot of time in the spring when he was still finishing up high school, came over to spring practice.
Really over the course of the summer did a lot of work on his own.  And that's really benefited him.  Benefited him in a lot of ways, from the standpoint of he isn't a fish out of water when he steps into that huddle and he's called on to jump in there.  There's a real confidence about him.  And he's a pretty darned good player, too.  He's been able to separate himself as far as that No. 3 goes.

Q.  What does a play like the one KJ made do for him?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Well, you know, like I said, the thing about KJ is he's ‑‑ I said it last year, he's such an energy kid.  He brings such positive energy to the receiver group, to the offensive, to the whole team.
Last year he was banged up, and you could just tell he was trying, but it just was weighing on him.  Now he's healthy, he's feeling about good.  He gets it.  He understands my opportunities are going to be there and I have to take advantage of them.  And I think Saturday was a great example of that.
We had talked all week about he needed to run the route at a certain yardage.  He needed to get where he needed to be with great tempo.  And he did those two things.  And we with were able to hit him.  The joke was he wasn't going to be held out of the end zone because he knew he might not to see the ball again.  He was going to find a way to get in the end zone.
It was great to see him get that and then to kind of step back, him, Donnell Kirkwood, those kind of guys contributing, Isaac Fruechte making a big catch, Donovan breaking free.  Those are things that kind of keep that positive momentum going and keep it building, which is where we need to be right now.

Q.  Worry when you see a guy dive for that goal and see the turnover?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  My heart stops.  I just hope the defibrillator is working up in the press box.  You just don't know.  There's a lot left up to chance when that happens.  You love his effort.  That's an enthusiasm that he brings, and he's going to find a way.  That part you really like.  The other part you just kind of hold your breath a little bit.  And when you see the official say, you breathe out, and you figure out if you're going for one or two.

Q.  David leads the nation in carries, are you going o keep your eye on as the season goes on and make sure he stays fresh?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  You know, I heard Coach Kill say he gets stronger as the game goes on.  I love his quote ‑‑ he wasn't used a whole lot his first couple of years, and there's still a lot of tread left on that tire.  He's a gamer, I think he would be disappointed if he wasn't there at a key point in time.  But you have to make sure ‑‑ the last couple of years we've run out of gas, as an offensive.  So we're also really looking at ways we can make sure that we stay strong right up until the end of November.  That's something we take a look at and say at what point is enough too much.  So that's always the thought process for us.

Q.  Right now the nation's top rushes are all in the Big‑10, including David.  What do you think the reason is for the conference not having any big rushes?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Recruiting.  I don't know.  I mean it's hard for me to say.  I get a chance to see glimpses of the other guys that are in that top group.  And I tell you, I think that the other offensive coordinators of those three schools, Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, I think they do a great job of taking great players and putting them in positions to succeed.  I think it's showing.  And I just hope David can stay in there and hang in there and continue to do what he's doing.

Q.  Rodrick hasn't had a carry in a couple of weeks.  Are you guys saving him or is there anything to that?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  It's just hard.  It's hard when you have a kid that's going like David is, and I think part of it is that David, he's so strong.  You look at him during the ballgames, he never looks exhausted.  He never looks like he needs to come out.  It's hard when you have a kid that is going the way he gets going, to say we're going to take you out and go a different direction.  That's hard right now.
It isn't anything that Rodrick necessarily has done right or wrong, per se, it's just a matter of we've got a guy that's really feeling it right now and got great chemistry and rapport with the offensive line, and the tight ends, as far as how they're playing and what they're doing and making things right.

Q.  For Donnell to give you that one drive where you gave it to him and he puts it in, how big for him?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Oh, like I said, you know, there's so much that goes on that you don't see on Saturday afternoon, that aid in your success or your failure as a football team.  And Donnell is a kid that's aided in our success, even though it hasn't shown up on the stat sheet.  Being a senior, being a guy that was put in the tough spot, the starter is no longer the starter.  It's easy to go the opposite direction.  He's never done that.  Great leader in the locker room.  Does whatever he needs to do to help us win a football game.
So it's great to get that score, obviously for the bigger picture, to help win a football game.  But it's extra special when it's a kid who you just feel so good about and he had that opportunity.  He's another one, he said, I won't get tackled, at the one, I was going to get that one in.  Everybody had a smile on their face of the bigger picture of what that signifies.

Q.  You guys have sure been at the one yard line a lot this year. 
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Yeah, and so we better be pretty good at quarterback sneak, because it's nice having a 6‑4, 230‑pound quarterback who can mash it in there.  It's hard to say.  But I think it's one of those, especially like with David Cobb, there will be guys that get tackled at the three, that he finds a way to get to the one.  There's been a couple of those where probably should have been tackled at the one and he got it in.  We'll take it.  The closer we get, the easier it is.

Q.  With David, were you pretty close to red shirting him?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Oh, boy, I have a hard time remembering plays the first half Saturday, let alone four years ago now.  I think Bennett was banged up at the time, and we had Donnell Kirkwood and really, I hate to think that I'm missing somebody in there, but we were just so thin that we said, you know what, we just can't go into a ballgame and not have the ability to be able to play a guy like David.  Coach Kill talked to him and he was okay with it.  And I'm pretty sure that's how it went.  I'm pretty hazy on that one, too.  I don't know if that's one that can make it in the article.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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