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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


November 6, 2012


Andrew Maxwell


Q.  Coach was talking earlier about the film review of this game.  I know you've had a lot of close losses this year, but I assume this is a little more painful than others.  Can you talk about what that was like, and have you put this one behind you?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Obviously, it's heartbreaking, and it's heartbreaking because we did have so many opportunities to really close it out and put it away on both sides of the ball.  I know a lot got made about the officials.  But we have opportunities to close it out and really not leave it up to a call here or there.  We could have done our part.
As an offense, we could have grinded out a couple first downs when we had the ball there with three minutes left and really put the thing away.  So we've watched the film yesterday morning and you learn from it.  I think it was Vince Lombardi that said, Once mistakes and setbacks have served the purpose of teaching and you learn from them, you have to move on.
So I think you have to move past it and look forward to the next challenge.

Q.¬† You're a pretty level‑headed guy, and football is part of your life but not your whole life.¬† Have you made any sense of this crazy season yet?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† Well, there's a reason for it.¬† Being a Christian I believe that God truly does have a plan.¬† This is part of it, and being 5‑5 is not what we wanted to happen, but we're going to be stronger because of it.¬† There are lessons we can learn from every single one of these games.¬† When those lessons are going to be applied and when that's going to come to light, I don't know.¬† I don't know that any of us do know.¬† The important thing is to stay positive and keep staying the course.

Q.  Along those lines, Coach Dantonio said that he sees a benefit in sports psychologists and that is something that's helped players on this team.  Is that something you've seen benefit certain players when you've had as many heartbreaking losses and difficult moments?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Yeah, we have a great sports psychologist in Lionel Rosen.  So I've met with him numerous times.  I know a lot of players on our team have met with him numerous times.  He just brings a different perspective, because he's not in the program every day and he's able to look at it from an outside perspective and a more cerebral perspective and put things in a way you've never thought about before.
But when you have to sit down with him and have a conversation, it makes a lot of sense.  So that's something I've benefited from and I know a lot of guys on our team have also.

Q.  You also seemed to throw the ball a lot better.  How do you feel you did, and how do you feel you've progressed throughout the year?  You seem significantly more comfortable week to week?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† Yeah, you look at the stat line and see 9‑27 and those numbers don't exactly blow your socks off.¬† But I thought our passing game and I thought I played better than 9‑27 shows.¬† I thought we made strides in the passing game.¬† I think that helps first and foremost because we ran the ball a lot more effectively than we had.¬† We had all five of our linemen practice the full week in their spots, so that kind of helped them get comfortable and get on a roll.¬† So not only did they run‑block great, but the pass protection I thought was one of the best games that we've had.
As far as that sampling goes, no sacks, only got hit once or twice.  So that helps with your confidence as a quarterback when you're moving the football, so the defense is a little bit more on their heels and the offensive line is protecting as well as they are, it makes it easier to be confident and stand and throw the ball.

Q.  When you talk about there being a plan, do you have any idea what it is at this point?  Do you say whatever it is, we've got the message and we can stop any time now?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† A grand plan?¬† I don't really know exactly what it is.¬† I don't think‑‑ obviously, that's not for me to know right now.¬† That's where faith comes in.¬† Faith is believing in things not seen, so I'm going to keep the faith.¬† I know a lot of guys on this team who share the same faith as I do are going to keep believing and keep steadfast and keep faithful in that.

Q.  In the scramble you said there was some opportunity against Nebraska.  You saw that going in.  Is that a dimension you think will be in your game for all opponents now?  Because I think a couple of those scrambles proved clutch and key.
ANDREW MAXWELL:  Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt.  It's something that I think I should continue to work on and continue to develop as part of my game.  Because that being part of the game doesn't take away, I don't think, from any part of the game that I have already.
So the only thing you can do is progress it.  Even talking with Coach Narduzzi, and he just kind of reinstated to me the importance and what that does to a defensive staff and when they see even two or three times on film where a quarterback takes off and runs, it may seem insignificant.  It may seem a little bit two or three plays, but he just told me that the weight that can carry in a defensive game plan.  So that is something that I'll continue to work on.
It hasn't become all that natural or second nature to me.  But with practice and keep working on it, I think it can be productive for me.

Q.  Nebraska came in and I think they allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete less than 50% of their passes.  What is it about Nebraska's scheme that makes them so difficult to get a high percentage of completions against?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think they're extremely smart players.  Their linebackers and secondary in pass coverage.  They play a lot of man coverage and they do so very intelligently.  They pass a lot of things off well.  They've recognized route concepts soon and they're aggressive.  I think the combination of those things makes it hard for an offense to be productive and complete a lot of passes and do very well.

Q.  Other than the Wisconsin game, the look on coach's face is a constant frown.  Does the team ever have to pick a coach up who takes this all personally?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think a coach can feed off his players just like the players can feed off the coach.  That comes with the territory of being a family and being a team.  If he sees us being positive and he sees us keeping forward, he's going to do that as well.
That may be the look on Saturday on the sidelines.  But during the week, Coach D has done a great job of putting the last game behind them and really keeping our focus.  Because players can have a tendency to fall back into a rut and get discouraged and disappointed.  He's done a great job of pulling us along and making sure we're staying focused on the task at hand.
Even though on Saturdays, it may look a little disappointing because for a couple of weeks it has been.  Throughout the week he's been positive and keeps pushing us in a forward direction.

Q.  What do you hope to take out of the bye week personally?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I think it's a good week to recharge your batteries and just to take a step back and take a breath from everything, get healthy, because the season, ten weeks into it you get some bumps and bruises.  So it's going to be a good week to get healthy.  Having an extra week to prepare for an opponent going into the game that next week, you're not going to have any excuses to be underprepared.
So any time you get an extra week to cross all your T's, and dot all your I's, that is something that you've got to take advantage of.

Q. ¬†In that 3rd and 6, that was a run‑pass option on that play; is that right?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  The one that we ran it on?  It was, yeah.  It was.  We had a run play, but we also had the two receivers running the bubble route to the outside.  I know there was an instance where they were in man coverage, and your bubble route isn't going to be any good against man coverage.
So your better chance is going to be pouring into a seven‑man box as opposed to trying to go two on two on the outside when you're running the bubble route.

Q.  Coach D always talks about how resilient young people can be.  How difficult though has it been to try to get back up after getting knocked down in so many close game this is year?
ANDREW MAXWELL:¬† I think it's the mark of a tough team.¬† That's if you want to be a championship‑caliber team and you want to be all the things that we say we want to be, we want to be tough, unified and have good character, that's something we have to do.¬† We have to roll with the punches and keep moving on no matter what happens.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  I opened up the polls at Adams Elementary.  Not officially, but I was there at 6:45.  First experience voting.  I felt pretty American.  First time ever voting, because I was 17 in the last presidential election.  First time voting ever.

Q.  Did it feel good?
ANDREW MAXWELL:  It did feel good.  I don't think enough gets made of the privilege that we have in this country of having that right and having a democracy.  Because if you think about it how rare of a thing that is and how many countries don't have this opportunity to truly be able to have a voice and have your pick of the direction of this country.  It's something that's unique, and I think it's pretty cool to be a part of.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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