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--Speaker: Head Coach Bill Callahan On what the win means to Nebraska: ?I don?t know. I don?t know what the ramifications will be. But I can tell you about the excitement in that locker room and how proud those players are. Their hard work, their effort, their blood, sweat, and tears?we?ve been through quite a bit of adversity this year and to culminate this season with this type of victory feels very good. It feels good and it?s something we want to build on as we go into the off season.? On measuring up to Michigan? ?Well, I thought we measured up well. I looked at the match-ups and, to be quite honest with you, there were some areas that we matched up well in and some other areas that we were concerned about. I was awfully concerned about the last kick in the game. We had seven players out, on our kick off coverage. We elected to swift kick that one particular play in the last kick off and I was really concerned, we all were. We had so many guys that went down today; they went down and gave their heart and soul for this football team. I can?t say enough great things about all of those kids.? On Zac Taylor?s hits during the game? ?We don?t like to see him take hits. Like I keep indicating and pointing out, he?s a courageous young man. He stays right in there in the pocket?he?s like the eye in the hurricane. There?s flurry all around, and he stays as calm and as poised as any quarterback I?ve ever coached.? --Speaker: Running Back Cory Ross On rushing during game? ?I think our scheme was perfect for their defense. We stretched everything to make my runs. It just went well. We just had holes in there for me to find, and that?s what I did.? On being down 28-17 in the game? ?We played this season as all day fighters all year long. We played a 4th quarter game, we?re a 4th quarter team. And we showed that tonight.? On his last game? ?That game was huge, man. I wanted to have a great game and I wanted us to win. Whatever happened, I wanted to do everything I had to do in order for us to win. If that means running the football as much as I did, then I?d do it; if it means blocking, then I?d do it.? --Speaker: Strong Safety Daniel Bullocks On team focus before the game? ?We just wanted to win this game. We were calm before the game. Everyone was just relaxed and stuff, you know. We were just ready for the game. We were going to do whatever it took to win.? On momentum into next season? ?We?ve got a young team. This game is going to give us a lot of confidence and motivation for next season. We?re going to be ready.?
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--Speaker: Chad Henne On Nebraska?s defensive effort "I think just their 2 front guys really rushed up the field and broke up a lot of our plays and it was tough to get in between the tackles just to run the ball. When you don?t run the ball it?s tough to pass the ball and Nebraska did a great job with their pass rush and guys up front stopping the run." On running the ball "I think Nebraska did a great job covering our receivers and stepping up as hard as I was with their pass rush I just saw that there were open holes for me to take and you might as well get your yards with your feet rather than forcing the interception." On the last play "It?s fun just to be out there and it?s desperation pretty much. I tried to stay back there just in case somebody wanted to throw back to me and let me throw it down the field, but Jason [Avant] tried and Nebraska just kept on pressuring everybody and they had guys in the right places." On when the play was over "I think the ball definitely hit the ground when Jason threw it and we tried to advance it and make it that it didn?t hit the ground, but it already hit the ground." On how he will look back at the season "Just learn from the experiences and this was definitely a great year to learn from, just how you bounce back from defeat and just never give up and keep that mentality and understand what mistakes you did make and try to fix those mistakes for next year and definitely we don?t want to be the same team we were this year."
--Speaker: Pierre Woods On Nebraska?s comeback from an 11-point deficit "In any ball game turnovers are costly so you get a turnover and it will definitely make a change in momentum and they had their fans down in the end where the turnover was and we just didn?t execute the way we needed to ?you just try to do your job to the best of your ability and if it works out it works out?some teams are just going to make plays." On Cory Ross "He?s a small guy in stature, but he wasn?t tough to bring down. I gave our safeties and linebackers credit. They were smackin? him, he?s going to be sore. But he was doing his job. He?s a tough guy as well as their quarterback."
--Speaker:Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan The following are quotes from Bill Callahan the morning after the game. On the MasterCard Alamo Bowl win versus the Colorado victory: ?We took another step last night. Especially on the national stage with the exposure across America in terms of recruiting, it meant a lot to our program and our state. It was very important for us, and a big win.? On how the team took another step: ?It started with the additional practices in the bowl preparations. They really allowed us to improve our game ? the timing of our pass game, which is getting better. Our receivers are running better routes, the timing is good, Zac (Taylor) has a good feel and the protection is getting better. It was tough in a lot of instances last night; I was pleased overall the way we threw the football and how we competed? On seeing the running game coming on film: ?We wanted to run the football. We went into the game talking about how we wanted to run. We worked on hit hard in the bowl preparation scheme?their (Michigan?s) nickel defense allowed us to utilize the zone play a little bit more -- that was the real benefit, and Cory (Ross) took advantage of it; the linemen did a great job too.? On the game?s final play: ?It was a la Cal-Stanford. I didn?t even see the end of that play. I caught it out the side of my eye. Erin Andrews (ESPN) was talking to me about the play finishing to my right as we were talking in the middle of the field. It was a unique finish. I did see it on television last night and they (Michigan?s eight laterals in the final play) were all legitimate laterals.?
--Speaker: Head Coach Lloyd Carr On the game "I just wanted to congratulate Bill Callahan and Nebraska and say I?m extremely proud of our football team, the way they played and competed this entire year." On how the game developed "Nebraska is an outstanding defensive football team and they did some great things. Turnovers were really monumental. Our defense was outstanding in the first half, made a couple mistakes but pressured the quarterback. I thought we gave our offense a lot of opportunities and we just couldn?t capitalize. I give Nebraska credit for that. They led the nation in sacks going in to this game. In the second half we did an outstanding job of protecting Chad." On QB Chad Henne "I haven?t seen the stats but I think Chad did some great things. The last touchdown was a great drive. Three times he scrambled for some decent yardage. On the touchdown he made a very good run. He gave us a chance to win at the end." On the Instant Replay "I will say this about replay. If they?re going to have instant replay they have to have coaches? challenge because otherwise you have a guy in the booth that nobody knows and he makes decision on whether a play should be reviewed and we get no explanation and so then you use timeouts that you don?t get back. We lost the timeout on their touchdown and I saw clearly that the ball was dropped so that cost us a timeout. I think in terms of the rules going forward that [coaches? challenge] has to be a part of it, because it?s only fair." On one of the lessons of the season "We have to be able to run the football. We haven?t been able to do that going back to the Wisconsin game. Defensively we have to find a way to keep them out of the end zone. College football has changed. Everyone has the ability to spread you out and it?s not easy to stop them for four downs. Certainly, our inability to close out games hurt us. Regardless of which side of the ball you?re on, those are the things that make the difference."
--Speaker: Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr On key match-up between Michigan?s offense and Nebraska?s defense ?We?ve played some outstanding defensive football teams and some very, very fine defensive fronts and I think this is the best that we?ve played. They lead the nation in sacks. I think that alone tells you the challenge we have and certainly our ability to run the football and be a balanced offensive football team in this game is a key for us.? On how the bowl game will frame the season ?I was told, and I don?t know if this is accurate or not, that this will be the 3rd most watched bowl game by far. And so, by an exposure standpoint for the program, and certainly in terms of recruiting, both teams understand that this game will be watched by every college football fan who can possibly see it. So, I think from that standpoint it?s important. I think the most important standpoint from my perspective is the fact that we have twenty-one seniors who will be playing their last game for Michigan, and to send them out as winners and as Alamobowl Champions would be a tremendous thing for them and for our football team.? On the ?97 championship and Michigan expectations ?I think certainly the ?97 team raised the bar at Michigan. Because in the modern era, the last National Championship we had won at Michigan was in 1947 or ?48, I?m still not clear on that one. But they did raise the bar. They raised the expectations, which were already enormous. But I think the thing that is a goal for every Michigan team since then is to win the National Championship. And I think we all recognize how difficult that is to do, and yet is certainly a goal worth pursuing. And I think we are trying to pursue that every day.? On the frame of mind after having Rose bowl experience ?I think the great thing about competing against Nebraska, a team that has, if you look back on the last 30 years- they?ve won more National Championships than anyone in the country. So I think getting Nebraska, and we have a history with Nebraska going back to the Fiesta Bowl and of course, the ?97 Co-National Championship. So Nebraska has been one of those teams we?ve always looked at?at the way they play the game, the way they compete, the way they conduct that program, and so I think those factors have been a real asset to our team in terms of the way they?ve approached this game.? --Speaker: Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan On the key matchup of Michigan?s Offense vs. Nebraska?s Defense ?When we watch film as a staff we know the size and stature, profile of Michigan?s offensive line. They?ve always been big, square and physical players in the past, that?s no different today. We?re going to have to do a great job defending the run. We watched Michigan play and we?ve talked about offensive football starting with the running game. We respect the fact that they will definitely establish the run game. They?re a powerful football team when they really want to be and that?s a real challenge for our defensive front and our front seven of course on defense. They?ve got tremendous balance, they?ve got the ability to knock you off the ball, they?ve got the ability and size to dominate the line of scrimmage, and we?re going to be challenged in every aspect of the turf play up front. Of course we?re going to have to respond defensively to those challenges. ? On the bowl game ?This is a great game for our football team because we are a young football team. We?ve started and played 29 freshman, redshirt freshman and sophomores. This is a great learning experience for our football team no matter how the outcome is decided. This will be a great challenge and experience for our players. Having not been in a bowl a year ago, I know that our players are excited about the challenge but they also know that to be going up against a great team like Michigan will allow us to prepare for the next season, the 06 season when we face teams such as SC early in the season, such as Texas at home in Lincoln, and of course our own competitive Big 12 schedule, so this game means a lot to us the fact that we are going up against what we feel is one of the top teams in the country. They are the barometer and measuring stick of where we at this current time and place, so it means a lot to our football team. Again the respect factor we have for Michigan is uncomparable.? On practice in the last few weeks ?I felt our team benefited tremendously from the extra practices, bowl preparation, we tried to incorporate as many practices as we could within the schedule of final examinations and of course everything else that was going on. We really tried to focus in on the fundamentals and go back to the fundamentals and basics of the game. That?s always been our starting point from full season play that?s always been our starting point at the beginning of the week as we begin our practice on a daily note we?re always focused in on the fundamentals fof the game, so that hasn?t changed. I feel certain that our young players benefited from that because we can see their improvement, we can see them benefiting from the repetitions that they were getting early on during the bowl practices. We?ve got a lot of young players that will obviously play a little bit more in the future. So, without a doubt, this is a benefit to our program, I think it?s a benefit to any program. It?s a matter of how you want to schedule or focus of your practices relative to your team at the same time, and for our team being so young we had to go back to basics. We had to back to the things that will make us better, and it all starts with fundamentals. As much coach speak and clich? as that sounds, that?s where we?re at, this program, that?s where we?re at as a unit and system, as a division of players.?
--Speaker: Jay Norvell, Offensive Coordinator ?It?s a great challenge when you get to play Michigan. They have great tradition, great fans, and a winning tradition you love to play against.? ?Offensively, this year has been a journey for us. We have young players, and new players that came into this system and learned as they went. We?ve learned an awful lot, we?re a completely different team than we were a couple months ago and we?re very happy about the progress that we?ve made at several positions. We?ve had an extra month of practice so we?re a different team than we were a month ago.? ?We?re really encouraged by our young players. We?re really encouraged to have this opportunity. It should bode well for us going into next season.? ?Cory Ross is a very special guy to this coaching staff. I can?t name a guy that has as much fun playing as Cory?he loves Nebraska and he loves playing ball here. We?re really proud of him, and want him to go out with a bang, have a great game his last game.? ?Zac takes our offense and communicates it very well, and it?s not an easy offense to communicate. He?s very smart, intelligent, and tough. He?s given us leadership, as a quarterback that?s the most important thing for a quarterback to do.? --Speaker: Zac Taylor, quarterback On being an underdog: ?You don?t need much motivation to play in a game like this. We work hard like we always have been; we?re ready to play and not worried what the media thinks.? --Speaker: Cory Ross, running back On his last performance in the Alamo Bowl: ?I mean that was my first real bowl game, and it was an experience that I?ll never forget. It jumpstarted my career here, you know, and it feels good to be back here, knowing that I?m playing against another Michigan team. We?re ready to go, we?re tired of hitting each other, and we?re ready to play a football game.?
Wav file is attached. Text quotes to follow. --Speaker: Kevin Cosgrove, Defensive Coordinator On Michigan vs. other teams "Michigan is an outstanding football team. We know it's going to be a battle out there and we have the most upmost respect for them. They have an outstanding coaching staff; we are very familiar with them. We know a lot of the coaches there very well. Their players are outstanding; they have size as well as speed. They are unique as far as Big Ten teams because they are very multiple offensively; they give you a lot of different looks. We are going to have to play well and we know that." On Michigan's multiple fronts "In the early 80s, the first time we had ever played them, they were one of the first teams to go to a one-back offense. They didn't really change their protection or anything like that, and they got more into the passing mode and they had some great players, so they've always been unique in that way. People think of the Big Ten as three yards and a cloud of dust - they've always been very unique and ahead of the game as far as what they try to do offensively." On Nebraska's defensive play this season "For the most part, we've played very well. But you know, we stubbed our toe in a couple games on the road, but over all, we were very consistent at home and we played two outstanding games in a row. Naturally as a coach you want to be consistent every week, but we've made tremedious strides this year adn we've done a lot of good things." On Michigan's offensive production "Well, you say an up and down season, but most every game they've played was close, so it's been consistent in terms of the way their season has been. They had two blowouts in their season - Eastern Michigan and Indiana - but all of the other games were close. That just shows the competitve conference that they're in. They have a lot of weapons on their football team. They have an outstanding quarterback and very good receivers and a big offensive line, so we have tremendous respect for their program." On defensive statistical improvements in the Big 12 this year "The guys have had another year to get to know our coaching staff, and another year for our coaching staff to get to know our players. Those relationships will last forever. We had a lot of fun this year and we look forward to having more fun in the future." --Speaker: Adam Carriker, Defensive End On the big audience at this year's game "You always want to play your best, no matter who you're playing. That's why you come to Nebraska - to play in big bowl games, championship games, nationally televised games. You always want to play your best and I am looking forward to the challenge of playing a very good Michigan team." On Nebraska's strong defense "We played well throughout most of the season. I think we tended to play better at home. I think we were pretty much consistent throughout the whole year. We just played well as a unit this year." --Speaker: Daniel Bullocks, Strong Safety On playing on the road "In my opinion, we played consistent the whole season, but playing on the road we started out fast. We started fast against Colorado and we're going to start fast against Michigan." On being quoted as the underdog "I think we're evenly matched. We both lost close games this season. Both teams are equal. As far as being the underdog, I don't look at it like that."
--Speaker: Terry Malone, Offensive Coordinator On Nebraska?s sack numbers: "I think really our whole approach in playing Nebraska is to handle things up front first and we take great pride in protecting or quarterback and that?s a high priority in our offense and the quarterback position for us is vital and if he is getting hit then we certainly aren?t doing our job either as coaches or as teammates so a lot has gone in to planning to help keep Chad safe in the pocket." Reflections on season: "Sometimes its even more helpful when you aren?t as successful as you hope because as a coach you are much more critical of what has happened when you don?t win enough games and so we have looked back and one area offensively that would make us a better football team is if we ran the ball better." "The thing we have worked on a lot if being able to finish a game. 3 of our 4 losses were because we didn?t finish so offensively and defensively we have really focused on finishing things you know sometimes it comes down to one or two guys to make a play to finish a game but we have worked very hard and made some improvements in that area." --Speaker: Chad Henne, quarterback On Nebraska?s loss of linebackers to injury: "Whoever is out there, I?m sure they are going to give it their best shot. We gotta look for that. Nebraska is a great team. Every player that steps out there is gonna give it their best so were expecting the best from them that?s the linebacker position." On the trip to San Antonio: "Its been fun just being around the teammates and creating new relationships with guys that you don?t really get to talk to much just talking to some of the defensive guys and just kind of bonding a little bit more and other than that just visiting the town and practice has been going pretty well." On Michigan?s first non-New Year?s Eve Bowl since 1995: "It?s a difference but I mean we are here and we made it here were just glad to be here and to be up against a great component like Nebraska has gotta spike our eyes up because they have so much tradition and pride in their program I mean it is going to be a great game and we made it here and we are just happy to be here."
--Speaker: Jim Hermann, Defensive Coordinator ?The biggest thing for us as a defense, we always talk about finishing?you always want to be on the football field the last part of the game. If you?re a competitive individual you want to be the group to close the game out. That?s something we?ve talked about getting ready for this game.? On Nebraska?s offense changing: ?Any time you start with a new guy in the quarterback position (Zac Taylor), it?s a challenge. It?s not the Nebraska offense I grew up with, or anyone else in this room grew up with. It?s a pro-style offense and I think there team as a whole is still learning that offense. As the year went they got better and better?I think it?s a group of young individuals who have gotten better as the season has gone, and I think that?s really what you want.? On familiarity with the Nebraska offense: ?Our offense is very similar to what they do, which is a benefit to us since we go out and play against great individuals every day. They?re very similar to what Iowa does at times with their one back offense?the biggest thing we?ve been able to do is practice against our own team and competitive drills and that?s really helped us a bunch? --Speaker: David Harris, inside linebacker Talking about Cory Ross: ?Cory is a small back, but he?s tough, he?s quick and agile. They like to run a lot of screens with him, to get him in one on one situations with linebackers. We have to come out and contain him to have a good chance to win this game.?
--Speaker: Bill Callahan, Head Coach On Saturday?s practice: ?It was a good practice. We worked on a lot of situational stuff, gadgets and tricks and all the things of that nature. I tried to get some of those specials in and the bowl game allows you that opportunity because of the extra time to get a few more plays in. So it was great to get some execution on some of the gadgetry we?re going to try to utilize in this game.? On trick plays: ?I think every team has their own unique way of preparing and I think every team has something up their sleeve. You always have to prepare for the unexpected and I think today was just a good rehearsal and review of all the specials and gadgets and tricks that you might see. It?s good practice in that respect and it?s good to look over the discipline of your defense and your team when you defend those play.? On his young offensive tackles: ?The bowl practice time has been good for those young guys. They are young players and they need a lot of experience. They have all really benefited from the extra time the past few weeks.? On the players (Cody Glenn, Kurt Mann, Josh Mueller, Cody Glenn and Kevin Luhrs) sitting out today's practice with minor injuries: ?We backed off on some of the repetitions because it?s getting to the point where we?ve banged heads so much against each other quite a bit, so we didn?t do a full scale contact drill against our guys. So we tapered off in that respect physically, but mentally we haven?t.?
--Speaker: Bill Callahan, Nebraska Head Coach On the first bowl week practice: "With the day off, we were fresh and came out and had a good spirited practice. So I'm pleased to come out and get working on a lot of different phases today." On Michigan's receivers and putting pressure on the quarterback: "They have a talented group. Jason Avant is strong, gifted wide receiver. When he comes up to make a play he cluthc the ball and bring in it. He;s very strong and he uses his body well and knows howto get off the bump. Whether we double or triple him you;re going to have to be alert and aware of his abilities because he's a dominant wide receiver in every aspect. They're good on not letting people to get to their quarterback. They have a good scheme and wide bodied guys that don;t allow you to get to the edge." On the team's Christmas Eve plans: "We'll hand out the rest of the bowl gifts so the guys are excited about that. Guys have asked about Midnight Mass so we've extended the curfew one hour. I know we'll have 115 players going to midnight Mass today." On using the bowl game as a springboard for next year: "Whatever the outcome of the game, it will be great experience for our players. And it'll be a great opportunity to measure ourselves whether it's good or bad just because of the quality of Michigan. We're the only team in the country that will play both USC and Texas next season. So this game will be a good measuring to see where we are at and what we need to do to improve." On this year's National Championship: "This is one of those games I can't decide who is going to win. This is going to be a tough game on both sides of the spectrum. Both have excellent talent and great coaches. They have everything you look for in great football teams with playmakers, kicking game...it's going to be an exciting game to watch. I couldn't pick a winner for anything but I'll be watching." --Speaker: Cory Ross, running back On his new role with Coach Callahan's offense: "It's exciting. I can run the ball, I can catch it. The offense is more fun for me than just running. It's an offense you can have fun with. I look it at the new offense as an opportunity to get better and learn more. The option attack is just about running the ball and it worked. But this type of offense utilizes all your athletic ability so I have taken the opportunity to let my ability take over. You feel more involved in the game and it has excited me. It's different for the Husker fans not to see the running attack with the 1,500 yard rushers. On how he changed since his breakout performance at the 2003 Alamo Bowl: "I think I've matured. When your young, you feel like you know it all. Maybe that coach wasn't right and you could bounce it outside and now I'm more open to hearing the coaches out and I want to learn. When you're a young guy and come in and you're highly touted out of high school, you feel like you know everythng. We've had some changes and you have to be able to adjust." On dropping the Pork Chop nickname: "No more pork chops. I felt like a needed to lose some weight to get around the field quicker and use my speed better so I worked hard with our nutritionist." --Speaker: Daniel Bullocks, strong safety On whether he was going to see his brother play for the Saints today: "His game started at noon and we started practice at the same time. Sopractice is more important than going to the game." About practice: "Our practice was good today. Everyone moved around fast on the field today. With the day off yesterday, we had a good day." On defending Michigan's receivers: "We've got to put hands on them when they come off the ball to keep them from getting in their route and play to the best of our potential. They're big receivers but we can try to jam them at the line. If we play to the best of our ability, everything will take care of itself." --Speaker: Titus Brothers, cornerback On returning home to San Antonio: "I haven't been back in awhile, but I'm excited about the nice weather as it's better than I;ve been used to. I've been trying to show the team the places to go and getting tickets for friends and family to watch the game. I should have a group of 20 coming." On playing in the Alamodome where his high shcool team (Judson) won the 2002 state championship and Nebraska won his redshirt freshman year against Michigan State: "The Dome has a lot of great memories. The state championship has special because it was a team effort and everyone played hard and we never gave up."
--Speaker: Bill Callahan, Head Coach On being in a bowl after a year off: ?It?s fantastic to be back, and it?s a real pleasure to be here in San Antonio. Our players, coaches, and fans are just ecstatic about being here and it means a lot for our program. We?ve talked a lot at length about this being the culmination of a great season and a start to kicking the bowl week off.? On some of the players being here previously: ?We hope to duplicate our performances from earlier years in the Alamo Bowl, and our players have said great things about being here. Our players are extremely excited to be here and partake in what we think is a great match-up ? a classic match-up.? On playing Michigan: ?It?s going to be a tough and challenging game. The Michigan program is outstanding, being ranked as high as number three in the country early in the season. They (Michigan) are surely a quality opponent, and we?re going to have our hands full with them.? On balancing work and play: ?The most important thing is that we keep our eye on the target and stay focused on the challenge, and that is to win the bowl game. There?s a lot of great festivities here for the players to relax and enjoy themselves as long as we can switch gears and focus in on the practices and preparation. Our guys won?t have a problem with that. They?re a mature group of kids and they know how to conduct themselves right.? --Speaker: Cory Ross, running back On coming to San Antonio: ?We?ll just try and have fun and get prepared for the game. We still need to be focused on what we?re trying to do and win a football game.? On being in a bowl after a year off: ?Everybody?s excited. We?re ready to get this program back to where it was - which was on top ? and that starts now.? --Speaker: Zac Taylor, quarterback On what will be challenging in facing Michigan?s defense: ?They (Michigan) have a lot of size and are probably the biggest team we?ve faced. They?ve recruited great athletes over the years and they?ve played big time competition this year. It?s going to be a tough game.? On the momentum of the team after the Colorado game: ?We?re still upbeat from the Colorado game. Three weeks is a long time since our last game, but I think some of that momentum has still carried over.?
--Speaker: Lloyd Carr, Michigan Head Coach On past experiences in San Antonio: ?What I remember most is the hospitality of the people here. The organization of the MasterCard Alamo Bowl is second to none. Derrick Fox (MasterCard Alamo Bowl President/CEO), the board of directors and everyone else involved with running the bowl game and the people in the community do a tremendous job of welcoming teams such as ours.? On the Bowl Week: "We'll take tomorrow off and take the team to a ranch. You can't come to Texas and not go to a ranch."
--Speaker: Bill Callahan, Nebraska Head Coach On being invited to play in the Alamo Bowl: ?We are thrilled and excited to be coming down to the Alamo Bowl. I know our players are really excited and anxious to begin their preparations.? On the match-up against Michigan: ?I think our fans, and especially our players, will be excited about the match-up. With two classic traditional football teams, and two of the winningest football programs in the history of college football, colliding in Texas, it couldn?t be better. We are really anxious and excited about the match-up. We have tremendous respect for the University of Michigan?s program. I know a lot of guys from that staff, and a lot of guys from our current staff have Big Ten experience. I believe seven of the 10 assistants we have on board have Big Ten ties, so there is some familiarity in that respect.? On the way his team finished the regular season: ?We finished strong. The wins against Kansas State and Colorado at the end of the year were big for us as a team. We had a falter prior to that, but we rebounded strongly and in good fashion, and it culminated in the final game of the year against Colorado. I couldn?t have been more proud or pleased with the way our players performed in that particular game. We are a young football team. A lot of freshmen are getting experience, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They have blended well with the seniors that we have, so it will be an interesting game for us. It will be an opportunity for us to improve ourselves and measure ourselves against a very good Michigan football team.? On his memories of Michigan from his days as a Wisconsin assistant coach: ?I?ve always remembered Michigan as a solid football team across the board. They were fundamentally sound in everything that they did. Not only did they have good personnel, but they also had great coaching to go along with that. That?s always a good blend that made their success happen for them. As I look at my days playing them at Wisconsin, they were always sound. You had to earn everything you got against them. They weren?t going to give you anything, so you had to earn it. You had to coach through it, and you had to perform against it. There?s a variety of things that they will give you. They are very well schooled. They are on the cutting edge of everything that you see in football, both offensively and defensively. They always give you a good mix of things. They always are going to present you with a lot of different schemes and problems that you have to sort through and handle and adjust to through the course of a game. Aside from that, they were always a physical football team. I thought they always prided themselves on being physical and playing good team defense and offense. They are noted for that, and it was reflected by the way that they played, in their stats and in the success that they had.? On his knowledge of Michigan?s current team ?I really don?t (have any information on Michigan). The only knowledge I have is from the information that we have pulled together off of statistics as we were preparing for different possibilities of opponents. I have not had an opportunity to see them play, but I know Lloyd (Carr) well, I know what he represents and that team will have a lot of fight in it. This is a good football team. They have always been well-regarded in terms of their offense. They have been very well balanced, and that is reflected in the statistics that I am looking at right in front of me. They have a young quarterback in (Chad) Henne and a young running back in Michael Hart that are outstanding weapons for them, and Jason Avant is really an outstanding receiver with the production that he has accumulated this year. Defensively, they have always been noted for their scoring defense. They are a bend-but-don?t-break team. They will contest everything that you throw at them. They are sound, and you have to earn everything you get against them. It?s important that your ball is secure when you play a team like Michigan. You can?t turn it over. They really thrive off of that in their nature of play. Overall, they are solid across the board. They teach great fundamentals up there, they are well-schooled and well-coached. It?s just an outstanding program and an outstanding opponent to measure ourselves against.? On how his staff prepared for an opponent this past week: ?We didn?t do anything relative to preparation for any opponent. I didn?t know, and nobody knew, how this was going to play out. We just took it day by day, and tried to keep our ears to the buzz which was going on out there. We heard all kinds of scenarios, and today was the culmination of it. Having an opponent like Michigan will be a great, classic match-up for us. I know our team will be excited about this game, and I know our coaches will be excited just based on our experiences we?ve all had being former coaches in the Big Ten. I know we can teach all of our kids what to expect, because (Michigan) is a good football team. They?ve always been a good football team, I don?t care what year it is or what their record is. They?ve always produced an excellent club.? On the similarities between Nebraska and Michigan: ?This will be an interesting match-up. We?re very similar in terms of style. We?re both pro-(style) offenses, and both the same type of multiple defenses. There is that consistency from a systems perspective.? On how his staff plans to approach the bowl trip: "We?re going to approach it with both thoughts (business and fun) in mind. First off, you have to prepare, you have to work and you have to improve. That?s what we talked about earlier during the season about capturing a bowl bid, so we would have the opportunity to improve our football team with the extra practices. With that being said, this is also a reward, a reward for our seniors and an opportunity for them to enjoy the bowl week once we get to San Antonio. We will still work hard, we will still prepare and we will still benefit from the practices that are going to take place here in the next three weeks. So we are excited about that, that we will be able to develop our team. We?ll get better. We?ll utilize those practices intelligently and we?ll get a lot of work in certain specific categories where we can focus in on all of the nuances of situation football like we always do, but specifically against the Michigan offense and defense.? On the added positives of the bowl game for his program: ?We think that the experience is invaluable, especially for our younger players. We think that they will benefit greatly from going out, practicing and utilizing time for fundamental development. We?ll alter the schedule where we?ll get a little more time to do that, and then we?ll get a little bit more time to focus on the team aspects and the situational aspects later on in the month. It is invaluable, especially for our time for where we?re at the players we have, to get that extra time to improve ourselves.? On the positives of playing in the state of Texas: ?Going down to San Antonio, where 10 of our players are from Texas on the roster, will provide us will another forum for Texas players to see our program, to give our program exposure in the state of Texas and for any high school coach in the area to come to our practices, to watch our players and sit down and have a dialogue with our coaches. I think it is invaluable in that respect, because we are making an emphasis in recruiting Texas, and this can only provide us with a better avenue of doing that.? --Speaker: Lloyd Carr, Michigan Head Coach On being in the MasterCard Alamo Bowl: ?It?s been 10 years since being in San Antonio and from my recollection it?s a great city, and our players had a great time. I remember being down there and in keeping in touch with Derrick Fox - no one does a better job than he does. On the opportunity to play Nebraska again - the last time I had an opportunity to be a part of a team that played against them was in the Fiesta Bowl in the 1980s. I have known Bill Callahan for a long time since he was at Wisconsin. They had some of their best teams there when he was running their offense. I?m sure it?s going to be a great game.? On Michigan?s season: ?I think we were 3-3 after the first six games and I thought our team, despite some of the things we were challenged with, made a great stand and fought back and played through some adversity. I?m proud of this football team.? On Michael Hart?s ability in the backfield and his absence this year: ?Michael is a great football player and he proved it a year ago as a true freshman. We missed him this year, but I think Kevin Grady showed some great promise. We did play a number of backs this fall, but Michael is an outstanding football player and there?s no question about that.? On having an earlier bowl game in reference to the team?s schedule: ?We?ll meet tomorrow and look at that. We?ll go back and look at the schedule we had ten years ago (Builders Square Alamo Bowl in 1995). I don?t think we?ll go down as early as we did in 1995, but we?ve made some tentative plans and we just need to finalize them tomorrow (Monday).? On Michael Hart?s current status now and what is the strength of the team going into the bowl game: ?We'll have to see. We have had some situations from the standpoint of injuries, but we?ll have to see how everybody responds after being off a couple of weeks. We?re a more healthy football team than we were two weeks ago.? On the strength of the football team: ?I think at the end of the season, we saw some very good things in the kicking game. I think with the exception of our two-minute defense and our four-minute offense at the end of the game when we weren?t able to make some first downs and use the clock, we?re a football team that will fight you and a football team that will play extremely hard. ?