Gardner & Offense Take a Step (with Video)

Gardner & Offense Take a Step (with Video)

Drew Dileo, Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon discuss the Wolverines' offensive awakening in Michigan's 35-13 victory over the Gophers Saturday. **With Video**


Question: First off, when your team went down 7-0, did the sense of urgency kick in at that point early in the second quarter? How did you respond?

Dileo: “I wouldn’t really say it necessarily kicked in, because it kind of – sense of urgency kicks in when we get on the bus to come to stadium. Just because we go three and out in the first series doesn’t mean we don’t have a sense of urgency, but they’re going to score touchdowns, so we need to score touchdowns too.”

Question: Devin, did it take you kind of a quarter to shake off some of the rust, did you feel like?

Gardner: “I mean, I feel like I just made a bad decision on the interception, and we didn’t convert on third down.  That happens in games, so I don’t feel like there was any rust. I just feel like we made mistakes.”

Question: Devin and Drew, on that kind of breakthrough touchdown play, can you talk about a little bit of improvising, and then, well, even you on both ends, to adjust and get open?

Gardner: “The fact that I improvised was kind of my fault, because I think I didn’t – I don’t think I got in the right protection during the play, so that was kind of my fault. But afterward, I just tried to make the best play I could, and I saw Drew waving his hand and running down the field, so I threw it up and just prayed that it got down as fast as possible.”

Dileo: “To add on that, with that said, he did a tremendous job of escaping the pressure, and once he rode out right, I just ran a flat route and they all pursued that way. I just got behind everybody deep, and he threw a good ball.”

Question: Drew and Jeremy, when you guys – obviously when Devin shifted over to quarterback this week, there was a hole at the wide receiver position. Did you guys talk about how you kind of have to make up for that production that Devin’s made so far this season?

Gallon: “Somebody just had to step up and fill that position, which he did, and did a tremendous job at. We just had to work hard and do what we had to do. Continue playing, I mean, life goes on so we just stepped us as a team and as individuals, and played good Michigan football.”

Question: Do you expect that you’re going to be okay for next week?

Gallon: “Oh yeah, yeah. Absolutely.”

Question: Devin, what was this week like for you? Was it a tough transition back to your natural position, or did you fit in there pretty well?

Gardner: “I mean, the pass game was okay for me, but the thing was protections, and making sure I get in the right protections, and it was a lot of new run game, so taking some of the right runs and things like that, I was pretty nervous coming in about how I would handle that, but I feel  like I handled it pretty well.”

Question: Devin, when were you told that you would be starting the game today?

Gardner: “Right before the game.”

Question: A couple of the guys mentioned that playing receiver has helped your game at quarterback. Do you feel like there’s some kind of – that one helps the other?

Gardner: “Yeah, it definitely does, because at receiver you know what kinds of balls you don’t like, so it helps you cater to them.  It really helps in practice, because when you throw a bad ball, you have to re-do it, and you get really tired of re-running routes, and the quarterback doesn’t really get tired because all he’s doing is dropping back… so it just helps me appreciate what they do.”

Question: You said you still feel like a quarterback. Did it feel like you were back home today?

Gardner: “Yeah, I played quarterback, so I felt good.”

Question: You said that Brady told you right before the game that you were going to start? Did you go in preparing?

Gardner: “Yes, all week, I got a lot of reps, and I just prepared like I was going to be starting. They said ‘prepare, we never know what’s going to happen’, so you have to prepare like you’re going to start, and I did.”

Question: Last week, at Nebraska, if you had to go in, were you ready to play quarterback last week, or was that something where you just weren’t ready yet because of reps?

Gardner: “I feel like that was last week, so I just want to move on to this week, and when the week started they told me I would get a lot of reps in practice, and I just did my best.”

Question: Devin, how much of a relief, or a spark, was it for you to get that first touchdown to Drew?

Gardner: “It felt great seeing – I brought it upon myself to have to run around like that, and I was pretty tired after that, so I was hoping we would score a touchdown.”

Question: For all three of you, how much did the touchdown-less streak, I guess you guys went over two games without a touchdown – how much did that weigh on you?

Dileo: “I think maybe a little bit. We certainly talked about it at practice this week, just because it’s kind of embarrassing as an offense not to score a touchdown in two games, so it was certainly on our minds this week.”

Gallon: “And it wasn’t as if we weren’t moving the ball. It was just, we weren’t punching it in the red zone  making some mistakes, from everyone, so it really wasn’t anything that we did special today, except just continue to finish.”

Question: Devin, did Denard talk to you at all after you were named starter for today’s game? Did he give you his vote of confidence?

Gardner: “Yeah, he’s always been confident in me. He talked to me all week. He’s a great teammate. He felt like he was down, and someone’s going to have to step up, and I just thank him for that. He was in my ear the whole game, telling me what he saw and everything, and congratulating me, and after I threw the interception, he made sure he kept me up, so that was great from him, a player like him, who has to sit down because he’s injured, as a senior.”

Question: That’s where I was going to go. Did he tell you anything in particular during the game? It looked like you guys had a few conversations, especially at the end of the game.

Gardner: “He was just keeping me upbeat. He was just keeping my upbeat, and telling me what he saw, so that’s what he’s supposed to do.”

Question: You guys pretty much in sync with what he saw?

Gardner: “Yeah, definitely. Some things he saw, and I saw it the same way, but I wasn’t sure about it,  , so I didn’t want to make throws that I didn’t see, but we just came back out every time after we talked and tried to execute.”

Question: You guys were backed up pretty close to your own end zone a few times, and were able to go on pretty long drives anyway. What was the mindset in the huddle when you were starting out so close to your end zone? What were you telling them?

Gardner: “We have to move the ball out. It’s called coming-out offense, so you just have to do what you can to get the ball away from the black zone so that our defense has a place to stand, so that was the goal, and then as we kept moving the ball, we want to score now.”

Question: How different was the offense with you in there versus what they call for Denard? Did they change some things, or was there – it seemed like there were more downfield passes.

Gardner: “I feel like it was kind of safe, just due to the fact that we didn’t have as much depth at quarterback today. We couldn’t run the quarterback. I mean, I’m comfortable with doing that. There was no way we could have done it.  It just wouldn’t have been smart. Our coaches are very smart, so they knew what to do.”

Question: Can you talk a little bit about the plays your receivers made on the ball? Like this guy in the corner of the end zone, Roy down the middle on the one…?

Gardner: “Yeah, I feel like they’re capable of doing those things, and they gave me a chance, and I gave them a chance, and we worked together and made big plays.”

Question: Jeremy, can you talk about, from your vantage point, the touchdown on the fade, and were you pretty confident you had it when it went to review?

Gallon: “Yes, I was. The way the corner was playing me, Devin put the ball in the place where the corner couldn’t make a play on the ball, so I just went up and grabbed the ball.”

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