Honestly, I've probably spent entirely too much time panning on the Wolverines, writing and saying how they have absolutely zero chance of beating Ohio State this Saturday at The Shoe.
I stand by those words. The Wolverines won't win. Then again, I've been wrong about these guys all season, so who knows...
With that said, I wanted to take the time to share a few quotes from Monday's press conference. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are always good for a line or two. I spend most of my time harassing them.
I don't really ask Brady Hoke too many questions. But he's usually good for a few uh-gems. But on Monday, our exchange didn't go so smoothly. Frustrated and fumbling my words, I tried to ask him what he tells a team prior to a game like this.
But it came out something like "what do you tell a team that's like a lamb going to off to slaughter?"
Hoke wasn't a big fan of that one. Jokingly, he said, "yeah, that's what we tell them." But like I said, I fumbled my words and Hoke wouldn't let me finish. I had to go with the flow. Then it was over. I have a feeling that was my last pre-game question to Hoke.
Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Mattison on Bosa/Barrett
If you ask me, Mattison almost said that he wished his players played like Buckeyes star DE Joey Bosa. He caught himself, though, instead saying that he was impressed by the 6'6", 285-pound sophomore's ability.
"I recruited him. I've seen him as a youngster. He's an outstanding football player," Mattison said. "He's like some of our guys. He's a good football player. He's young and does some really good things. You know, it's fun watching him."
How much fun? When asked to elaborate, Mattison rattled off a tongue-twisting homage to the juggernaut of coach Larry Johnson, Luke Fickell and Chris Ash's defense.
"He just plays hard. He plays like...he plays like I expect...he plays like defensive linemen...um, that...play...
I think Willie Henry plays like him. I think Chris Wormley plays like him. I think guys that do a good a good job and do what they're supposed to do, that's how they play. They play hard, they do their technique, they run to the football.
And that's what he does. That's what he's coached to do, and you can see him do that. He plays excited."
Mattison also praised Barrett's ability to run and throw. Nothing more to see here...
"We have to score more points."
That one is pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?
Nussmeier famously sidesteps questions that he doesn't want to answer. The same is true for 99.9 percent of coaches, and probably people in general. However, Nussmeier's replies are pure gold (or not) when it comes to "coach talk."
When asked about fans' frustrations seeing Barrett take the Buckeyes further than fifth-year senior Devin Gardner has taken Michigan, Nussmeier said that one-on-one comparisons get tricky, along with some other stuff that made it clear that he didn't want to talk about it.
So then I asked him about personal lessons learned this fall. This season has been rough. I wanted to know if the OC had any revelations.
"I think you're always learning. In this profession, if you're not learning and you're not growing, you're in trouble," he said after jokingly stating that he's not "that deep of a thinker."
Then it was onto the tone of the offense, which just hasn't done a thing this season. But Nussmeier isn't too worried.
"I do feel good about the things that we're progressing in," said Nussmeier, who referenced Michigan's three-game, 200-yard-average streak on the ground. He followed by saying: "I really feel like that [O] line is starting to jell together."
Thanks for reading the mish-mash Thanksgiving notebook. I wrote as much as I could while my daughter took a nap.
I'll have more during Friday's Sports in the Mitten podcast.
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