What they said: Nebraska's Mickey Joseph previews Michigan
“Our players came back on Sunday with good energy just like I expected. It is a relentless group. I expect them to come back the way they did. They came back with good attitudes. We all know what is in front of us. Michigan is a really good football team. They are top five in rush offense and top five in every category on defense. We know what we are getting into. We know the task at hand but it is an opportunity and the ball is going to kick off on Saturday.”
On Michigan running back Blake Corum“
He is a really good player. He is probably one of the top backs in the country. I think he is getting Heisman votes right now. If you watch the film he runs low to the ground. He runs with violence, and he has a really good burst. When he sees it he sees it and he busts through the hole. He is a really good football player.”
On facing No. 3 Michigan
“We talk to them about having a lot of pride about not being broken and to continue to fight and that we started something and we are going to finish it against adversity but we have to bow our neck and we have to play football. That is the only way you can approach it, but like I said it is a good group. It is a good group of kids and they are not going to quit.”
On Myles Farmer
“We have Phalen (Sanford) back there. We can get (DeShon) Singleton back there. Myles made a mistake. He made a bad mistake. We do not condone that. We always talk about protect the football team, and he did not. He will be suspended this week, and we will reevaluate him after this week. It is something that you cannot do. That is not smart. You have to protect the team. I am very disappointed in Myles, and Myles is going to make this right. He is going to do some things to get back in good grace with this football team but we are not going to condone that. That is bad. That is a bad situation. He understands that. He is a good kid. He made a mistake but we can not make mistakes like that.”
On Casey Thompson’s availability
“We held Casey today. We are still day-by-day with him, but we held him today. No reps today.”
On the starting quarterback decision
“I am going to make a decision probably Thursday after I watch them both practice because I have to watch them both practice and see which one is performing the best but I am looking at both of them right now.” “You have to put your arms around them. It is tough on them because you are asking kids who have been backups. Logan (Smothers) has probably had more success being a backup. He did it last year. Chubba (Purdy) did it a little at Florida State. You have to put your arms around them and give them some support and show them that you believe in them because they are in a tough situation.”
On quarterback evaluations in practices and games
“Who is making the throws and who is getting us in the correct run plays. They are competing right now and we will look at each practice and say, ‘He performed good this day and he performed really good this day’ and on Thursday we have to make a decision so we will just look at their reps.”
On Logan Smothers
“I think Logan (Smothers) is more of a gamer. He has to practice better and he understands that. Logan is really going to attack this week trying to be a better practice player. That is his goal this week.”
On ruling out Casey Thompson
“Right now just looking at him today, I probably would rule out Casey (Thompson). If he does not go by tomorrow I am going to have to rule him out. I look at these kids like my sons so I am not going to put them out there if they can not go. Casey is going to be saying that he is feeling better, but I have to be smart with Casey and not put him out there if he can not perform at a high level.”
On getting the team in a mindset to pull off an upset
“You continue to motivate them and talk to them about their good plays. Talk to them about playing 60 minutes. We did not play 60 minutes this past game. Talk to them that the offensive and defense and special teams we have to work together and that we are going to do a better job as a coaching staff of working together this week trying to get them to be successful.”
On the strengths of the quarterbacks
“We are trying to mesh that together right now. We think (Chubba) Purdy is the better thrower but Logan (Smothers) can make throws also. We think Logan (Smothers) is the better runner. It happens like that. Each quarterback is going to have different strengths and weaknesses.”
On controlling the pace of the game
“I think if you have been in this league and you understand what you are looking at as a coach you have to be able to slow it down because everyone else is slowing it down. That is the way this league is built and we have to play Big Ten football. We are eventually trying to get to that but we have to play Big Ten football and you have to try to slow it down.”
On the run game slowing down during the Minnesota game
“We have to trust and be happy with three and four yard runs. You have to be happy with them. We have to say ‘Hey we got a three yard run. Let’s pad it back up and go at it again and maybe we’ll get another three yard run.’ Nice third and fours, manageable.”
On playing No. 3 Michigan
"They are a very talented football team. You see talent across the board. You see talent when they put their twos out there. It is a very talented 85-scholarship group. They are probably the best that we are going to face this year talent-wise. They are well-coached. They do a really good job. They are a tough team. They do a lot in the run game. They do a lot on defense. They have a high IQ football team. And they are an older football team. So, you are dealing with a solid football team this week."
On Gabe Ervin Jr.
"Gabe (Ervin Jr.) practiced today. We worked him out today. The trainers were running through some things, and he looked really good today. He has a turf toe injury, and I had turf toe before. That is a tricky injury. It. can come and it can go, but he practiced today."
On the importance of communication on defense
"(Marques) Buford Jr. is capable of getting it done, lining everybody up. Luke (Reimer) is out there. We have a lot of hand signals we use to communicate. We lose a lot with Myles (Farmer). But Buford can handle that situation."
On the safety position
"It goes back to when you are out recruiting, you go to the portal and get a junior college kid, you have to envision them as starters. Similar to free agency. When you go to the Saints, and you pull a kid from the Falcons, coming in he is going to be a starter. I think a high school kid, you can say I am going to develop him in two years. And that is the big thing about once you recruit him, you have keep him in the program. We have to keep them here. Everybody in the Big Ten is doing it. They are keeping the kids there, and now the kids, with the covid fifth year juniors and sixth year seniors. We have to get to that. We are a young football team right now. But, we have to that, and it goes back to recruiting. It also goes by when they get here we need to start developing them. You cannot develop them if they are not here. But, we have to keep them here."
On being the underdog this weekend
"I have never been an underdog like that. But it happens. They must like Michigan is four touchdowns better than you. That is what they are saying. But you still have to kick the football off. We have to play at a top level. We have to play 60 minutes. But we are not going to back down. We are not going throw the towel in. These kids will not do that. These coaches will not do that. We are not going to do that."
On the takeaways from the Minnesota game
"The defense played lights out, but we can help the defense out. We have to continue to try and play 60 minutes of football. In all three phases."
On Jim Harbaugh
"I think he has done a great job. He was a really good quarterback in the league and he is a really good football coach. His brother is a very good football coach for the Ravens. My brother Vance knows his brother. It is something like my family, it is a football family. He does a really good job. I had the chance to meet him in Birmingham, Alabama, when I was at LSU. He was a great guy to talk to, but he has a really strong football team, and it is because he is a really good football coach. He is well organized. He preaches toughness, and they are tough. You can see it on film."