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That's what he said: Rich Rodriguez

Sep 10, 2009, 8:00 AM EDT

Today’s edition of “That’s what he said” focuses on Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Rich has had a couple of tough weeks. From major accusations that he’s running a corrupt program, to being sued by a bank in Virginia that claims he defaulted on nearly $4 million in loans, he even cried on national TV. (It’s rumored that the room was very, very dusty.)

Now he’s got to figure out a way to get his dangerously thin secondary to cover the dynamic duo of Golden Tate and Mister Michael Floyd.

(I’m toying with calling this the tremendous trio with a still to be determined nickname for Kyle Rudolph. Thoughts?)

Anyway… here’s what he said.

On Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen:

“I thought he looked pretty good last year, but certainly the last
couple of games he’s had and last week he was extremely sharp. He’s a
very talented young man and he understands the offense. I guess this is
his third year as a starter; he’s got skilled guys around him. They’ve a lot of experience up front on the o-line. He’s playing at a high
level.

“You’ve got to make them one dimensional if you can. You
can’t let them run the football, you don’t want them getting short yardage situations because then they can
go play action. You know they’re going to take some shots deep ball if
they get one on one matchups — they’ll throw it deep to the wide
receivers and let them make a play, so we’ve got to be prepared for
that. If we play soft they’re going to take hitches and slants
underneath. We’ve got to break on the ball, try to do some things to create
some pressure and not let him get comfortable.”

On a new found confidence after the win over Western Michigan:

“I think they understand. I want them to get some confidence,
particularly young players who are playing for the first time and have
had some success. But there’s enough mistakes made on film that our
guys know we’ve still got some work to do. It was a good, solid win,
but after one day they’ve moved on and this is a bigger challenge for
us. We’ve got to play a whole lot better to win this one.”

On the offensive performance last year against Notre Dame:

“We executed okay at times last year, particularly with the weather. We
just didn’t take care of the football. Had we taken care of the
football I’d have been a lot more pleased from an offensive standpoint.
We did run the ball pretty well, picked up some of their schemes and
blitzes pretty well and got a few big plays. It was unfortunate we had
some of those critical turnovers that cost us the game.

On the importance of this game:

“I think it’s a always a big game.  It’s always been early in the year
and made a big impact. For us, it’s not the end all, to be all. We’ve got
a lot of work to do with a lot of young players, but it sure would be
nice to get another win and get even more confidence. But I want us to play
well, compete, and if they’re going to beat us it’s because they are
clearly better than us. I don’t want Michigan beating Michigan, and
we’ve talked about that quite a bit.”

On what he needs out of his secondary against ND:

“Particularly this game we need to be prepared for a lot of deep balls. We
worked hard on that. They are going to throw the ball up, and they do a
great job going up and getting it. We’ve got to be prepared to be
challenged by some very talented wideouts and a quarterback that’s pretty much seen
it all.”