After the first quarter. What did you guys do to turn the tide after they made it 14-10, and slowed them down a little bit?
DEMENS: We just kept our confidence up, you know, we just stuck to our game plan. Stopping the run, and playing well on the pass, and third down, win those downs, and that’s what we did.
As you guys were kind of walking away after you sung the victors ,you and Denard seemed to be taking an extra long time walking. What were you guys talking about, reminiscing about, if anything?
KOVACS: I mean, we were reflecting on the journey. Denard kind of said ‘it’s just crazy, man, I can’t believe it’s already here’, and then we kind of both looked at each other and said we know what next week is, and we’re excited about it.
Jordan, Coach Hoke was just asked about defense, and how it held after the touchdown, I know you didn’t allow anything until the end. He didn’t seem all that excited, and mentioned the word ‘awful’. Are you used to having that kind of scrutiny and high standards?
KOVACS: I mean, I think that’s one of the things I talk about all the time is the high standards that Coach Mattison and Coach Hoke set, and I think that Iowa put together a couple of nice drives, and we didn’t do a good job on first down. I think the key to stopping them was on first down, you can get them out of the running game, but they had some success on first down, and third down, and we can’t let that happen, but I think in the second half we did a much better job on first down, put them at first and long a couple times, and we have to tip our hats to the offense. They did a great job of controlling the ball, controlling the game, and ultimately that’s what won this game.
Jordan, you’ve had a pretty incredible journey here at Michigan. Went from walk on, to starter, to captain, to senior. Just talk about your emotions, and what senior day means to you.
KOVACS: It was bittersweet, because obviously it was a big win for us, so that was exciting, but for it to be the last time in the Big House, I’m not ready for it to end. It’s been quite the journey, and I’m ready to ride it out, but it’s not over yet. Still got a couple more.
Jordan, could your hear the crowd say ‘beat Ohio’ early in the fourth, and throughout the fourth, and what was your reaction to that?
KOVACS: I did hear them a couple times, yeah, I heard them chant it, like you said, early in the fourth and later on in the fourth, but definitely we were just focused on the game, because I’ve seen some crazy things – we saw some crazy things last week, so staying focused, and we’re going to enjoy the win tonight, but we know what the next game is, and we’ll get in the film, make some corrections tomorrow, and we’ll get ready to move on to the next game.
Especially early, what was Iowa doing to have so much impact at the tight end position?
DEMENS: They got him in space, you know, they have some great tight ends. He’s a big guy, he can run well. You know, they just put him in space and let him do what he does, but we tried to make them as one-dimensional as possible, and we got some pressure in there, and that kind of took things off of him.
For both of you guys, you knew what it was like in your first three years to lose games here at home. What does it mean to go through these last two years and not lose a single game in this place?
DEMENS: It means a lot. It just means a lot. After the game today, I didn’t want to leave the stadium. I just wanted to stay, and just from where we came from, and how we’ve come from the less successful seasons, and to be where we are now, it just means a lot. You can see the rest of the guys that you’ve grown up with, and it’s a great feeling.
KOVACS: Yeah, I mean, I think our message at the beginning of every year is the season starts at home. You know, you have to defend your home turf, and we’ve been pretty successful the last couple years, and I think that’s ultimately why we’ve been a successful team.
Do you ever look at what Al Borges does on offense and just be glad you don’t have to play this offense?
KOVACS: Yeah, a lot of times, I’m just happy we’re not playing offense, because we scheme, obviously, for the opponent, and when we go against our offense in practice, we see plays where, like, you just shake your head like ‘I don’t know, I don’t know what I would do. I have no idea’.
Jordan, a couple times you said ‘we know what next week is’, you’re from Ohio and a Wolverine, what does next week mean?
KOVACS: It’s a big game, you know? It’s a big game year in and year out, it’s a big game. It’s going to be an intense game, it’s going to be hard hitting, but like I said, we’re going to enjoy this one tonight. We’ll get in and watch some film, and we’ll be ready, we’ll be ready.
What does it mean to guys like Steve Wilson and Brandon Hawthorne to be able to get out there and see some snaps?
DEMENS: I think those guys were excited to get out. You know, it’s the last one at home, who doesn’t want to go out and play in a stadium like this for the last game? I saw their faces when they were going on the field, and they both had big smiles, and I’m happy for those guys.
There are a lot of young linebackers on the roster right now. How much have you worked with them this season, and do you have a message for them, or have you said anything to them?
DEMENS: I’ve worked with them a lot. I just work with all the guys. When I started playing, and how they took me under their wing, and showed me how to watch film, showed me proper technique to use, how to defeat a block, and that’s something that I’m passing down. But they have great focus, too. Those guys, they’re quick runners, they’re going to be great here.
Everybody has complimented Denard the last couple weeks for his remaining part of the team, and helping to lead, and being a source of encouragement. What does it mean for the whole team, to have him back, playing in this last game?
KOVACS: I mean, Denard’s a great kid. You guys see him on the field, but he’s an even better person off the field, and the way he’s carried himself the last few weeks has been very impressive, but to have him back, that’s where you want him. You want him on the field. You don’t like to see a guy like that struggling with injuries and whatnot. He played really well today, and obviously he’s a versatile kid. You saw him catch the ball a few times, run the ball, and throw the ball, so he’s going to be a key component to this offense the next few weeks.
You said you didn’t want to leave the stadium today. What were those last moments like? What was the last think you took away from the field?
DEMENS: I just felt myself kind of getting emotional, just looking around at the fans, and just spin around in a 360 motion and just – normally, I’m kind of like the person to go up the tunnel, but today I was maybe the last person. I just took it all in, and I just want to take it all in, and keep those good memories.