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April 14, 2013

Spring Game postgame: Quarterbacks

It wasn't the best weather in Mount Pleasant, but the lack of spring temperatures did not keep CMU from playing their annual Spring Game.

The Maroon squad would edge the Gold squad 16-13 to end spring practice for the Chippewas, and we were able to catch up with quarterbacks Cody Kater and Alex Niznak following the game.


Cody Kater

On battling the weather today:

"You really just have to go out there and do your best. You have to figure out which way the wind is blowing and it's tougher than you want, especially with the fans out here. You want to put on a show for them, especially after all the work we have put in this spring, but you have to do what you have to do."

On his receiving corps:

"It's nice; having a great foundation like that is awesome. You are two-deep all the way across the board, so you really want to put yourself in the right situation where you can put the ball in their hands. Also, it's great to be able to hand off the ball to Zurlon [Tipton] or Saylor [Lavallii] is great. That's all you can ask for as a quarterback."

On the play of the defensive line:

"They were in my face all afternoon. They were tipping balls and getting sacks. If they can carry that over to the fall, that will be great. You really don't want to have to focus on the defensive line when you are dropping back and sometimes it affects you."

On the offensive line:

"They are good. Across the board, you can put the right guys in the right position. We will have a very solid foundation, but right now we are running in and out with some younger guys and they are trying to get the job done."

On how it feels to be in the battle for the starting quarterback job:

"It's all about opportunities. You just hope you get an opportunity to go out there and that it works out. You are battling other guys, making everyone better and just trying to get that step ahead. You don't want to be the guy on the sideline watching the game. It's good for you and you learn a lot about yourself."

Alex Niznak

On his performance today:

"I felt really comfortable when I got out there. Things certainly weren't moving too quick. I had a couple passes that I would like to have back, but I felt like we were able to move the ball well and didn't go three and out at all. We went down the field and that's what you need to do so you can keep the ball away from the other team."

On his receiving corps:

"Well talented might be an understatement. We have talked about how this receiving corps could be the best in the conference. I would actually put this receiving group up against any in the country. We have Titus [Davis], Courtney [Williams], Jesse [Kroll], Defarrel [Davis] and the list goes on and on. It really takes the pressure off us and now we just need to get on the same page. We will be doing that all summer, so hopefully when we get ready for Michigan, we will have the timing down and playing the fight song a lot.

On the defensive line:

"Well Leterrius Walton was a little too happy to put those two hits on me. When I got up my ears were ringing. It was the first time I got hit in a while, but it was good. They put some unbelievable pressure on us and you know that's going to pay dividends for us. Guys like Leterrius are talented enough that they might need to have two guys block them and that will open up opportunities for other defensive linemen. It's not a good feeling as a quarterback to not have that backside help."

On how it feels to be in the battle for the starting quarterback job:

"I think competition makes everyone better. I'm really excited about that and I mean it fires me up in the morning because when I get up to do something with the team or just going to work on my own, it's about what can I do every day to get better. But I'm not trying to knock down Cody's passes or Cooper's when he is out there. We are competing against each other and at the same time there is nothing that I can do when they are out there. It's just when I get the opportunity I need to be ready. So my focus is on Michigan right now and just being the best player that I can be when we get to Ann Arbor.

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