Michigan fifth-year senior center David Molk is well known for both his fiery play on the field and his contempt for the media during press conferences.

On Monday, when fifth-year senior defensive end Ryan Van Bergen exited the press conference, he explained Molk’s attitude rather simply: “He just hates people.”

A few minutes later, Molk had a chance to defend himself with the media. And he had a strong showing, laughing and joking more than ever before:

Question: (Van Bergen) said it’s nothing personal against us.

David Molk: No, I don’t actually hate you guys. I actually like you guys.

Q: When did that change? When you became captain?

Molk: When I had to.

I don’t hate people. I don’t sit at home like a hermit and just toil about how much I hate the world. That’s not what I do.

Q: So there’s no book coming out?

Molk: No, there’s not a book: “Why David Molk Hates the World.”

Q: But you have to admit, the last couple years you came out, and there was a little tension at these press conferences.

Molk: Sure, there’s no doubt about that, especially when you guys ask bad questions.

Q: What’s a bad question?

Molk: When you kept asking about my injury. I hated that. That’s what turned me on you guys.

Q: So you didn’t have an injury?

Molk: I did, but you guys kept asking me.

I probably shortcut you guys.

Q: Looking at the running backs, is there something different or unique that Vincent Smith does?

Molk: They each have their different style of running. They approach each play in a different way. It seemed like Vince came out in the end and had some pretty good runs, but again some of that’s how the offensive line blocks — maybe we didn’t do as well at the beginning of the game as we did at the end. It’s just kind of how the holes open up and who hits them.

Q: Is he easier to block for because he’s rather short?

Molk: I don’t think there’s any difference. It’s more like it’s easier for him to hide from defenders.

Q: Despite his size, he’s a pretty tough guy, isn’t he?

Molk: He’s really tough. He likes to hit, that’s the weird thing about him. As a little guy, you’d think he’d shy away from it or cut-block some guys to get away from heavy contact. But he will seek out and go find the biggest guy on the defense and just nail him. I love that about him.

Q: Do you remember the first time you saw Vince go after the biggest guy on the field?

Molk: He goes after the big guys in practice all the time. You usually see a running back take a shortcut and cut a guy below the knees, but he’ll actually get down and pop up and hit a guy right below the chin. It’s great.

Q: The first time it happened in practice, did the guy even see him?

Molk: No, you can’t see him. No one can see him.

Q: When you see Smith take on bigger guys, what does that do for you and the rest of the offense?

Molk: Usually you don’t see it until you watch the film, because I’m going this way and he’s (behind me) somewhere. But when you see that on film, when you have a guy that’s so undersized just manning up and taking on anything that comes, it’s really good to see.

Q: How good is San Diego State?

Molk: They’re a good team, a valuable opponent. They have a very good defense. They really have an interesting scheme on defense that will be fun to see.

It’s just a different scheme, something that no one else does. If you see it on film, you’ll understand why it’s different.

Q: If you were facing Rich Rodriguez, like San Diego State is now facing their former coach, how would you approach that?

Molk: I don’t really know. I’m sure it would be weird, but at the same time, I respect what he did. He made a decision, made a move on his own decision. It’s truly becoming a business, and that’s what his career path took. I can’t fault a guy for doing that.

Q: How does this 3-0 start feel different from similar starts you’ve had the past two seasons?

Molk: It feels about the same. We’ve just got to make sure we maintain this level of play we’re at and improve as we get into Big Ten season.

Obviously, we’re happy for three wins in a row, that’s always a good thing, having no losses. At the same time, we’re more in tune to what our issues are. We know what they are, we know how to fix them. We’re really putting in a valiant effort to fix those every week.

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