Bloomington, Ind. — Michigan defensive gamers insist they’re just a few “easy fixes” away from enjoying sound protection.
From the seems to be of issues in the Wolverines’ 38-21 loss to Indiana at Memoria Stadium on Saturday, they’ve various fixes. Michigan is now 1-2, and Indiana, which had not overwhelmed Michigan since 1987, is 3-0.
With former Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan calling performs as Indiana’s offensive coordinator, the Hoosiers shredded the Wolverines by going to the air. Quarterback Michael Penix threw for a career-best 342 yards, finishing 30-of-50, and had three touchdowns.
“We all know the issues we’re having. They’re easy fixes,” linebacker Michael Barrett mentioned. “We all know what the issue is. All of us have to come back collectively as a workforce and simply repair them. Simply maintain our head down, maintain grinding. Proceed to get higher. Now we have plenty of younger guys who don’t have that have. Now we have to proceed to carry ourselves accountable and maintain getting higher.
“I wouldn’t say it was simply issues going mistaken. Issues we’re not doing proper. Simply small issues I can’t put a direct level on it. Small issues that might be simply fastened. Issues we all know to do and to not do, simply all of the flags, all of the penalties that have been referred to as. All of the little issues we all know and must do higher.”
Penalties proceed to be a problem for Michigan, which entered the sport at Indiana ranked 13th within the Large Ten with 17 penalties for 166 yards. The Wolverines had eight for 89 yards, together with some evident calls on third down.
Within the second quarter with Indiana dealing with third-and-12, cornerback Gemon Inexperienced was referred to as for holding giving IU a primary down. Within the third quarter, security Brad Hawkins was referred to as for go interference on a first-down incompletion, and on a third-and-9, Vince Grey was referred to as for go interference.
“As you would see. third down, we didn’t have many alternatives to get off the sector, (due to) penalties” security Dax Hill mentioned. “We’re in nice place each time, simply must play that ball higher.”
Compounding points on protection was the lack of beginning defensive finish Aidan Hutchinson, who suffered an obvious proper ankle damage the primary defensive collection of the sport. Late within the third quarter, finish Kwity Paye additionally left the sport with an undisclosed damage.
Gamers mentioned they utilized new wrinkles to their defensive bundle after Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi torched them every week earlier for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
“We added some new coverages, some new schemes to fill these gaps we have been lacking after we performed Michigan State,” Barrett mentioned. “I really feel like we had a very good recreation plan coming into the sport. I simply really feel like we didn’t produce sufficient. The productiveness wasn’t the place it wanted to be to make sufficient performs.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was requested after the sport if he nonetheless has confidence in defensive coordinator Don Brown and whether or not they are going to be capable to repair the secondary.
“Sure, I do. Very a lot so,” Harbaugh mentioned. “I really like all of our coaches, each coach on the workers. We maintain forging forward and keep after it and make that subsequent step. Crucial step.”
Hill instructed what Harbaugh additionally mentioned in his postgame feedback — the performs are there in apply, however they’re not changing to video games.
“We do nicely at apply. we’ve obtained to make it occur within the recreation,” Hill mentioned. “Must maintain our heads excessive, maintain executing.”
That clearly was the message within the locker room, not only for the protection, however throughout the workforce. In any case, the run recreation mustered 13 yards on 18 carries. Nonetheless, as evident as the dearth of run manufacturing, Michigan’s protection has been a constant challenge.
“Now we have guys that may make these performs,” Barrett mentioned. “We belief them to make these performs. And everyone makes their errors. We inform them to maintain their head up, maintain pushing, maintain it shifting. We’ll proceed to get higher, proceed to daily, each apply, proceed to work on all of the issues we all know should be fastened and maintain getting higher.”