Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden (35) pressures a pass by Indiana quarterback Tre Roberson (5) in the second quarter in the Wolverines' 63-47 victory last weekend. (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)
Ann Arbor — Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was not pleased with what he saw from his defense last weekend in a shootout victory over Indiana.
He wasn’t happy with ...
■ The points allowed — 47 — a week after allowing 43 to Penn State.
■ The yards allowed — 572.
■ The rushing yards allowed — 162.
On Tuesday, Mattison looked like a guy who had been studying a lot of film and searching for answers with an extra week to prepare for Michigan State.
“For the first time in three years I didn’t see (on) every play everybody running to the football like we should,” Mattison said. “And with our ability to rotate in a lot of positions you can’t say they were tired.”
Undoubtedly, that is a tough thing for a defensive coordinator to admit.
Indiana plays an up-tempo offense. Michigan won 63-47, but allowing 90 points in two games isn’t exactly what Mattison had hoped to see at this point.
Nor did he like seeing the number of huge gains — Indiana had five plays of 20 yards or more, including touchdown passes of 59, 33 and 67 yards.
“The big plays, that’s not our defense,” Mattison said. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to get corrected. A lot of that is on me. Anytime something like this happens, you’ve got to look at yourself, you’ve got to look at the game plan, what you had int. I think there are some things we could have done different, but we’ll get it corrected.”
Mattison said he’d have to go back to the late 1970s to find one of his teams, he was on the staff at Northwestern, that giving up that many points.
Still, he took some positives from the game.
“The thing I was proud of, and we made a real big deal of, was not getting our defense all out of whack because of the speed of (Indiana’s offense),” Mattison said. “The speed of that was unbelievable. Throughout the game, our guys were lined up, our guys knew where to be.”
Not a spread team
Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges wants to be clear about his offense.
“Are we becoming a spread team?” he asked. “No, we’re not becoming a spread team, so I’m going to answer that question before you ask it. But we’re going to have that dimension in our offense. We’re going to have the ability to take it sideline-to-sideline and we’ll have the ability to mow you over.”
“(At Penn State), we were pounding (the ball) so much, and we didn’t do a good job, as you guys well know,” Borges said. “We just wanted more variation here and there (against Indiana).
“In the final numbers, we had 446 yards accounted for in an under-center offense. So we certainly don’t want to lose that. We had another 300-and-something-odd in the shotgun, so that’s good, too. You have them both (and in) certain games, one is going to be better than the other.”
Praise for Gardner
Quarterback Devin Gardner set a single-game school record for total offense with 584 yards (503 passing) against the Hoosiers.
A week earlier, Borges mentioned Gardner had made a “quantum” leap in improvement.
“He took another (leap),” Borges said. “He’s just done a wonderful job standing in there and throwing the ball. He’s not making a lot of off-balanced throws. A couple times he got flushed out of the pocket when he had to step and throw.
“It’s been three weeks in a row of him working on (footwork and fundamentals) that hard. He’s taken that so seriously.”