Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to talk about their upcoming matchup against Notre Dame. Here are a few notes.
- Rodriguez said he thought Notre Dame got a pretty good look at the Michigan offense and what it’s capable of with their first half performance, but that they went into a ball control offense in the second half and didn’t execute as well.
- Rich Rod was pleased with the play of his freshmen quarterbacks – Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson – as well as freshman defensive end Craig Roh who started his first collegiate game.
- He said he plans on using all three quarterbacks against Notre Dame this weekend just as he did last week against Western Michigan. Tate Forcier will start again unless he has a really bad week of practice.
- Junior Hemmingway tweaked his ankle a little bit last week and will be limited the first couple days of practice this week. Mark Moundros was “dinged” against Western Michigan but should be cleared for the game this weekend. He will be held out of contact this week though. Brandon Minor was held out of practice Monday, but Rodriguez hopes he’ll play this weekend.
- Rodriguez said that Carlos Brown will start at running back.
- Michigan will look at what defensive coordinator Greg Robinson was able to do against Notre Dame last year when he was the head coach at Syracuse. As we all know, Robinson’s defense held the Notre Dame offense in check most of the game in Syracuse’s upset of Notre Dame.
- Rodriguez said that Michigan might have both Denard Robinson and Forcier on the field at the same time as they did for a play against Western Michigan. My guess is that play was run specifically so Notre Dame would have to spend time to prepare for it.
- Rodriguez was very complimentary of Notre Dame’s defense. When asked if he planned to run at Notre Dame since Nevada was able to “gash” the Irish defense, Rodriguez simply said that the bottom line was Notre Dame shut out a good offense and that it was a great performance.
- Rodriguez said that Clausen is playing “as well as you could possibly play”. He referred to Golden Tate and Michael Floyd as two of the best receivers in the country and said Kyle Rudolph was a NFL talent.
- Rodriguez was pleased with the way his defensive backs tackled against Western Michigan, but made mention of the one deep ball they gave up. He said later that they didn’t quite have the depth in the secondary that they’d like at this point though.
- On the 21 carries his quarterbacks combined for last week, Rodriguez said that was probably more than they’d like them to carry the ball, but they did that to ease both of the true freshmen into the game.
- Rodriguez said he thought the Notre Dame offensive line was improved and noted that even last year Notre Dame blocked them pretty well.
- Michigan ran most of their defense against Western Michigan according to Rodriguez. He said they weren’t holding anything back and were just trying to beat Western. Something tells me that they might not have shown Notre Dame everything.
- On the six turnovers Michigan committed at Notre Dame Stadium last year, Rodriguez said that was about the most frustrating part of their season.
Rodriguez said that Forcier could run about 70% of the offense at this point. If that’s accurate, that’s pretty impressive for a true freshman even if he did report in the spring.