ANN ARBOR Where did Michigan s season-opening 33-17 win over Northern Illinois leave coach Lloyd Carr? How about sleepless, cranky and grumpy. And demanding immediate changes in his defensive lineup.
In the moments after the Huskies rolled up more than 400 yards of offense on his Wolverines, and averaged better than seven yards a play against the defending Big Ten champions, Carr s ire might have been tempered a bit by the relief of a victory. But it was obviously simmering just under the surface, and once he looked at the game videotape, steam shot out from under his collar.
Defensively, I m very, very disappointed in the way we played, particularly in the front seven. I don t think we played well at all up there, Carr said.
You can make a lot of statements after a game as a coach, and be inaccurate, because there s a lot of things going on out there. But it s in the film.
With a recently re-energized Notre Dameoffense churning into Michigan Stadium on Saturday, and coming off an impressive 42-21 win over a ranked Pittsburgh team, Carr had a hard time resting after reviewing his defensive shortcomings.
There s going to be some changes in the lineup, Carr said, because we re not going to sit and watch that type of effort. Right now, that s the biggest issue with our team, and we re going to deal with it.
The Michigan coach said he saw a particularly bad videotape featuring his defense, and he endured it over and over. He was more disgusted with the content than Ebert and Roeper after screening Dude, Where s My Car?
The film, you know, the eye in the sky, it doesn t lie. It s there. You know, that s what you deal with, Carr said.
The Michigan defense, which had been the subject of considerable criticism at the end of last season when it failed to corral two mobile quarterbacks in losses to Ohio State and Texas, had in the pre-season professed a determination to show it had improved.
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley said yesterday that mind-set still prevails.
When people talk bad about your defense, you go out and try to prove them wrong. When people say good things about your defense, you try to prove them right, Woodley said So you re always just trying to prove people right or wrong.
Carr said he was rankled with what he saw in terms of intensity and physical play. He said he had slept little the past two nights while tossing and turning with concern as images of Notre Dame s 275 rushing yards against Pitt danced in his head.
I m not in a great mood, Carr said. We re just not where we need to be.
Carr said he would not cite the specific changes he had made in the defensive lineup, but he indicated that no one would be exempt from his renovation.
They re all ors as far as I m concerned, Carr said, referring to the either/or listings that show two or three players at each position. I m not going to talk about individuals. You ll see those changes on Saturday.
Contact Matt Markey at:firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6510.