TONY DING / AP Enlarge
ANN ARBOR - Ryan Van Bergen could have made it an internal matter, something for he and his coaches to discuss. But that did not happen, as a fuming Van Bergen ripped into a defensive player for the University of Michigan.
He ripped into himself.
Without solicitation, Van Bergen admitted to the assembled media he committed a major error in judgment that nearly cost the Wolverines their 36-33 victory over Indiana yesterday at the Big House.
Van Bergen said he made a poor read on the line of scrimmage that allowed Darius Willis to score an 85-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
"I made the wrong check," Van Bergen said. "It doesn't happen very often, but it was independently on me. It almost cost the team a big loss, and I would have blamed that completely on myself."
Van Bergen atoned for his mistake on IU's next possession, sacking Ben Chappell for a 12-yard loss. IU then failed to convert a first down, punted, and UM began its game-winning drive at its own 48.
"[Defensive coordinator Greg] Robinson told me to channel that energy into something positive," Van Bergen said. "Luckily I was able to do it."
Specifically, what was so awful about Van Bergen's read?
"We were supposed to be running blitz to the boundary and I checked to field," he said. "It's something very basic, and I shouldn't have made that mistake."
LINE SHIFT: Three of UM's starting offensive linemen were out of position, and it may have shown as the Big Ten's leading rushing attack picked up just three yards per carry. More telling, replacement center David Moosman struggled with snapping accurately. Because of David Molk's broken foot that will keep him out 4 to 6 weeks, Moosman moved from right guard to center, Mark Huyge moved from right tackle to right guard, and Perry Dorrestein moved from left tackle to right tackle.
"We all know what our job is," Moosman said. "We just have to do it hard and as fast as we can do it. We have one game under our belt with this situation and we're going to roll from here."
Of further note, left tackle Mark Ortmann twice was flagged for not lining up on the line.
BOUBACAR BENCHED: After watching Tandon Boss beat him on a 56-yard reception in the second quarter, Boubacar Cissoko watched the rest of the game from the sideline as J.T. Floyd was inserted at corner opposite Donovan Warren.
"I'm trying to stay positive here - Boubacar's been a pretty good player, but I was proud of the way J.T. played," Rodriguez said.
The switch isn't a major surprise as Rodriguez was displeased with Cissoko's performance against Notre Dame. The redshirt freshman Floyd finished with four tackles, including a powerful spear of a ball carrier just shy of the first down marker to force a field goal.
WHAT BROWN CAN DO: Carlos Brown scored two touchdowns for the second straight week, hauling in a swing pass from Tate Forcier in the first quarter and taking it 61 yards and then rushing from 41 yards on the next drive. Brown finished with 85 yards on the ground and had just the one catch.
MSU ON DECK: UM travels to East Lansing on Saturday to face rival Michigan State, which won at the Big House a year ago. MSU lost its third straight game yesterday, falling 38-30 at Wisconsin.
"I'm sure their coach and myself won't have any problem getting our kids focused," Rodriguez said.
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