SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- With the bye week officially beginning, expect the Michigan football team to do some in-house tinkering as it prepares to enter its Big Ten Conference schedule.
Expect the Wolverines to do some soul-searching, as well.
"We're going to learn from our mistakes," Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree said after Saturday's 13-6 loss at No. 10 Notre Dame. "We've got film [Sunday], so we'll be really focused on what we've got for Purdue."
Michigan still has 12 days before it faces the Boilermakers in its Big Ten opener in West Lafayette, Ind. After a loss to Notre Dame in which the Wolverines turned the ball over six times and couldn't convert inside the 20-yard line five times, Michigan coach Brady Hoke took the blame for the loss.
"We all have to do a better job," Hoke said. "And that's where it starts. It starts with me. I need to do a better job of coaching the game of football, and as a staff, we will do that."
Quarterback Denard Robinson, who was intercepted four times and sacked three times in the loss, apologized for his performance afterward.
"I'm going to be accountable for the rest of the season, I'll tell you that much," said Robinson, who finished with 138 yards on 13 of 24 passing and 118 yards on 26 carries. "I'm going to do whatever it takes to win, and whatever it takes for my team to win, that's what I'm going to do. I don't want to feel like this anymore.
"I've just got to be accountable in what I've got to do, and that's passing the ball to the guys. I feel like I wasn't accountable."
Sunday, the Wolverines fell out of the Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time in more than a year, and Saturday's loss to the Irish ended an up-and-down September. Michigan's September schedule included a lopsided loss to No. 1 Alabama, a squeak-it-out win over Air Force, a lopsided win over FBS start-up Massachusetts, and Saturday's loss here.
While Michigan's sights are still set on winning the Big Ten championship, the Wolverines have work to do in preparation for the conference opener Oct. 6 at Purdue.
The Wolverines are 8 for 14 in red-zone touchdown scoring their first four games, yet they'll have to shore up their red-zone conversion efficiency and will have to continue to establish a presence on the offensive and defensive lines, even though Hoke said he's seen growth in both units.
"I think as we analyze it and look at it and get back to work, it's still going to come down to little things in the game of football and still going to come down to the fundamentals and how you want to play," Hoke said.
Notre Dame, whose defense is ranked 16th in the nation -- it has allowed 291.25 yards in its first four games -- couldn't contain the Wolverines yardage-wise but stopped Michigan five times inside the Irish 20-yard line, holding the Wolverines to six points on a pair of fourth-quarter field goals by Brendan Gibbons.
"We made some strides in some areas," said Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs, who finished with seven tackles. "But at the end of the day we didn't play well enough to win."
Roundtree was more succinct.
"It's something we've got to learn from," Roundtree said. "We've got to finish games. What we showed [Saturday] was not Michigan football."
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.
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