Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison knows the magnitude of Saturday’s rivalry game Notre Dame is, having coached on both sides throughout his career.
“This is a big week,” said Mattison. “It’s a great football game and it’s going to be a great test for our defense. Just starting out I can tell you our guys are really excited and we as coaches are excited so we look forward to playing this game.”
“They’re a very good football team,” he added. “They can run the football. The quarterback really impressed me with his ability to throw the football as well as putting a lot of pressure on you cause he takes off scrambling. He can run. They’ve got some fast running backs and they’ve got a pretty good thing going.”
The Wolverines appear to have gotten back on the right track, as much as possible, after a 63-13 win over Massachusetts. The defense, which didn’t allow a touchdown, still has plenty to clean up with a few more days to prepare.
“The thing you learned is they played hard all the way until the end,” said Mattison. “You’ve seen a lot of games where the game gets kind of out of control and it gets really sloppy. The biggest thing we have to address still is technique. I say that every week but nothing will become as good as we want it to until every player gets better at the technique.”
“I wasn’t pleased with the technique,” added Mattison. “When you get against really good opponents that will show up right way. A lot of young guys played and played well.”
The defense, to this point, is still a work in progress for Mattison who spent eight years at Notre Dame as defensive coordinator. Looking back at last year, Mattison recalls thoughts that were similar in nature and points out that that defense came together.
“Its not much different probably than last year after the Western game and after the Eastern game,” said Mattison. “You said boy we got a long way to go. Well that’s how I feel right now. I think we’ve got a long way to go but I believe the guys are heading in the right direction and we’ll find out in this one.”
To watch video of Mattison, press play below.