ANN ARBOR—Another game, another set of struggles, miscues, lost yardage, and utterly non-existent production from the Michigan rushing attack.
The statistics speak for themselves as senior Fitzgerald Toussaint carried the ball nine times for six yards, freshman Derrick Green lead the Wolverines with eight carries for 11-yards, while quarterback Devin Gardner was sacked seven times yet again on his way to recording negative 32-yards.
Overall, Michigan finished on the negative side of things in the rushing column for the second straight week, with minus-21.
“It’s hard to explain isn’t it?” Hoke said afterward. “I’ve got to do a better job of coaching those guys.”
Over Michigan’s last two games the Wolverines have rushed for minus-69 yards in large part because of extremely high sack totals, botched snaps for losses, and the inability to get a push up front.
Michigan has not wavered in their belief and want to establish the ground game despite the eye-popping numbers in recent weeks.
“You always have a plan that you think is going to work, number one,” Hoke said. “You change your plan all the time, every week, and I think there’s some things that we did pretty well but, there were a number of things that I’ve got to do a better job of coaching the kids on.”
In critical third down and short situations Michigan went to their jumbo package, bringing on a sixth offensive lineman in Kyle Kalis, in some ways telegraphing what was to come next.
The result? A run to the left for no gain as the defense gained penetration into the backfield holding Michigan shy of the first down markers.
“I like the play calling,” Hoke said. “I think we thought we could do some things and we didn’t.”
Asked about hearing the booing from the crowd after runs up the middle on first and second downs, and at other key moments, Hoke said, “That’s, you know, that’s the way things are.”
The Michigan defense, despite giving up the late game winning touchdown to Nebraska, was stout, created some opportunities for the offense, specifically forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter but the Wolverines were unable to put the ball in the end zone.
“We didn’t,” Hoke said matter-of-factly. “We just didn’t execute it.”