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Michigan players reflect on how to correct defensive errors

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Hill and Barrett’s post-game comments.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

After a game where the Michigan defense gave up 38 points in a loss to Indiana, Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett and safety Daxton Hill reflected on what went wrong and how the loss feels.

“It’s not good, no one likes to lose. We just know that we have to come out and keep building. Building on those steps,” Barrett said. “Getting better where we need to.”

Michigan’s defense committed multiple off-sides penalties along with pass interference and holding calls that extended Indiana drives. Penalties aside, Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr. had a career day passing the ball, and their run game was able to move the chains in short-yardage situations. The problems the Michigan D is having, it’s not just one thing, but Barrett believes they can be addressed and fixed. “We just know that everything, all the problems we’re having, they’re simple fixes,” Barrett said. “Things that we know to do, or things we know not to do. All the flags, all the penalties that were called, jumping off-sides, the pass interferences, all the little things we all just know better and we have to do better.”

“Just being on the same page, just playing the ball better,” Hill said. “As you can see, third downs we had many opportunities to get off the field. Penalties, lackadaisical things, we just need to keep being on the same page, just playing the ball better.”

Barrett and Hill chalked up some of the mistakes up to inexperience on the defensive side of the ball after losing a number of players after the 2019 season. “We have a lot of young guys who don’t have that experience, we just have to continue to hold ourselves accountable and keep getting better,” Barrett said.

For Michigan to get better, like Hill and Barrett propose they can, the defense has to limit the amount of penalties and stop giving up big plays down the field. We’re three games into the season, they know their deficiencies, the film is there for them to see, defensive coordinator Don Brown included. How quick of a fix some of these issues remains to be seen, but they’re entering must-win territory next weekend against Wisconsin. 2-2 would sound a lot better than 1-3.