Michigan Football: Adjustments Wolverines Must Make in Week 3

Kyle BrownCorrespondent IIISeptember 10, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs for a third quarter touchdown while playing the Air Force Falcons at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The season hasn't gone according to plan for the Michigan Wolverines thus far, and some major adjustments are in order if they hope to right the ship before they face No. 20 Notre Dame in Week 4.

After an embarrassing loss to Alabama in the opening weekend, Michigan followed it up with a lackluster encore performance against Air Force, winning by only six at home in a game it was heavily favored to win.

This week, the Wolverines will be taking on a Massachusetts football team that has lost its first two games by a combined score of 82-6—including getting shut out 37-0 in its season opener against Connecticut. 

So while Michigan should win this game in an overwhelming fashion, here's two things that it must work on in preparation for its next big test against the Fighting Irish.


Offense Needs Another Playmaker to Step Up

Outside of Denard Robinson, the Michigan offense hasn't shown that it is capable of making big plays—specifically in the running game. While it's hard to fault the Wolverines for not being able to establish any sort of running game against Alabama's impenetrable defense, it was the same story against Air Force. 

Robinson was able to run for 218 yards and two scores, but the only running back to touch the ball, Fitzgerald Toussaint, had eight carries for only seven yards.

While Robinson has made up for Michigan's lack of a running game, that won't be able to hold up for the rest of the season when opposing defenses start forcing Robinson to throw the ball.

Against Massachusetts, it will be the perfect time to get some sort of running game established that doesn't involve Robinson taking the ball himself and sprinting down the field like Usain Bolt—or so he'd like to think.


Shore Up the Run Defense

Again, it's hard to fault Michigan for getting annihilated by Alabama in the season opener because Alabama is the best team in the country. However, Michigan did surrender 262 yards on the ground to Alabama, then turned around and gave up 290 yards rushing and three touchdowns to Air Force.

Through the first two games of the season, Massachusetts has only rushed for an average of 40.5 yards per game, so Michigan should be able to shut its running game down.

It's in Michigan's best interest to make sure the run defense is tidied up by this game, however, because Notre Dame is currently averaging 172.5 rushing yards per game.