"The first thing I would say is happy that we got a win," said Mattison. "Not pleased with the amount of yards we gave up and not pleased with the option responsibility at times."
"I just want everybody to know I'll take the blame for that as a coordinator," added Mattison. "One thing we always talk about with our defense is we always have enough bullets and always have enough in our package to be able to stop anything that somebody does. I think for a number of reasons we maybe didn't have enough or enough adjustments or I didn't adjust soon enough to take away what they were doing."
Although the Wolverines struggled to stop or even contain the Air Force offense Mattison is convinced the game could have been far worse had it not been for the effort of the players on the field.
"As far as our players I really am proud of them for how hard they played," said Mattison. "That game could have been disastrous had they not played as tough as they did in a number of situations."
The situation on the Wolverines depth chart dictates the playing of several underclassmen that were on the field late in the 4th quarter as Michigan clung to a 31-25 lead.
"At crunch time at the end of that game I looked out there on the tape, watching it we had seven freshmen and sophomores in there at one time," said Mattison. "Right during the heat of it."
While its not necessarily ideal for Mattison and the Michigan defense to have so many inexperienced performers playing significant time, three of the freshmen stood out as players who will be in the mix the rest of the season.
"That's part of the group of the young kids that you were very, very pleased with," said Mattison. "They weren't perfect, but Joe Bolden and James Ross went into that game and gave you a spark and made some plays. There were some things they didn't do perfectly, but that's young guys. But they keep getting better and better and yes they're definitely in the mix."
"Another guy that was in there maybe 17, 18, 19 plays was Mario Ojemudia and he did some things," said Mattison. "When you look at it, just to look out there and count eligibility wise, to have all seven of your front seven guys were sophomore eligibility or less, playing pretty darn hard."
Mattison knows the defense can't play as poorly every week as they did Saturday, but he is encouraged that despite the troubles throughout the game the Wolverines were able to get the stop when they needed it.
"I think it's very positive," said Mattison. "Its what I kind of believed. I believe watching these guys in the off-season and knowing a lot of these guys from being part of recruiting them; it's in there."
"Now it's the matter of getting the technique to allow that to come out more," Mattison added. "'Cause if you don't play with technique all of that doesn't matter. And that's what we've got to continue to work on is get our technique so that that inner athletic ability and inner Michigan heart and all that kind of thing is allowed to be that defense."
To watch video of Mattison from his press conference Tuesday, press play below.