"I think we've done a nice job of taking them one at a time," said Hoke. "At the same time it doesn't matter who you're playing. It's really about us and how we prepare and how we improve and how we practice. Every week the discussion starts with us and what we need to do as a football team. We've got high expectations and high goals, and if we don't get better every week then we're not going to be the football team we want to be."
So far the Wolverines have responded nicely with the right attitude in practice.
"It's an important week for us as a football team as far as how we come out to practice, and the improvement we need to make in all areas," said Hoke. "We had a good, intense practice yesterday. I thought we came out with the right attitude, and we got to follow that up again today obviously."
Opening up as a 45-point favorite against UMass isn't something Hoke or the rest of the coaches or players will be paying much attention to, but in order for Michigan to get back on the right track and earn a relatively easy victory, Hoke knows the recipe.
"We play really good defense when our offense is out on the field," said Hoke. "That's first and foremost. Time of possession is a goal of ours in every game, to win the time of possession. Turnovers. We have not really—we've had one defensively, and we've turned it over I think four times. We've got to be on the other side of that ledger."
"We'd like some consistency being able to run the ball, just not with Denard but with the running back," said Hoke. "I think that is so critical for us as a team. Getting in a little bit of a flow is important."
The Wolverines attempted to get junior running back Fitz Toussaint back into a rhythm Saturday after being suspended for the opener against Alabama. The result was just 8 carries for 7 yards. Hoke isn't going to put all of the blame on Toussaint for his lack of production.
"I just think its how things went to be honest with you," said Hoke. "Yes, we wanted to get him some carries but it just didn't work out that way. You go back to blocking better at the line of scrimmage and point of attack to making sure we're getting the right reads if they're read plays. The other thing is just how the game went."
After Michigan sophomore defensive end Frank Clark plead guilty to a felony charge of second degree house invasion Tuesday, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke addressed the status of the former Glenville high school star Wednesday afternoon.
"Frank Clark's situation hasn't changed, won't change," said Hoke. "The judicial system—obviously he's paying for that. And he's paid a pretty heavy price with us. He's a teammate and he made a bad decision that is not what we want, but he is a teammate and he's part of our family."
The Wolverines will need Clark's speed up front against UMass with fellow sophomore defensive end Brennan Beyer set to miss Saturday's home game.
"He'll be out this week," said Hoke. "Hoping to get him next week, don't know for sure yet."
The emergence of freshman tight end Devin Funchess against Air Force provided a major boost with the absence of senior tight end Brandon Moore. Funchess will need to continue his playmaking ways as Hoke confirmed Moore will be out against UMass as well.
"He's getting better," said Hoke. "He just got twisted up a little bit with his knee, a little bit of a sprain, but he's getting better. He hasn't done anything on the field with us yet, but the trainers think he's healing up and Brandon thinks he's feeling better."
To watch video of Hoke from his Wednesday afternoon press conference, press play below.