Through four games in 2011 the Michigan defense amassed 11 takeaways, compared to 2012 in which the Wolverine-D is responsible for just three.
"I think one of the big differences is that we forced or got our hands on a lot of balls last year, turnover-wise," said Hoke Monday. "We have not seen that. We had the two interceptions two weeks ago on Saturday, but we haven't been around the ball as much from a coverage aspect; and also the other aspect of it, we've got to do a better job pressuring the quarterback."
Sacks are down by one through four games comparing 2011 to 2012, but as Hoke noted Monday, pressure is being exerted at times but not often enough.
"At times with a four man rush we're not bad and that goes all the way back to week one against Alabama. With a four man rush we put decent pressure," Hoke said. But, he added, "We've got to be better in that. Forcing some ill advised throws."
"I think most of it is the fact that we're not taking the quarterback off his mark," he continued. "Timing wise either with pressure or with tighter coverage."
Hoke acknowledged the difference between the '12 and '11 Michigan defenses, saying, "We've got some different guys obviously," then quickly added, "but at the same time we think we should be able to do the same kind of things with who we have."
For Michigan senior defensive end Craig Roh, who's been through more than one rodeo, the bye week served as a perfect opportunity to get back to the basics in an effort to improve as a defense in preparation for the rigors of the Big Ten.
"I think the defense, we had a couple different practices, and I think we made even more strides with our technique," Roh said. "Any day we get to come in and work a little bit more on our technique makes us that much better."
"It's a new season," added Roh. "Its kind of funny that the bye week comes right before Big Ten play, so it's almost like a new season. This team is just—we're ready to go. We're just ready."
After surrendering only 239 yards of offense against a 4-0 Notre Dame team a little over a week ago, the Wolverines are hoping that that strong defensive performance will carry over against a Purdue offense that has plenty of weapons.
"They've got some good skill positions," said Roh of the Boilermakers. "They've got a good quarterback, and they got some returning guys on the offensive line as well. They're a good team that we need to prepare for."
The Wolverines played host to Purdue last year, handling the Boilermakers 36-14, in a game that was dominated by Michigan's senior-laden defensive line that accounted for 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. However, the 2012 Boilers may not be as easy to handle.
"Offensively they've got good skill and they've had good skill," Hoke said. "They had good skill last year. There are a lot of some of the same guys playing, and I think Terbush is better. I think this guy has come in and been very—percentage pass wise, doing a good job with the football."
To watch video of Roh from Monday's press conference, press play below.