"I'm encouraged to the fact that it reemphasized if we play extremely hard, if we run to the football…" Mattison said. "And that was the thing in that game that stood out to me. We really had a lot of helmets to the football. That's the only way we can play here. It was nothing about scheme. I think we played better technique at times, but the biggest thing is that we really played with high effort."
Now the Wolverines "Get going in the Big Ten season and see where we are and how much we've improved," said Mattison. "This is a good football team we're playing. Purdue is a much better team than they were last year, and watching them on film they've done some good things. So this will be good—this will be good for us to take the next step."
Mattison's defense didn't have to go to a bag of tricks against Notre Dame's powerful, multiple tight end sets. With Purdue up next, that loves to spread the ball out, the challenge and game plan will be noticeably different.
"(In) the Notre Dame game, we were in Wolverine in the whole time," said Mattison. "We were in our ‘big people' the whole time. Now when you get against a Purdue, Illinois, as you move forward into some of these teams that everything is spread, your nickel becomes a real big factor. And that's going to be really key."
"They throw a lot of screens," said Mattison. "A lot of bubble screens, a lot of X screens, and that's their way of getting the ball outside. What they're going to do is they're going to show you a running play, and they can either hand it off on the run or if they don't feel like you're covered down well enough they're going to throw it out there. They've been very successful on it."
The Purdue offense is littered with returning starters, and Mattison believes their formula of success thus far is simple: execution.
"They're probably executing much better this year," Mattison said. "The quarterback is making good throws. They just look like a much better football team. The thing about it is you always look at, well, who did they play? They played Notre Dame pretty darn well. And then I've been watching a lot of them last year, they beat Ohio and they've shown that they can go."
And go they will. The Boilermakers will look to put pressure on the Michigan defense by running plays at a rapid pace.
"This game also is going to be a game where you can expect tempo," said Mattison. "You can expect them coming out and just trying to wear us down with fast tempo. That means you better have another guy waiting at every position so he can go in there and there's no drop off."
To watch video of Mattison from Tuesday's press conference, press play below.