“The leadership throughout the team has been awfully positive,” Hoke said. “And and I still like the work ethic from a physical and mental standpoint. You always evaluate where you’re at and what you need to do. What could have you done differently? We’ve done that. We’ve talked about that.”
Michigan (1-1) now must regroup and move forward towards their next opponent -- Miami (Ohio) – who the Wolverines play host to this Saturday, Hoke says.
“Far as where this team is at, I’m excited about it,” Hoke said. “We understand that our goals are still out there. Now we got to turn to Miami and be back at home with our students and the Michigan fans and go back to work.”
Despite the loss at ND, Hoke says Michigan’s main goal is till at hand this season.
“Our goal is still there,” Hoke said. “All our goals I have stated a thousand times – is to win the Big ten championship. So that’s out there. “Now do we have to get better and work hard? Yeah, we do.”
Work In Progress
The Michigan offense had its moments on Saturday at ND, however, they were held scoreless for the first time in 365 games – which was an NCAA record. And after their performance, Hoke noted the offense can’t waste scoring opportunities.
“We didn’t finish drives,” Hoke said. “When you have opportunities to put points on the board, we’ve got to be able to do that. You have a nine play drive – and you don’t finish – that gets a little disheartening.”
Although, Hoke says the offense never quit despite being held scoreless.
“And the good thing was, they stayed together and they kept going forward,” Hoke said.
Defensively, Michigan held the Irish to 54-yards on the ground. Which Hoke says was a positive. However, the lack of creating turnovers has been a cause of concern through U-M’s first two games, Hoke says.
“In some ways we expected us to play that way versus the run,” Hoke said. “The biggest thing for us defensively, we have not created any opportunities for our offense. We haven’t created field position. We haven’t created any turnovers. That’s as much as anything. So what that mean, we’re not hitting the quarterback enough? Yeah, some of it that. Not forcing bad throws. Not playing tight enough on those bad throws.”
Senior kicker Matt Wile missed both of his field goal attempts at Notre Dame on Saturday, and is now 1-4 on the season.
Despite his early season struggles, Hoke says he is still sticking with his senior kicker.
“I got a lot of faith in Matt [Wile],” Hoke said. “We got him straighten away. Be honest, the right has was a little bit of a problem for him. He got it straightened out. I think with the second one if you watched it, he slipped with his plant foot. And that’s what caused it low and everything else.”
Hoke said sophomore Kenny Allen should get some reps at kicker as well.
“Kenny [Allen] we’re going to give some kicks, too,” Hoke said. “Will see who we feel most comfortable with. Who can help Michigan win.”
Michigan (1-1) plays host to Miami (Ohio) (0-2) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.