ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Senior safety Jarrod Wilson sees something in his defense.
Despite the fact that Michigan has played only one go so far this season, a very small sample size, what he saw was apparent early to him.
The team didn’t give up, it didn’t lose its fight when the going got tough. That toughness, something the team and the previous coaching staff wanted so desperately but didn’t quite find it.
So far, according to Wilson, the team has it.
“I learned that this team has a lot of fight in them,” he said. “Even though it was week one, I could tell that. We have high expectations for ourselves. Defensively we thought we had a pretty bad game. It may not seem like that on T.V. or to others, but to us, we just have high expectations for ourselves.”
What Wilson was trying to say, without actually coming out and saying it, was that the defense, and perhaps himself separately, didn’t quite live up to his expectations. But that’s the beauty of college football. Each week is a new opportunity to get back on the right track and get caught up with preseason goals.
The opportunities for Wilson and the U-M defense? The little things.
“We just did a bad job tackling, getting lined up correctly,” Wilson said. “There we no blown coverages, really. Just the little things. We’re really hard on ourselves. We have high expectations, we had a pretty bad game defensively.”
U-M has a chance to get back to expectations this Saturday against Oregon State in Ann Arbor. Perhaps overshadowed by the return of U-M coach Jim Harbaugh to Michigan Stadium, he has been coaching the team, too.
According to Wilson, it seems the current coaching staff has made an impact with them already. Compared to last year where players might’ve played timid, this time around they mean business.
“This year guys understand the game a lot more and the ability to play faster as opposed to last year,” Wilson said. “I know a lot of guys were pretty timid (last season) the first few games playing with a new group of guys even though we had a lot of returners.
“This year, guys have just really locked in, I guess, more.”