Michigan doesn’t expect to flop after 4-0 start

Michigan is 4-0 – just like last year.

The 19th-ranked Wolverines, who moved up two spots Sunday in The

Associated Press poll, don’t expect this season to end up the way

the last one did, when they finished 5-7 after a 4-0 start.

”We’re deeper on offense, for sure,” coach Rich Rodriguez

said. ”Defensively, we’re younger.”

The Wolverines’ depth at quarterback was tested in Saturday’s

65-21 win over Bowling Green because Denard Robinson and Tate

Forcier both left the game with injured left knees.

Rodriguez expects Robinson to be healthy enough to play in the

Big Ten opener this week at Indiana and doesn’t anticipate any of

his players overlooking the undefeated Hoosiers.

”We’re playing a very good Indiana team,” he said. ”our guys

know that from last year.”

Last season, Forcier threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to

Martavious Odoms with 2:29 left to give the Wolverines a 36-33 win

over Indiana in what ended up being their only conference

victory.

”They gave us a run for our money last year,” Forcier

said.

Forcier started every game last season ahead of Robinson when

they were freshmen and insisted he’s OK with being his backup this

fall.

”I just have to stay ready,” Forcier said. ”You never know

when your number is going to be called. The Big Ten is a rough

conference and it starts up next week. You have to be

prepared.”

Michigan seems ready on offense – scoring 41 points a game – but

its defense is allowing 23 points a game and seems likely to hold

the team back from a special season.

”We don’t want to be the Achilles’ heel of this team,”

defensive end Ryan Van Bergen said of the Bowling Green game. ”I

think we kind of circled the wagons as a unit and prepared for this

game like it was a bowl game. We came in with the attitude of don’t

let up, play on our toes and play in your face. I think we did a

good job of that.”

Rodriguez has seen a lot to like on offense and has been

concerned with some problems on defense and with the kicking game

through four games.

”There were enough positive things we can grow from and

negative things we can fix,” Rodriguez said.