ANN ARBOR, Mich. – 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.