Michigan defense needs to get tougher

From Michigan's defensive issues to a promising debut at Wisconsin to a big battle in Iowa, the Big Ten is covered here.

Updated: September 7, 2005, 5:02 PM ET
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com
Coach Lloyd Carr is promising changes to his defense, without giving specifics, after a less-than-satisfactory performance in Michigan's debut. "We're not going to sit and watch that type of effort," Carr said. "We need to play harder. We need to play tougher. We need to be a physical football team. If you choose to use the word tough, that's your prerogative. Freedom of the press."

If Notre Dame thought it wouldn't have to battle a big-play, Michigan wide receiver now that Braylon Edwards is gone, it better think again. Wolverines senior captain Jason Avant looks capable of tormenting the Fighting Irish's secondary after catching nine passes for a career-high 127 yards and one score in a 33-17 win over Northern Illinois.

• The first thing Michigan better figure out is how to stop Notre Dame sophomore Darius Walker. He torched the Wolverines for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Irish's upset victory last season and had 100 yards rushing and a 51-yard TD on a screen pass in Notre Dame's victory at Pittsburgh.

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