Found September 16, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke didn't take long to show Michigan what he thought of their performance Saturday against Akron. When the players showed up Sunday, expecting a usual light practice to go along with watching game film, they got an unpleasant surprise. "We went out and practiced with helmets and shoulder pads, the whole thing," Hoke said. "I wouldn't say the kids were excited about it, but they accepted it. I was excited, though." Hoke hadn't needed Saturday night to decide to break routine. "I knew about 4:07 on Saturday what we were going to," he said, indicating a time about 30 minutes after the Wolverines had hung on to beat Akron 28-24. "I just didn't tell them until 12:30 Sunday afternoon." The players weren't about to complain after needing two stops inside the 5-yard line to avoid losing to one of the worst programs in college football. Akron hasn't won more than one game in a season since 2009 and came into the Big House with a 27-game road losing streak. "I was mad Saturday, and I'm still mad today," said tackle Taylor Lewan. "But this could be a good thing if we are able to learn from everything we did wrong last week. We didn't prepare for the Akron game, and we can't ever let that happen again. "Based on what I saw on Sunday, we're going to be prepared for UConn like no team has ever been prepared before." Lewan injured his right ankle against Akron, but stayed in the game and refused to discuss the injury afterward, saying only "Don't worry about me." Monday, he was wearing a walking boot, and still wasn't talking. "It's a fashion statement," he said. "One boot at a time." James Ross III might have been Hoke's poster child for poor preparation. He didn't start the game after a poor week of practice, but came through with two key defensive plays in the fourth quarter. "I don't think any of us took proper advantage of our practice time last week, but I especially didn't give my best effort," he said. "I deserved to miss out on starting, because I took the week for granted. "Taylor wasn't the only one who was angry after Saturday's game. We were all upset, and we know that we've got to change what happened. "We were embarrassed by Akron, so we need to go to Connecticut and prove ourselves all over again." The trip to East Hartford will be Michigan's first game away from home this season, and that will be a challenge for a roster than uses a lot of freshmen and sophomores. "I think we should take a lot of nannies on this trip, or, what do they call them? Au pairs?" Hoke said. "We've got freshmen who have never been to a road game and we've got guys who redshirted last year, so they only time they traveled was to the bowl game. "Believe me, this is something I worry about every year, and especially this year with a young team and a night game." Hoke, though, puts most of the responsibility on the seniors. "As the only offensive captain, it's on me to explain to these guys what they need to do to win on the road," Lewan said. "It's different than it is in high school, where everyone of these guys was the best player on the team, and they were riding buses to road games. This is Division I, and it is hard to win on the road. "We haven't played well on the road in the last couple years, and it has cost us our shot at winning championships. We can't keep doing this, and I'm not going to let them. I'm running out of time in my career -- I want to win now."
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