Anyone expecting major personnel changes in the Michigan football team’s secondary shouldn’t hold their breath.

“For any of the guys, trust me when I tell you this — if they would help us win, they’d be playing more,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said at his press conference Monday. “We’re playing the best guys that give us the best chance to win. Why wouldn’t we? It doesn’t make any sense.”

In Michigan’s loss to Michigan State, the defensive backs were burned for several deep passes. Rodriguez alternated the combination of fifth-year senior strong safety Charles Stewart and freshman cornerback Boubacar Cissoko with fifth-year senior cornerback Morgan Trent and junior safety Stevie Brown in the game.

Rodriguez said he might have played free safety Michael Williams more, but the redshirt freshman went down with a concussion in the first quarter.

Against teams that run the spread, like Purdue, this weekend’s opponent, Rodriguez said he would consider using a three-cornerback formation, playing Cissoko, Trent and sophomore Donovan Warren.

“The frustrating part is, after eight games, we should have more consistency on the level of play,” Rodriguez said.

With seven returning starters on defense, many thought that unit would make up for some of the offense’s inexperience.

“There were more assumptions made defensively that we’re OK at this position or that we’ll get this kind of production at this position,” Rodriguez said. “I think there’s an assumption that this guy is a returning starter, so he’ll be able to pick up the scheme and be able to go just like that. That’s not always the case.”

Getting off the wall: Michigan’s back is against the wall, both literally and figuratively.

At 2-6, the Wolverines need to win their final four games to become bowl eligible. In Sunday’s practice, Rodriguez made the metaphor a reality.

He had the entire team line up along the wall at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. Then, he told them to try and punch. But there wasn’t much power in their jabs.

Then, Rodriguez told them to step away from the wall and step into their punches, which were much more powerful.

“We keep emphasizing that our backs are to the wall,” freshman defensive tackle Mike Martin said. “We have to fight to get our backs off the wall.”

Butler progressing” Redshirt junior Carson Butler is getting closer to playing at defensive end, Rodriguez said. Butler started the season as a tight end.

“It’s not this easy to move a guy and say, ‘OK, here you go,’ ” Rodriguez said. “There are a lot of schemes. There are different plays you’ve got to defend.”

Butler’s athleticism and quick first step will help him on the defensive side of the ball.

Rodriguez didn’t rule out of the possibility of Butler playing defense this season.

Not a touchdown: Junior Brandon Minor’s first-quarter touchdown reception has raised a bit of controversy. After the play was initially ruled incomplete, the replay booth overturned the call. Since the game, many have acknowledged that the replay officials made the wrong call.

“Was that what they said?” Rodriguez said when asked about the call. “Too late now.”

Injury report: Freshman running back Sam McGuffie and Williams, both of whom left Saturday’s game with mild concussions, didn’t practice Sunday and are considered day-to-day.

Redshirt sophomore left tackle Perry Dorrestein (knee) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Jonas Mouton (hamstring) should practice this week.

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