A week ago, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said the worst thing a coach could hear about his players was that they were soft and lazy. Two days after the Wolverines lost 45-20 at home to Illinois, Rodriguez didn’t hold back while evaluating his team’s performance.

“I thought we played a little soft, and that was the most disappointing thing about it,” Rodriguez said at his Monday press conference.

Rodriguez said his team needed play tougher in all three phases of the game, criticizing them from choosing to be “the hammer” instead of “the nail” at the point of collision. Though Rodriguez acknowledged that growing pains are no surprise for his young team, he said over-thinking on plays wasn’t a valid excuse this far into the season.

Without calling out any specific players for being soft against the Fighting Illini, Rodriguez said the entire team saw it on film Sunday and took it to heart.

“That’s something you never want to hear on defense,” fifth-year senior cornerback Morgan Trent said. “That’s a word that you hope never comes up. Of course, we’re disappointed to hear that.”

Rodriguez didn’t announce any personnel changes in response to his team’s lack of physicality. He also put some of the burden for the letdown on the coaching staff, which he said could do a better job preparing the team and motivating players.

Despite the big swing in emotions from the upset win over Wisconsin to the big loss against Illinois, Rodriguez said his team shouldn’t become complacent even with a Mid-American Conference opponent, Toledo, on the schedule this week.

“If our guys let down, then they shouldn’t be playing football — for Michigan or for anybody,” Rodriguez said.

Injury report A number of players came out of the Illinois game dinged up.

Freshman slot receiver Martavious Odoms, who accounted for more than half of Michigan’s total yards in the game, suffered a sprained shoulder and didn’t participate in Sunday’s practice. Rodriguez expects Odoms to be ready to go against Toledo on Saturday.

Another first-year player, nose tackle Mike Martin, suffered an arm injury against Illinois. He wore a sling as he left Michigan Stadium on Saturday night, but Rodriguez expects him to be ready to go this week.

Redshirt sophomore Perry Dorrestein, who started at left tackle against Illinois, got a ding to his head during the game but should also be available against the Rockets.

Junior running back Carlos Brown and sophomore wide receiver Junior Hemingway remain out with long-term injuries.

Junior Brandon Graham is still battling a leg infection, which could result in more playing time for redshirt freshman defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, Rodriguez said. Van Bergen isn’t so sure.

“If Brandon needs to take a couple plays off, I’m ready to play,” Van Bergen said. “But I know Brandon is a tough guy, unless he’s got a serious injury, he’s not going to come out.”

Stonum update: Freshman wide receiver Darryl Stonum’s status for the Toledo game remains “to be determined,” Rodriguez said. Stonum did not play against Illinois for what Rodriguez called a violation of team rules.

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