ANN ARBOR - Cam Gordon was asked point-blank after Michigan's loss Saturday to Nebraska, what's wrong with the Michigan football team?
Gordon didn't give a direct answer.
"From a defensive standpoint, we've got to finish," the linebacker said. "We've just got to come to work. ... That's all I've got to say about that."
With three games left in the season, that's what the Wolverines can't come up with: answers for their struggles.
Over and over, Michigan coach Brady Hoke pinned blame for the loss on himself.
"I've got to do a better job of coaching," Hoke repeated several times through the course of his post-game press conference.
Negative-69 yards rushing in the last two games?
"It's hard to explain, isn't it?" Hoke said. "I've got to do a better job of coaching these guys."
What does Hoke plan to improve in his coaching?
"Everything," he said.
That's a blanket statement. Honestly, we in the media would have a better gauge of what exactly is wrong with this team and how it can be fixed, but we don't get to watch practices. We aren't privy to where the physical or mental faults lie on a daily basis with this team. We don't know whom the coaches scream at the most or which players respond to a push or who fights with whom and why they fight; earlier this season, Jake Ryan and Kyle Bosch got into a scuffle at practice - a teammate later admitted the kerfuffle - and both laughed it off. (Chalk it up as part of the paranoia that comes from the college football culture.)
It's not that nobody can pinpoint the problem. There's clearly something wrong with this team - and that October trouncing of 8-2 Minnesota looks better and better each day.
It's simply that nobody wants to publicly admit it.
"Nebraska came, and they fought for four quarters," safety Courtney Avery said. "They came in here, and they're a good team. We've just got to go, now, back to the drawing board and back to tomorrow and keep improving and keep working.
"We've got a lot of football to play."
Three games, to be exact. That's 180 minutes, barring overtime.
If you're still counting, that's not a lot of football.