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Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

After an off week, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke talks about his team and Purdue

By Pete Cunningham

With an off week behind the Michigan football team -- and a 28-14 loss to Michigan State still lingering -- things are back to normal around Schembechler Hall.

The week leading up to the Wolverines' homecoming game against Purdue on Saturday (noon, ESPN2) started with coach Brady Hoke and senior Ryan Van Bergen addressing the media this afternoon. provided the following live updates from the press conference:

Brady Hoke has now left the press conference. Below are highlights from his comments to the media. Below Hoke's quotes are comments from Ryan Van Bergen:

Brady Hoke: Declined to expand on Gregg Brown leaving the team. Brown was Rich Rodriguez's first verbal commit of the 2011 recruiting class and an early enrollee last year.

Brady Hoke: I think we were a little tentative...You're going to make mistakes, if you're going to make mistakes, make them aggressive."

Brady Hoke: Said he watched last week's Purdue vs. Illinois game live. Doesn't like TV version of tape. Prefers coaches' copy.

Brady Hoke: Said he focused strictly on preparations for Purdue during the off week.

Brady Hoke: On production of running backs, "I'd like to get 100 yards out of them."

Brady Hoke: Said he hopes to have freshmen Frank Clark (DE) and Brennen Beyer (LB) in more. "Frank as more of a rush, Brennen more of a SAM linebacker."

Brady Hoke: Said in trying to correct running game, doesn't just single out the backs, "You can't put it all on them...Sometimes it's the front."

Brady Hoke: On Michigan State loss, "We move forward. I mean, you have to."

Brady Hoke: Said team practiced "fast" last week.

Brady Hoke: On Ricky Barnum, "He's more healthier now than he was a week ago."

Brady Hoke: On Denard Robinson and running game, "We're 6-1 and he's a lot of the reasons we're 6-1...We've got to get a lot more out of the backs and the running game without his as the featured back."

Brady Hoke: On the first drive of games (Michigan has scored on first drive each of past four weeks): "I think it helps with the whole team's mental framework, with your psyche."

Brady Hoke: On kick return game, "We've got to block better at the point of attack."

Brady Hoke: On Purdue, "I think, offensively, they're doing a lot with the football. I think they've got a lot of skill players."

Brady Hoke: Said Taylor Lewan and Ricky Barnum are healthy.

Brady Hoke: Confirmed that Gregg Brown has left the team.

Brady Hoke: Said the team had "moved on" from the Michigan State loss by Tuesday's practice.

Brady Hoke: Singled out Frank Clark, Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor as players who benefited from the off week.

Brady Hoke: "It was good in some ways, obviously, to have a bye week. ... I thought our practices Tuesday, Thursday and (Sunday) were at a high tempo."


Ryan Van Bergen: How important is getting the sixth win and becoming bowl eligible? "Six wins is not something we're focused on...Six wins, that's a failure of a season...That's not up to the Michigan standard...That's too low of a goal."

Ryan Van Bergen: Credits gained confidence of team "50-50" between seniors and coaching staff.

Ryan Van Bergen: Watched Purdue vs. Illinois game on Saturday: "Purdue plays hard...they're rolling as a team, they're going to be a good challenge for us."

Ryan Van Bergen: Said he thinks the team is better prepared to avoid a late season slide. Admitted that's what the team said last year, but "I think last year there might have been a lack of confidence."

Ryan Van Bergen: On Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer contributing: "I think as the season goes on, you're going to see more out of those guys...When you're an 18-year-old kid going up against 22, 23-year-olds, that can shake you. But we try to explain to those guys coaches put them in those positions because they think they can handle it."

Ryan Van Bergen: On moving on from the MSU loss, "I'd be lying if I told you we weren't down for a bit."



Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

This team has only 1 loss so far and that's without having an establish offensive identity yet. Hoke & co. may take some heat from some fans, but I think it's time to abandon the W coast/ hybrid offense and run something that's geared to their present personnel, not necessarily the spread w/read opt. as last year, but there's the spread TE, but whatever they use, I think spreading teams and sometimes using SRs will open up the run game and then the passing game. DR is just to mechanical in this offense. DR is not your typical pocket passer QB, but that's not the only qualification of a QB, any position with "back" ( Q,F,H ) in it can carry the ball. The objective of a QB is to lead a team down field at least 10 yds at a time within 4 downs using the handoff, pass or run to score a TD. There is nothing saying that the QB is limited to being a passer only, that's just a preference. DR was the most complete ( running/passing ) QB last year in the nation. Barry Sanders wasn't your prototypical RB, but still, he was one of the greatest of all time. UF didn't try to make Tim Tebow, Chris Leak, they fashioned the scheme to the QB and won with both. It's time to let DR be DR, regardless of some fans, win now and build behind him. Do not waste this great talent because he's not what some fans want in a QB.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

Re; running backs: "I'd like to get 100 yard out of them."-Coach Hoke 10/24/11. The quote and comment has been repeated more than once, maybe over a dozen times since late August. This is one weakeness that has been equally inconsistent as Denard's passing skills. The other, is the receiving unit. When considering all of the offensive weakenesses, this team has over achieved this season. They have put a lot of points on the scoreboard. We will have a big advantgae playing at home this Saturday. Purdue is improving but I look for an angry and determined Wolverine team to play with a chip on their shoulder. It would be nice if the running backs gets us well over 100 yards against the Boilermakers. Aside from a complete offensive showing against MN and a strong second half against NW, let's hope for a solid performance. GO BLUE!!

Matt Patercsak

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

i hate to get caught looking ahead, but watching the purdue illinois game, I couldnt help but notice that Illinois runs pretty much the same base formations as we do. Double tight shotgun. I predict one heck of a ballgame. plus they always have good running backs. back to Purdue, coach is right, they do have some good athletes. I played against Justin Siller in high school and he made me look like an idiot by sidestepping my blitz. I came in untouched and all i could do was graze the top of his shoe with my hand. they are competitive. and after beating the illini, they are indeed rolling. Im excited to see what adjustments were made in the 2 weeks we have off. I predict a more downhill version of our offense. I think Borges may have gotten carried away with the offensive game plan by getting real lofty and 'nick-nacky' if you will. Id like to see a lot more power running, mixed with screens. (all kinds). basics. Im pumped too for frank clark to get some reps. I imagine one day that clark, beyer, rawls, countess and morgan will make one heck of a senior class. I want to see Joey Kerridge lead blocking for rawls in the future! nothing says fullback like preferred walk-on :) Excited for Big Blue to hit the field once more. we'll see if they answered the wakeup call

jeff blue

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

Finally moving away from this rediculous loss to MSU -- it is one game. We will play 13 or 14 games this season. Totally focus on Purdue! Purdue is not a bad team and we must respect our opponent. Our solid "D" will be the most likely reason that we the Purdue game. I think that we can win if we are totally focused and I could care less what happens in any other Big Ten game.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

I agree that the only game that matters this weekend is UM/Purdue. It's a must win for the Wolverines and they've got to play like it...which I think they will.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

14 extremely unlikely . . .


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

Sure ... 13 = no B1G championship but go to a bowl 14 = B1G championship and go to a bowl 13 games is very likely. 14 less likely, unless some remarkable things come to pass.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

13 OR 14? really 14?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Good to be getting ready for a new opponent this week.

Wally the Wolverine

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Brown leaving? Uh-oh something smells in Denmark.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:12 p.m.

One of the other posts talked about other freshman putting in off-week work to get better and get more playing time. As Matt says, the cream rises.

Matt Patercsak

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

i wouldnt panic. he was a rich rod recruit upset with lack of playing time. nothing more. Probably getting beat down by the coaches and adapted a "for what?" mentality. the cream rises to the top during times of adversity.

Wally the Wolverine

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

or, something is rotten in Denmark. Usually something innocuous is explained away pretty easily - this concerns me. Hold it together Brady!