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Posted on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

Live updates from Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez's Monday press conference

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan fan Steve Castillo, Coolwater, Ohio, nearly blows a gasket reacting to Michigan's decision to take a knee and run out the clock to end the first half rather than try and score during Saturday's 48-28 loss to Wisconsin.

Lon Horwedel |

The Game is upon us.

Although the Michigan football team is bowl eligible at 7-4, Rich Rodriguez has yet to register a signature win during his tenure.

After Saturday's 48-28 loss to Wisconsin, the Wolverines conclude the regular season at No. 8 Ohio State (noon, ABC). Despite Saturday's loss when Michigan's offense sputtered for two quarters and the defense couldn't stop the Badgers' ground attack, Rodriguez said his team will put the performance behind it, motivated by its biggest rivalry game.

All three talking points were part of Monday's weekly meeting with the media.

Injuries remain a part of Michigan's story. Counting the players that are out for the year, Rodriguez said he has 20 players that could miss practice Monday.

Rodriguez said he is optimistic that everyone who missed Saturday's game against Wisconsin or that left the game should be cleared to play against Ohio State. Nose tackle Mike Martin should be able to return while Jeremy Gallon (shoulder) and Darryl Stonum (ankle) could play, but will undergo further testing before practice on Monday.

At stake

While Ohio State can keep its Big Ten championship hopes alive with a win, Rodriguez said the Buckeyes don't have more interest in the annual rivalry than his team. Rodriguez said a win Saturday would be big for Michigan's fan base, its seniors and its coaching staff.

"They may have more to play for bowl-wise, championship-wise, maybe they do have more at stake," he said. But to say it's less important? No. Never. Not Michigan-Ohio State."

Taking the points

Rodriguez was asked about the Wolverines being an 18-point underdog in Saturday's game and quickly brushed the question off. He said he doesn't even think about point spreads.

"What do I think about it?" he said. "I don't."

Rodriguez said he hasn't concerned himself with point spreads since he arrived at Michigan, focusing more on trying to make Michigan a championship team.

"I hope some day we're an 18-point favorite against everyone we play - how's that?" Rodriguez said.

Under the microscope

Rodriguez was asked if he believes the scrutiny surrounding him or his job security has changed since the Wolverines became bowl eligible against Illinois.

He said he hasn't paid attention to outside opinion - not in the past weeks - and not since he arrived. He said he lives in a world where everyone's got an opinion and compared his job to that of a politician.

"Everyone's got an opinion on how you do your job," he said. "That's life."

Rodriguez said he has never allowed what people think of him dictate how he goes about his business. He said whether he was contending for Big East championships at West Virginia or struggling to get things rolling at Michigan, Rodriguez said his current standing has never been based on what people think of him.

"I didn't get this job at Michigan by getting a lottery ticket that said, 'Congratulations, you're the coach at Michigan,' Rodriguez said.

Part of the routine

Rodriguez said the Thanksgiving holiday doesn't have much of an impact on his team's preparations. He said his players will enjoy a big meal with coaches and their famililies Thursday afternoon.

With no class Thursday or Friday, Rodriguez said he will adjust the time of practice Thursday before leaving for Columbus on Friday.



Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 2:51 p.m.

So since he didn't have a losing record this year and he did the past two that means that's substantial progress and he deserves to stay? He has beaten NO ONE! We had 34 straight bowl appearances before he got here. What we are seeing this year is what I expected to see in year one or two. How many times have we beaten MSU since he's been here? PSU? Iowa? Do you see a pattern here? We barely beat Indiana two years in a row and we narrowly avoided getting beat by Massachusetts at home this year. Fundamental football is a thing of the past at Michigan. We need to get back to hitting and tackling, not worrying about how many points we can score. No amount of points is enough when you can't play defense, and defense is something Michigan used to pride itself on.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 11:35 a.m.

This is why I support him: Progress every year under Coach Rod. 3-9, 5-7 & 7-4 (with 2 games left in the season). He also has the #1 RB and #3 RB committed to Michigan for 2011. The injuries and lack of depth on D as well as youth on D will be corrected enough by next year to make the defense average - and let me tell you - with this offense all you need is an average D to go 9 & 3. If Rodriguez wasn't making progress every year, I would agree with you... fire him now! But you can't dispute the fact that he is making progress. Every year the team is getting better - and the Win / Loss record shows that. GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 12:14 a.m.

True_Wolverine_Fan - I guess I don't know what you see in Rich Rod and his system? Look at his conference record, where we play most of our games. The offense is average and the defense is horrible. I really hoped Rich Rod would be successful at Michigan but the way he blew things up in year one was really disappointing. I think if would have atleast tried to adjust his offense to the talent he had he might not have had as many defections. And with the loses came the disention on the team with some of the "Carr" players. A coach that can't adapt to the talent he has isn't that good a coach. And now in his 3rd year with only 6 Big Ten wins we should think next year will be different? The offense should be more consistent the defense can't be worse but what about special teams? I don't see the intensity, especially in the rivalry games and that is the most disappointing part of all. Go Blue, I'll be rooting for you to beat Ohio State but I just want Rich Rod gone.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 10:20 p.m.

Our Coach, Our Coach, Under him success Michigan has broached, Should he be let go? Let us hope David Brandon says "no"!


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 8:01 p.m.

The Hack, The Hack It's victories we lack Our program's in Ruins But his lackey's keep spewin' Final Stop on the RichRod Farewell Tour happens in Columbus this Weekend! All Aboard!


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

Our King, Our King; Many titles he'll lose. Fear not our speed, It's just a ruse! 2011 Outhouse Bowl


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

After Saturday 2 of the three schools sharing the Big Ten Title will be Michigans biggest rivals. It's appalling to think the program has sunk so low. What's that say about your king Theo? The only way Michigan wins a bowl game against anybody is if they announce Rich Rod has been fired and the guys put forth a super human effort on defense.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

If Richrod didn't get his job by playing the lottery, I'll think I'll take my chances on the numbers instead. Please give me any numbers that aren't 15-20,please. (RR's record at Michigan).


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

How in the world is 15-20 in 2+ seasons considered progress versus the previous 5, 10, 20, 40 years worth of winning? It's a ridiculous statement.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

This is pathetic. All this talk about injuries and youth and needing time to mature and learn. What Michigan suffers from is a profound lack of execution fundamentals, most notably tackling. That is the responsibility of the coaches to teach fundamentals and instill a sense of commitment to them. On that score, Rodriguez and his coaches have failed. Rodriguez did not arrive at Michigan with an empty cupboard. It might not have been national championship caliber talent, but it certainly was not 3-9 talent. A better coach would have used the talent he had and worked at *worst* a 7-5 season that first year and improved from there. Sadly, Mary Sue Coleman has too much of her prestige wrapped up in the Rodriguez decision for her to allow him fired after this year. He'll be back next year, and there will be no noticeable improvement. Then Rodriguez will be fired. Brandon better be cultivating a list of coaches right now, or *he* should be fired as well.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 2:35 p.m.

It's time for RR to debut Tate and Denard (aka Percy H.) in the same backfield oooooohhhhhhh the excitement that would generate. I honestly think that would make our offense the most explosive in all college football...especially if Denard can catch OMG OSU be prepared for your worse nightmare!!!!!!!!!

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 2:09 p.m.

You still got the first 5 games next year. Eastern MI, Notre Dame, Western MI, San Diego St, and Minnesota all home games. You will start out 4 and 1 and then all the hype will start and then you will start to play real football teams and then you will have to wait until Purdue Oct 29 to maybe get your 5th win. Next years schedule looks really bad a lot of away games late in the schedule. Then to end it 2 home games, Nebraska and then OSU to end the season. Ouch! Rich Rod For Pres.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 2:04 p.m.

Well you "sold yourself to the devil" so to speak by going with R-Rod and the spread! If you change coaches now it will be another 10 years until this is actually a rivalry again!(due to changing systems again) Now you know what it felt like for us during the Cooper years although I admit this is worse! Buckeyes Big.....Again Go Bucks!

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

When Michigan starts accepting 3-9 as a benchmark, the terrorists have won. This is a better benchmark: 9-4, 8-4, 12-0, 10-3, 10-2, 9-3, 8-4, 10-3, 10-3, 9-3, 7-5, 11-2, 9-4. 6-17 in Big Ten play over three seasons does not cut it. Five more days and Michigan can go out and get a real coach.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 1:43 p.m.

GO BUCKS That is a long drive down 23. It will be a longer drive back. But after another loss to the BUCKEYES you will now have your hopes granted. I do think RR will be history after Sat.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 1:39 p.m.

Progress every year under Coach Rod. 3-9, 5-7 & 7-4 (with 2 games left in the season). In Rod We Trust! GO BLUE!


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 1:35 p.m.

If Ohio State scores less than 50 points Saturday, than they are worthless. As sorry as it is to say this, Michigan's defense and kicking game is a good high school team caliber, at best. I never thought I'd see that at Michigan. I get it takes time to rebuild an offense, but how the defense has sunk so low is a complete surprise to me.