Found September 15, 2013 on
The Detroit Sports Site:
Michigan fans love Brady Hoke. Absolutely love him.
Before the Wolverines’ game with Akron, a skywriter penciled Hoke’s name into the sky over Michigan Stadium. Later, Hoke received an ovation from the crowd for providing students with donuts before the game’s noon kickoff.
He is a “Michigan man”, who returned home to save the program after the nightmarish Rich Rodriguez disaster and, over his first two seasons, delivered a BCS bowl bid and wins over Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame. His recruiting has stood toe-to-toe with Urban Meyer in Columbus … and just about any other coach in the country.
There is no question — none whatsoever — that Michigan is better off with Hoke at the helm than it was prior to his arrival.
But Saturday was a wake-up call to Hoke, the Michigan program and all the Maize and Blue faithful expecting Big Ten championships and national title runs. The Wolverines are far from a perfect product at the moment. And by raising the expectations around Ann Arbor, Hoke made performances like Michigan’s nail-biting 28-24 win over a hapless Akron program completely unacceptable.
“They played harder than we did. They played more error free than we did,” Hoke said. “You can’t win championships that way.”
Senior captain Taylor Lewan, who eschewed the 2013 NFL Draft to return for his final season, agreed: “We didn’t prepare as a team, that is truly embarrassing for the University of Michigan that we came out like that. It’s not fair to the fans, it’s not fair to the people associated to this program. It’s not fair to the players on this team that aren’t playing.”
Hoke’s nowhere near the hot seat. He’s going to be the head coach at Michigan for as long as he wants to be, barring some unforeseen collapse — one that his incredible work on the recruiting trail should stave off for years to come. So don’t take this as anything more than what it is: an understanding, for all parties involved, that Michigan can ill-afford pathetic showings like it had against Akron if it wants to be considered a national power again.
On the same afternoon that Michigan was barely holding off a team that had three wins over the past three seasons and hadn’t downed a Big Ten foe in more than a century, Ohio State was romping past Cal despite starting its backup QB. Now, the Bears are a long way from the Oregons and Alabamas of the world, but certainly the Wolverines should take notice of that Buckeyes’ performance. That’s what title contenders are supposed to do — pummel an overmatched foe, home or away, then move on to the next game.
The Buckeyes had their own close calls during a 12-0 2012 season: Cal, Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue all pushed them to their limits (as did Wisconsin and Michigan). Teams are going to have off games, afternoons when they’re not as emotionally ready. The really elite teams push through those afternoons, then use the lessons learned to make themselves better.
Hoke’s test now is making sure that happens. To take the frustration and shock of Michigan’s “embarrassing” show and turn it into a way to get better.
Since arriving back on campus, Hoke has preached that his program needs to strive for Big Ten titles and beyond. Up until Akron pushed the Wolverines to the very limit, just about every Michigan fan tagged along for that ride, totally confident that Hoke would get his team where he wanted it to go.
Even though the Wolverines have struggled away from home and against top-flight competition in Hoke’s brief tenure, the Zips cast the first real doubt into the minds of the Maize and Blue faithful that Hoke regarding Hoke being destined to succeed.
There remain far more positives than negatives in place for the Wolverines, many of them there because of Hoke’s efforts. He knows — and Michigan fans will not hesitate to remind him — that performances like Saturday’s simply will not cut it.
BEST OF MAXIM
ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke didn't take long to show Michigan what he thought of their performance Saturday against Akron.
When the players showed up Sunday, expecting a usual light practice to go along with watching game film, they got an unpleasant surprise.
"We went out and practiced with helmets and shoulder pads, the whole thing," Hoke said. "I wouldn't...
After a stunning win last week this week the biggest focus will be on technique, consistency, and hopefully getting reps for the younger guys.
So here are my Final Five Thoughts about the game against Akron today in The Big House.
1. Defensive Line
After a lackluster performance against Notre Dame this position group will be a focal point. Although Akron is not Notre Dame, they...
With a goal line stance, Michigan beat Akron 28-24 in the final seconds. After the game, the Michigan locker room was deafening silent.
“This is embarrassing for the University of Michigan football team,” senior left tackle Taylor Lewan said. “We won the game. We’re 3-0. That’s great. But it was embarrassing.” That sums up the sentiment of the Wolverine Nation.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke spoke with a raspy, disappointed voice after the Wolverines held on to beat Akron 28-24 Saturday afternoon in front of 107,000 fans. Hoke gives credit to the Zips, evaluates his pass rush, talks secondary, and more (VIDEO included).
After one of its worst performances in the Big House, No. 15 Michigan is about to take its show on the road.
And Wolverines coach Brady Hoke is going to be staying up nights thinking about it.
''It's something I always worry about, and it is worse because we've got such a young team,'' Hoke said about this week's trip to East Hartford to face Connecticut...
Tailgating just got a lot sweeter for University of Michigan students.
Head coach Brady Hoke has been promoting Saturday’s noon contest against Akron as the “glazed donut game,” and he will be handing out those tasty treats to the first 5,000 students who show up to The Big House, courtesy of Tim Hortons.
Hoke made the announcement on Thursday on Detroit’s 97.1 FM, and revealed...
Michigan coach Brady Hoke says it'll be a ''glazed-doughnut game'' when the 11th-ranked Wolverines play Akron.
Hoke explains that when he was growing up and playing football, eating a glazed doughnut the morning before games was part of his routine.
He is now trying to bring his childhood ritual to Ann Arbor, promising early-arriving students they...
YOU get a doughnut! And YOU get a doughnut! And YOU get a doughnut!
Earlier this week Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke refereed to Saturday's Wolverine home game against Akron as a "glazed doughnut game." This terminology allegedly refers to Hoke's youth playing Pop Warner football, when he would supposedly get a doughnut on his way to the game.
Michigan Football (3-0) pulled out a much tougher than expected 28-24 win over Akron (1-2) on Saturday afternoon. The first half was sluggish and uninspiring as Michigan’s ground game sputtered out a meager 19 rushing yards and Devin Gardner turned the ball over three times. The Zips went into the locker room feeling pretty good about their chances of pulling off what would have...
STORY: After narrowly escaping with a 28-24 win over Akron Saturday, Michigan senior captain Taylor Lewan had strong words about the leadership and preparation of the Wolverines. Quarterback Devin Gardner and Michigan coach Brady Hoke offer their thoughts as well.
VIDEO: Michigan senior captain Taylor Lewan and junior quarterback Devin Gardner weren't messing around in their post game press conference following a closer than expected 28-24 win over Akron.
VIDEO: FOXSportsNEXT's Josh Newkirk and Kyle Bogenschutz hit the field of the big house to wrap-up Michigan's 28-24 win over Akron, take a look at the pass rush issues, Devin Gardner's turnovers, and the inability to run the football.
Bacari Alexander watched class of 2014 wing guard Javon Bess in open gym last week and Michigan head coach John Beilein was in attendance on Monday. Bess said he thought he played well in front of Michigan’s coach.
“I think I played well, I think I played pretty well,” Bess said in a brief conversation on Monday. “I shot the ball well, made some plays coming off the pick...
In the aftermath of the almost-catastrophic Akron game, Michigan bloggers took to their keyboards to say things. Here's a roundup of Akron reaction.
There should be a hangover from the previous week. Notre Dame, as ****** as it looks like they are, was still a rival opponent on a huge stage. Michigan should be looking ahead to the Big Ten...and probably should...
I keep trying to think of things I can say here that will somehow make sense of this game. I keep writing paragraphs and then deleting them and starting over. The truth is, there is now way to somehow draw any real sense of reason and covey it in a way that makes any sense.
All that really matters from yesterday is that Michigan won the game. That's it. Period.