Michigan players watched film on day of rest

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 25, 2011
Michigan coach Brady Hoke gave his players a couple days off last week during the team's bye week. Some of them couldn't stay away. Senior tight end Kevin Koger met some teammates at Schembechler Hall to ''get some work in'' on Saturday after sleeping in a bit and watching TV at home. ''I really didn't know what to do,'' Koger said Monday. ''I actually figured out, I need a hobby.'' Koger wasn't alone. Junior left tackle Taylor Lewan also found his way to team headquarters, joining Koger and other Wolverines who refused to be idle with feet kicked up on the couch. ''We were like, 'Even on a day off, we're coming in,''' Koger recalled saying to Lewan. ''I feel like we don't know what else to do. That's all we know, just go to the building.'' The 17th-ranked Wolverines (4-3, 2-1 Big Ten) are looking forward to getting back on the field Saturday at home against Purdue (4-3, 2-1) for the first time since losing to Michigan State. Hoke said he and his players moved on from the 28-14 loss last Tuesday, a few days after their first setback of the season. The film was analyzed, corrections were made in practice and the Wolverines started to peek ahead to this week's matchup with the Boilermakers, who are coming off a win over Illinois. At least one player, though, acknowledged it wasn't easy to bounce back after a fourth straight loss to Michigan State. ''I'd be lying to you if I said we weren't down for a while,'' senior defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen said. ''We had a good thing going. The big thing was, we lost a game, but it was just a bump in the road.'' The Wolverines vow to finish differently than they did the last two years. Each time, their first loss of the season was to the Spartans. It spiraled into seven losses in 2009 and six last year in Rich Rodriguez's final season. Senior leadership, the team's captains insist, along with new coaches instilling confidence will make this a season to remember after some years they'd like to forget. ''There's not going to be a crash and burn,'' Van Bergen said. Michigan is going to ride with the inconsistent arm and blazing legs of Denard Robinson at quarterback. Robinson had his lowest passing percentage and fewest yards rushing in a game as a starter against the Spartans. Before Robinson was banged up and knocked out of that game, he stood on the sideline at times while backup Devin Gardner took snaps and also shared the field with him as a running back or receiver. Hoke, though, has tried to shoot down any chance of a brewing quarterback controversy by saying Gardner won't get a shot to play an entire series or quarter. Hoke has been effusive in praise of Robinson and reluctant to entertain the possibility that the junior has regressed in the passing game so much that he's struggling to make defenses pay for daring him to throw ''He's ... why we're 6-1,'' Hoke said. ''We're excited about him - happy with him. We've got to get more from our running game without Denard always being the featured guy. That goes to our backs, it goes to blocking at the line of scrimmage.'' The Wolverines lost some depth on defense and special teams with the fifth departure since Hoke's arrival in January. Hoke confirmed freshman Greg Brown has left the team and declined further comment other than to say he would be able to offer another scholarship because of Brown's departure. The defensive back from Fremont, Ohio, played sparingly in three games. Three other freshmen -Kellen Jones, Chris Barnett and Tony Posada - along with junior Je'Ron Stokes previously left the program during Hoke's first year in charge of college football's winningest team.
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