By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Michigan head coach Brady Hoke declined to talk about injured players Wednesday, remaining mum on the statuses of freshman defensive back Jabrill Peppers, senior linebacker Desmond Morgan and sophomore tight end Jake Butt.
Hoke did talk about Michigan’s upcoming tilt with longtime rival Notre Dame.
“We’re excited about the opportunity Saturday,” Hoke said. “It’s one of the great rivalries. It’ll be fun, it’ll be a great atmosphere, and we look forward to it.”
One of the challenges in facing the Irish will be containing quarterback Everett Golson, who threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for three more scores in Notre Dame’s first game this season.
Golson missed the 2013 season because of a suspension related to academics, but in 2012, he completed 187 passes for 2,405 yards – and rushed for 298 – as the Irish went 12-1. Golson threw for 12 touchdowns that season and also ran for six.
Simulating the size and mobility of Golson in practice has been a team effort for the Wolverines.
“We’ve used wide receivers in the past, [former Michigan wide receiver] Joe Reynolds was great to use because he was a quarterback in high school, so we’ve done that,” Hoke said. “I think with some of the guys, Brian Cleary runs very well, he’s done a good job with it, and then Wilton [Speight], as big as he is and as tall as he is, is really a good athlete, so those two have given us good looks. Because of the first opponent, we’ve worked really hard on the zone read aspect of it. Again, you’re going to play a very good athlete. We’ve got to have 11 guys getting to the football.”
Last season the Wolverines defeated the Irish, 41-30. Saturday’s game between the two traditional football powers will be the last in the foreseeable future, as Notre Dame announced last year it would end the series with Michigan because of scheduling issues.