Hoke expects Michigan to win early

ANN ARBOR — Michigan football coach Brady Hoke will not give an inch.

Even though there is an overhaul of the offense and defense and a new coaching staff, he has embraced U-M’s tradition and won’t let it go.

At Sunday’s U-M media day, he was asked how long a turnaround will take.

“This is Michigan; there aren’t going to be any excuses,” he said. “If we don’t win the Big Ten championship, we failed these kids as coaches.”

A week into fall camp, Hoke is ready to see which players are ready for that level, calling the upcoming week “huge” for the team.

He’ll put players through three days of two-a-day practices, capped by a Saturday scrimmage.

“We’re going to see adversity,” Hoke said. “Every team has adversity during the course of a season, during the course of a game. We’re going to have some adversity because we’re demanding and there’s an expectation how you show up in this building and we’re going to see if they can handle that. It’s just a struggle, part of fall camp. It’s got to be hard.

“We’re going to scrimmage pretty good there in six days, on Saturday, put them in a lot of different situations and see how we respond.”

The majority of his time has focused on the defense, which is his specialty.

That might not be a positive for the players at this point.

“I don’t think we’ve played to the standard that’s going to be acceptable to this point,” he said. “We need to be more physical at the point of attack, we need to have an urgency … We have to have a mentality of how we want to attack the football. It’s coming, but it’s not where you want to have it.”

That urgency can be coached and he has no expectation to accept anything less than he wants.

If not, he said there will be a price.

“If we accept them not to get to the football, if we’re not chasing them, if we’re not doing what we need as coaches, you accept a lack of urgency,” Hoke said. “We’re not accepting that. That’s not how we’re going to play defense. It’s a culture you’ve got to always stay on top of. If guys don’t play that way, don’t practice that way, we’re not going to play them. We’ll take (only) 23 kids on defense and go play games.”

• Hoke said he would have no problem with freshman Matt Wile doing the kicking, punting and kickoffs if necessary, though the competition remains open.

• Running backs coach Fred Jackson raved about his freshmen tailbacks Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes, saying they’re the best freshmen pair he’s had in years. He hopes to break down the tailback competition to three players by next weekend.

• After the Saturday scrimmage, Hoke expects to start on a two-deep.

• Hoke said the target number of carries for quarterback Denard Robinson is 10-15 per game.

 

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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