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Notebook: Scoreboard watching (or not), Bellomy update

Erin Kirkland/Daily
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By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 5, 2012

Scoreboard watching is a lot like picking your nose. Invariably, there are people who do it, and inevitably, those people don’t like to admit it. Take the Michigan football team, for example.

After Michigan’s loss to Nebraska two weekends ago, the Wolverines no longer control their own destiny in the Big Ten. Each team has one loss in the conference, and with the win, the Cornhuskers own the tiebreaker in the Legends division, meaning Michigan needs a Nebraska loss to be back in driver’s seat.

Still, Michigan coach Brady Hoke and members of the team said Monday that they don’t concern themselves with other teams’ scores.

“We’ve always been a team, I think, that has worried about us,” Hoke said. “I don’t ever think, you know, we can really worry about things we can’t control. And that’s kind of how we approached it.”

Added junior quarterback and wide receiver Devin Gardner: “We really can’t worry about that because that game is done and we can only control what we can control. So we just have to continue to win games.”

Perhaps Hoke prefers that outlook because scoreboard watching can lead to pain and disappointment — things that distract from Michigan’s own issues. Take Saturday. Michigan State held a significant lead over Nebraska in the fourth quarter, only to cough the lead away with just seconds remaining.

Redshirt junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan takes a more extreme approach. He said he doesn’t scoreboard watch. Ever. Including his own games.

“I’ve never focused on scores my whole life,” Lewan said. “I remember this week in the game when I was playing, I didn’t know what the score was. In high school, we were in the state championship game, we were getting killed, but I had no idea. In the fourth quarter, I was like guys ‘We got this, we got this.’ People said, ‘What are you talking about?’ There’s like two minutes left in the game, I look up, it’s 38 to zero. I guess we don’t got this.

“That’s just how it is. You just got to focus on the game at hand.”

BELLOMY BOO-BOO?: Russell Bellomy, the redshirt freshman quarterback who replaced senior quarterback Denard Robinson against Nebraska, was unavailable during Saturday’s game for undisclosed reasons.

Bellomy warmed up before the game against Minnesota, but redshirt senior quarterback Jack Kennedy took the reps with the second team before the game. After the game, Hoke said Bellomy wasn’t available to play but didn’t elaborate why. Then he clarified that the problem was a “boo-boo.”

On Monday, Hoke said, “I’m not going to address his condition,” and when asked if the condition could keep him out for the season he said, “I don’t know.”

FIRST QUARTER CHAMPS: Hoke likes to measure his defenses by shutouts. Michigan can’t lose if the other team doesn’t score, he says.

Well, the defense has got that down for one quarter, at least. The Wolverines haven’t let up a first-quarter point since week two against Air Force. That’s seven straight games of first-quarter shutouts, almost two games’ worth.

Senior defensive end Craig Roh credited defensive coordinator Greg Mattison for getting the defense ready to play each week.

“I think it’s really our preparation and our hustle to the ball,” Roh said. “You’re going to make mistakes but when you have all the guys hustling to the ball you can make up for those mistakes.”

Hoke echoed Roh, but was worried that a question about the streak would be a jinx.

“Why’d you say that?” Hoke said.