Even though Devin Funchess has spent more than half the season playing mostly at wide receiver, Michigan coach Brady Hoke still includes his name when he rattles off the list of tight ends that made a difference in Saturday’s 42-41 loss to Ohio State.

But it makes sense that Hoke would want to include Funchess in the tight-end group, a unit that breathed life into the Wolverines’ passing game in addition to what fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon usually provides.

The Wolverines’ two primary receiving tight ends, freshman Jake Butt and Funchess, were responsible for Michigan’s two most important touchdowns — the one that tied the game at 35 with five minutes left, and the one in the final drive that set up the failed two-point conversion.

The duo’s athleticism was evident. Funchess hurdled over Ohio State cornerback Grant Doran after a 22-yard catch, and Butt posted career highs of five receptions and 85 receiving yards.

But the tight end’s contributions went beyond Funchess and Butt’s statistics. Hoke also cited sophomore tight end A.J. Williams’ blocking as an element of the game that may have been under appreciated, saying Williams was critical for giving redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner enough time in the pocket to get his passes off.

“There are also some things that we thought if Devin could continue to have a little bit more time, things would come open a little bit (for the tight ends),” Hoke said. “Devin made a little time, made a little space and that’s part of what happens.”

Hoke seem pleased with Butt in particular, especially considering it’s his rookie season. When fifth-year senior left tackle Taylor Lewan was asked about Butt’s impact in Saturday’s game, he brushed Butt’s age off immediately.

“I was proud,” he said. “It’s a team sport. A guy’s number gets called, you step up every single time. You’re expected to play the Michigan level, not as a freshman.”

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: The Game is always known for being a highly emotional affair.

But early in the second quarter, both teams took it to another level when a fight broke out after the Buckeyes returned a kickoff.

Punches were thrown, players were throttling each other and things got so out of hand that Hoke and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had to run out to the field to break up the scuffle.

Three game ejections were issued as a result of the fight — the Buckeyes lost right guard Marcus Hall and running back Dontre Wilson, while the Wolverines had to do without sophomore linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone.

Hall didn’t try to hide his emotions after the game, extending both middle fingers to the fans as he walked through the tunnel and to the locker room.

“It’s a rivalry game, that stuff’s going to happen,” said redshirt junior linebacker Jake Ryan. “There’s going to be punches thrown. It’s not necessary but we don’t like each other.”

OUT IN A BOOT: Gardner had a new addition to his left foot after the game — a boot.

He was not in the mood to talk about anything after the game, and in regards to the boot, he simply said that it was due to an injury sustained during the game, but he expected to be fine.

Gardner’s health has been questioned as of late, considering the large number of hits he took throughout the month of November.

But when Gardner’s physical condition is brought up, his teammates are quick to remind the public that every member of the team has taken a beating.

“None of us are 100 percent,” Lewan said. “No one’s going to feel healthy. It’s who wants to fight. Who is going to keep crawling, who is going to keep scratching even when you’re knocked down a little bit. That’s what these guys do. That’s what they keep doing no matter what.”

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