Brady Hoke continues to deflect questions regarding the Michigan football team’s injuries.
But today, reporters didn’t even have to ask to get the response. It took all of 37 seconds before he reiterated his stance in his opening statement at his Wednesday press conference.
“We’re not going to talk about injuries, and I might as well bring that up now,” Hoke said. “And some of that is because you can say something and then you’re wrong. Everybody heals a bit differently.
And then the other thing is, for our kids, I want to make sure that we’re doing a good job protecting them.”
Hoke offered up little about who would fill in for his four injured starters, including three on a depleted defense that will face a potent passing offense against Utah this weekend. Cornerback Raymon Taylor, safety Jarrod Wilson and linebacker Desmond Morgan all missed last weekend’s game vs. Miami (Ohio).
Taylor and Wilson both bring experience that will be essential to stopping Utah quarterback Travis Wilson — currently ranked second in the country in passing efficiency. Hoke pointed to his depth chart for who would replace the duo, though the depth chart currently lists the pair at the top of their respective positions.
Should Taylor and Wilson be unable to play though, it’s likely that freshman cornerback Jabrill Peppers and redshirt sophomore safety Jeremy Clark, who both saw time against the RedHawks, would figure to fill in.
And Hoke hasn’t elaborated on the status of junior wide receiver Devin Funchess since he said, “we’ll see” following Saturday’s game. Funchess was seen walking without a boot earlier this week.
TEXAS-SIZED MATCHUP: Keeping with the pattern of scheduling games a decade in advance, Michigan announced it will play a home-and-home with Texas in 2024 and 2027 on Wednesday.
The Wolverines are set to host the first game in 2024 and then will travel to Austin, Texas. Discussions regarding the matchup were first reported a week ago by orangebloods.com.
“A matchup of this magnitude doesn’t come along all that often, and when it does it’s special for both programs and the great fans that support each institution,” Hoke said in a statement. “This also is a special series for all fans of college football, and I anticipate great games just like the first contest played between the two programs.”
The teams have met only once, last in the 2005 Rose Bowl, which Texas won on a last-second field goal, 38-37.
Michigan has also scheduled home-and-homes with Washington and Virginia Tech in 2020-21, UCLA in 2022-23 and Oklahoma in 2025-26.
APPEAL DENIED: The NCAA has denied running back Ty Isaac’s appeal to play football this fall, according to Hoke.
Isaac, who transferred from USC to be closer to his ailing mother, attempted to use the NCAA’s hardship waiver to play immediately this season. Under the rule, Isaac needed to attend a school within a 100-mile radius of his home in Shorewood, Illinois.
The Wolverines appealed the original request in August, but Hoke said, “it didn’t go through” this month.
That leaves Isaac, a former five-star recruit, with three years of eligibility beginning next season.
Last season he rushed for 236 yards in 14 games, and is now being used on the scout team, according to Hoke.
“He’s handled it great,” Hoke said. “He had a great day yesterday. I think from an attitude standpoint and everything he’s been awesome.”