Junior defensive end Brandon Graham still leads the Michigan football team in sacks (five) and tackles for loss (10.5)
Sophomore cornerback Donovan Warren is still second on the team with two pass breakups.
Freshman slot receiver Martavious Odoms still has the team-best in catches (23), receiving yards (253) and kick returns (244 yards on 10 returns).
All of them played missed the Wolverines’ 13-10 loss to Toledo on Saturday with injuries.
Tack on that redshirt freshman starting quarterback Steven Threet missed the second half with a bruised elbow, and Michigan was extremely limited.
But Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez expects all four to play Saturday at No. 3 Penn State.
Graham has been plagued by a leg infection, Warren hurt his quad and Odoms was out with shoulder problems.
Threet didn’t practice yesterday, but Rodriguez said he expects the quarterback to be ready by Saturday, adding that Threet will start if he’s completely healthy.
Junior running back Brandon Minor had to be taken to the hospital after he was injured on a 27-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. He had X-rays, which revealed he has bruised ribs. Minor will wear rib protection and Rodriguez thinks he will play Saturday.
Sophomore Junior Hemingway (mononucleosis) and junior running back Carlos Brown (ankle) are still out. Hemingway hasn’t returned to practice yet, and senior linebacker Austin Panter (shoulder) will probably also be forced to sit out the game.
Toledo review: When Michigan loses, it’s quiet in the Rodriguez household after the game. There was a similar tone in the locker room after Michigan’s 13-10 loss to Toledo.
Rodriguez said his postgame speech wasn’t quite as angry as it was after losing to Illinois the week before.
“It wasn’t the same tone, but I don’t think it needed to (be),” Rodriguez said.
Redshirt junior punter Zoltan Mesko said Rodriguez made a comparison that put the Wolverines’ struggles in perspective.
“It’s not life or death,” Mesko said. “It’s not like you have a kid that’s terminally ill. I’d rather to have this than be 6-0 and have the kid that’s terminally ill. That’s got to be a tough situation, but you’ve got to look at it. It could be worse.”
Rodriguez saw what he expected when he reviewed film — critical mistakes, a team that didn’t play well and players who weren’t fundamentally sharp. But he didn’t think Illinois beat the Wolverines twice, citing a great practice last Tuesday.
Still, Rodriguez hasn’t seen continuous offensive progress.
“At times, and at times not,” he said.
When in doubt, Rodriguez tries to focus on one aspect of the offense and rely on it, but there’s no position on Michigan’s offense that’s very experienced.
“Find another team that has as much inexperience offensively as we did this year,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the Wolverines’ intensity wasn’t good in the game, but their effort was. He also didn’t think his players were physical enough, which he thought may have due to them thinking too much. But Rodriguez said his players have been more resilient than the coaches.
Rodriguez didn’t talk to fifth-year senior K.C. Lopata about his missed field goal near the end of regulation, but Rodriguez said the kicker was taking a workmanlike approach and didn’t seem down on himself.
Penn State looming: Even though Rodriguez said he sees “no weaknesses on any of the three phases” for the third-ranked Nittany Lions, he’s looking forward to the game against Penn State to get the taste of the Toledo loss out of his mouth.
“Saturday can’t come fast enough,” he said.
Fifth-year senior defensive end Tim Jamison said other teams are looking to beat the Wolverines while they’re down.
“We’re Michigan,” Jamison said. “Everybody wants to take a shot at Michigan.”
Penn State is led by quarterback Daryll Clark. Rodriguez recruited Clark when he was coming out of prep school and has been impressed with the quarterback’s ability to make different types of throws.
Feagin could play: Freshman Justin Feagin still could still make his college debut this season. Rodriguez said he probably should have played Feagin as a slot receiver against Toledo.
Feagin, originally recruited as a quarterback, has been taking reps at slot receiver. Although Rodriguez thinks Feagin’s future at Michigan is in the slot, the coach plans to give Feagin work at quarterback in practice, too. Rodriguez said playing quarterback has helped him pick up schemes in the slot.