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September 13, 2010Backup linebacker Mike Jones suffered an injury in the Notre Dame game and will likely miss the year, head coach Rich Rodriguez announced Monday. Jones was wearing a boot following the game.
"Mike Jones suffered a broken leg, so tough luck again," Rodriguez said. "He will probably be having surgery, and his status is obviously doubtful for the rest of the year.
"Mike was a back-up, but J.B. [Fitzgerald] can play both positions and Mark Moundros can play a couple of different positions. We'll probably get Kenny Demens ready, as well. Kevin Leach is another guy that can play will linebacker and the outside hybrid safety too, so Kevin's got some experience, as well."
Backup linebacker Brandon Herron also went down early in the Notre Dame game. He's day to day with a sprained ankle, Rodriguez reported.
• Rodriguez insisted he wasn't concerned about his running backs despite only getting 29 yards between Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw.
"They ran hard. The running backs, there weren't a lot of misreads; it was the way they were playing us," he said. "They were moving their front and doing some stunts. When they do that, it opens more things up for the quarterback.
"There were a few reads Denard [Robinson] would like to have back, but for the most part his reads were pretty sharp in the run game. They defended a certain way, took away the running back and it opened it up for Denard some."
Rodriguez said he'd like to see the blocks improve their blocking more than anything.
"The route running, too, but that wasn't bad," he said. "They caught a couple nice passes. But our running backs can block better than they did, and we can block better up front."
• Guard Patrick Omameh threw one of the blocks of Saturday's game when he planted an Irish linebacker and safety to spring Robinson on his 87-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He can still improve, Rodriguez said.
"He played better, and he'd be the first one to tell you the first game wasn't his best performance," Rodriguez said. "He played a lot better Saturday. He's a physical guy, and I thought his performance was pretty good. He still can play better, but it was a lot better this weekend than last week."
The line as a whole could have been better, Rodriguez added.
"It was okay. It wasn't great. Notre Dame's front got after us pretty good, and they've got some good linebackers," he said. "They did some different things they are an odd team but they got some even front and then played a bear front where they covered everybody up to hone in on the run game. That was something they hadn't shown a lot of, and our guys adjusted pretty well to that assignment wise. Physically we still need to be better at the point of attack, and we'll work on that this week."