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September 25, 2012

Brady Hoke updates Devin Gardner's status

Michigan junior receiver Devin Gardner slid into temporary bleachers on the sidelines at Notre Dame late in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's 13-6 loss, later boarding the bus with a sling. Head coach Brady Hoke updated his status during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference.

"He is fine," Hoke said without elaborating.

WXYT personality and Michigan sideline reporter Doug Karsch reported during the broadcast that Gardner could have returned to Saturday night's game had the Wolverines gotten the ball back.

Gardner is Michigan's leading receiver through four games with 11 catches for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

Notebook

  • Hoke is one who will be sorry to see the Notre Dame series go. The Irish have opted out of the 2015-17 games, meaning the 2013 and '14 contests will be the last between the schools until at least 2020.

    "My reaction is they made a decision. It's not our decision," Hoke said. "Dave [Brandon] told me on Sunday about what was going to happen. It's unfortunate, but they've got to do what they think is best. We'll move on, and it opens up some scheduling opportunities for us."

    Hoke hasn't thought much about who he'd like to add.

    "In the long run, we knew this might happen," he said. "I have not really thought out there far enough. I'm sure Dave and I will have conversations and do what's right for Michigan.

    "We've done a pretty good job here at scheduling. We had the national rivalry with Notre Dame - when that was on the schedule, our strength of schedule was pretty good. We opened with Alabama this year and we're playing Air Force, who is a good Mountain West team."

  • Hoke sees this weekend as good as any for a bye week. The Wolverines will open Big Ten play at Purdue the following week.

    "Bye weeks are so tricky to some degree, what you want to get accomplished every year," he said. "Your teams are different, the maturity and youth of your team. For us at this point, it's probably at a good time for us to reevaluate a little where we are, reevaluate some of the personnel, also to get better as a football team from the standpoint of playing your position and doing your job."

  • Run defense continues to improve. Notre Dame averaged only 3.0 yards per carry against Michigan.

    "We were better last week. We've got to continue that trend," Hoke said. "I thought the effort and demeanor our defense played with during the course of the game kept us in the football game. We've got to improve upon that. You've got to make plays when the opportunity is there, and we unfortunately didn't do that a couple of times."

  • Michigan will continue to recruit nationally even though it's had great success in the Midwest recently, Hoke said.

    "When you're a school like Michigan that has a national reputation, that's always been something we'll do," he said. "When I was here before, we always recruited on a national basis. We have a lot of alums, fans - you'll see more and more do it from the standpoint of the Big Ten Network, the different outlets that are there where people can see your teams. That will continue."

  • Hoke defended the Big Ten despite the conference's football woes in the non-conference.

    "First and foremost, I think we have a great conference from many standpoints, from the academic standpoint of the universities to the competitiveness, to the student athletes," he said. "Do we want to all play better? No question. I don' think there's a coach in America who doesn't want to play better, no matter what your record is. But I think the conference will continue to be as good a conference as there is. The coaches and student athletes work very hard."


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