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Michigan’s Hoke defends Gardner, offense after loss to Penn State

Brady Hoke AP

Michigan coach Brady Hoke gave out plenty of votes of confidence Monday, coming to the defense of Devin Gardner, his offensive line and offensive coordinator following Saturday’s four-overtime loss to Penn State.

Gardner completed 15 of 28 passes for 240 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, and rushed 24 times for 121 yards with two fumbles (one lost). But Fitzgerald Toussaint gained just 27 yards on as many carries, a damning indication of an interior offensive line that hasn’t been up to par. Losing star tackle Taylor Lewan to an injury for the second half of Saturday’s game similarly muted Michigan’s effectiveness.

With 50 seconds left and the ball on Penn State’s 35, Michigan elected to punt and force Penn State to drive 80 yards to tie the game — which the Nittany Lions did, and ultimately won 43-40 in the fourth overtime period.

Michigan fell to 5-1 on the season, but hasn’t looked like a top 25 team since beating Notre Dame on Sept. 7 in Ann Arbor. Gardner, after beginning the season on such a high note, has thrown 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, although Hoke said Monday he has no plans to switch quarterbacks.

“If I didn’t have confidence in our quarterback, with our interceptions that we’ve had, he wouldn’t be our quarterback,” Hoke said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Devin Gardner. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in our offensive linemen getting better. I have a ton of confidence in Devin.”

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10 Responses to “Michigan’s Hoke defends Gardner, offense after loss to Penn State”
  1. polegojim says: Oct 14, 2013 4:22 PM

    Respect Hoke… of course he’ll defend his players. He should do no less…

    But the rest of us can point out the obvious.
    The offense game plan was poor from Borges. Gardner blundered hugely including game management AND turn overs.
    He ran more because his ‘field vision’ is poor
    Devin consistently produces big plays each game for both teams. We need him only providing them for the Wolverines.
    Poor pass rushing… PSU had ALL DAY LONG

    Time to stop defending and get to the next level of improvement, including Borges.

  2. ceraser45 says: Oct 14, 2013 4:30 PM

    You really need to look at the defense here…50 seconds left and no timeouts from your own 20. They should never get a 1st and goal from the 1 in that situation. They had the game won, but couldnt stop Penn State

  3. BrownsTown says: Oct 14, 2013 5:45 PM

    Time to go down to Ohio and get a QB recruit to right the ship.

  4. barnesaintnoble says: Oct 14, 2013 5:59 PM

    Defense is very young and actually created a few turnovers and scored a touchdown. Bad call on a catch that shouldn’t have counted, but that’s not an excuse. Fact is, they wouldn’t even have been in that situation if Gardner snaps the ball on time and Hoke actually knew what was going on in the game.

    Punter didn’t even try to pin them deep, made a normal punt from the 40 that flew past the endzone. That is all conservative (poor) coaching, a pooch punt or rugby punt should have been called. And if your punter can’t do it? It’s called practice and offseason, people learn new things.

  5. powercorrupts2 says: Oct 14, 2013 6:28 PM

    Michigan made the mistake of under estimating their foe. At the time PSU was a 3-2 team with an at home loss to UCF and a “blow out” loss at Indiana. They probably view them as a crippled program limited to 70 scholarships (when Michigan has 85), with more than 60 million in lost funds for the program due to fines, a bowl ban that further impairs recruiting, loss of star athletes by transfer, etc.. But they somehow forgot that Penn State has a very long tradition of playing tough football especially at home. And as Bobby Knight once said “In basketball, as in all sports, the mental is to the physical as 5 is to 1”. Michigan needs to take that back to “The Big House” and digest it before their next game when they again start playing the “non-crippled” teams that have a full complement of scholarships and no bowl ban, etc.. Or it could turn out to be a painful season for them.

  6. 700levelvet says: Oct 14, 2013 7:48 PM

    Or it could be the fact that Michigan isn’t all that good.. With wins over the likes of Akron and UConn… Barely

  7. primetime0552 says: Oct 14, 2013 8:02 PM

    Hoke would rather have Gardner than Manziel. hahah. Hoke isn’t a good coach. look at his past! Hoke will finish with 7 or 8 wins like he always does. Not sure why Michigan fans think he is anything different than his 10 year career has shown..

  8. barkleyblows says: Oct 14, 2013 8:22 PM

    Let’s face it, Michigan sucks.

    Brady “ate my kids” Hoke is a terrible head coach.

    Go Blow!!

  9. matrychapcox says: Oct 14, 2013 10:24 PM

    Indiana should beat them next week but I am sure Delany will have Lemonnier or Witvoet and crew ready to fix the game.

  10. polegojim says: Oct 15, 2013 3:26 PM

    @brownstown… don’t care from where!!!

    Either Borges and Co. are poor trainers… or Gardner isn’t the guy… I believe it’s a little of both.

    Haven’t liked Borges approach since year one.

    Gardner has good ability, but not the demeanor to execute consistently. Get’s panicky and flees. His runs may at times look good, but many are a product of poor QB skills and in the end, don’t get the job done.

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