NCAA FB

No. 19 Michigan aims to end Big Ten title drought

Share This Story

   
 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)

(Eds: Should stand. With AP Photos.)By LARRY LAGEAP Sports Writer

Brady Hoke has had some success at Michigan, winning 11 games in his debut, eight the next season and the first four this year.

The coach, though, covets a Big Ten championship. And he's still waiting to lead the Wolverines to a title after going 6-2 in conference play in each of his first two seasons.

''We understand what the expectations are and should be for this program,'' Hoke said Monday.

Expectations and results haven't been one and the same with the Wolverines, who have endured their longest drought without a conference championship in a half-century. Michigan's last Big Ten title was in 2004, and college football's winningest program hasn't gone this long without one since the gap between its 1950 and 1964 conference titles.

Hoke and his players desperately want to end that dry spell.

''I can talk for all the seniors, if we can go out with a Big Ten championship, there would be no better way to end the season,'' said fifth-year senior offensive tackle Michael Schofield, who was recruited by ex-coach Rich Rodriguez. ''That's all of our goals right now and we're working toward that every day. Especially at the start of Big Ten play, that's on our minds.''

The 19th-ranked Wolverines (4-0) can move a small step toward their goal by beating Minnesota (4-1, 0-1) in their Big Ten opener Saturday at home. They've been able to rest since rallying from a 14-point, second-half deficit to stay undefeated Sept. 21 at Connecticut.

''We're excited to start the Big Ten season, excited to play in the oldest trophy game that there is for the Brown Jug with Minnesota,'' Hoke said. ''And, we got a lot of work to do as you all know.''

Michigan opened the season by routing Central Michigan and beating Notre Dame 41-30, then needed a goal-line stand to avoid an upset against Akron and needed the second-largest comeback on the road in school history to get past the Huskies.

The Golden Gophers lost their conference opener 23-7 to Iowa on Saturday at home after starting the season with four nonconference wins.

The Wolverines are a three-touchdown favorite to defeat Minnesota, but they will have tough tests the following week on the road against Penn State and in November at Michigan State, against Nebraska and in the regular-season finale against Ohio State at the Big House.

To win the Big Ten title, Michigan has to figure out a way to do a better job of moving the ball on the ground to take pressure off quarterback Devin Gardner. Part of the solution might include benching center Jack Miller or one of both of the offensive guards, Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis. Hoke would like the trio of first-year starters to stick together and jell, but he seems to be losing patience while waiting for production.

''That might be more critical than chemistry,'' Hoke said. ''We have to put the guys in there that give us the best chance to be successful.

''We wouldn't have a problem making a change, if that's what we deem we ought to do,'' he said.

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

Tagged: Michigan, Minnesota

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Mark Emmert against unionization Posted: Apr 06, 2014
NCAA president Mark Emmert comments on unionization for student-athletes.

Northwestern athletes win unionization case Posted: Mar 26, 2014
FOX Football debates the implications of student-athletes being able to unionize...

Saban lectures media on Kouandjio's injury Posted: Mar 12, 2014
Nick Saban has some words for the media after the way Cyrus Kouandjio's knee inj...

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash