ANN ARBOR—The recent spike in temperature isn’t bothering Michigan coach Brady Hoke.
“We had a lot of heat,” Hoke said, “which was good because we were relatively, during fall camp, it really never got hot. So we got to play in the heat a little bit.”
The players, the ones wearing full pads and running around on hot rubber filled turf might differ on the approach to the weather but either way, Michigan is in full game plan mode for Saturday’s kickoff with Akron at noon.
“Practice was pretty good Tuesday,” Hoke said. “We’ve talked about it before, you’re putting some wrinkles in both offensively and defensively for what you want to do and what you want to try and work on for the future, some of it always is and some of it always for that opponent.”
Coming off a 35-33 win over James Madison, Akron will look to test the Wolverines through the air, averaging just over 200 yards per game passing the football. Along with their ‘nascar like’ speedy attack, Hoke and Michigan know what to expect from the Zips on both sides of the ball.
“Akron is going to be a high tempo team,” Hoke said. “They like to get on the ball as quickly as they can. They like to throw the ball around and get on the perimeter of the defense.
“From a defensive perspective for them, they’re very aggressive defense. They like to blitz, they like to play zero coverage, they like to play man free. They’ll stack the line of scrimmage a little bit and you’ve got to take advantage of the shots you get.”
Young RB’s to get more carries
Senior tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint received the bulk of the carries for the Wolverines against Notre Dame, toting the rock 22-times. Freshman Derrick Green was limited to just one carry for a loss of a yard against the Irish.
Saturday, if the opportunity presents itself, Hoke envisions more carries for backs besides Toussaint.
“If we can get some experience to some guys, if we’re fortunate enough to be able to do that, that would be a real positive,” Hoke said. “I think Fitz, he looks like he did before the injury and maybe a little bit quicker at times and quicker out of the hole.”
Avery, Williams injury update
Michigan sophomore tight end A.J. Williams continues to receive treatment on his ankle after injuring it in Saturday night’s win over Notre Dame.
Asked whether or not Williams’ status remains a question mark for this Saturday, Hoke didn’t sound too optimistic he’ll have No. 84 at his disposal.
“Yeah, he is,” Hoke said simply.
As for senior safety Courtney Avery who came back for the Irish last week in a limited role, Hoke continues to see progress.
“He should be a little better (this week),” Hoke said. “I think today will tell us a little more.”
To watch video of Hoke from Wednesday, press play below.