ANN ARBOR—It was obvious from the get go in Michigan’s 42-13 win over Minnesota Saturday that the Wolverines were ready to do one thing and one thing only -- run the football.
“We wanted run the ball with the tailback,” Hoke said Monday. “That opened up all the big plays when they had nine guys in the box, cause of threat of run. We want to run the football.”
Senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and freshman Derrick Green combined for 101-yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns.
Two new starters on the offensive line -- left guard Chris Bryant and newly moved center Graham Glasgow -- helped create holes and pave the way for a productive afternoon on the ground.
Hoke was pleased with both after watching the game film.
“I thought (Chris) did some really good things,” he said. “There’s some things he needs to do better when you look at some pass protection sets and that part of it.
“I like Graham, his first start in there at center he did a nice job with his snaps, most important. And he did a nice job. He’s a big body. I think we were pleased with how he went about his business in there.”
Senior captain and left tackle Taylor Lewan echoed Hoke’s praise for Glasgow’s performance at center, something he wasn’t surprised by at all.
“Graham’s always, since spring ball, graded out better at center than he has guard,” Lewan said.
“As far as Chris goes, I think he played a good first game starting. I mean, there’s really no excuse not to play perfect when you play offensive line at Michigan. But, just him doing things he had to do, he got the job done.
“I’m proud of the way he played and if he can continue to build off that then this offensive line will be successful.”
Lewan himself spent time moving around in a variety of ways up front for the Wolverines Saturday, proving effective especially in short yardage situations.
“As far as enjoying it, yeah,” Lewan said. “I think every play but two was behind me and taking that responsibility and feeling that responsibility before the game, the coaches told me they were going to run behind me a lot more and you take pride in that.”
More Carries For Green?
Aside from cultivating a consistent rushing attack in general, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the ineffectiveness running the football through the first four games was the lack of opportunity and experience for freshman Derrick Green.
Upping his carry count to 10 Saturday against Minnesota, Hoke indicated there’s a reason No. 27 is ready to be on the field more.
“He’s more fit now,” Hoke said. “He’s trimmed down a little bit. He’s still over 235.”