Hoke: Goal still to win the Big Ten

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
6:53
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan might be 2-2 entering the Big Ten and have looked somewhat shaky doing so against elite competition, but second-year Wolverines coach Brady Hoke made one thing clear Tuesday.

His team’s goals have not changed. It is still to win the Big Ten.

“I think that nothing has changed,” Hoke said. “I like our team.”

He also happens to be correct. While Michigan learned a lot about itself during the non-conference season -- most critically how far the Wolverines are from elite -- there are also areas Michigan now knows are strengths and areas to focus on this week with no game Saturday.

Due to that, Michigan will practice Thursday, Friday morning and then Sunday, giving his team Wednesday and Saturday off. In those practices, he expects to do “a lot of competition stuff,” which will include 1-on-1 drills and the ability to try and keep game speed intact.

All of it is still geared toward a singular goal.

“Definitely, time to get some reps and we have get our heads on straight,” Michigan safety Thomas Gordon said. “We can still smell roses at the end of the season. That’s our focus and what we’re trying to get to.”

Michigan begins that push next Saturday at Purdue.

Not a fan of injury reports

Considering the way Hoke handles questions about injuries, it is no surprise the second-year coach would not be in favor of a mandated injury report either throughout the Big Ten or college football.

“What are you, trying to help the gamblers,” Hoke said. “That’s what basically, it’s nobody’s business but ours.”

Michigan’s previous coach, Rich Rodriguez, has been an advocate of injury reports to limit questions about injuries during press conferences. The issue has become especially big in the Pac-12, where there have been questions about going to an NFL-style report.

Of Michigan’s current injuries, Hoke said receiver Devin Gardner should not miss any time following a late-game injury Saturday. Safety Marvin Robinson, who didn’t travel Saturday, was actually hurt against UMass, practiced part of last week but determined Wednesday he was unable to play.

When asked what Robinson had hurt, Hoke just said “body.”

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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