“You know I don’t talk about injuries unless a guy is going to miss the year. Unfortunately that’s [what happened] with Derrick Green,” Hoke said at Monday’s press conference. “He broke his clavicle late in the football. A nice run on our sidelines.”
Despite the injury, Green had 72 yards on 12 carries before sustaining the injury. On the season, Green leads the Wolverines in rushing with 472 yards on 82 attempts and three touchdowns. He averages 78.5 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry.
Green, who was rated the No. 1 RB in the final 2013 Scout.com player rankings, was looking to rebound after a disappointing freshman season, where he reported to camp a 20-pounds overweight at 240-pounds. This year, he reported to spring camp a much leaner 220-pounds, and it showed on the field.
And while Green’s loss hurts the already struggling Michigan offense, the next player will have to step up, Hoke says.
“Will miss Derrick,” Hke said. “but is like anything else in competition in sports – the next man got to stand up.”
Michigan will now look to De’Veon Smith, Justice Hayes, and Drake Johnson to shoulder the load in the run game. Smith is second on the team with 282 yards, Hayes has 101 yards, while Johnson only has three carries for 28 yards in limited action this seaosn.
“I’m very confident in the three backs doing most of the work as a running back, highly confident in what they bring and what they do,” Hoke said. “… Is Derrick important? Yeah. We going to miss him? Sure we will. But that’s why there is a 115 guys on this team. And you got step in when your opportunity comes and make the most of it.”
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