Hoke: Green Injury Update, O-Line Improvement

Brady Hoke gives the latest on Derrick Green's injury, offensive line improvement and more.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – During Michigan’s 26-24 loss at Rutgers, Derrick Green left the game with an injury, which was later diagnosed as a broken clavicle – and was thought to be lost for the remainder of the regular season.

That was five weeks ago.

Now, with the Wolverines entering their second bye week of the season, U-M coach Brady Hoke admitted his sophomore running back was making progress with his rehab, but still wouldn’t speculate if Green could possibly return when U-M plays host to Maryland on Nov 22.

“Well, I don’t know, we’ll see,” Hoke said the possibility of Green returning versus Maryland. “He’s doing a little more every day we go out.”

Before getting hurt, Green made six starts, and led U-M in rushing with 471-yards on 83 carries with three touchdowns, good for a 78.5 yards per game average.

With Green still ruled out, Hoke says the Wolverines will continue to rotate De’Veon Smith, Drake Johnson and Justice Hayes at running back.

“Right now you got the three,” Hoke said. “To think ahead, we wouldn’t do that. Just because you don’t know if he’s going to be back or not.”

Smith, who has seen the most increased reps since Green’s injury, rushed for 121-yards on 18 carries and a touchdown in Saturday’s 10-9 win at Northwestern.

“I think De’Veon [Smith] obviously, [had] the hot hand if you want to call it that,” Hoke said. “And it was De’Veon kind of game in some ways because of how he runs the ball and his style. We’re real excited about all three of them. “

Offensive Line Improvement

With Michigan rushing for 147-yards in Saturday’s win at Northwestern, Hoke says it was one of the better performances from his offense line all season.

“We thought it was their best game,” Hoke said on the offensive line. “I think when you got five guys who have played six games together. I think that helps the continuity there. Knowing each other if you want to call it that. What they expect, I think that is good.”

A big reason behind U-M’s success, is the “communication” of redshirt center Jack Miller, Hoke says.

“Jack [Miller] has done a really good job making different calls,” Hoke said. “It always starts with the center. I think between the tight ends and the tackles, I think that is important.”

Hoke also gave credit to freshman Mason Cole.

“When you don’t talk about him a lot,” Hoke said of Cole. “I think it tells you a lot about how he’s doing, and how comfortable he is. And what he’s doing, he doesn’t seem to have any kind of problems with picking up things or getting ready for the game.”

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