Brady Hoke Questions Jim Harbaugh's Decision To Punt

Brady Hoke believes Michigan's current success validates his time there

No. 1 Ohio State improved to 7-0 and 3-0 in the Big Ten last Saturday with a 38-10 win over Penn State to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot and defend their national title. There's never one football play in a game that decides the game. More time to think about the loss - and more time to move on. "We'll look at this last game, for example".

Michigan lost to rival Michigan State in the most heartbreaking way possible on Saturday when punter Blake O'Neil fumbled a snap with 10 seconds left and the Spartans returned it for a game-winning touchdown.

On Hoke's comments that he would not have punted on fourth down on the final play against Michigan State: "I didn't say that to criticize Jim".

Hoke was 31-20 at Michigan and 18-14 in Big Ten play.

Plus, giving Michigan State the ball back with five seconds left on Michigan's side of the field is a pretty good indication of why Hoke is no longer on the sidelines.

Though O'Neill's teammates didn't bombard him – some just gave him a quick word in the locker room - they bought heavily into coach Jim Harbaugh's message: "Not one football game has come down to one play", senior Graham Glasgow repeated, pointing out if the offense got a first down, the game would have been over.

"It's been very interesting, that's for sure", O'Neill said.

"That's a thought, you can run sweep plays to the boundary, extend the play, might extend it six or seven seconds, been in that situation before too and had the ballcarrier go out of bounds", Harbaugh said on the Big Ten teleconference.

Harbaugh acknowledged Tuesday on a teleconference that running the ball outside to take more time off the clock was something he considered on first, second and third down.

"It's important because you're fresh, a lot more than most teams", defensive tackle Chris Wormley said. "You'd certainly like an attempt to try it a different way". "You've got to have that confidence in your players to go make plays".


The 15th-ranked Wolverines (5-2, 2-1) don't play again until October 31.



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