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Big Ten Notebook: Michigan looks for redemption, Purdue to face Irish

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | SEPTEMBER 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said the Wolverines “put the last game to bed” once they returned to Ann Arbor at 5 a.m. Sunday. The squad (0-1) hopes to find victory against Air Force (1-0) on Saturday to redeem Michigan’s 41-14 loss to No. 3 Alabama on Sept. 1.

The nation is buzzing with doubt about the Michigan program and whether the Blue and Maize deserves to sit at the top of the nation’s rankings. But Hoke said he doesn’t think the negative air is going to affect his athletes’ confidence.

“I think our guys are mature enough to understand that that was one of 12 guaranteed opportunities we have,” he said. “And we have 11 left… Our seniors have been through seasons and understand that you have to get ready every week.”

The team shifted its focus quickly toward Air Force following the loss. Hoke said there is definitely a transition to be made this week before the Wolverines can challenge the Falcon’s triple-option offense.

“The timing of everything, from your look teams to how you’re going to play blocks, the misdirection,” Hoke said. “It’s something that your kids have to focus back in on what’s really important, that that’s the key and what it tells them to do and then doing a great job with that.”

Hoke, the former San Diego State head coach, is used to the West’s alternative offensive style and feels a little more exposed to the Falcon’s tactics than other teams.

He stressed that his Wolverines will have to tighten up on defense and play technically sound on the line to stop the multiple-faceted Air Force offense.

“The things they’re doing are really good and really affective,” Hoke said. “You’ve got to be such a disciplined defense of doing your job. I think they’re talent level is very good.”

Boilermakers to start TerBush because Irish O-line is ‘outstanding’

Purdue (1-0) head coach Danny Hope said that Caleb TerBush will start against Notre Dame (1-0) on Saturday, even though Robert Marve got the nod against Eastern Kentucky in the season-opener.

Hope said that Marve didn’t do anything wrong, however. The Irish matchup is just a big one, and the Boilermakers need to be right on point with their signal caller.

“Caleb has 13 games as a starter under his belt, and that’s the first time we’ve been in that position in a long time,” Hope said. “I thought throughout the course of training camp that he out-performed the other quarterbacks from an execution standpoint.”

TerBush didn’t throw an interception for the final four and a half games in 2011, and keeping the turnover margin low will be crucial for Purdue this weekend. Hope said he feels good about TerBush’s ability to “manage the offense” and keep a good demeanor on the gridiron.

Hope called the Irish offensive line outstanding, and the front will be the Boilermakers’ biggest challenge on game day. He said his athletes need to control what happens across the line of scrimmage and their ability to stand up to the O-line will be a big “difference-maker.”

Hope said he’s been reviewing film from Notre Dame’s 50-10 victory over Army last week.

“They’re very, very good on their offensive line,” Hope said. “They’re big, and strong, and athletic, and experienced, and mature, and just an outstanding offensive line.”


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