Michigan coach Brady Hoke: Devin Gardner to remain starting QB
Gardner started in Michigan's 26-24 loss to Rutgers on Saturday after he was benched in favor of backup Shane Morris last week against Minnesota. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 178 yards and an interception and ran 10 times for 40 yards and two touchdowns against the Scarlet Knights.
"I think as we continue, Devin will be the guy who will start. I think he had a good football game. He did a lot of good stuff from playing the position of quarterback to his leadership. And I thought that was evident on the sideline. When the defense was out there after him and Nuss got together and did what they needed to do, he's one of the first guys up there cheering those guys on. And I think that's something that's special."
Hoke also said Morris will be the team's No. 2 quarterback. He traveled and dressed for Rutgers but was unavailable to play after he sustained a high ankle sprain and concussion against the Golden Gophers.
Hoke and Michigan have come under fire for their handling of an apparent concussion sustained by Morris against Minnesota. They let a concussed Morris stay in the game and then allowed him to return to the game even after he was pulled.
Morris appeared wobbly after taking a hit to the head, but Hoke and athletic director Dave Brandon said nobody on the sideline noticed and that poor communication led to Morris being re-inserted when Gardner, who relieved him, had to miss one play several minutes later.
Brandon was also criticized for his slow response to the incident. Pent-up frustrations with athletic department policies, combined with the Morris situation, led students to create a petition and stage a rally calling for Brandon's firing.
Hoke's job status is also up in the air due to the Morris incident and the team's poor performance. The Wolverines are 2-4 this season and haven't beaten a Power 5 team.
Gardner was benched in favor of Morris before the Minnesota game after Michigan lost 26-10 to Utah the week before. Against the Utes, Gardner finished 14-for-26 for 148 yards and two interceptions.
The quarterback has thrown for 911 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions overall this season.
- Ben Estes