ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan football program on Monday offered no official update on star running back Blake Corum, who suffered an apparent knee injury during last weekend’s victory over Illinois. U-M coach Jim Harbaugh on Saturday said Corum’s knee was “structurally good,” but the Heisman candidate played just two second-half snaps against the Illini.
Whether or not Corum plays this weekend against Ohio State, expect the Wolverines to continue playing to their offensive philosophy, left tackle Ryan Hayes said Monday afternoon.
“I don’t think we’re gonna change our identity this game. Obviously Blake’s a huge part of our offense, huge part of our team, but I think our identity stays the same,” Hayes said.
Here is everything else Hayes, a starter on the offensive line in 2021 and 2022, said about the Ohio State game:
On the importance of the run game against Ohio State:
Well, I think in a game like this, I think winning the line of scrimmage, winning the rushing totals is a huge factor in the game. So I think it’s going to be very important for us to control the line of scrimmage
On if Ohio State looks tougher than they did last year:
They’ve got the new defensive coordinator. We watch them on film every week a few plays and I think they’re really flying to the ball. They’re playing together this year and they definitely look a lot better.
On his approach to the rivalry after Jim Harbaugh said there was ‘no need to hate’:
I agree with what Coach said. I think we’re both 11-0. The season has been building this point and it’s just win or go home at this point. So all we’re trying to do is win.
On how Michigan has been preparing for Ohio State throughout the season:
Every day since January on, we always have them in the back of our mind. Everything we’re doing is about them. It’s about winning this game at the end of the season. So I think it just starts from January on. Always have them in the back of our heads. Do periods with them. We watch their film pretty much weekly. So just starts with that.
On preparing for Ohio State’s defensive line:
It’s probably, definitely the best front seven we’ve played up until this point. I think they’re really good players. We prepare the same every week. Obviously, this week means a lot. But we’re gonna do the same things we’ve done all season.
On playing at Ohio Stadium for the first time since 2018:
Most of the players on this team haven’t been there because obviously last time was COVID and we weren’t able to go. Obviously I’ve heard stories. I’m expecting a loud, crazy environment. We’ve played in those games before here. So I think we’ll be prepared.
On preaching respect in the rivalry if Ohio State will bring an extra edge:
We’re gonna come prepared. Nobody wants to lose this game. I think we’re going to have all the motivation we need. Everyone’s going to bring their best game so I’m not worried about that at all.
On Jim Harbaugh’s comments about having gratitude to be in this game:
We are all really happy to be here. We wanted to, we planned on it, and we got here. We’re feeling good. But obviously we know this game — if we don’t win this game, the season really doesn’t mean that much. So if we don’t win this game, we’re not probably gonna be too happy.
On how much Blake Corum’s absence impacted Michigan against Illinois:
It obviously has an impact. He’s probably one of the best, if not the best player in the country. Losing Blake is huge for us, but I think we had a lot of guys step up who we rallied around. And we ended up finding a way to win, which is great for us.
On his confidence about Michigan’s offense with Blake Corum’s status in question for Ohio State:
We plan on this. He’s a great player, but I think everybody else is just going to step up with him out and I think that we’re up to the challenge and we’ll do that.
On J.J. McCarthy’s demeanor leading the offense into Ohio Stadium:
He’s an extremely calm player. He doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low. I always try to talk to him during the game, but I don’t think he really needs anyone talking to him. I think he just has that about him. Some people have that and he has it.
On if anyone on the team understood Harbaugh’s Björn Borg ‘ice man’ reference:
I still don’t know. [laughs] I’m not sure.
On Harbaugh calling his team ‘happy warriors’:
We’re gonna be happy on Saturday, but it’s all about business, all about winning that game. So like I said before, if we don’t win this game, what does the season really mean?
On his comfort with the offense if Michigan has to pass more than usual:
We have complete confidence in that room — quarterback room and the wide receiver room. I know if we need to, we’re gonna be able to protect. He’s gonna be able to throw that around. We have complete confidence in JJ and the receivers and the tight ends.
On the run-pass balance if Blake Corum were hampered or out:
I don’t think we’re gonna change our identity this game. Obviously Blake’s a huge part of our offense, huge part of our team, but I think our identity stays the same.
Photo by Bryan Fuller, MGoBlog.com.