Running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards both recently went down with injuries, leaving Hassan Haskins to carry the load last weekend against Indiana. While Haskins handled the extra responsibility just fine, the Michigan Wolverines are certainly hoping Corum and Edwards are back for this weekend’s matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Jim Harbaugh and Mike Hart didn’t say much on the status of the two backs.
“I hope to see them play on Saturday.” Hart told reporters on Wednesday.
With the injuries creating a lack of depth at the running back position, there is a chance we could see some new faces take the field this weekend for the Wolverines, such as true freshman Tavierre Dunlap, who had some playing time last weekend.
“They’ve been practicing up all year,” Hart said. “Back and forth between scout team, those are things that I said at the beginning of the year, everyone is going to need to be ready to play. They’ll be ready to play if they have to, I’m confident in them and what they can do. And obviously we have Hassan, who’s a special player, so we’ll see how it works out this week and we’ll have a game plan to play everybody.”
Corum and Haskins typically split the load evenly, but even if Corum gets healthy before this weekend, it is still likely Haskins gets the majority of the carries for the Wolverines. Coming off injury, the coaches probably won’t want to put too much stress on Corum’s body, and Haskins had a phenomenal game last weekend by rushing for 168 yards on 27 carries. The coaches know Haskins can handle as many carries as they give him.
“I think the biggest thing is managing him and making sure he’s healthy,” Hart said. “No one’s ever going to complain about more carries, and he knows the situation. And whatever we need to do in the game to win, we’re going to do in the game to win. If he’s got to carry the ball 50 times, I hope he doesn’t have to do that. You know, whatever it takes to win, and he’s prepared.”
No matter who is available at running back Saturday, they better be ready be a slugfest. The line for Michigan at Penn State is currently even, so it should be an exciting one.