Will Brady Hoke be the Michigan Wolverines football coach in 2015?


Sep 6, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback

Devin Gardner

(98) fumbles as he is hit by Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker

Jaylon Smith

(9) in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame’s 31-0 victory has fans questioning the status of Brady Hoke as head coach. Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The suspension of the Michigan Wolverines rivalry with Notre Dame should be the least of Dave Brandon’s concerns.

After the 31-0 embarrassing loss at No. 16 Notre Dame Saturday night (Sept. 6), the Michigan athletic director might soon be considering another “nationwide” coaching search to replace Brady Hoke.

More from Michigan Wolverines

Granted, this is only Brady Hoke‘s fourth season as Michigan’s head coach, and he has two years remaining on his original contract. Most coaches get five years to turn programs around, but by the way Michigan looked in South Bend, Brandon might get antsy sooner than later.

Even with the shuffling of defensive assistants and the hiring of new offensive coordinator (Doug Nussmeier) in the off-season, you have to wonder if Brady Hoke has made enough progress to stick around.

Michigan’s road woes

In his defense, Brady Hoke has returned respectability to the program after three tumultuous years under  Rich Rodriguez.

After looking at Brady Hoke’s record in the friendly confines of the Big House (20-2), suggests he might on the right track.

But like they played in South Bend Saturday, the Wolverines have often been deplorable on the road.

Losses to Michigan State (28-14) in 2011, Alabama (41-14),  Notre Dame (13-6) and Nebraska (23-9) in 2012, and again to Michigan State (29-6) in 2013, bring forth horrible thoughts of playing both Michigan State and Ohio State on the road this season.

Regardless of where they play, the Wolverines have systemic problems on both sides of the ball.

No pass rush

On defense, you can blame either the lack of a pass rush, or the leaky pass coverage.

Last night’s game was a perfect example as Michigan rarely pressured Irish quarterback Everett Golson.

Having all day in the pocket, Golson easily made defensive backs Blake Countess, Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling, and Delonte Hollowell look ordinary at best.

In fairness to the secondary, freshman cornerback Jabrill Peppers didn’t play because of an ankle injury and senior Ramon Taylor was sidelined for most of the game with a leg problem.

No running game

Despite blitzing on several occasions,  Michigan was able to sack Golson just once. Actually, the Wolverines haven’t had a legitimate pass rusher since Brandon Graham chalked up 10.5 sacks in 2009.

Offensively, the game echoed the problems of the past few seasons.  The running game was nearly non-existent.  Derrick Green managed just 25 yards on 13 carries, while De’Veon Smith fared slightly better with 30 yards on seven tries.

Quarterback Devin Gardner also displayed many of the inconsistencies of last season, throwing three second-half picks and losing a fumble. Gardner has plenty of talent, but the youthful offensive line, as usual, gave him little protection.

Where’s Shane? 

With the game out of reach, it might have made sense to give back-up quarterback Shane Morris a few snaps.

Who can forget the 23-9 loss at Nebraska in 2012 when Michigan was forced to bring in ill-prepared quarterback Russell Bellomy to spell Denard Robinson. Bellomy simply looked lost, completing three of 13 passes for 38 yards and three interceptions.

Hiring a new coach might be the last thing the football program needs. But how long can Brandon and the Michigan hierarchy replay “Groundhog Day” before patience loses out.

Bolded players and coaches are linked to sports-reference.com, an enhanced statistical website.