The Wolverine

December 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 75

26 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2020 M ichigan junior de- fensive end Aidan Hutchinson was one of the most vocal critics of the Big Ten postponing the season in August, his family even helped orga- nize a protest of the con- ference's decision to stop play. He was also one of the most excited to suit up when commissioner Kevin Warren reversed his decision, returning to the field with great enthusi- asm Oct. 24 in U-M's 49-24 victory at Minnesota. Two games later, his sea- son was over. Hutchinson went down in the first half of the Wolverines' 38-21 loss at Indiana Nov. 7 with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He limped off the field under his own power, but head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed the worst at his press confer- ence two days later in re- porting Hutchinson had suffered a fracture to his lower leg that would re- quire surgery. "He's worked so hard, he's put so much into it and was playing really good, but I know he'll come back stronger, faster, better. That's just the way he is," Harbaugh said. "This is not something that's going to be a detriment to his career. He's young. He'll heal fast, and he'll come back even better, stronger and faster." Whether it will be at Michigan or in the NFL remains to be seen. His father, former Michigan All-Amer- ican and current emergency room doctor Chris Hutchinson, confirmed with multiple outlets that his son's injury would take four months to heal completely. The 6-6, 269-pound Hutchinson finished the season with 15 tackles in 2.5 games. He has made 98 stops, 4.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in his career, including 68 tackles (10 for loss), 4.5 sacks, six pass deflections and two forced fumbles in 13 starts last year. Hutchinson wasn't the only casu- alty in the Indiana game. Senior de- fensive end Kwity Paye — the other half of the self-named "Salt and Pep- per" end duo — pulled up late with what appeared to be a leg injury and missed the Wisconsin game. He re- mained questionable for the follow- ing week's contest at Rutgers. Redshirt junior Luiji Vilain and redshirt sophomore Taylor Upshaw slid into the end spots vacated by the injured Wolverines, with others also providing help. On offense, starting tackles Jalen Mayfield and Ryan Hayes both missed the Indiana game and didn't make the trip due to injuries. May- field reportedly suffered a high-ankle sprain in the loss to Michigan State and could return as early as Nov. 21 against Rutgers. Neither played against the Badgers, with red- shirt freshman Karsen Barnhart getting the nod at left tackle and redshirt junior right guard An- drew Stueber sliding to right tackle for the second straight week. True fresh- man Zak Zinter started in Stueber 's place at right guard against Indiana and Wisconsin. — Chris Balas SAFETIES COACH BOB SHOOP IS NOT WORKING WITH THE TEAM ON THE FIELD Though he remains on staff, first-year Michigan safeties coach Bob Shoop "is not working with the team in an on-field coach- ing capacity at this time," the program announced Nov. 2. "He is performing team- related duties remotely," Michigan spokesperson Dave Ablauf said. "In con- sideration of his privacy interests, we will have no further comment." Head coach Jim Harbaugh de- clined to add clarity on the matter when asked about it at his weekly press conference that week. "I think the statement … no need to elaborate on that," Harbaugh said. "For reasons of confidentiality."   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Aidan Hutchinson's Season Over; Several Other Wolverines Injured Hutchinson's season came to an end after he suffered a fractured leg against Indiana Nov. 7. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2020 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Oct. 24 at Minnesota W, 49-24 Oct. 31 Michigan State L, 27-24 Nov. 7 at Indiana L, 38-21 Nov. 14 Wisconsin L, 49-11 Nov. 21 at Rutgers (BTN) 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 Penn State TBD Dec. 5 Maryland TBD Dec. 12 at Ohio State (FOX) 12 p.m. Dec. 19 Big Ten Champions Week TBD

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - December 2020