Ann Arbor – Maybe things will change, and maybe they won't.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he will make a decision on Tuesday about the Wolverines' starting quarterback job.
Fifth-year senior Devin Gardner has been the full-time starter since last season, and sophomore Shane Morris the backup. Morris' only start was in the bowl game when Gardner was injured.
Morris took over the Michigan offense with about 11 minutes left in Michigan's 26-10 loss to Utah at Michigan Stadium last Saturday. He replaced Gardner after he threw his second interception of the game.
"We'll make a decision tomorrow," Hoke said Monday at his weekly news conference advancing the Big Ten opener against Minnesota.
"Tuesday we'll make some decisions or we'll let you know the decisions. You look at everybody. Maybe it's a different personnel group. Maybe it's more two tight ends, three tight ends. As Jake (Butt) gets healthier, he will be more a part of the offense. We will see how that goes."
But the question at the moment is: Who will be the starting quarterback when Michigan hosts Minnesota on Saturday?
The Wolverines are now minus-10 in turnovers and are ranked No. 124 – dead last – nationally in turnover margin. The turnovers against Utah were not exclusive to Gardner. Morris had an interception and a fumble against.
Gardner now has six interceptions this season and Morris has two in limited playing time. Michigan is ranked No. 121 of 125 in passes intercepted.
That Hoke is considering a change at quarterback is indicative of the fact he and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are considering options to infuse the offense with a spark of some sort. Michigan in its two losses this season, including a 31-0 rout at Notre Dame, did not reach the red zone.
What Hoke and Nussmeier said there won't be on Saturday is a two-quarterback system. Hoke said they have discussed a number of options, and that is not one of them.
"You want one starter," Nussmeier said.
Hoke said there are a number of criteria to determine the starter.
"Efficiency -- that's part of it," Hoke said. "We talk competing and challenging, who comes out of the week with the best practices and who gives us the best chance to win the football game."
Nussmeier said he pulled Gardner after the second interception because Gardner needed a different perspective of the game.
"It was important for Devin to step back at that point after the interception and get a view from the sideline of what's going on," Nussmeier said. "For a quarterback, when things aren't going well and you're being challenged for every yard like we were the other night, things seem to speed up and a lot of times the picture's not real clear. The reason was to give Devin a chance to sit back, look at it and to try and clear the picture for him."
Hoke said after evaluating the Utah film that both quarterbacks did some good things and, clearly, missed on several things.
"Was there one guy who was playing better than the other? No, I don't think so," Hoke said. "But I think they both know what they need to do better and they will, and I think both competed and made some good decisions, as well."
If Gardner does not start on Saturday, Hoke said his senior will be able to handle the decision. After he was pulled from the Utah game, center Jack Miller said Gardner immediately encouraged Morris.
"He'll handle it like a leader does whatever happens," Hoke said. "He's as resilient as any young man you could be around because of what people put out there (in public forums and media)."
Meanwhile, Hoke and Nussmeier said Morris has continued to improve. Nussmeier said the offense would cater to his strengths, but it would not need to be overhauled to match Morris' abilities.
"Shane had a real good fall camp, and it's continued," Hoke said. "When I sit up here and say there's competition, there truly has been competition the whole time. Do we feel comfortable? Do we feel confident? No question about it."