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Mario Ojemudia takes over for Frank Clark on UM line

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor – With defensive end Frank Clark kicked off the team, Michigan has options to fill his absence.

Michigan is preparing for Maryland on Saturday and must replace Clark, who was dismissed Monday. Clark was charged with domestic violence and assault after an incident with his girlfriend Saturday night at a Sandusky, Ohio, hotel.

The Wolverines are 5-5 and have two remaining regular-season games, needing one win to become bowl eligible. They finish the season at Ohio State.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said sophomore defensive end Taco Charlton will back up rush end Mario Ojemudia to replace Clark.

"Mario will be the guy who will take the first snaps, and then Taco will go over there," Hoke said. "Henry Poggi will come in and be (defensive end Brennen) Beyer's backup."

Hoke said they worked on this combination before the Northwestern game, because Clark had a knee issue.

"We were concerned going into that game, so we kind of were already there doing that kind of rotation," Hoke said.

Gardner feeling better

Fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner has been slowed since suffering a high left ankle sprain in the Penn State game on Oct. 11.

Michigan was off last weekend.

"I've gotten healthier," Gardner said Monday.

Hoke said during Sunday's practice, Gardner was moving around well.

"I think this is as close to healthy he's been in the last six weeks," Hoke said. "Does it open up some things because of his ability? Yeah, I think so."