Ex-UM coach Brady Hoke: I wouldn't have punted

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke, now a twice-weekly national radio co-host, said he would not have punted at the end of the Michigan-Michigan State game and instead tested his defense.

The Wolverines lost to MSU on a botched punt in the final 10 seconds last Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

Hoke and SiriusXM College Sports co-host Mark Packer discussed the final play during their Tuesday show. Hoke was fired last year after four seasons as head coach and replaced by Jim Harbaugh.

"Personally, if we have the No. 1 defense in the nation I'm going to test those guys," Hoke said. "You've got to play to the strength of your football team and the strength of the Michigan football team all year long has been their defense."

He said he was sure "Jimmy" went over what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it but Hoke said there are too many potential breakdowns on a punt.

"No. 1, I think the one gunner to the field should have been in a little bit more and if you're going to punt it there's ways to protect it a little better," Hoke said.

Hoke first credited the MSU defense for forcing fourth down and said he would have gone for it at that point, handing the ball to De'Veon Smith and "challenge your offensive line" or play-action pass to take four to five seconds off the clock.

"Look, I know it's easy from where we sit right now," Hoke said. "I've been on the sideline and had to make decisions. I went for two against Ohio State two years ago because Devin Gardner has a broken foot and didn't think the defense was playing as well we needed."

Hoke said he felt for his former team and players.

"It was one of those games No. 1 you feel for those kids," he said. "You really feel for them because that's a tough way to lose a game. It's heart wrenching and it's against one of your biggest rivals."

"Personally, if we have the No. 1 defense in the nation I'm going to test those guys," former Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.