Piscataway, N.J. — Michigan starting cornerback Lavert Hill had to leave the game against Rutgers before the end of the first half, but his status remains uncertain.
“Lavert is being evaluated for a concussion,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after Michigan’s 42-7 win on Saturday.
Safety Josh Metellus went through warm-ups but didn’t play, so Brad Hawkins filled in as the starter. Hawkins had five tackles.
“He had done something to himself Thursday, a soft-tissue deal,” Harbaugh said of Metellus. “He’s still working through that. He really wanted to play. We were going to see how it loosened up before the game and if it did, but we were going to go with Brad Hawkins as the starter.”
Defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon also wasn’t available. Harbaugh said Solomon got sick a few days before departing for New Jersey. Defensive end Kwity Paye was injured in the game but Harbaugh said he’s “not sure exactly what that is right now.”
Hawkins, one of nine Michigan players from New Jersey, is happy with how he has progressed.
“I think I have grown a lot this season,” Hawkins said after the game. “I think I matured a lot. That has definitely helped me grow as a player, so I just went out there every day, try to be better myself as a player and as a person so I just took that into my own hands. Just went out there every day and competed.”
Backup QB situation
When redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey, the backup quarterback, suffered a broken collarbone last week against Penn State, it put the Wolverines in an interesting situation regarding who will back up starter Shea Patterson.
Harbaugh said during the week that Brandon Peters and freshman Joe Milton would compete for that role. When it was clear Patterson would sit after the third quarter, Peters and Milton warmed up side-by-side on the sideline. Peters was the first in and on the first play handed off to Chris Evans who ran 61 yards for the game’s final points. Milton was next in.
“Wanted to get them both playing. Get them those reps,” Harbaugh said. “Brandon’s series was only one play because Chris popped the long (61)-yarder. They both need game reps as we move forward to get them ready before you need them.”
Harbaugh did not specify who is the backup.
“I think the way we’re going, we like things that both can do,” he said. “We’re in that situation, just keep getting them both ready and getting them both ready to play and be ready to have them both when that need arises.”
Milton has now played in two games and can play in two more if he wants to preserve his redshirt.
Harbaugh was praising Rutgers and the improvements the team has made, but made a gaffe.
“That’s a team that’s very close to breaking through and winning multiple games, consecutive games,” Harbaugh said. “Rob does a really good job with them. They’ve got a good plan offensively and a good plan defensively.”
Harbaugh probably meant to say, Chris, as in Chris Ash, the head coach. There’s no one named Rob on the Scarlet Knights staff.