Hoke indicates he wouldn’t have punted at end of Michigan St. game

After saying it wouldn’t be fair to second-guess Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh for punting at the end of last Saturday’s insane loss to Michigan State, former Michigan coach Brady Hoke indicated on Wednesday that he wouldn’t have punted.

Hoke, who was 31-20 in four seasons as Wolverines coach, told SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation, "You’ve got to play to the strength of your football team, and the strength of Michigan’s football team all year long has been their defense."

When the host asked Hoke if he didn’t like the idea of the Wolverines punting on fourth down while leading 23-21 with 10 seconds left, Hoke said, "There’s too many mechanical parts to it. Number one, I think that probably the one gunner to the field should’ve been in a little bit more. And if you are gonna punt, there are ways to protect a little better. Hold the guys. Have the other guy come in a little bit. But, I, as a coach, have to play to your strength, and your strength is your defense."

Hoke then continued to explain why he would’ve preferred to go for it instead of punt. "Your playbook is open then," he said. "It doesn’t matter if you throw the ball, the clock is going to stop anyway if you don’t make it because of the fourth down. So you have an ability to get De’Veon Smith the ball, challenge your offensive line or play-action pass because Michigan State is going to be aggressive. You take some time off the clock, four or five seconds, [make them kick a ], 60-yard field goal."

Hoke did express sympathy for Michigan punter, Blake O’Neill, saying, "My thoughts go out to him."