Woolfolk plays safety with Kovacs out

Shortly before the Purdue game, it was announced that redshirt junior safety Jordan Kovacs would not be playing due to a knee injury suffered earlier during the week. Michigan coach Brady Hoke didn't speculate as to how long Kovacs would be out.

Hoke said he didn't believe Kovacs' absence attributed to the Boilermakers' ability to score on their first drive.

"The expectations are for the position," Hoke said. "If you're in there, there's a way we expect you to play."

Kovacs' absence gave Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison more of a look at fifth-year senior Troy Woolfolk at safety, a move they'd been planning on making even before Kovacs' injury.

"It was one of those things that worked out well," Hoke said.

Hoke said he likes Woolfolk's make-up speed, though he wants Woolfolk to be more physical. He would not specify how many safeties the Wolverines would have, explaining that they may have four to six.

Injury notes: Redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Taylor Lewan suffered an ankle injury during the game. He had it taped on the sideline and continued to play, though he did need assistance walking off the field after the game. ... Junior offensive lineman Ricky Barnum did not play due to the fact that he "hurt his ankle," according to Hoke. ... Hoke also eluded to the fact that junior running back Vincent Smith has an injury, saying, "Smitty has been the only one who's been beat up as of late with an ankle." Smith did have six carries for 28 yards against Purdue.