Bellomy looks confident in limited duty

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The time he’d seen before came in games long decided, when his role was to enter and finish the game without making any errors, not to have a say in the outcome of it all.

Yet when Denard Robinson left Saturday’s game with a hand injury in the first quarter, redshirt freshman Russell Bellomy was inserted into a game in the first half for the first time in his career.

“I liked how he got himself ready. Liked how he got himself ready during the week,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “But Denard comes out and he’s taking snaps and getting himself ready to go.

“He was composed and calm and wasn’t overexcited.”

Bellomy completed 1 of 3 passes against Illinois over two separate stints -- one replacing Robinson in the first half and another in the second half with the game in hand.

His numbers, though, could have been better than that. Both of his incompletions were drops, one by Devin Funchess and the other by Roy Roundtree, which hit him right in the hands.

“When Russ got him, I told him to just do him, man,” Roundtree said. “It’s great that he got out there and I wish he would have had some completions. I felt bad for him after I dropped a pass.

“He didn’t get on me but I’m pretty sure he got upset. I told him I got him next time.”

Not the worst loss: Roundtree remembered riding home from East Lansing last season on a quiet bus. Most players had headphones on instead of the typical ride home chatter.

While the loss stung, it wasn’t his most difficult at Michigan. He wasn’t sure which one would be, actually.

“Nah, I probably had several of those,” Roundtree said. “When I first got here, coming in as a redshirt freshman to the winningest program and having a down year that we had.

“I wouldn’t want to say it was the hardest, most brutal loss because I took a lot of ‘L’s’ back then.”

His first three seasons at Michigan were not win-friendly as the Wolverines won three, six and then seven games under former coach Rich Rodriguez.

Injury update: Michigan running back Vincent Smith, who missed Saturday’s game against Illinois due to a hamstring injury, is expected back for Michigan State. So is fullback Stephen Hopkins, who has missed the past few weeks due to a hamstring injury. ... Hoke and Robinson both said the quarterback’s hand is fine after missing a quarter against the Illini due to injury. ... Safety Jordan Kovacs, who has worn a brace on his knee the past two weeks, said he knee is “fine” and that his bright blue knee brace is “a fashion statement.”

This and that: Going along with not wearing red, Hoke said Monday he doesn’t remember the last time he has worn green, either. ... Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who is usually available weekly to the media, is not on the list of players for this week. Last season, Lewan and Michigan State defensive end William Gholston went at each other pretty well during the game. ... Hoke is planning on educating his team this week on Willis Ward, the second African-American to play at Michigan and the subject of a documentary about his benching due to racial issues when facing Georgia Tech on Oct. 20, 1934. The Michigan state senate deemed Saturday as Willis Ward Day.