|RB Brown lives up to Michigan motto by filling in for Hart against Illinois|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 October 2007 10:21|
Lloyd Carr's catch phrase plays on the same thought, but adds a twist.
``The expectation is for the position,'' Carr has said regularly in his 13 seasons as head coach, emphasizing the need for his players to be ready when called upon.
They often echo those six words, and Carlos Brown lived up to the motto when he filled in for running back Mike Hart to help the Wolverines win Saturday night at Illinois.
The sophomore set career highs with 25 carries and 113 yards rushing as Hart watched from the sideline.
``I'm glad I got a chance,'' Brown said Monday. ``I'm ready for the next one.''
It's unclear if Brown or quarterback Ryan Mallett will be asked to replace senior stars Hart and Chad Henne, respectively, this week for the 19th-ranked Wolverines (6-2, 4-0 Big Ten) at home against Minnesota (1-7, 0-4)
Hart has been out for 1 1/2 games since appearing to hurt his right ankle against Purdue. Henne seemed to hurt his hand in the first quarter against the Illini, left the game twice and returned to help Michigan win its sixth straight game.
Carr said Hart and Henne are day to day, though some are predicting he might rest both this week against lowly Minnesota to get them healthier for the final three games.
The Wolverines are expected to be beat the Golden Gophers by three-plus touchdowns before closing the regular season with three challenges: Michigan State and Wisconsin on the road, and top-ranked Ohio State in Ann Arbor.
While Brown fared well playing in place of Hart, Mallett struggled.
``He's like most freshmen,'' Carr said. ``He has made some progress, and he's got a lot of things that he needs to improve on.''
At Michigan, though, expectations don't rise and fall depending on who is playing a particular position.
Carr said he read the phrase, ``the expectation is for the position'' somewhere and borrowed the idea.
``It speaks to the issue that every guy's responsible for preparing and developing himself,'' he said. ``You're always trying to sell that idea because on any football team, you're going to have guys that are second team, third team and guys that are not on the depth chart.
``That to me is one of the ways you give hope to a player because what you're trying to tell him as a coach is, `You're going to get an opportunity here.'''
Brown was hoping to work his way into the lineup when he came to Michigan from Franklin, Ga., but he wasn't sure what side of the ball he would be playing on.
He came in as a running back, but spent some time at quarterback last season. He was switched to cornerback last spring, then went back to running back this year to compete for a chance to back up Hart.
A broken hand set him back during preseason practices, but he slowly recovered and was ready when called upon last weekend.
``I never though I would have that chance,'' he said.
Carr is thankful Brown was prepared to meet the demands of the job.
``He went in a very high-pressure situation. I thought he performed extremely well,'' Carr said. ``This is going to be a tremendous confidence-boost for him. He's got ability. He can run fast. It was a great thing for us that he was able to step in there and perform at a level that helped us to win.''