Talent aside, the game plan is bound to change at least slightly for Michigan with true freshman Shane Morris replacing injured Devin Gardner at quarterback for Saturday’s Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State in Tempe, Ariz.
But the mystery may work to the Wolverines’ advantage, given Kansas State has very little film of Morris.
“I don’t know that we could define ‘tendencies’ based on any of the information that we have,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said Friday. “I think just the fact that he’s lefthanded as opposed to being righthanded, that alters some things for us.
“There’s no way that I could guess exactly how they would utilize the young man. But you have to prepare for their offense. He is a part of it, but there’s 10 other guys that are pretty effective players that will certainly be actively involved.”
Morris doesn’t run as frequently or have the same speed as Gardner, but he’s capable enough — which Michigan coach Brady Hoke made sure to emphasize Friday.
“When we recruited a quarterback, we wanted a guy who was athletic and could step up in the pocket and do all those things,” Hoke said. “He’s that guy. He’s a guy that can get the perimeter for you. We’re very excited about what he brings to the table.”
Grand Forks reunion
The new head coach at North Dakota said he’s happy to return to the school where he served as an assistant for 15 years.
Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert wrestled with his emotions as he was introduced as the 26th head coach in UND history. He said the only reason he left Grand Forks a decade ago was for the opportunity for his first and only previous head coaching job, at Minnesota Duluth.
“I never wanted to leave here,” Schweigert said, fighting back tears. “But a great group of people gave me a head coaching opportunity and I had a great four years there.”
Schweigert, 51, takes over a program in need of repair. Chris Mussman, who was fired after six seasons, built some high-powered offenses in leading the school’s transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. But his teams struggled defensively in the wide-open Big Sky Conference.
Schweigert was an assistant coach at UND from 1989 to 2003. He was head coach at Division II Minnesota Duluth from 2004 to 2007, guiding the Bulldogs to their first North Central Conference title.
Schweigert said his connection to North Dakota goes back many years, including watching his brother, Lowell, play quarterback for UND in the 1970s.
• Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said he will retire following Monday’s game against Texas in the Alamo Bowl, revealing that he wanted to step away after last season but didn’t once Chip Kelly bolted for the NFL. Aliotti has spent 24 years with the Ducks, including 17 as defensive coordinator. The Alamo Bowl is also the farewell game for Texas coach Mack Brown.
• Fresno State receiver Davante Adams will skip his final two college seasons to enter the NFL draft. Adams caught 233 passes for 3,031 yards and 38 TDs over two seasons.
• Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned home to Arizona to tend to a personal issue and won’t play in the Gator Bowl against Georgia next week. Coach Bo Pelini also announced that linebacker Jared Afalava and receivers Richard Wynne and Ishmail Jackson violated team rules and won’t play Wednesday.