Ann Arbor — Earlier in the season, it became more evident than Michigan’s offense revolves around junior running back Blake Corum.
“We move as Blake moves,” Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart said in early October.
Corum leads the nation with 19 touchdowns, including 18 rushing. He’s third in total yards with 1,457 and is fifth in rushing yards, averaging 132.5 yards per game, and his name is mentioned in Heisman Trophy talks.
But now the bigger conversation regards his status for the regular-season finale at Ohio State on Saturday. Michigan and Ohio State are both 11-0 and playing for the Big Ten East Division title, a Big Ten championship game, and likely a spot in the national playoff semifinals.
Corum suffered a left knee injury late in the first half against Illinois last Saturday. He returned for the second half, ran the ball once and then sat the rest of the game.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said there is “no update” on injured players, including Corum.
Will Corum be available Saturday?
“No update,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday at his weekly news conference.
Corum was in Ypsilanti on Sunday for the second straight year delivering Thanksgiving turkeys to two underserved communities. He paid for 150 turkeys with money earned from name, image and likeness opportunities.
He spoke briefly about his donation but was asked about his knee and offered a vague response.
“It’s good,” Corum told The Detroit News on Sunday. My knee is good. I’ll be fine. I’ll be back.”
Left tackle Ryan Hayes was asked hypothetically what kind of impact it would have on the offense if Corum is unavailable. Running back Donovan Edwards did not play last week after missing most of the previous game because of an undisclosed injury.
“Well, I think obviously it has an impact,” Hayes said. “He’s probably one of the best — if not the best — players in the country. Losing Blake is huge for us. But, I think we had a lot of guys step up, rally, where we rallied around and it just, I mean, we ended up finding a way to win, which was great for us.
Hayes said he is confident in the offense even not knowing Corum’s status.
“Well, I think we’ve planned on this,” Hayes said. “He’s a great player, but I think everybody else is just going to step up with him out and I think we’re up to the challenge and he’ll do that.”