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Published: Monday, 10/20/2008

Michigan expects Threet to start against Spartans

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Michigan quarterback Steven Threet said he will play Saturday   a statement confirmed by Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez. Michigan quarterback Steven Threet said he will play Saturday a statement confirmed by Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez.
CARLOS OSORIO / ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

ANN ARBOR Michigan quarterback Steven Threet is expected to start Saturday against rival Michigan State despite a bruised elbow that s sidelined him for portions of the Wolverines last two games.

Threet first bruised his elbow and missed the entire second half against Toledo, then aggravated the injury early in the third quarter in UM s 46-17 loss to Penn State. He missed all but one series while a 17-17 tie turned into a rout.

It s better today than it was yesterday, Threet said. It s better this week than it was last week after it happened the first time.

Threet said he will play Saturday a statement confirmed by Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez. That s good news for UM.

The Wolverines haven t scored a point with Threet on the sideline and backup Nick Sheridan under center the last two weeks. Threet played well against Penn State, completing 7-of-11 passes for 73 yards and rushing 10 times for 47 yards in leading UM to a 17-14 halftime advantage.

At 2-5, the Wolverines need to win four of their five remaining contests to keep their streak of 33 consecutive bowl appearances alive. No better place to start than beating the Spartans, UM s in-state foe and victim the last six years.

After losing to Penn State, Wolverines defensive end Brandon Graham declared his team would beat Michigan State again. Today, defensive tackle Terrance Taylor said Graham s teammates wouldn t let him down.

We re going to back Brandon Graham up on what he said, Taylor said. Everyone on this team is going to practice to make that possible.

Rodriguez said there were no injuries suffered against the Nittany Lions that will force a player to miss this game. Also, Brandon Minor will again start at running back, coming off his 117-yard, two-touchdown performance in his first-career start last week.

The battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy will kickoff about 3:30 p.m. at the Big House and be televised on ABC.

Contact Joe Vardon at: jvardon@theblade.com or 419-410-5055.



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