Michigan yet to announce starting QB for weekend game

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AP

Michigan quarterback Ryan Mallett is pressured by Penn State safety Michael Williams in the first quarter of a college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, PAUL SANCYA

By The Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Two starts into his college career, Ryan Mallett continues to make strides in his role as Michigan’s emergency go-to-quarterback.

The freshman led the Wolverines to a 14-9 upset victory over No. 10 Penn State when he completed 16-of-29 passes for 170 yards and scored Michigan’s first touchdown on a 10-yard run.

Mallett’s progression comes just as Wolverines senior starter Chad Henne moves closer to returning to the lineup.

Coach Lloyd Carr said at his weekly press conference Monday that Henne, who was injured in the first half of Michigan’s 39-7 loss to Oregon, has been medically cleared to return.

When that happens, though, is unclear. Carr did not announce who will start Michigan’s game Saturday at Northwestern.

“It’s to a point now where the doctors will leave it up to Chad, how he feels and of course, it will depend on what I see and what I think,” Carr said. “We’re encouraged with where he is, but we have to continue to watch him. We want to make sure that when he comes back, his mobility is there.

“We’re not going to do anything that’s going to jeopardize Chad and his ability to react to the pressure that comes with that position.”

Carr said Henne took snaps throughout the week leading up to Penn State, continuing to recover from a leg injury.

While Henne was on the mend, Mallett was given more of Michigan’s complex offense to digest after guiding the Wolverines to a 38-0 rout of Notre Dame.