There is going to be some fans in Ann Arbor who want a change at quarterback this week.
With Denard Robinson on the bench nursing a sore elbow, quarterback-turned receiver-turned quarterback Devin Gardner rejuvenated a struggling Michigan offense against Minnesota. Gardner grabbed everyones attention when he kept a play a live with his feet and threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Drew Dileo in the second quarter.
With an offense that went more than two games without a touchdown, Gardner came in and bolstered a passing attack that has almost been non-existent this year. Dileo, along with Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon, stepped up their play and gave Gardner some options to throw to. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint gave the running game a boost with 70 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 41-yard run.
Gardner finished the game with 234 yards through the air and two touchdowns. It’s not the statistics that Gardner put up though, it’s the balance he gave the Wolverine offense and his ability to make throws down the field outside the pocket. Robinson hasn’t been able to be accurate in the or outside the pocket this year and struggled significantly against talented defenses who stopped him from running.
Gardner, a junior, will benefit from playing time this season. If Michigan struggles against Northwestern this weekend with Robinson as the starter, it might be wise of Brady Hoke to stick with Gardner and give him another chance to show what he can do.
Robinson’s career in Ann Arbor has been one for the record books and there’s no denying that, but sometimes good things must come to an end, even with one of the most dynamic players ever in college football.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.
Follow Will on Twitter: @GoPackGo1