Michigan Wolverines Season Preview: Offense

By Erik Sargent
Devin Gardner Michigan Wolverines
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing 11-2 in 2011 with a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech, the Michigan Wolverines took a bit of step back in 2012.

But when you examine their season closely, you’ll see that they still finished 6-2 in the Big Ten conference and two of their losses were against teams that ended up playing for the national championship in January.

Entering 2013, the Wolverines will be in their third season under head coach Brady Hoke and will also begin life after Denard Robinson. Despite the ups and downs of Robinson’s quarterback play during his time at Michigan, there was no doubt he was one of the most electric athletes in the country.

The Michigan offense, which was still under transition to a pro-style, downhill attack from the spread-option that Rich Rodriguez installed, was just above average throughout most of 2012. The team finished 4th in the conference in scoring offense, averaging 30.8 points per game, but only 7th in total offense, averaging 381.2 yards per game.

For 2013, Devin Gardner will enter the season as the starter. The one time 5-star high school quarterback initially started 2012 as a receiver until he had to replace Denard Robinson for the rest of the season after Robinson suffered an injury. 5-Star recruit Shane Morris, who had a lot of hype built around him during his time in high school, should enter the season as the backup to Gardner.

Gardner looks primed to be one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten and in the country. He will be protected by dominant left tackle Taylor Lewan, who almost certainly would have been a top 5 pick in this past April’s NFL Draft.

The running back position is still a bit of a question after last year’s starter, Fitzgerald Touissant, suffered a major leg injury. He will be in the mix, along with Justice Hayes, DeVeon Smith, Thomas Rawls, Drake Johnson, Dennis Norfleet and 5-star recruit Derrick Green. Green, who was rated the top running back by most recruiting sites, has Wolverine fans excited and already has the body type of a Big Ten running back.

Jeremy Gallon was the leading receiver on last year’s squad and returns along with Amara Darboh and Drew Dilleo. Devin Funchess, one of the most athletic players on the roster, also returns at tight end.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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