One week after knocking off No. 14 Notre Dame 41-30 in a very exciting game, the No. 11 Michigan Woverines barely scraped by a win over the Akron Zips at home, 28-24. The Wolverines needed a goalline stand with seconds remaining to put away the heavy underdogs.
It was one of Michigan’s worst performances since a season-opening thud against Alabama last year, a game the Wolverines lost 42-14.
The disappointing performance is raising lots of questions for Brady Hoke’s team. Most importantly, can this team bounce back and be a legitimate contender for the Big Ten title?
Also, what in the world happened to the Devin Gardner we saw against Notre Dame?
He was lights out against the Fighting Irish with 294 passing yards, 82 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He looked poised to jump to the center of the Heisman Trophy conversation. But his terrible performance in Week 3 was one of the biggest reasons Michigan was upset at home.
But Gardner, despite his 351 total yards and three touchdowns, committed four costly turnovers against Akron that ultimately prevented the Wolverines from beating the extremely inferior Zips.
His lost fumble and first interception both killed first-half Michigan scoring drives deep in Akron territory. Then, in the fourth quarter, Gardner’s third INT of the game was returned 27 yards to give the Zips a 24-21 lead.
Though Michigan followed that with a touchdown and eventually held on to win, this team apparently has some major issues it needs to address moving forward.
The Wolverines play at UConn next week.