Not only do the Michigan Wolverines need quarterback Devin Gardner to get out of his funk, but they also need to work on the turnover problem they have had ever since Brady Hoke took over as their coach in 2011. It has caused them many problems, including struggling against teams that they should have had no problems with in the first place. The Wolverines need to learn how to hang onto the ball or they are going to be in some serious trouble in the Big Ten this season.
These turnovers have already been a problem for the Wolverines this season. Turnovers are a big reason why they struggled in their last two games against the Akron Zips and Connecticut Huskies. The Wolverines turned the ball over four times in the Akron game, and one of those turnovers was returned for a score. They also had four turnovers in the Connecticut game, and two of those led to scores for the Huskies. Both of these games resulted in a win for the Wolverines thanks to their defense.
No other Big Ten team has turned the ball over more than Michigan has since 2011 when Hoke took over as their coach. Since then, Hoke has coached 30 games for Michigan with a 23-7 record, and in those games the team has had 61 turnovers or a little over two per game. So what’s the problem? Why has it lasted over a span of three seasons? It could be that the Wolverines have relied on two risk-takers at quarterback in Gardner and Denard Robinson. Gardner is tied for the most interceptions in the FBS with eight and has thrown at least one interception in every game that he has started at Michigan. Robinson had thrown at least one interception in 14 of his previous 21 starts for the Wolverines. Fumbles have been a problem, too, as Michigan has lost 16 of them in those 30 games.
The turnover problem and the problems that Gardner has faced this season have resulted in some struggles for Michigan, and the Wolverines need to work on both of them. They need to take better care of the ball and not keep committing these careless turnovers. An improvement with Gardner could help with the turnover situation, but he is not the whole problem. The entire team needs to be more careful with the ball to improve this situation. If their turnover situation improves, then they will not have to rely on their defense to bail them out of every game and they will be more successful with Big Ten play coming up. A bye week this week will do them some good for sure.