After two weeks of truly offensive football for the Michigan Wolverines on offense, quarterback Devin Gardner led the way for the Wolverines to find it again. The result was Michigan’s seventh win of the season and one that erases any fears of them missing postseason play entirely.
The Wolverines rushed for 137 yards on 45 carries. While a three yard-per-carry average may not look that impressive by most standards, it was an immense improvement over the detrimental performances on the ground that Michigan turned in over its previous two games. Derrick Green led the way for the Wolverines with 79 yards on 19 attempts.
It was Gardner that scored both Michigan touchdowns, however. While Wolverines fans probably would have preferred for Gardner to get started earlier, the game was tied at nine at the end of regulation, Gardner’s play in the three overtime periods was stellar. His five-yard touchdown run in the third overtime is what won the game for Michigan. Gardner finished with 245 yards of total offense.
Most important for the Wolverines was the fact that they didn’t turn the ball over and were only penalized once. This offensive performance was an improvement over the last two weeks, but it still wasn’t anything close to the production Michigan was getting earlier this season. If the Wolverines are to get back to averaging scoring in the 30s every game, they will have to continue playing mistake-free football.
A nine-win season is still possible for Michigan. To get to that point, the Wolverine defense will have to be stingy like it was, and the offense will have to continue to improve. Gardner replicating his efficiency in this game will go a long way towards those ends.