Michigan Football: 5 Questions Entering the 2014 Season

Michigan Football 2014: 5 Questions Entering the Season

Brady Hoke
Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports

Depending on who you ask, the Michigan Wolverines have more than five pressing questions as they head towards the start of the 2014 -- and that could be true. But if they are able to find legitimate answers to these five most pressing issues before taking the field against Appalachian St. to open the season, they could end up being a surprise contender to the Big 10 Championship in 2014. If not, this could be another long season for Brady Hoke.

5. Who Will Join Devin Funchess as Receiver Options?

Jeremy Gallon
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports

5. Who Will Join Devin Funchess as Receiver Options?

Jeremy Gallon
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports

While Funchess has shown the ability to be a lead receiver for the Wolverines, there still is the question of who will replace the productivity lost with the graduation of Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo. Three names that have been repeated throughout the offseason are Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh and Freddy Canteen. If any of the three are able to replicate Funchess' 2013 numbers (49 catches, 748 yards) the offense will be a lot harder to defend.

4. Can the Defense Play at a High Level All Season?

Michigan Defense
Rick Osentoski- USA Today Sports

4. Can the Defense Play at a High Level All Season?

rick osentoski
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports

Early in 2013 it was the defense that led the way for Michigan, but as the season wore on the unit began to break down. Surrendering 40-plus points in three games and finishing 66th in total defense is not acceptable at U-M, so the coaches made adjustments to coverage and blitz packages in the offseason. Improved depth at each unit should also help this side of the ball if they are called to spend more time on the field.

3. Who Will Be the Starting Running Back?

Derrick Green
Tim Fuller - USA Today Sports

3. Who Will Be the Starting Running Back?

tim fuller d green
Tim Fuller - USA Today Sports

With the graduation of Fitz Toussaint, the Wolverines are looking for a new starter at the running back position. There are three options in Derrick Green, De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson, but fans are wondering if any of them are qualified enough to help improve the paltry 125.7 YPG average from last season. Unfortunately, the early report after the Aug. 16 scrimmage was that all three are still struggling to find the open hole to create yards.

2. Will the Offensive Line Continue to Struggle?

Taylor Lewan
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

2. Will the Offensive Line Continue to Struggle?

Taylor Lewan
Mark J Rebilas - USA Today Sports

After allowing a nation-worst 114 tackles-for-loss in 2013, U-M made major changes in coaching and personnel in hopes of improving a unit that seemed to struggle with the normal nuances of being a collegiate offensive linemen. But even with the changes, the coaches have yet to settle on a starting unit. Yesterday's scrimmage did not help as the line continued to have issues with the simple things of blocking like hand placement and foot spacing.

1. Which Devin Gardner Will Emerge This Season?

Devin Gardner
Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports

1. Which Devin Gardner Will Emerge This Season?

Jerry Lai
Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports

Which Garder will we see in 2014? Will it be the one who passed for 451 yards and four touchdowns against Ohio St. or the one who combined for 345 yards and five interceptions against Akron and Connecticut? With uncertainty on the offensive line and at running back, it's imperative that he is closer to the OSU version if U-M wants to have a successful season. But if he isn't, sophomore Shane Morris is more prepared to step in this season.

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