|Devin Gardner's second rushing touchdown against Central Michigan (image via AnnArbor.com)|
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Graham Glasgow. I thought redshirt sophomore former walk-on left guard Glasgow was the weak link on the offensive line. He had two false starts and didn't seem to get much push. Word was that redshirt sophomore Chris Bryant would have started if not for getting his knee drained last week, but when healthy, I think Bryant should be ahead of Glasgow.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Cameron Gordon. Gordon is the starting SAM linebacker while Jake Ryan is injured, and the former ended this game with 4 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 pass breakup. He should continue to start until Ryan returns, but once that happens, Greg Mattison needs to find a way to get both Ryan and Gordon on the field. Gordon is too good of an athlete and a playmaker to keep on the bench. If that means putting Frank Clark at strongside end, Ryan at weakside end, and Gordon at SAM on passing downs, so be it.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Josh Furman. Furman started at strong safety in place of the suspended Thomas Gordon, and while Furman did a fair job of keeping things in front of him, he's just somewhat slow at reading plays. He showed some nice makeup speed on plays to the sideline in Cover 2, and he helped hunt down a running back near the sideline deep in Michigan's territory to prevent a touchdown. But ultimately, Gordon is the better safety at this point, and he needs to be on the field first.
Play of the game . . . the punt block for a touchdown. At the end of Central Michigan's first possession, Michigan overloaded CMU's right side and went for the punt block. True freshman safety Dymonte Thomas exploded off the line, came around the corner, and made a textbook block by laying out for the ball and aiming right for the toe of the punter. Former walk-on wideout Joe Reynolds picked up the ball and took it 22 yards for a touchdown to start the scoring.
MVP of the game . . . Devin Gardner. Gardner finished 10/15 for 162 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, plus 7 carries for 52 yards and 2 touchdowns. He wasn't entirely focused early, which resulted in those two picks. In the end, though, he accounted for three touchdowns and kept plays alive with his feet. His two rushing touchdowns included some smooth cuts to juke defenders, and he also threw a great deep ball to Joe Reynolds on a play action pass on which he turned his back to the defense for an uncomfortably long time.