|Tight end Devin Funchess was the embodiment of Michigan's high-flying offense (image via MGoBlog)|
Devin Gardner is the best Michigan quarterback ever! Gardner was 21/29 for 503 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 15 carries for 81 yards and 3 touchdowns. That total of 584 yards left him one yard short of the Big Ten record for total yardage, which is 585 and was set by Dave Wilson of Illinois back in 1980. Two of Gardner's completions went for 70 yards (to Jeremy Gallon both times), and if not for a couple failures to throw away the ball, Gardner basically played as well as anyone could ask. He had zero interceptions, although there was a fumbled snap between center Graham Glasgow and himself (the third week in a row in which that has happened).
Jeremy Gallon is the best Michigan receiver ever! Gallon had 14 catches for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns (along with 1 carry for -5 yards). That set a new Big Ten record for receiving yardage and rests second all-time behind Louisiana Tech's Troy Edwards and his 21 receptions for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns against Nebraska in 1998. The previous Big Ten yardage record (301) had been held by Purdue's Chris Daniels since 1999, and the previous Michigan record (246) was Roy Roundtree's since the triple-overtime game against Illinois in 2010. Former Michigan wide receiver Marquise Walker had 15 receptions twice (against Ohio State and Washington in 2001) to set the receptions record, so Gallon's school receptions mark is one less than Walker's; however, Walker had 160 and 159 yards in those games, respectively, so Gallon had a much more explosive day.
Kyle Bosch burned his redshirt and I don't really care. The coaches decided to switch things up again this week and start Joe Burzynski at left guard and redshirt freshman Erik Magnuson at right guard. That didn't last long, since Burzynski tweaked his knee early. But instead of calling redshirt freshman Kyle Kalis or redshirt sophomore Chris Bryant off the bench, Michigan went with true freshman Bosch. It was only Indiana - a smallish and bad defense - but I thought Bosch did pretty well. His size is college-ready, and I thought he was the most talented lineman in Michigan's 2013 class. Michigan only allowed sacks when Gardner held onto the ball too long, and Fitzgerald Toussaint ran 32 times for 151 yards and 4 touchdowns. It doesn't matter where the solution comes from, as long as the problem on the interior gets fixed. Some people were bothered about Bosch burning his redshirt halfway through the year, but if a true freshman plays half the year - especially when all other options have been exhausted - I don't see how anyone can have a problem with it.
Channing Stribling got torched again. I really don't care what Stribling does in practice. He's a true freshman and the game is moving too fast for him. Last week he got beaten twice on jump balls he should have been able to intercept or knock down, once by Brandon Felder and once by Allen Robinson; that resulted in a loss. This week he used poor technique again and got beaten for a 67-yard touchdown by Kofi Hughes. Instead of going up for the ball, Stribling tried to cradle the ball into his chest, which allowed Hughes to come over the top. Add that to several missed tackles, and I think Stribling needs to be demoted. He has a good future, but the speed of the game is one reason why most freshmen redshirt.
Hello, Thomas Gordon. Gordon had a weird stat line. It consists of the following: 2 interceptions returned for 41 yards. That's it. No tackles, no pass breakups. And those were his first two picks of the year. Opposing quarterbacks have been testing Michigan's cornerbacks more than the safeties this year, but I've been a little surprised that Gordon hasn't been more involved up to this point.
Good for Indiana. I have a soft spot for the underdog, and I somewhat hope that Indiana gets a few good years here. Obviously, I hope they lose to Michigan whenever the two meet. But as long as another team takes a dip to replace Indiana near the bottom of the conference, it would be nice to see the long-suffering Indiana fans have a little fun. They're 3-4 right now, but I think head coach Kevin Wilson has them going in the right direction. They've also been doing a good job on the recruiting trail. By the way, Michigan starting cornerback Raymon Taylor was once an Indiana commit.
What does this mean for Michigan? Well, Michigan might have earned some confidence offensively, which would be nice. I also suggested prior to this game that Michigan would go to more of a spread offense with Bryant and Kalis benched, and that appears to have been the case. Al Borges's play calling seemed to shy away from running power and zone stretch constantly and incorporated some more misdirection, draws, etc. out of the run game. Michigan can't expect to blow people off the ball, so this is what Michigan's offense should look like for the remainder of the year.