|Devin Gardner (image via ToledoBlade.com)|
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Shane Morris. The kid has a 0-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and he's absolutely careless with the football. Gardner fumbles the ball when he's fighting for extra yardage. Morris fumbles the ball when he's just standing in the pocket and has nothing better to do. Looking ahead to 2015, Michigan should be exploring transfers and planning an open competition between Morris, Wilton Speight, and even Alex Malzone. The situation is dire.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Jabrill Peppers. Rumors were circulating that Peppers was hurt. Rumors were circulating that he didn't play because of a disciplinary issue. Maybe it was a combination of both. I don't know. What I do know is that Peppers has seen the field very little in his first five weeks as a college football player, and that's extremely frustrating. There's nothing the coaches can do about injuries, I guess, but he's a playmaker on a team largely devoid of playmakers. If the defensive backfield is too jam-packed with veterans and talent, then play Peppers at slot receiver or running back or wideout or wildcat quarterback. The kid needs to be on the field if he's healthy.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Dymonte Thomas. Thomas was the one who appeared to blow the coverage on Maxx Williams on Saturday, which led to a touchdown. Against Utah the week before, he blew the coverage that led to a touchdown for Dres Anderson. Opponents keep finding a way to attack him, and he's not up to the challenge. Maybe Peppers should move ahead of Thomas in the safety rotation.
Play of the game . . . Frank Clark and Taco Charlton's sack of Mitch Leidner. Give me a break. There are so few good plays to choose from. Clark leaped over a cut block from a running back before charging ahead to sack Leidner for a loss of five yards. Charlton latched on to help take Leidner down. It's sad when this is the highlight.
MVP of the game . . . Devin Gardner. Again, the pickings are slim. Gardner entered the game with under eight minutes remaining, immediately leading a touchdown drive. He went 3/6 for 39 yards, and he ran the ball 5 times for 23 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run. Yes, he took a sack, and he almost threw an interception (or took a safety) from his own endzone. However, the team got a spark from his appearance. Any further heroics or shenanigans were thwarted by Brady Hoke's inexplicable decision to punt with four minutes remaining while down by two scores.