Sunday, December 7, 2014

Poll results: Who will lead Michigan in rushing in 2014?

De'Veon Smith was Michigan's leading rusher in 2014
I meant to post this a few months ago, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. Here are the results of the poll posted over the summer. (Caveat: This poll closed on September 4, which was several days after Michigan's opening victory over Appalachian State.)

Derrick Green: 59%
Green ended up with 471 yards in half a season, which was 48 fewer than Smith's total for twelve games. (Green was my pick in the preseason, too.)

De'Veon Smith: 35%
Smith led the team with 519 yards but did not surpass Green until well after Green was lost for the season with a broken collarbone. Green averaged 78.5 yards/game, and Smith's only two games over 78.5 yards were the opener against Appalachian State (115 yards) and week 10 against Northwestern (121). Smith averaged 43.25 yards/game for the whole season.

Devin Gardner: 4%
Gardner finished fourth on the team with 258 yards. He undoubtedly would have gone for more, but an ankle injury slowed him down for much of the year.

Drake Johnson: 1%
Johnson was the team's best back for the last third of the season, rushing for an average of 80 yards/game against Indiana, Northwestern, Maryland, and Ohio State. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the season finale.

Other: 0% (0 votes)
The only other tailback to get a shot was Justice Hayes, who averaged 4.4 yards/carry and ended up with 213 rushing yards on the season.

Michigan's leading rusher total of 519 yards is the lowest since Brandon Minor led the team with 502 yards in 2009, a year in which Michigan also went 5-7.

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