Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 71 of 267

A By Michael Spath fter a strong debut under Al Borges in 2011, when the Wolverines averaged 404.7 yards and 33.3 points per game, Michigan's offense took a slight step back a year ago, seeing its production decline to 383.1 yards and 29.9 points per contest. However, U-M truly was OFfense Q&A In Transition Coordinator Al Borges Prepares Michigan For A Permanent Move To A Pro-Style Offense a team in transition in 2012, modifying its scheme over the final five games to accommodate a pro-style passer in Devin Gardner. During those five games, Michigan averaged 243.8 yards through the air and 147.2 yards on the ground, flipping the focus 180 degrees from when Denard Robinson was under center; in Robinson's eight starts at quarterback in 2012, U-M posted 206.6 yards rushing and 171.5 yards passing per game. Now, Robinson has graduated, and Gardner is installed full-time under center. Add in the emergence of young receivers, tight ends, tailbacks and linemen recruited by this current coaching staff, and the Maize and Blue will run the pro-style scheme Borges has long schemed throughout his career. The Wolverine: Over the past two years, what were you happy with offensively, and where do you want to see the biggest improvement going forward? Borges: "The games we played the best in were the games where we demonstrated the best balance. When we lost our balance, and we didn't throw the ball effectively, whether it was not completing passes or throwing interceptions, those are the games we played the worst in and we lost. The passing game, I think, was the one thing that was most erratic. "But when we did do that well, when we could throw the ball as a threat to the defense, which we did in several games, we were successful and won games. We were always tough to deal with our first two years because we could run the football, with our quarterback, if nobody else. "I know there were a lot of complaints about our running game, but we ran for 183 yards per game, and that's not terrible. But we didn't run it a lot with the tailback, so everyone assumes we couldn't run. Our offense wasn't set up as much to run with the tailback as it was with the quarterback. It will be from now on. "Our original plan was to get Denard Robinson involved, but as our offense evolved it became clear that he was our best runner and our biggest threat, and we had to find ways to explore that without getting him Borges and the U-M offense will look to continue the trend from the last five games of the 2012 season, when Michigan averaged 243.8 yards through the air and 147.2 yards on the ground. 70  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview photo by lon horwedel

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