Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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150 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW 1. 12-10 vs. Michigan State, 2012: A four-year losing streak to the Spartans preceded this 2012 matchup be- tween in-state rivals, and after focusing all their attention on Ohio State in Brady Hoke's first season, the Maize and Blue shifted their gaze to the Green and White. The game wasn't pretty, and 2009 signees Denard Robin - son (259 yards of total offense) and Brendan Gibbons (four field goals) did most of the heavy lifting, but the 2010 class found critical ways to contribute, Receiver Drew Dileo had four grabs for 92 yards, setting up the game-winning kick with a 20-yard reception; punter Will Hagerup averaged 43.6 yards on five punts; linebacker Jake Ryan had a sack among 10 tackles; and defensive tackle Jibreel Black and cornerback Courtney Avery com - bined for three stops. 2. 40-34 vs. Ohio State, 2011: It might be sacrilegious to Michigan fans to elevate Michigan State above Ohio State, but the Wolverines owe their success against the Buckeyes largely to players in classes other than the 2010 cohort, especially Robinson (five touchdowns). The class of 2010 did contribute some, with fullback Stephen Hopkins picking up a first down with a three-yard rush on a fourth-and-one; Hagerup averaging 47.5 yards on two punts; and the trio of Ryan, Black and Avery totaling a sack and five tackles. 3. 41-30 vs. Notre Dame, 2013: In its final home matchup against Notre Dame in this rivalry's storied his - tory — at least for the foreseeable future with no games on the docket for the next decade — Michigan was eager to go out on top, and this time the remnants of the class of 2010 would help secure that victory. Gardner, Dileo and Black would earn starting assign - ments, while Avery and safety Josh Furman would see the field (Ryan was out while recovering from an ACL injury). Gardner was responsible for all five U-M touchdowns, throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for another. Dileo was on the receiving end of one of the passing scores, collecting a four-yard TD among his three receptions. Black had one tackle. 4. 35-13 vs. Minnesota, 2012: One week earlier, Robin - son had suffered nerve damage to his elbow, and backup quarterback Russell Bellomy had floundered — complet- ing 3 of 16 passes with three interceptions — in a 23-9 loss at Nebraska, and the season was on the cusp of falling apart. The pesky Gophers were 5-3, coming off a 44-28 win over Purdue, and eager to reclaim the Little Brown Jug when they welcomed the Maize and Blue to Minneapolis. Starting for the first time in his career under center, Gard - ner completed an efficient 12 of 18 passes (66.7 percent) for 234 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a score, and Dileo hauled in a 45-yard score among his four receptions and 69 yards. Defensively, Ryan contributed nine tackles, including three for loss, two stymying Minnesota drives; Black had a tackle; and Avery pounced on a fumble in the fourth quarter to prevent any rally. 5. 18-13 vs. Penn State, 2014: The class of 2010's final chance to play a night game at The Big House gave the three remaining members one final stage to showcase their impact on Michigan football. Ryan helped choke the Penn State offense, tallying a sack and three total tackles for loss among 10 stops. Hag - erup had one of his more impressive showings, averaging 43.8 yards on five punts, including a 52-yarder and two he dropped inside the 20-yard line. Finally, Gardner went 16 for 24 (66.7 percent) for 192 yards, and was responsible for the Maize and Blue's lone touchdown, connecting with wide receiver Devin Funch - ess for a 43-yard first-quarter bomb. Top Five Wins For 2010 Class Big Ten Winning Percentages From 2010-14 Rk. School Rec. Pct. 1. Ohio State 56-10 .848 2. Michigan State 52-14 .788 3. Wisconsin 50-18 .735 4. Nebraska* 47-20 .701 5. Penn State 38-25 .603 6. Michigan 38-26 .594 7. Rutgers~ 36-28 .563 8. Iowa 34-30 .531 9. Northwestern 33-30 .524 10. Minnesota 28-35 .444 11. Maryland^ 26-34 .433 12. Illinois 26-37 .413 13. Purdue 21-41 .339 14. Indiana 19-41 .317 * Spent 2010 in the Big 12 ^ Spent 2010-13 in ACC ~ Spent 2010-12 in the Big East and 2013 in the AAC Year-By-Year Record 2010: 7-6, 3-5 Big Ten, Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State (L, 52-14), Final Rankings: AP, unranked, Coaches, unranked. 2011: 11-2, 6-2 Big Ten, Sugar Bowl vs. Virginia Tech (W, 23-20). Final Rankings: AP, No. 12, Coaches, No. 9. 2012: 8-5, 6-2 Big Ten, Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina (L, 33-28). Final Rankings: AP, No. 24, Coaches, unranked. 2013: 7-6, 3-5 Big Ten, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs. Kan - sas State (L, 31-14). Final Rankings: AP, unranked, Coaches, unranked. 2014: 5-7, 3-5 Big Ten, Final Rankings: AP, unranked, Coaches, unranked. Five-Year Record Overall: 38-26 (.594). Big Ten: 21-19 (.525). Bowl Games: 1-3. Versus Ohio State: 1-4. Versus Notre Dame: 3-2. Versus Michigan State: 1-4. Top-20 Finishes: 1, 2011. Wide receiver Drew Dileo caught four passes for 92 yards, including a 20-yard reception that set up the game-winning kick, in U-M's 12-10 triumph over Michigan State in 2012. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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