As the weeks go on, it is getting more and more difficult to find someone who is deserving of Player of the Week honors. In fact, last week's post was just a video of crickets chirping and some honorable mentions. This week's POTW is...
He didn't have the greatest stat line on Saturday night (13 of 22 for 178 yards and an INT), but he accounted for 14 of Michigan's 24 points and allowed Good Devin to put the team in position to take the lead toward the end of the third quarter. He clearly gave Michigan the best chance to win. Relying on a ground attack with their first possession of the fourth quarter (13:12), Gardner capped off the drive with a 19 yard scamper to bring the Wolverines within two points. With 9:17 to go from that point, there would be just one more drive to steal a road win, but we know how that ended.
With his 178 yards, Gardner has now tied Tom Brady for 7th all-time in career passing yards at 5,351. That's pretty good company to be keeping at the moment. He won't be able to catch Chad Henne's 9,715 but with just 99 yards he will surpass the ever clamored-for John Harbaugh (5,449).
The bottom line from Saturday is that Devin Gardner was not the reason for the loss. He was the reason Michigan had a very good chance to get back to .500 on the season.
- Derrick Green -- 74 yards on 12 carries for a 6.2 average.
- De'Veon Smith -- 10 carries for 31 yards and one score.
- Jake Butt -- because he had yet another acrobatic catch with only one hand for a nice 20 yard reception.
- Devin Funchess -- because he's Devin Funchess.
- Rush Defense -- Michigan is ranked 12th in the country in rush defense, allowing an average of 100.2 yards per game. Saturday was no different; Rutgers tallied only 74 yards on 30 carries for a 2.5 ypc average. Now if they could just start defending the pass, the team may actually be okay.