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Nussmeier: Our offense is not where it needs to be

Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier spoke on the state of his offense leading up to Saturday's season opener against Appalachian State.

Gregory Shamus

Taking over an offense that struggled mightily is no easy task.

Fixing a Michigan offense, specifically their offensive line, is the challenge that newly-hired offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is faced with.

The former Alabama offensive mind is no miracle worker, and he knows this, there are no quick fixes for this offense.

"We're not where we need to be as unit," Nussmeier said. "We get it right in spurts but the biggest thing right now is to find consistency across the board. The one thing we have been doing is creating competition and we've been getting better."

One of the biggest areas of competition is the offensive line. A unit that struggled last season and is preparing to start a true freshman left tackle in the process. With the season a mere days away, it will be time for the unit to face to critics head on when the snaps are meaningful.

"I've said it many times, there tends to be a focus on a single unit with every team," Nussmeier said. "When you look at an offensive line group, there's a lot of things that play into it and a lot has to do with the backs and the running game, making sure they're hitting the right hole. It has to do with the quarterback getting us into the play so we can get us into the right angles..

"Every unit we have takes pride in how they play and we demand each unit does their job and we don't expect anything less."

It didn't appear to happen, but sophomore running back Derrick Green has taken the reigns over the starting running back position. Another position seeing intense speculation, it appears that Green did enough to solidify himself as a starter by having a solid camp.

As well as fixing an issue that has plagued him throughout his entire life: his weight.

"I think it's been the overall body of work through camp," Nussmeier said. "Everything we try to do is going to be evidence-based on what you put on film and on a day-to-day basis. Derrick continually progressed, and continues to progress... We've talked about his weight through camp and he looks like a different back."

The defense, as an entire unit, has had an excellent body of work that has carried over from the spring. The big perception is that the defense will have to carry the Wolverine offense this season.

However, don't tell Nussmeier that, the team still needs to go out on the field on Saturday and play. He expects the offense to play well to his standards.

"We're going to go play the game to the best of our ability," said Nussmeier. "I will never want to say that we want another unit on the football team to carry us, that is something where we wouldn't have a lot of pride in our room if we said that. We expect to play and play well."

For more news and notes regarding Michigan Football, follow Joshua Henschke on Twitter: @JoshuaHenschke.