Michigan Football: 5 Problems the Wolverines Must Fix Before Big Ten Play

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Michigan Football: 5 Problems the Wolverines Must Fix Before Big Ten Play
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Big Ten teams will have 98 problems this fall when they face Devin Gardner.

If there is one team screaming that it's ready for Big Ten opposition, it's the University of Michigan Wolverines. 

After a pair of impressive non-conference victories—41-30 over Notre Dame and 59-9 over Central Michigan—Team 134's trail leading to its upcoming conference schedule has been set ablaze. 

Quarterback Devin Gardner, a redshirt junior, catapulted himself into the national spotlight after throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns Saturday against the then-No. 14 Irish (now No. 21).

With his No. 11 Wolverines hosting Akron this weekend, more of the same is expected from the former Inskter High standout, who made a routine of finding an open Jeremy Gallon at nearly every turn against Notre Dame. 

The defense has been respectable thus far, save a few a mistakes of course. In Week 2, the front four had a difficult time establishing pressure on Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, who attempted 51 passes but was sacked just once during the loss at The Big House.

Forcing quarterbacks into mistakes and applying endless pressure is always a plus—Michigan needs to work on its pass-rushing skills before colliding with the rest of the B1G. 

Retooling the backfield will probably be a constant theme this season. Although senior Fitz Toussaint has demonstrated an improved northward running ability, his big-play prowess remains in question.

Despite a 22-yard run and 31-yard reception against Notre Dame, Toussaint has much more to offer his team than sporadic yardage—he is a former 1,000-yard rusher and, when fully charged, he packs a lethal combination of power and adequate speed.

However, freshman Derrick Green had a great debut against the Chippewas—maybe it's time to get him more carries, especially with the Zips coming to town. 

Problems? More like issues to iron out before things get rolling. This slideshow will examine a handful of solutions for Michigan's deficiencies. 

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