Michigan Football: Don't Panic over Devin Gardner's Performance vs. Akron
Michigan fell for the trap on Saturday afternoon, as the Akron Zips gave the Wolverines all they could handle and then some. UM did pull out a 28-24 victory, and a lot of it had to do with the performance of Devin Gardner at quarterback, despite the bevy of mistakes he made.
To say it wasn't his best effort would be an understatement. Going 16-of-30 for 248 yards and throwing three interceptions to just two touchdowns will not be enough on most Saturdays.
However, the devil is in the details once again, and the details suggest that Devin Gardner and the Michigan Wolverines offense will be just fine going forward.
You couldn't tell that judging by the reaction of some on Twitter, though, that's for sure.
Michigan announces they're now giving Devin Gardner Steven Threatt's number for the remainder of his Michigan career.— Drew Sharp (@drewsharp) September 14, 2013
Oh, and Devin Gardner is as terrible a QB as Denard was.— Rob (@RTP316) September 14, 2013
Anytime an Akron player caught a ball in this game I automatically assumed the pass was thrown by Devin Gardner...— Michael Daniels (@mickeyd_95) September 14, 2013
This is the same guy that went off for 294 yards and four touchdowns against Notre Dame last week, right?
Let's face the facts—two of his interceptions came on freak plays, the other on a terrible throw.
Additionally, Gardner led the team in rushing, going for 103 yards in the game. He also led the team to the game-winning drive with his arm, his legs and by being a smart quarterback.
If you are a Michigan fan, the most troubling part of Gardner's performance had to be how out of sync he looked all game with his wide receivers.
Jeremy Gallon and Gardner were not on the same page, despite the six catches for 66 yards from UM's star receiver. Devin Funchess, a potential star at tight end, wasn't targeted nearly enough either—catching two passes for 65 yards.
Clearly, there are things to work on for the Wolverines and for Gardner, but on the whole, the Wolverines' issues on Saturday against the Zips were more attributable to a porous defense than anything the quarterback did.
At the end of the day, it's just one game—a bad one. It's much more likely that this was an aberration and not a sign of things to come for Michigan's quarterback.
*Andy Coppens is the lead Big Ten writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter to continue the fun.
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