Gardner, Gallon Answer Critics. Michigan Defense? Not so Much
Michigan roared back from last week’s disappointing four-overtime defeat at Penn State with a 63-47 victory over Indiana.
Has Michigan corrected its problems on offense?
Quarterback Devin Gardner and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon both set records in a game in which the Wolverine offense put up 751 total yards and dominated time of possession.
Michigan used the spread formation for much of the game, and the changes were extremely effective against Indiana, which entered the contest ranked No. 104 in total defense.
Behind a shuffled offensive line, Gardner completed 21 of 29 passes for 503 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball 15 times for 81 yards and three scores. His passing yards and his 584 total yards set new Michigan team records, and his five touchdowns tied another.
Gallon, who caught two of Gardner's touchdown passes, set a Big Ten record with 369 yards on 14 receptions.
The switch to the spread formation also enabled running back Fitzgerald Toussaint to have a big game, rushing for 151 yards on 32 attempts and scoring four touchdowns.
Toussaint help set the tone for the Michigan offense, when he punched the ball into the end zone on a 4th-and-goal during the first quarter.
In the postgame press conference, Hoke commented on what he wants to see when Michigan faces rival Michigan State after this week’s bye.
“I’d like to see the same offense show up but a different defense.”
While the offense put up great numbers, the Michigan defense did nothing to quiet critics, surrendering 572 total yards to Indiana.
When asked how he felt about watching his team’s watching defensive performance Hoke admitted to, “[having] a sick feeling, we didn’t play very good defense today.”
The scoring exploded in the third quarter, with both teams combining for 37 points. The teams traded scores for much of the second half, with two late fourth-quarter Indiana turnovers finally allowing Michigan to put the game away.
Michigan remains undefeated at home under Brady Hoke, as the Wolverines extended the streak to 19 wins. They have a bye week before heading on the road to face rival Michigan State.
Michigan State will be a crucial test for the Wolverines.
A victory could quiet critics who question how much progress the program has made during Hoke’s three years at Michigan.
A defeat will deal a serious blow to Michigan’s chances for a Big Ten title and might raise the temperature on Hoke’s seat in Ann Arbor.
Phil Callihan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand at the post game press conference.
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