(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
There is only one way to describe Michigan's offense in 2008: terrible. Although most cite the poor QB play as the reason behind it, Michigan's line play and running game were nothing better than average.
Things look brighter in 2009. The offensive line returns five offensive starters instead of one, and the RB corps is finally at full health. Brandon Minor headlines the group after sitting behind Mike Hart for two years and playing sparingly throughout the 2008 season due to battling injuries.
In the two games Minor did get over 20 carries, he rushed for an average of 136 yards a game, six fewer than Shonn Greene, and a total of five touchdowns. If Minor can stay healthy and be consistent, expect a huge year from him.
However, not all hopes rest on Minor. After missing 20 games in the first three years of his career, Georgia speedster Carlos Brown is finally healthy and ready to go.
Brown could be the quickest player on the team, and it showed in his 82-yard TD run in the spring game. If Minor is hurt, expect Brown to step up and take control.
Expect a few other backs to get carries, including sophomore Michael Shaw and freshman Vincent Smith. Smith impressed in spring practice and is in the same mold as Rodriguez's backs at West Virginia. Shaw took plenty of carries last year and may be needed to take over in 2010.