Michigan head coach Brady Hoke lured offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier away from Alabama with a clear mandate to rebuild the running game.
Michigan’s offense, once known for producing a steady stream of elite collegiate running backs and offensive linemen, had devolved during the post-Lloyd Carr era into one that relied on the quarterback position to power its running attack.
Last season was supposed to be different—but a patchwork offensive line and tentative running by senior back Fitzgerald Toussaint again had quarterback Devin Gardner scrambling for yards and taking a beating.
After a late-season collapse that crushed hopes of a Big Ten title, Hoke decided he had seen enough and handed the reins of the offense over to Nussmeier during the offseason.
Nussmeier inherits some of the same problems that hampered the running game under his predecessor—his ability to overcome them will be the main storyline for Michigan this season