Michigan FB: Was Brady Hoke to Michigan College Football's Best Coaching Change?

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst ISeptember 24, 2011

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 03:  Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines talks at a press conference after a weather shortened game between the Wolverines and the Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Stadium on September 3, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 34-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After Rich Rodriguez was fired as the Michigan Wolverines head coach early in 2011, many speculated that Brady Hoke would be the perfect guy to take over the reigns in Ann Arbor.  

Thus far, Hoke has lived up to the hype.  While blowout wins over Western and Eastern Michigan are all but guaranteed these days, a tightly contested 35-31 win over Notre Dame in Week 2 spoke volumes.  

Notre Dame is just 1-2 this season, but they are always a tough opponent from week to week regardless what their record is coming in.  

Hoke, whose biggest achievement was leading Ball State to a 12-1 record in 2008, has gotten big production out of his offense this season.  

The Wolverines are averaging a respectable 33.3 points per game, with a massive 226.7 rushing yards per game. 

Denard Robinson, essentially a running back who plays quarterback, is never going to be the most accurate pocket passer in the game, but his rushing ability when flushed outside of the pocket makes him a very important part of this offense.

1,000 yards on the ground seems like a sure thing as the junior signal caller has 352 yards on the ground through three games.  

Running back Vincent Smith may be coming into his own after gaining 118 yards on the ground on just nine carries against Eastern Michigan.  Consistency from Smith would make this rushing attack a serious threat against virtually any team.

When Robinson does decide to drop back and pass it, Junior Hemingway and Jeremy Gallon have been very reliable threats down the field.

The Michigan defense has been criticized this season, due to starting slow and giving up some big plays in each game in 2011, but they are only allowing 14.7 points per game and the team boasts a perfect record, so this unit seems to be holding up just fine for the time being.  

So how does Brady Hoke factor into all of this? 

The Head Coach has made all the players not only believe in him, but also believe in themselves. 

After a rough 7-6 season in 2010, where the Wolverines went just 3-5 in Big Ten competition, Hoke seems to be the breath of fresh air this team needed.  

As Michigan looks to put a beating on Hoke's former team, San Diego State, in Week 4, the future certainly looks bright for the Wolverines in 2011.  

And it's tough to argue that Brady Hoke is a big part of that.