The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 201 Tight End of the Year Award to pace Michigan's Big Ten honorees. Lewan is first-team All-Big Ten by coaches and media for the second straight year, while Funchess and redshirt sophomore cornerback Blake Countess earn first-team honors by the media and second-team by the coaches. Gallon receives second- team notice by coaches and media, and junior defensive end Frank Clark gets second-team standing from the coaches. Dec. 8: Former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr is announced as one of three inductees into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. Carr joined former Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace and former USC wide receiver Lynn Swann as the hall's newest members. Dec. 9: Gallon earns the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player Award at Michigan's 93rd annual football bust in Livonia. Other honorees included Joe Reynolds (Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship Award for the top student- athlete); Lewan (Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award for best offensive lineman); Ryan (Roger Zatkoff Award for best linebacker); Dileo, Gordon and Reynolds (Robert P. Ufer Bequest for enthusiasm and dedication to the team); and Clark (Richard Katcher Award for best defensive lineman). Dec. 28: Michigan falls 31-14 to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to finish at 7-6 on the season. Freshman quarterback Shane Morris plays the whole game for the injured Gardner, who was hurt in the Ohio State game and unable to perform. Junior Matt Wile kicked a field goal in place of Gibbons, who later was revealed to have been removed from the university with regard to an off-field incident from years earlier. Jan. 8: Hoke announces he has let go Michigan's offensive coordinator of the past three seasons, Al Borges. Jan. 9: Hoke holds a press conference announcing Doug Nussmeier as Michigan's new offensive coordinator. Nussmeier comes from a similar job at Alabama, where he spent two seasons guiding the Crimson Tide's offense, including during the 2012 national championship campaign. Feb. 5: Michigan announces a 16-member recruiting class on National Signing Day, headlined by five-star prospect Jabrill Peppers of New Jersey. The class is ranked No. 31 nationally, the lowest rating for a Michigan class in the era, which started in 2001. The Wolverines feature seven early entrants to the university, including receivers Freddy Canteen and Drake Harris; offensive lineman Mason Cole; linebacker Michael Ferns; de- fensive tackle Bryan Mone; quarterback Wilton Speight; and defensive back Brandon Watson. Feb. 12: Michigan announces the hiring of Brad Berlin as director of equip- ment operations. Berlin succeeds Falk. Feb. 13: The Wolverines suffer the loss of tight end Jake Butt, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during a workout. Butt, who played extensively as a true freshman in 2013, will be out indefinitely. Grant. Funchess landed on his feet and burst for another 15 yards into Ohio State territory, com- pleting a 22-yard catch and run that set up a 17- yard touchdown pass from Gardner to Gallon. 5. What A Start To The Second Half — After sleepwalking through the first half at Happy Valley, a lackadaisical Michigan squad trailed Penn State 21-10 at intermission. With the Nit- tany Lions opening the second half with the ball, sophomore linebacker James Ross met PSU junior running back Zach Zwinak in the back- field on the first play of the third quarter with a perfect form tackle that jarred the ball loose. Junior defensive end Frank Clark scooped up the football and rumbled forward, side-stepping defenders for a critical 24-yard return for a score. The touchdown completely changed the game for the Wolverines, who would later squander the momentum and lose a four-overtime thriller. INDIVIDUAL GAME PERFORMANCES 1. Jeremy Gallon vs. Indiana — From a statis- tical perspective, the Wolverines' 63-47 victory over Indiana, in which the Maize and Blue set a program record with 751 yards of offense, was a historic game in the annals of the tradition-rich U-M football program. Gallon highlighted the outburst, setting both a school and conference record with 369 receiving yards on 14 catches (26.4 yards per reception), including two touch- downs — a performance that ranked second in Football Bowl Subdivision history. Gallon reeled in three grabs of 50 yards or more, including two of 70 yards or more, and his 199 receiving yards in the second half alone tops what all but one other U-M wide receiver amassed during the entire 2013 season. 2. Devin Gardner vs. Ohio State — Gardner displayed the arm, legs and toughness of a big- time dual-threat quarterback while nearly lead- ing the fledgling Wolverines to a massive upset victory over undefeated rival Ohio State. A gutsy Gardner, who played most of the second half on a broken foot, carved up the OSU defense, total- ing 461 yards of offense and five touchdowns, and led the Maize and Blue to the end zone three times in the fourth quarter before falling one play short of ending Ohio State's perfect season. 3. Devin Garner vs. Indiana — Gardner torched the Hoosiers, setting school records with 584 yards of total offense and 503 passing yards. He was 21-of-29 passing (72.4 percent) and accounted for five total touchdowns — all of which were needed to thwart an explosive Indiana offense in a 63-47 win. "Ridiculous," Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said of Michigan's offensive performance, much of which was predicated on the arm and legs of U-M's man under center. 4. Jeremy Gallon vs. Notre Dame — After hauling in a critical 64-yard pass in the fourth quarter to help Michigan miraculously defeat Notre Dame in 2011, Gallon once again con- jured up magic in the electric atmosphere of an illuminated Michigan Stadium to help the Wolverines outlast the Irish 41-30 in 2013. A precursor to the monster, record-setting season that would come, Gallon sliced and diced his way through an overwhelmed Irish secondary, collecting eight receptions for a then-career best 184 yards (23.0 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. 5. Devin Funchess vs. Minnesota — Follow- ing two bewilderingly close wins against Ak- ron and UConn, Michigan limped into its first conference contest against a game Minnesota squad. Funchess' presence in the middle of the field helped temporarily turn the table on the Wolverines' struggles, and his career-high 151 receiving yards on seven catches (21.6 yards per reception) helped U-M dominate the improved Gophers 42-13. Tight end Devin Funchess put his athletic ability on full display against Ohio State, leap- ing over corner Doran Grant during a 22-yard catch and run that set up a U-M touchdown. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2013 Results Date Opponent Result Aug. 31 Central Michigan W, 59-9 Sep. 7 Notre Dame W, 41-30 Sep. 14 Akron W, 28-24 Sep. 21 at Connecticut W 24-21 Oct. 5 Minnesota W, 42-13 Oct. 12 at Penn State L, 43-40 (4ot) Oct. 19 Indiana W, 63-47 Nov. 2 at Michigan State L, 29-6 Nov. 9 Nebraska L, 17-13 Nov. 16 at N'western W, 27-19 (3ot) Nov. 23 at Iowa L, 24-21 Nov. 30 Ohio State L, 42-41 Dec. 28 vs. Kansas State* L, 31-14 * Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Tempe, Ariz. 198-203.Year In Review.indd 201 6/19/14 2:28 PM

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