We may have seen the future of Michigan football in 2013. With star senior quarterback Denard Robinson out because of nerve damage in his elbow, junior quarterback turned wide receiver, back to quarterback, Devin Gardner filled in against Minnesota.
Gardner did better than anyone ever thought he would and surpassed Robinson in throwing yards in a game this year. Russell Bellomy, who has been the backup quarterback all season, did not play a down against the Golden Gophers and it’s possible we may not see him again for a long time in a game for Michigan.
Bellomy dropped to third string in the depth chart, while Gardner moved up to second on the depth chart at quarterback. He was able to find his game after his first four pass attempts failed, with one being intercepted late in the first quarter.
Gardner completed 12 of his 18 pass attempts, accounting for 234 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on the day. Along with the passing game, he accounted for 10 rushing attempts, for 21 yards and a touchdown.
With Gardner leading the Wolverines, someone had to step up in the rushing game as well as the receiving game. It was more like many players stepped up in the absence of Robinson.
Fitzgerald Toussaint and Thomas Rawls stepped up their games on the rushing side. Toussaint had 13 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. Rawls had 16 carries for 43 yard as well as a touchdown.
Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo were the top receivers for the Wolverines. Gallon accounted for four receptions for 72 yards along with a touchdown. Dileo had yet another big game, becoming one of the top receivers for Michigan this season. He had four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.
The Wolverines are bringing in Shane Morris, a five-star quarterback from Warren De La Salle in 2013, but Gardner could take the reigns next year, while Morris could be redshirted or behind Gardner in the depth chart.
Only time will tell around April, during the annual Spring Game, if Morris is ready, or if Gardner will stay the quarterback then. The real question now is will Gardner play against Northwestern this week?
Robinson, who is listed still as the first quarterback on the depth chart, may not play this Saturday if he is still injured. If he doesn’t play, it’s the most probable to see Gardner start again.
The rout of Minnesota is impressive, but not that impressive as the Golden Gophers are still improving their team. The 35-13 win will give the team momentum heading back home to face the Wildcats.
Will Gardner start again? If so, will he start the rest of the year? Only time will tell. Go Blue!