By Ashley Dunkak
After uncomfortably close wins over Akron and Connecticut in back-to-back weeks, Michigan appreciated its recent bye week.
“It came at a perfect time for us,” head coach Brady Hoke said on 97.1 The Ticket. “Gave you an opportunity to evaluate the first four weeks. You look at your schemes, look at what you’re doing, look at what you’re asking your players to do and make sure that we’re giving them the best opportunity to go win a football game every week, so it was good. We got back to fundamentals and the techniques that we want to play with as a team. We got a little rest … I think it was real good for us.”
With comebacks necessary to knock out those last two lowly opponents, Michigan has received significant criticism for being one of the worst undefeated teams in the country.
“We’re just not going to apologize for being 4-0,” Hoke said. “The one think that gets lost a little bit is the resiliency that the kids have known in the last two games. The defense had to get a stop, the offense had to get a score. They really played together when you look at complementing each other as a team and played four quarters. They didn’t play great, but they played four quarters.”
The player in the spotlight as far as not playing great has been quarterback Devin Gardner, who has made some bad decisions, including several resulting in interceptions.
“He really looked at the tape, studied the tape, went back, looked at his fundamentals, where his feet are, his footwork, his hips, how he’s throwing it, when he’s throwing it, his timing, all those things,” Hoke said. “It’s not just one guy, believe me, but I think we all did a good job of doing that. The coaches really got down into it.”
The offensive line has been another group under the microscope, and as a result of the team’s recent struggles, the line will look different in this week’s game against Minnesota.
“Some of that criticism probably is justified,” Hoke said. “Some of it’s not. We want to play the best five guys, whoever those best five guys are up front, whoever can block the line of scrimmage the way we want it blocked, however we can pass protect how we want to pass protect, all those things. Jack Miller and Graham Glasgow both have been guys competing at the center position, Chris Bryant, Kyle Bosch and Joey Burzynski have been competing hard at that left guard position.
“We’ve made a change for this week with Graham going in at center,” Hoke continued. “Jack will still be right there on his heels. Chris Bryant, Joey Burzynski and Kyle Bosch, a true freshman, at the left guard position. We have high expectations for how that line will play.”