In my post-game Michigan-Akron article on Bleacher Report this week, I discussed the problems the Wolverines are having on the interior of their offensive line:
Gardner was able to lead the Wolverines on a late touchdown drive, and Michigan escaped with a 28-24 victory, but Akron exposed a serious flaw in the Wolverines offense.The interior of the offensive line has not shown itself capable of consistently containing pressure. Michigan Football: Wolverines Weakness on the Offensive Line Apparent
The line has been a question mark throughout the season. Against Central Michigan Center Jack Miller had a tough first quarter:
He was spun around by a defender, missed a block, found himself dangerously close to being illegally downfield on a 36 yard passing play and contributed to an illegal procedure penalty when the offense took off prior to his snap of the ball. Offensive Line Concerns Linger as Michigan Prepares for Notre Dame
Yesterday offensive coordinator Al Borges admitted being frustrated at the lack of improvement from his offensive lineman:
“There is an expectation that we should improve. That’s my biggest issue with (the Akron) game. I don’t think we took a step forward, and that irritates me more than anything.” via Mlive
Michigan is 3-0, but breaking down tape it’s obvious that the interior of the offensive line, center Jack Miller and guards Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis, are struggling.
If he decides to pull Jack Miller, the replacement might be Graham Glasgow, who himself has struggled. It also breaks up the rhythm between Miller and Gardner.
Does Gardner need to get used to a new snapper heading into the Big Ten season?
For now it appears that Michigan will stand pat.
“A lot of our issues are still fundamentals and techniques. That sounds like coach-speak, but if you watch the tape, that’s exactly what it is.” Al Borges via Mlive
Unfortunately, I have to disagree with his assessment. The problem is that guys are getting beat-plain and simple. The are too many times on tape you see members of the interior line with their back to the line of scrimmage, chasing defenders they missed.
The Wolverines play their first read game against Connecticut this weekend. It may be time for Borges to shuffle his lineman.
Hoke on if same starting five OL will start Saturday "I don't know yet. We'll see what happens"
— angelique (@chengelis) September 18, 2013
Add to the mix the injury of Taylor Lewan and his mystery walking boot this week and fans have serious cause for concern.