MICHIGAN FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
August 25, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MICHIGAN OPENS SEASON AT HOME AGAINST APPALACHIAN STATE
Michigan has won five consecutive home openers and opens the school’s 135th season at home Saturday afternoon against Appalachian State.
Coach Hoke is 8-3 in home openers as a head coach and has won six in a row, including all three at the helm of the Wolverines. Over the three home-opening contests at Michigan Stadium, Coach Hoke’s teams have averaged 41.3 points per game while allowing an average of just 14.7 points per game.
COACH HOKE’S HOME OPENERS AT MICHIGAN
Year Opponent Score
2013 Central Michigan W, 59-9
2012 Air Force W, 31-25
2011 Western Michigan W, 34-10
Michigan is 110-21-3 all-time in season openers. The Wolverines have a 111-18-2 record all-time in home openers, including a 17-3 record at The Big House in the last 20 home openers.
U-M is 5-1 all-time in August, including 1-0 under head coach Brady Hoke.
Saturday marks the first time U-M will square off against a team from the Sun Belt Conference.
Michigan returns 16 of 22 starters from last season.
The Wolverines return nine starters on defense: DE Frank Clark, DT Willie Henry, DE Brennen Beyer, LB Jake Ryan, LB Desmond Morgan, LB James Ross III, FS Jarrod Wilson, CB Blake Countess and CB Raymon Taylor.
U-M returns seven starters on offense: QB Devin Gardner, LG Erik Magnuson, C Graham Glasgow, RG Kyle Kalis, WR Devin Funchess, TE Jake Butt and FB Joe Kerridge.
The Wolverines’ 26 takeaways in 2013 ranked 2nd in the Big Ten.
Michigan posted 17 interceptions in 2013 after notching only seven interceptions throughout the 2012 campaign.
The Wolverines ranked 5th in the Big Ten and 29th in the NCAA in rush defense last season, allowing an average of 140.2 yards per game.
Michigan ranked 4th in the Big Ten and 41st in the NCAA with an average of 247.8 passing yards per game in 2013.
A Wolverine has been named the Big Ten’s top offensive lineman three years in a row (Taylor Lewan 2012-13; David Molk 2011).
Michigan returns fifth-year senior Devin Gardner, who completed 208-of-345 passes for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns and carried the ball 165 times for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013.
Despite missing the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl due to injury, Devin Gardner finished the season with 2,960 passing yards to move into 2nd on Michigan’s single season list. His 2013 total trailed only record holder John Navarre, who passed for 3,331 yards in 2003.
U-M PASSING YARDS - SEASON
1. John Navarre 3,331 2003
2. Devin Gardner 2,960 2013
3. John Navarre 2,905 2002
4. Chad Henne 2,743 2004
5. Jim Harbaugh 2,729 1986
6. Tom Brady 2,636 1998
7. Tom Brady 2,586 1999
8. Denard Robinson 2,570 2010
9. Chad Henne 2,526 2005
10. Todd Collins 2,518 1994
Devin Gardner’s 4,440 career passing yards already rank 9th all-time in U-M history. He is one of only 11 Wolverines to post 4,000 career passing yards.
Despite missing the bowl game, Devin Gardner finished the season with 3,443 yards of total offense to rank 2nd on U-M’s single-season list, behind only Denard Robinson’s 4,272 in 2010.
U-M TOTAL OFFENSE - SEASON
1. Denard Robinson 4,272 2010
2. Devin Gardner 3,443 2013
3. Denard Robinson 3,349 2011
4. John Navarre 3,276 2003
5. John Navarre 2,889 2002
Devin Gardner averaged 286.9 yards of total offense per game in 2013, which is the highest average among Big Ten returners.
RETURNING TOTAL OFFENSE LEADERS YPG
Devin Gardner, Michigan 286.9
Braxton Miller, Ohio State 263.5
C.J. Brown, Maryland 256.2
Christian Hackenberg, Penn State 240.6
Devin Gardner set program records with 584 yards of total offense and 503 passing yards against Indiana on Oct. 19, 2013. Gardner fell one yard short of the Big Ten record for total offense (585 by Dave Wilson of Illinois on Nov. 8, 1980) on his way to surpassing Denard Robinson’s previous school record total of 502 yards at Notre Dame on Sept. 11, 2010.
Last season, Devin Gardner became just the sixth signal caller in Big Ten history to have a 500+ and 400+ yard passing game in the same season. The Inkster High School product set a program record with 503 passing yards against Indiana (Oct. 19), and finished the regular season by passing for 451 yards against Ohio State (Nov. 30). Both outputs rank as the top two single-game passing records in program history.
U-M SINGLE-GAME PASSING YARDS
1. Devin Gardner 503 vs. Indiana, Oct. 19, 2013
2. Devin Gardner 451 vs. Ohio State, Nov. 30, 2013
3. John Navarre 389 at Iowa, Oct. 4, 2003
4. Tom Brady 375 at Ohio State, Nov. 21, 1998
5. Scott Dreisbach 372 vs. Virginia, Aug. 26, 1995
Devin Gardner owns 12 200-yard passing games in his collegiate career, tying him for 5th on U-M’s all-time list in that category with Jim Harbaugh (1983-86) and Denard Robinson (2009-12). Todd Collins (1991-94) ranks 4th with 14 200-yard passing games, and Tom Brady (1996-99) is 3rd with 15.
Devin Gardner’s 34 career passing touchdowns rank 9th on U-M’s all-time list. He needs one touchdown to tie Tom Brady (35, 1996-99) for 8th on Michigan’s all-time list.
Devin Gardner threw 14 touchdown passes and only three interceptions during Big Ten play last season.
Devin Gardner finished the regular season 2nd in the Big Ten and 20th in the country in points responsible for per game (16.2 avg.).
Devin Gardner has accounted for at least two touchdowns in 14 of his last 17 games.
Devin Gardner ranks 1st on Michigan’s career passing efficiency rating list (149.2).
The Wolverines also return Shane Morris, who completed 29-of-47 passes for 261 yards on the season. Morris started the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State in place of an injured Gardner, completing 24-of-38 passes for 196 yards and carrying the ball four times for 43 yards.
Shane Morris became the first Michigan quarterback to make his starting debut in a bowl game, tallying 239 yards of total offense against Kanas State in the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Morris, who completed passes to nine different receivers in the contest, became the third true freshmen quarterback to start a bowl game for the Wolverines. He joined fellow lefty Rick Leach (1976 Orange Bowl) and Chad Henne (2005 Rose Bowl) as the only rookie signal-callers to lead the Wolverines in a bowl game.
RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS
Michigan’s second-leading pass catcher from last season, Devin Funchess, will move to wide receiver in 2014. Funchess hauled in 49 catches for 748 yards and six touchdowns in 2013 on his way to being named to the All-Big Ten first team by the media and being recognized as the Big Ten Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year.
Devin Funchess’ 748 receiving yards in 2013 were the most all-time by a U-M tight end in a single season, surpassing Jim Mandich’s previous program record of 662 yards in 1969. The Farmington Hills, Mich., native ranked 4th among FBS tight ends in receiving yards and receptions. As a sophomore, Funchess led all Big Ten tight ends in catches (49), yards (748) and touchdowns (six). In total, he tripled his 2012 output (15 catches for 234 yards).
U-M TE SEASON RECEIVING YARDS
1. Devin Funchess 748 2013
2. Jim Mandich 662 1969
3. Doug Marsh 612 1979
4. Eric Kattus 582 1985
5. Bennie Joppru 579 2002
6. Jim Mandich 576 1968
7. Jerame Tuman 524 1996
8. Sim Nelson 494 1983
9. Craig Dunaway 488 1982
10. Tony McGee 467 1992
Devin Funchess’ 982 receiving yards in 26 games at tight end rank 6th among U-M tight ends on the program’s career receiving yardage list.
Dating back to 2012, Devin Funchess has recorded a reception in 14 straight games.
Devin Funchess was a big-play threat all season for the Maize and Blue, posting 12 catches of 20 yards or more. He posted four of those 20+-yard catches vs. Minnesota (Oct. 5).
Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh will also look to contribute to the Michigan receiving corps in 2014. Chesson caught 15 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown in 2013. Darboh returns to action after missing all of 2013 due to a season-ending foot injury prior to the season.
Complementing the trio will be Dennis Norfleet and Da’Mario Jones, who contributed mainly on special teams in 2013, as well as a crop of freshmen wideouts, including early enrollee Freddy Canteen.
Tight end Jake Butt is expected to return early in the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in February. Butt, an ESPN.com All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection in 2013, recorded 20 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns last season, including 13 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns over Michigan’s final five games.
With Devin Funchess moving to wide receiver and Jake Butt out to begin the season, a new crop of tight ends will emerge. The group is led by A.J. Williams, who appeared in 11 games with six starts last season, and also includes redshirt freshman Khalid Hill and former defensive lineman Keith Heitzman.
U-M returns Derrick Green, who rushed 83 times for 290 yards and two touchdowns in 2013, and De’Veon Smith, who carried the ball 26 times for 119 yards. Both Green and Smith will look to take on an expanded role in the offense. Also vying for playing time will be the returning Drake Johnson, who suffered a torn ACL in last year’s season opener, Justice Hayes and Wyatt Shallman.
The Wolverines also return two fullbacks with starting experience to provide blocks in the run game. Joe Kerridge started seven games last season and Sione Houma earned the starting nod for two contests in 2013.
Michigan’s offensive line is expected include a mix of veterans and newcomers in 2014, including fifth-year senior Joey Burzynski, juniors Graham Glasgow and Jack Miller, sophomores Erik Magnuson, Kyle Kalis and Ben Braden and true freshman Mason Cole. Glasgow started nine games at center and four games at left guard last season, while Magnuson appeared in 12 games, making seven starts at guard, and Kalis appeared in 12 games, making eight starts at right guard. Sophomore Kyle Bosch and redshirt freshmen David Dawson, Chris Fox and Patrick Kugler are also expected to compete for playing time on the offensive line.
Defensive ends Frank Clark, a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2013, and Brennen Beyer, a 13-game starter last season, will look to lead a young defensive line in 2014.
Frank Clark registered a career year in 2013, establishing new career highs in sacks (4.5), tackles for loss (12.0), total tackles (42) and fumble recoveries (two). For his efforts, Clark was recognized as a second-team All-Big Ten performer by the coaches and received the Richard Katcher Award as U-M’s top defensive lineman.
Frank Clark’s 4.5 sacks all came over U-M’s last 10 outings, while seven of his teambest 12.0 TFLs occurred over Michigan’s last nine games.
Frank Clark registered the first scoring play of his career at Penn State on Oct. 12, 2013, returning a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the third quarter for Nittany Lions. Clark finished U-M’s conference road opener with two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Willie Henry, who started the final six games last season, Ryan Glasgow, Matthew Godin, Bryan Mone and Ondre Pipkins are expected to fill the defensive tackle spots.
Mario Ojemudia and Taco Charlton are returners battling for playing time at the end positions. Both rotated snaps at the rush end position in 2013. Maurice Hurst Jr., Henry Poggi, Tom Strobel and Chris Wormley are also expected to compete for playing time on the defensive line.
Outside of the departure of fifth-year linebacker Cam Gordon, the entire Wolverines’ linebacking corps returns in 2014, led by seniors Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan and juniors James Ross III and Joe Bolden. Royce Jenkins-Stone, Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray will also push for playing time.
Jake Ryan received the Roger Zatkoff Award as the team’s top linebacker for the second straight year after posting 26 tackles, 4.0 for loss and one pass breakup in seven games last season. Ryan missed the first five games in 2013 after tearing his ACL during spring practice.
Dating back to 2011, Jake Ryan has recorded a tackle for loss in 25 of his last 31 games.
Linebacker Desmond Morgan leads returning players in career starts (31) and consecutive starts (15).
James Ross III was 2nd among Wolverines with 85 tackles last season, and his 5.5 tackles for loss ranked 3rd on the team.
Michigan is the only school in the Big Ten returning two student-athletes with at least four interceptions last season. Blake Countess tied for 1st in the Big Ten and 7th in the country with six interceptions, while Raymon Taylor tied for 3rd in theconference with four picks in 2013.
The Wolverines return their two primary cornerbacks, including Blake Countess, who tied for the Big Ten lead with six interceptions and also made 46 tackles last season, and Raymon Taylor, who started 12 games and recorded four interceptions to go along with his team-high 86 tackles. Also returning is Jarrod Wilson, who made eight starts at safety and registered 50 tackles and two interceptions.
A host of sophomores led by Jeremy Clark, Jordan Lewis, Channing Stribling and Dymonte Thomas will look to increase their roles on the team and provide depth in the secondary, as will freshman defensive back Jabrill Peppers.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media in 2013, Blake Countess became the first Wolverine since Todd Howard (6) in 2000 to record at least six interceptions in a season.
Dennis Norfleet is expected to handle kick return duties for the third consecutive year. Norfleet returned 40 kicks for 938 yards last season, and he already ranks 2nd in program history in career kick return yards (1,765), trailing only Steve Breaston (1,193).
MOST KICKOFF RETURN YARDS - SEASON
1. Darryl Stonum 1,001 2009
2. Dennis Norfleet 938 2013
3. Dennis Norfleet 827 2012
4. Steve Breaston 689 2004
5. Steve Breaston 646 2005
6. Jeremy LeSueur 583 2002
7. Desmond Howard 504 1990
8. Ron Johnson 498 1967
9. Seth Smith 472 1994
10. Todd Howard 469 2001
Dennis Norfleet has recorded more than 100 kick return yards in consecutive season openers, piling up 106 against Central Michigan in 2013 and 177 vs. No. 2 Alabama in 2012.
Will Hagerup, who was named Big Ten Eddleman-Field Punter of the Year in 2012, is expected to handle punt duties. Hagerup averaged 45.03 yards per punt in 2012, the highest single-season average in program history.
Matt Wile is expected to be U-M’s primary placekicker in 2014. Wile, who has appeared in 39 contests as a kickoff specialist and punter, has made 5-of-8 career field goals with a long of 52 yards against South Carolina in the 2013 Outback Bowl.
Michigan vs. Appalachian State
Appalachian State leads 1-0
Year Site W/L U-M App. St.
2007 Ann Arbor L 32 34
A look at Appalachian State ... • Appalachian State was previously a member of the Southern Conference where it won 12 conference titles from 1986-2012. During that same span, the program made 20 FCS playoff appearances and captured FCS national titles in 2005, ‘06 and ‘07.
• Saturday’s game marks Appalachian State’s first as a member of the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference.
Michigan vs. Sun Belt Conference
• Michigan has never faced any current or former member of the Sun Belt Conference.
• Appalachian State was a member of FCS Southern Conference when the teams squared off in 2007.
Coach Hoke vs. Sun Belt Conference
• Head coach Brady Hoke is 2-0 all-time against Sun Belt Conference teams.
• Coach Hoke won both games played against Western Kentucky University while head coach at Ball State (2003-08).
• Coach Hoke has never squared off against Appalachian State.
Appalachian State Schedule
(0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt)
30 at Michigan.................................... Noon
6 vs. Campbell................................. 6 p.m.
20 at Southern Mississippi............ 7 p.m.
25 at Georgia Southern*...........7:30 p.m.
4 vs. South Alabama*........................TBA
11 vs. Liberty...........................................TBA
18 at Troy*................................................TBA
1 vs. Georgia State*............................TBA
8 vs. UL Monroe*.................................TBA
15 at Arkansas State*...........................TBA
22 at UL Lafayette*................................TBA
29 vs. Idaho*............................................TBA
*-Sun Belt Conference game
• Michigan defensive back Channing Stribling is from Matthews, N.C.
• Stribling and Appalachian State linebacker Osvaldo Sombo both attended Butler High School.