Devin, did it feel like a basketball game where there’s one guy who’s on fire so you just keep giving him the ball?
Gardner: “I mean, I guess you can say that. I felt like the offensive protected so well and gave me such a good opportunity to hit those guys. [The receivers] did a good job getting open, so it made my job easy.”
With the criticism you’ve been getting, how excited were you to have a record day on offense?
Gardner: “I mean, I just feel like we did a good job of rebounding. It just shows the senior leadership and the leadership on the team that after such a tough loss last week, we could come out and perform and fight like we did and finish the game.”
What is more impressive? The offensive performance or the defense stepping up to make plays at the end?
“Well we knew we needed a couple stops at the end defensively. We were fortunate enough. But offensively, obviously we were pretty much in sync. I thought Devin [Gardner] did a nice job, found the guys who were open. Ran the ball better, which you look at the film and we’ll see why we ran it better. But that was a big part of it. We needed to complement each other. The stops at the end helped complement the offense. But the offense kept moving. Kept bailing us out a little bit defensively.”
Would Kyle Bosch have played if Joey Burzynski hadn’t been hurt?
“With Kyle, being here since January has helped his development. Joey getting nicked up a little bit probably got him in the game a little sooner than he would have. But he was a guy that Darryl [Funk] and Al [Borges] thought was coming along.”
Position: Outside Linebacker
Ht/Wt: 6'4"/205 lbs.
Location: South Point High School - Belmont, NC
Offers: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Northwestern, NC State, Virginia
With numbers expected to be historically low for the 2015 class offers are pretty hard to come by, so when one went out to LB Tanner Muse on Friday it made some noise and meant a lot to him.
Coach Manning and I were messaging each other over Twitter and he asked me when a good time to call would be. Once I finished my football meeting with my high school team I called him and we talked for a little bit and he just offered me. I felt very blessed to know a school like Michigan would offer me! It’s really exciting when a prestigious school like that offers you.
Michigan throws their hat in the ring with Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Northwestern, and Virginia for Muse’s services. A list like that makes for tough competition for a North Carolina native. Clemson is currently considered his leader and he “somewhat” verified that, but he also spoke highly of the Wolverines.
Clemson is somewhat my leader. It just depends on how all these visits I’m going to take end up going. Michigan ranks pretty high for me, but I still will have to visit there and get to know the rest of the coaching staff.
As of right now linebackers coach Roy Manning is the only contact Muse has with the Michigan program, but the young coach seems to have made a solid impression on Tanner.
My relationship with Coach Manning is really good. It seems like we get along and he’s kind of like me actually. He’s more laid back and straight forward.
At 6’4” and 205 lbs. Muse was told by Coach Manning that he’s been offered as an outside linebacker, which probably means the SAM position in Coach Mattison’s defensive scheme. Muse is built and runs like a safety. On film his speed is very noticeable and he told me about his self-diagnosed strengths on the field.
I train and practice all the time on my speed. My hand-timed best 40 is a 4.32 and my most recent laser-timed 40 was a 4.37. I bring that speed and my physicality to the field and when I get to the ball carrier I try to make my presence known.
As a high school junior Muse can take his time with his recruitment, but he has a vague plan in place for how he’d like it to play out.
I want to visit all of the schools that have offered me. With Michigan I’m going to try to go to either the Nebraska game or the Ohio State game. I discussed it with Coach Manning and since those games are a couple weeks away still, I can get a flight. I’d like to commit by my senior season but I also definitely want to take my officials late. I’m not really sure when I will make a top list either.
I love Muse on film. He’s long, fast, athletic, rangy, and looks to thrive on contact. He’s almost identical in build to Chase Winovich from the 2014 class, but may actually have more straight-line speed, which is scary because Winovich can fly.
With Clemson playing as well as they are and Michigan stocking up on linebackers with a lot of similarish guys, I feel as if landing Muse will be an uphill climb. That being said, Michigan may actually be in 2nd place right now behind the Tigers and a visit to Ann Arbor could go a long way with Muse as he’s already visited Clemson.
- The coaches had to take Taylor Lewan's helmet from him during the game to keep him off the field. He should be good to go Saturday though.
- Everybody's rotating at guard. Except Ben Braden. I heard second-hand that Joey Burzynski and Kyle Bosch took a lot of 1st team reps yesterday, but who knows what it will be today.
- I don't think we've seen the last of "tackle over."
“We had a good practice yesterday. I thought we had a lot of energy. This is a pretty resilient group. I think they’ve proven that throughout the year. I think the leadership’s been good. Especially the senior class and the captains have taken their roles very seriously and have done a great job of how we approach each day. We have a big test on Saturday against Indiana from an offensive perspective. They’re top three in a lot of categories in our league. Have a lot of skill players. I think their offensive line got a little beat up through the course of the year, but they’re very athletic. Run very well in that system. They’re going to try to create some space with different things formationally. Defensively they have some new faces in there. I think the secondary and the linebackers they’re very active. It’s a good football team and Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job.”
Potential changes on the offensive line?
“We’ll see. Guys are working hard.”
In the last couple weeks, you’ve known by this point in the week what the switch would be.
“But I don’t know by now this week.”
What are you stressing in practice this week?
“Well, getting ready for Indiana and getting ready for the rest of our season. It’s playing fast. Teams we play send a lot of tempo at you, and sometimes the next play is in 7 seven. It’s guys getting back to the huddle, it’s guys getting the signal on the fly, all those things. The good thing is we’ve been working on the rotation all along. If a guy has to play five plays rather than three plays, fine, we’ll get them in and out that way.”
Some teams prepare for a high tempo offense by having two entire scout offenses rotate in and out. Do you do that at all?
“Well Brady does a great job with that. We’ve played against this kind of offense before. Brady does a great job getting the tempo as fast as it can be.”
- Taylor Lewan will play Saturday against Indiana. He had a "hip deal" or something like that. Maybe something else too, but more the hip.
- Hoke was pretty defensive about the coaches and the players. Attributes most of the problems on the offensive line to youth. There could be some changes this week, though. Maybe. Wouldn't really commit to anything.
- Running Devin more is "unwise" because of the lack of quarterback depth.
- Play-calling at the end of the game wasn't conservative, per se. Hoke went with the high-percentage strategy. Delay of game penalty was a big mistake, however, and Hoke accepted full responsibility.
- Channing Stribling played the last drive and was told to go for interceptions. He had been doing that in practice a lot.
“It’s obviously disappointing to lose. You don’t play to lose. It is disappointing. Need to execute in multiple areas better. When the opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of it and you’ve got to make plays when you need to make plays. We didn’t do that throughout the game. There’s also an awful lot of good things that our football team did. I can tell you I was pleased with the physical effort that they put through. Tom Gordon played 91 plays and played a fast 91 physical plays. So did Jarrod Wilson. Both of them are key elements in our punt team. I’m just talking about those two guys, but you watch Jeremy Gallon, and you watch our team play, the physical effort was very good.
"Now let’s go back to the mental effort, because it takes both. Mentally we had some things that we need to do better from the standpoint of your targeting the line of scrimmage and blocking or finishing a little better on blocks with the angles or if you’re playing a coverage, making sure that we’re playing the coverage out. If you’re the nose tackle, you have to make sure we’re stepping with the proper foot there. We need to execute there better, and we will. I like our football team. There’s elements of it that need to produce a little more, need to have a little more urgency to how we’re playing. But I like our team and we’ve got Indiana coming in here this weekend. They’re a good football team. Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job offensively. They’ve got a lot of skill sets that they use. Defensively they’re more athletic than they’ve been the last couple of years.”