Michigan Offense Starting Projections.

Submitted by MichiganMan14 on August 7th, 2014 at 3:15 AM

This is what I'm thinking.  At first glance, there is a ton of size and potential. Like many have pointed out it all comes back to the line.  Talent is absolutley not an issue with this team.

QB- Devin Gardner- 6ft4 216lbs  (5th yr Sr)

FB- S. Houma- 6ft 242lbs (Jr)

RB- Derrick Green- 5ft11 220lbs (So)

WR- Devin "Funchise" - 6ft 5 230lbs (Jr)

WR- Amarah Darboh- 6ft2 211lbs (Rsoph)

Slot- Freddy "Footwork" Canteen- 6ft1 176lbs (Fr)

TE- Jake Butt- 6ft6 250lbs (So)



LT Erik Magnuson- 6ft6 294lbs (Rsoph)

RG- Kyle Kalis- 6ft5 298lbs (Rsoph)

C-  Graham Glasgow- 6ft6 311lbs (Rjr)

LG-  David Dawson- 6ft4 296lbs (Rfr)

RT-  Ben Braden- 6ft6 322lbs (Rsoph)

Average size= 6ft5+  304.2lbs

Average years in program for line/entire offense =  2 /1.8 

Average * rating for line/entire offense=  3.8 /3.91


Somebody tell me why we can't win the B1G with this line and this offense moreover.

Consider that we also have 5 Four star linemen in their 2nd and 3rd years in the program on the bench.......

This team will win 10+ games and there simply is not a mismatch on the schedule.

The defense looks even better than this ladies and gentlemen. 






August 7th, 2014 at 3:59 AM ^

I'll let the coaches decide.  I will disagree with Green though.  Smith is reportedly ahead and I personally think he's better than Green by everything ive seen.  I'll be happy if they are both studs.  Running back U


August 7th, 2014 at 4:12 AM ^

Will need to make an awfully big year-to-year jump. I, personally, don't think that such a jump is likely, especially without a change of coaching along the line. Hopefully, I'm wrong though.


August 7th, 2014 at 7:38 AM ^

What sucks is I feel like with an elite OL, we probably could have been a favorite to make the first ever FBS playoff.  Not that I believe that an elite OL would have convinced the hive over at ESPN that we deserve that distinction.

If the OL shows major progress, which is unlikely but not impossible, I think we could make it anyway.


August 7th, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

As the OL playing experience increases they should improve! Last year the Gs and C had no experience and throwing in true freshmen really didn't help last season. Though that playing time has added to experience! The OL will be improved from last season. If they can become a middle of the pack B1G line I think we could win 9 or 10 games. 2015 is the season where the talent should have the required experience to be one of the top OL in the B1G and may be the country. Only problem for 2015 is that we will be breaking in a new QB but at least the new QB should have a good OL!


August 7th, 2014 at 7:51 AM ^

Sticking with a single blocking scheme should help us jump from awful to competent.  Competent should be good enough for us to handle the lesser teams we face.  The real question is how we will fare when we square off against elite defensive lines, i.e. OSU and MSU?

Patience is going to be required.  For all the talk about their recuiting hype and time already spent playing, the OL is still pretty young and in need of some seasoning.  There are going to be some great moments and then there will be some derp moments.  Ultimately, I think we'll be OK.

If their performance is just god-awful again though, coaching needs to be questioned, no doubt.

Space Coyote

August 7th, 2014 at 8:53 AM ^

I was saying this last year, but it's absolutely true. The reason Michigan struggled agaisnt lesser foes, especially on the road, was the struggles on the OL. That, for the most part, lead to the great inconsistencies that the team had, it forced them behind the 8-ball far too often, and lead to turnovers. But if they can become even competent, then their skill level and ability should see them handle lesser opponents without much problem. If they can get even a little bit of push, the skill at every position should make for at least consistent offense that can get down the field and put up points, even if it isn't explosive. Last year's OL forces Michigan to be very all or nothing; big plays became a requirement because they weren't consistent enough to march down field and over power opponents.

Now, that won't be enough to beat the better teams on the schedule. But the Akron's of the world should no longer be scary, which should make everyone perception of the program improved drastically.

Space Coyote

August 7th, 2014 at 9:20 AM ^

"Now, that won't be enough in and of itself to beat the better teams on the schedule."

They still have to improve elsewhere, and the other guys need to come to play as well, but your amendment, IMO, is more accurate than my initial statement.

There are certainly some games that I don't anticipate Michigan winning, but there isn't a single game on the schedule that Michigan doesn't have a relatively reasonable shot at winning either.


August 7th, 2014 at 10:45 AM ^

I find this mini thread started by Ferris reasonable and well balanced all the way through.  Are you sure you guys are Michigan fans?

I think I'd add that there's a good chance (somewhere b/n being described as the mid-point estimate and the tail of the distribution) that the defense can be ass-kicking enough to win some of the games against the better teams even if the o-line only manages competence.


August 7th, 2014 at 10:32 AM ^

My feeling is we've got so much talent everywhere else that just didn't get a chance to show what they can do last year because the OL and TEs weren't blocking correctly. Even playing the LOS to a draw could make us very dangerous all of a sudden, giving us a solid chance against anyone. Granted to go from last year to a line that can consistently stalemate the best teams on our schedule is asking a lot, but I think there's some potential there for a big breakout if things come together on the OL just right, particularly later into the season.


August 7th, 2014 at 5:32 AM ^

Someone will have to come off that list simply because there's 12, I'll take Canteen off but he'll get reps. Brian's post got us licking our chops over his potential again


August 7th, 2014 at 7:02 AM ^

QB- Gardner, Morris
RB- Smith, Green, Hayes/Johnson
FB- Kerridge, Houma
WR 1- Funchess, Chesson
WR 2- Darboh, Chesson
Slot- Canteen, Norfleet/Jones
TE- Butt, Williams/Heitzman/Bunting
Line- Magnuson, Kalis, Glasgow, Bosch, Braden


August 7th, 2014 at 7:03 AM ^

Average size= 6ft5+ 304.2 lbs

This being the case and if indeed your projection is the starting offensive line, you definitely wouldn't be able to say we were hurting for size at this position in such a scenario. That's another reason we need to see larger samples of what Nussmeier's scheme looks like with these guys in place (or as large as you can get for a first-year OC still trudging through his first fall camp at Michigan), as it seems like size and even mere modest improvements (not expecting miracles in the first year) in footwork and blocking in the zone scheme would do wonders for this offense.

Lucky Socks

August 7th, 2014 at 7:10 AM ^

I'm on board with your optimism. But I think Bosch starts over Dawson. He has the experience and pedigree. Some growing pains last year, but it wasn't all his fault.

We're going to be very good by Big Ten season. If we can make it to MSU undefeated, anything is possible a la MSU last year.


August 7th, 2014 at 7:36 AM ^

I am confused by all this Butt projection.  He is hurt and we are hoping to see him back week 5-6.  Certainly not week 1.

"Tell me why we cannot win 10 games.. .etc etc"

  • Aside from Funchess there is no established WR threat.  Your 2nd leading WR is Chesson with 15 catches.  For now it's all untapped potential and HS stars.
  • Aside from Glasgow there is no one who was at least average at their position on the OL last year.  Magnuson was probably the 2nd best returning linemen but he did it at a different position facing a different breed of player; he will be facing more fleet of foot DEs this year - it is an adjustment.  Bosch (unfairly) was thrown in and struggled, and Kalis struggled.  Braden has never played in a real game.  Sure they will all improve but improving from last year could mean "below average" instead of "putrid".  I think the OL is a year away still.
  • The OL depth is still not great in terms of game experience- you wrote in another post we have Fox, LTT, etc all in the wings.  Not really - those are all a year away.  Aside from center, if anyone gets hurt, every player coming in for them will have 0 starts of CFB. 
  • Our RBs flashed a bit but not much last year.  But much of that is probably due to the line.  But until I see one that can consistently get us 4 yards a carry on average it is all potential.
  • Our best TE - by a country mile - is out and when he returns he will probably still be 80% of what he was last year due the ACL.  See Jake Ryan 2013 v 2012.  The other 2 have a combined 1 catch, and one played defense last year.

I am all for kool aid but unlike the defense which has a nice mix of established veterans and young guns pushing for time almost the entire offense is unproven.  I am sure some kids will come up and surprise us as they do every year - the pool of players for example at WR is deep and we just need 2 guys to pop; I think it will happen over time.  But it's a very unproven lot and I'd assume the only BCS offense in America with 3 upperclassmen starting.


August 7th, 2014 at 8:27 AM ^

That Graham Glasgow was not average atcenter last year. He repeatedly missed zone combo blocks and if you go back and watch the offensive cut ups, many times we would get a run through at that point of attack. If that's average, our standards are messed up.


August 7th, 2014 at 8:35 AM ^

I was trying to be positive in an otherwise EMO post.  I agree with you in general.  I guess I was trying to say Glasgow was the best of the 3 interior positions.  So in that end he was the only proven commodity.  And yes it is a sad day when average is considered the best performance and someone using the word average is a stretch.  It's a stretch.

Everyone Murders

August 7th, 2014 at 11:03 AM ^

Plus, you apologized in advance for being EMO on UM Football right there in your signature. 

As far as OL performance goes, I don't know enough about interior line play to tell what obvious gaffes are due to what player's mistakes.  The interior OL is so ... holistic that it is hard at times for me to see who was at the root of the obvious ineffectuality of the 2013 group. 


August 7th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

And I am actually ridiculously kool-aidish about the 2015 season pending any form of in season improvement from the offense between sep and nov 2014.  Think it has the makings of a 1 loss season IF the OL turns into what it should be by the end of this year.


August 7th, 2014 at 12:51 PM ^

would be breaking in a new QB! I'm not certain who it will be at this point. The line may be good in 2015 but if we end up running the ball more and defenses key on this we could lose 2 to 3 games in 2015 due in part to an inexperienced QB! In 2016 we will have two tough road games at MSU and OSU. So, 2017 may be our year. We should have a senior QB with lots of experience, two  or three good RB, a lot of experience and depth on offense and defense. So, 2017 is the year we should win the B1G and make the NCAA playoffs! If Hoke cannot win a B1G championship in 2017, then he will never win one!


August 7th, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

Not sure if serious due to the exclamation marks...but in case you are serious, 2015 is definitely the year for Hoke. Unless an atom bomb hits the program, it will be the first year since 2007 that UM will have a combination of depth and experience on both sides of the ball. Next year is the year when all the hard line platitudes about "no moar scuses!" and "this team is toooo talented NOT to win!" actually begin to make sense. 


August 7th, 2014 at 5:45 PM ^

2015 season is Michigan's true shot at the B1G championship at the very least. We will be breaking in a new QB in Shane but since he's been in the program 2yrs prior, he will be ready to take over. Especially having Nuss as OC for another year should make a smooth transition. Unless something crazy goes down (as stated above) 2015 should be the year to reclaim greatness.


August 7th, 2014 at 8:38 AM ^

As you would expect a RS Sophomore to play, he wasn't out of this world great but he wasn't terrible either. I'd say he was above average and I would expect All B1G level play out of him this year, I just wish we had gotten Lindsay so we could put him back at LG.


August 7th, 2014 at 9:19 AM ^

This is reality. It's easy to think really positively about the recruiting stars and hype surrounding these younger guys, but very few of them have done anything on the field yet. Like you said, some of these guys could surprise us and be solid...but that would be a surprise, not the expectation.

The only saving grace for this offense right now is that they have an experienced, talented QB at the helm, and a legit receiving threat. 

Sauce Castillo

August 7th, 2014 at 7:39 AM ^

QB- Gardner / Morris

RB – Smith/ Green / Hayes

FB – Kerridge / Houma

HB – Shallman / Hill

WR – Funchess / Chesson

WR – Darboh / Chesson

Slot – Canteen / Norfleet

TE – Butt / Heitzman / Williams

OL – Magnuson, Bosch, Glasgow, Kalis, Braden

As a side note I was watching some Washington highlights 2009-2011 the other day and more than a few times I saw Chris Polk run a wheel route straight out of the backfeild and they hit it for big gains/ TDs.  I'm thinking Justice Hayes at least one time this year is scoring on a wheel route out of the backfield.

Prince Lover

August 7th, 2014 at 8:03 AM ^

Only because I waste a lot of free time reading about UM football on 3-4 different sites multiple times a day, and I've never seen any of them say a decision has been made. They all have said no decision yet and it is most likely he won't be eligible because the distance is more than the rule allows and his mom's condition isn't life threatening.


August 7th, 2014 at 7:54 AM ^

Deveon smith is the starter at the moment. So switch out green.

Glasgow was never a 4 star recruit. He was a walk-on so that fact is inaccurate.

Lastly I thought Dawson was a tackle but I might be wrong.

Otherwise I'm okay with that lineup projection


August 7th, 2014 at 7:59 AM ^

Out of HS everyone had Dawson as a guard.  Most think this is still where he ends up but in the here and now if Braden goes down or is ineffective it seems they will either move Glasgow out to RT and plug in Miller/Kugler at center or Dawson goes to RT. 


August 7th, 2014 at 8:01 AM ^

The only things that might slow is down is if the coach didn't teach sound execution, or we play like uninspired babies. If he can coach, and I pray he can, we will win some huge games.


August 7th, 2014 at 8:15 AM ^

Like the OP's picks, especially Dawson, but think probably the most telling thing about his two posts is the (unintentional) difference in the tiltes: "... offense starting ..." versus "... starting defense ..." -- the latter implies a cohesive starting unit, the former tends to suggest more of a starting point in an ongoing process. Let's hope we have an established "starting offense" by the time Butt comes back.

I think you'll see Smith and Green both get the honor of starting games. But yeah, I like Smith's potential -- but that could just be because we've seen less of him. He's still largely an unknown. Also, given Green's hard work this off-season, I'd guess he also sees Smith as serious competition. All told, it looks good for RBs at Michigan. Not surprising Weber wants in.

Prince Lover

August 7th, 2014 at 8:20 AM ^

All of these guys need to make that jump. But I'm most nervous about Braden, Kalis and especially Magnuson, who's coming off an injury (missing a lot of practice time) and is protecting Gardner's blindside. I think these guys hold the key to UM's success this year.