In a surprise move Michigan Wolverine quarterback starter Denard Robinson did not take the field to start the game against the Gophers.
Instead he was replaced by the quarterback turned wide receiver Devin Gardner.
Yet that didn’t stop the Wolverines from earning a 35-13 victory on the road in Minnesota to move their Big Ten record to 4-1 in the Legends Division.
Gardner, who took a great percentage of the snaps in practice this week in place of the injured Denard Robinson, had a solid game completing 12 of 18 attempts for 234 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran the ball 10 times for 21 yards with one touchdown.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke had stated numerous times throughout the week that he was “optimistic” that Denard would start the Minnesota game but apparently the injured elbow Robinson suffered in the game against Nebraska is still not allowing him to take the field.
Regardless, with Gardner at the helm the Wolverines’ offense managed to score a touchdown — four in fact — in the game against the Gophers an achievement they were unable to do the prior two games against Nebraska and Michigan State.
The Michigan running game had a solid day as well with Fitzgerald Toussaint carrying the ball 13 times for 70 yards with one touchdown to go with Thomas Rawls and his 16 carry, 43 yard, one touchdown performance.
That was more than enough for the Big Ten’s leading pass defense which limited the Minnesota offense to only 147 passing yards on 31 attempts with only 14 completions.
Brady Hoke’s team has two home games remaining against Northwestern and Iowa before they close out their regular season and Big Ten Conference schedule on the road against the archival and currently undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes November 24th in Columbus.
Unfortunately the Wolverine loss last week to Nebraska means they do not control their own destiny.
Nebraska will need to lose one game and the Wolverines will need to win their remaining three games if Michigan has any hope of winning the Legends Division title and earning a date in the Big Ten Conference championship game.