One might say that the Wolverine offense is offensive
Congratulations go to the Oakland Raiders for their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday. Prior to that game, the Oakland Raiders ranked number 32 in the league as far as the yards gained on the ground (rushing). They were simply last in the entire league. The first string running back was Darren McFadden whom they a re-signed with a one-year contract. They paid a lot of money for free agent Maurice Jones-Drew their second string running back. Some faulted the offensive line for not providing the holes for these two outstanding running backs. Another interesting statistic was that first year quarterback Derek Carr was not sacked very often. The reason given was that Carr released the ball quickly, making it difficult for the defense to sack him. There were not many that credited the offensive line play of Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Stefen Wisniewski, Austin, Howard or Khalif Barnes. The Raiders won loss record was 0-10.
Then, last Thursday they played the Chiefs. In the second quarter, they inserted third string running back Latavius Murray. Well, Murray scored the first rushing touchdown that the Chiefs had allowed this season. Then, he ran 90 yards for another touchdown against the Chiefs. Murray scored two touchdowns and the Chiefs then allowed their first two touchdowns. All in all, Murray ran for 112 yards in four carries before going out of the game as a result of a concussion.
Now, did the Raiders offensive line play just get better against the number one ranked defense in the NFL? Or, perhaps, Murray has a better skill set that fits with the Raiders line play. If Murray becomes eligible to play next week, I’ll bet we’ll see more of that third string running back.
Some might say, what does this have to do with the offensive woes of the Michigan Wolverines? I’m suggesting, that the Wolverine coaches have not utilized quarterback Devin Gardner’s skill set. Statistically, there are 128 Division I teams playing football. The Wolverines rank 113 in passing yards; 114 in total yards; 111 scoring and 116 in passing efficiency (whatever that means).
Devin Funchess played liked an All-American wide receiver early in the season but whose play lately has been disappointing. Early on, the magazine, The Wolverine, had on the cover Funchess catching a pass. On the side, had the title “One to Watch.” Underneath was the following description: Junior Devin Funchess Is a Big Part of U of M’s Young Emerging Wide Receiver Group. That was the October 2014, edition. I’ll bet the December 2014 cover would have a different picture with a different story. I’m still waiting for wide receivers to emerge. How about you?
All in all, there are additional problems as evidenced by the record. Perhaps a new A.D. and a different head coach might right the sinking ship. Bo Schembechler did it in his first season with players, recruited by Bump Elliott. Can lightning strike twice in the same spot? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Go Blue Go!