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December 01, 2014 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"IT' S





What we learned
from a 5-7 season

Offense surprises,
but struggles late

Lack of turnovers,
offense lowlights
ManagingSports Editor
The Michigan football team's
last play of the 2014 season was
Ohio State backup quarterback
Cardale Jones taking a knee at
midfield, then the Wolverines
walking off the field to a
Buckeye fan yelling, "You suck."
There will be no bowl game,
and there was no monumental
upset. The season ended, and so
did everything that came with
it, as expected.
Many of the same issues that
had persisted for much of the

season seemed to be solved, but
new issues arose in their place.
Here are five things we
learned from Michigan's last
game of the season.
1. Drake Johnson was
Michigan's best offensive
It wasn't just that
Drake Johnson scored two
touchdowns and rushed for 74
yards on 15 attempts. It was
that when he didn't run the ball,
the Wolverines were limited on
Fifth-year senior
quarterback Devin Gardner
could make plays, but he was
never the playmaker this
season. Ever since Johnson's
emergence against Indiana,

he has revitalized Michigan's
running game. He paired well
with sophomore running back
De'Veon Smith and actually
drew defenders in when
Gardner ran the play action.
This season, Johnson rushed
for six yards per carry - the
most of any running back with
more than 40 carries - despite
starting just three games. His
speed and slashing style made
him tough to defend, and his
ability to overpower tacklers
made it even tougher.
After he suffered an injury
and left the game in the third
quarter Saturday, Michigan
running backs rushed for just
four more yards. The bulk of
responsibility fell on Gardner
to pass or run.
See LEARNING, Page 38

By MAX COHEN 40 more, looking spry and agile
Daily Sports Writer throughout.
Michigan junior wide receiver
On Saturday, the Michigan Devin Funchess was also a
football team ended its season bright spot, hauling in seven
with a 42-28 loss to No. 6 Ohio catches for 108 yards, the first
State. Against the more talented time he has eclipsed 100 yards
Buckeyes, in a game that was receiving since the second week
expected to be one-sided, the of the season.
Wolverines put up a fight for Ohio State's defense struggled
much of the game. to bring down redshirt
The Daily examines the good, sophomore running back Drake
the bad and the ugly from the Johnson before he was injured
rivalry game. midway through the third
quarter. Johnson rushed for 74
The good: yards and two touchdowns on 15
carries and frequently didn't go
The offense looked sharper down the first time he was hit.

the third quarter. He stayed
down in the end zone after the
touchdown and grabbed his
lower left leg. Though Johnson
was able to walk off the field on
his own power, he didn't return
to the game.
Michigan's defense struggled
to stop the run, a task that had
been its strong suit. Ohio State
running back Ezekiel Elliott
ran for 121 yards and two
touchdowns, and quarterback
J.T. Barrett scrambled for 89
yards and two touchdowns on 15
Elliott's 44-yard touchdown
run in the fourth quarter put the
game out of reach and gave the
Buckeyes a 35-21 lead. The score
came on a 4th-and-1 situation,
and a stop by the Wolverines
would have given Michigan a

than it had all year on a 95-yard
touchdown drive early in the
Fifth-year senior quarterback
Devin Gardner rushed for 32
yards on the drive and threw for

The bad:
Johnson was injured on the
second of his touchdown runs, a
four-yard score midway through


You suffered through this season like
everyone else, yet there's still reason to
believe next year will be better.
SportsMonday Column, Page 2B

Even without Walton, the Wolverines
cruised past Nicholls State on Saturday to
rebound from the Villanova loss.
Easy Win, Page 3B

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