NCAA Football News
Johnny Manziel had quite an eventful summer but is looking to silence his critics with his play as Texas A&M opens the season against Rice University.
Can Manziel continue to build on his Heisman-winning season a year ago?
Watch SEC Lead Writer Barrett Sallee break down what the Aggies must do in Week 1.
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Heading into the 2013 NCAA football season, Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines are expecting nothing less than a Big Ten title.
It's a goal that's easier said than done—especially with an absolutely loaded Ohio State team that many experts believe will make it to the BCS title game standing in the way.
Obviously, players like quarterback Devin Gardner, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, running back Fitz Toussaint and safety Thomas Gordon will have a lot to say about how well the Wolverines perform this season.
In order for Michigan to reach its full potential, however, there are a few under-the-radar players who will determine the outcome of this upcoming campaign.
Devin Funchess, Tight End
Every quarterback needs a security blanket for when the going gets tough.
For the Wolverines, Funchess has the talent to not only become a solid go-to receiver for Gardner in the middle of the field but become one of the nation's top playmakers at any position.
At 6'5" and 235 pounds, Funchess isn't just a big body in the middle. In addition to his prototypical size, the tight end possesses elite speed and athleticism.
He's capable of becoming a big-play machine, as was evidenced last season when he broke out against Air Force with four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
However, Funchess' immense potential was rarely again seen after his breakout performance, and he finished the 2012-13 season with just 15 catches. It's worth noting that five of his receptions turned into six points, though, which further illustrates what kind of playmaker he can become.
The Wolverines expect big things from Funchess in his sophomore season. Hoke recently told reporters that the tight end "will be more dangerous this season, noting a big improvement at the line of scrimmage, as shown by the team's official Twitter account:
That's bad news for the rest of the Big Ten, but it's terrific news for Michigan.
If Funchess can become a reliable target for Gardner, then the offense will run much smoother than it did a year ago.
Cam Gordon, Linebacker
While Jake Ryan continues to recover from his unfortunate ACL injury, the Wolverines will count on Gordon to pick up the slack in his absence.
One reason to believe this is the fact that Gordon was named as one of four team captains recently, as noted by the team's Twitter account:
According to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, Gordon was impressive in the team's first scrimmage, making plays "all over the field." Baumgardner also noted that the senior linebacker looks more comfortable this summer than he has since his freshman season when he notched 77 tackles and three interceptions.
With an inexperienced group of defensive linemen taking the field in 2013, it'll be imperative for Gordon and the team's linebackers to play with focus and discipline this season.
Frank Clark, Defensive End
Dominant defenses almost always feature stars on the defensive front, and Michigan will be counting on Clark to become such a player this year.
The junior pass-rusher hasn't yet lived up to his potential, but the team's coaching staff is extremely high on his potential to become a human wrecking ball this season against opposing offenses.
A former safety, Clark, now at 275 pounds (or so) of pure muscle still runs like he did when he showed up on campus at 217 pounds, according to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who spoke to reporters about his prized pupil, via Baumgardner:
He's running 40 yards down the field, and the first thing, you look up and see a 275-pound rush end—that used to be 217 pounds when he got here—running with the guy. He's not chasing him, he's getting up there with him.
He's so much stronger. Frank Clark was a safety, outside linebacker, out of (high school) at 217 pounds. Now, he's a rush for his third year at (273) pounds...(He's a) guy that I've noticed noticeable strength gains (with).
The freakish athlete has reportedly been clocked running a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, as noted by Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, and his strength is such that he's being moved all over the line during recent practices, as noted by MLive.com's Twitter account:
Based on potential alone, Clark should dial up at least 10 sacks this season.
He'll need to do so if Michigan's defense has any chance of shutting down Braxton Miller and the offense of Ohio State when the two teams meet up in the final game of the regular season—a contest that could determine the winner of the Big Ten.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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Notre Dame appears to be experimenting with the pistol formation in preparation for the coming season, and it's going to prove to be a vital part of an offense that will be prone to ineptness.
ESPN's Matt Fortuna discussed seeing Notre Dame in the pistol once and that he heard players talking about it. Meanwhile, Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune has information that suggests a bigger role for the pistol. Hamilton says the starters were practicing this formation.
There would be little reason to waste valuable reps with the starters if there were no intentions to implement this set.
Of course, Brian Kelly is not tipping his hand as to how often this formation will be used, and I would expect nothing less from the Irish head man.
When, as Fortuna reports, Kelly was asked about comments by wide receiver DaVaris Daniels concerning the Irish's use of the pistol, the coach bluntly deadpanned, "Daniels doesn't know what the hell he’s talking about."
Of course, I think Kelly is full of it, and he should be. There is no reason for Notre Dame to reveal any insight as to what the offense will look like.
Whatever the role the pistol plays for the Irish, I have no doubt it will be of benefit.
With a powerful offensive line, a passing game that figures to be suspect and a stable of talented running backs, the strength of the Irish's offense will come on the ground. The pistol will allow Notre Dame a new set of rushing alternatives.
If you aren't familiar with the formation, think of it as a mix of the shotgun and the quarterback being under center.
In a traditional pistol, the running back will line up behind the quarterback. This allows the quarterback the space to quickly throw passes without dropping back, while giving him the option to make a handoff in the same area as when he is under center. Typically, the offense will spread the defense out with three or four wide receivers in these sets.
This all works well for quick passes, handoffs and play-action passes, and read-options.
Now, the Irish lack one quality that is typically associated with this offense, and that is that quarterback Tommy Rees is not exactly known for his running ability.
Current 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran for over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons at Nevada while under pistol godfather and then Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault, bringing the pistol to the forefront.
However, while Rees will not be a threat on the ground, the pistol will still help divert the defense's attention. With extra receivers on the field, defenses will not be able to stack the box. This will create more one-on-one matchups for the Irish's line, and that is a good thing for the explosive George Atkinson III and all the runners behind him.
If defenses decide to send a little extra help to stop the run, Rees will have easy passes to bring balance to the offense.
I'm not suggesting the Irish go exclusively to the pistol—it's simply another option in Kelly's bag of tricks.
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The cornerback's world is a solitary existence. They live on the edge of the defense, not just out of the hash, but outside of the numbers. They get blamed for the touchdowns, regardless of if they expected safety help.
As shutdown corners take home big dollars in the NFL and get projected high into the draft out of college, so much of the discussion of the cornerback position revolves around just one facet of the game: man-to-man coverage.
Given that most colleges play more zone than straight man, the average corner at the FBS level has to do more than just focus on tight man coverage skills. From pre-snap reads to post-snap action, the plate is full for the guys on the edge.
The pre-snap reads start with the defensive call from the sideline. The call coming from the sidelines will match the personnel group and the down and distance. That's where the processing of information begins, as the combination of fronts, stunts, pressures and coverages are signaled in from the staff. The first step of the process is understanding one's role in the initial call.
Players that do not understand the original call are already a step behind everyone else.
With the call from the sidelines comes the offense's personnel grouping. Is the offense in a run-heavy set? Is the offense in a pass-heavy set? Do they have a player in the game that is a nearly exclusive run, or pass, player?
Which brings the corners to formations, the next step in the process. Much like personnel groups help indicate tendencies, formations speak to tendencies and favorite plays. Every game defensive players get personnel groupings and formations that the opponent has shown in the past. Coaches break down tendency to run or pass, play directions the opposition favors out of given formations and personnel keys that indicate specific plays.
As the opponent lines up, the scouting reports and cutups of the game have to be processed. Situations have to be communicated. Communication is key. Linebackers getting defensive linemen pushed the right way. Safeties alerting linebackers of added in-the-box players. Everyone working to get on the same page, in the best look to combat the set.
Including corners. Cornerbacks are the farthest removed from the heart of the defense, but the perspective they can bring, especially as teams prepare to snap, is a mighty one. It is the corners' job to alert crack to the safeties, linebackers and defensive ends when a receiver takes a cut split or travels in motion.
The corner starts the sliding process when a receiver crosses the formation and the linebackers and defensive line must exchange gaps to avoid being outflanked. In man-coverage it is the corner that must alert his linebacker or defensive end to alert jet sweep as the corner tries to get through the wash to the other side of the formation.
In addition to communication with teammates, the cornerback has reads he must make on his own based upon down and distance, as well as receiver alignment. While the called coverage dictates the general concept to the corner, the down-and-distance situation should play a significant role in how the cornerback plays his responsibility.
Essentially, Cover 2 on 1st-and-10 is not the same as playing Cover 2 on 3rd-and-4. First-and-10 calls for more rules as a team's playbook is wide open. Third-and-4, the first down is job one and protecting the sticks against run and pass must happen.
Situations where corners would usually give ground to protect deeper become more about stopping the immediate receiver getting the easy pass to the sticks for the first down. Third-and-7 turns five-yard drop zones into seven-yard drop zones. Third-and-15 turns those same five-yard zones into 10-yard drops where the corner wants the short pass so he can come up to make the tackle.
The same holds true for alignment. While offenses have extensive route trees and combination routes, the quicker a corner realizes they do not have to defend every possible route, the more effective they become.
A receiver cannot run a slant or a dig or a post from a cut-split position. Receivers pushed outside of the numbers cannot run quick outs, deep outs or post corners from the edge of the field. Through film study and scouting reports, corners can also decipher the most popular routes from a given alignment.
Alignment also applies to the corner himself, depending upon the down and distance, coverage call and the receiver alignment, the cornerback has to get himself lined up, too. That means playing inside leverage or outside leverage, press coverage or off coverage, four yards off or six yards off.
Sometimes that means altering the originally dictated alignment. Other times, it means operating out of the basic look. For instance, a corner back with run-force responsibility who usually aligns with outside leverage on the receiver, must change his alignment when the receiver pushes to the sideline in alignment.
The space between the receiver and the end man on the line creates too much area for the corner to cover. The options are align inside the receiver and squeeze gap to hammer play back inside to linebackers or exchange responsibilities with the safety, giving the safety the force and the corner the deep half coverage.
No matter how it is sliced, the cornerback's job is not easy. On the large scale, these guys know their mistakes create big points and huge plays for the opposition. In the micro scale, cornerbacks are asked to do plenty before the snap to make sure they put themselves in a position to make plays.
Small mistakes in alignment or down-and-distance recognition are what help create the big plays, before the ball is even snapped.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
ESPN College GameDay has become a part of the college football game day experience by being the first thing a fan turns on in the morning before all of the fun and games begin.
Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard continue to get college football fans revved up each and every Saturday morning of the college football season. Let's not forget Samantha Ponder and David Pollack are in on the action as well.
With increasing popularity of the show, it has become a spectacle on college campuses and fanbases are more than ecstatic when the crew selects their team's big game of the week. Will ESPN College GameDay be comin' to your city this year?
Here are the predictions on where ESPN College GameDay will be during the 2013 season:
The 2013 version of the Boise State offense is going to be much better than the one fans watched last season. The players are better, they are wiser and additional talent has been added to the ranks.
Meanwhile, on defense, the Broncos field many untested players, but that doesn't take away from the usual high expectations the team has for itself. Boise State finished No. 12 in overall defense last season, and that was with fewer returning starters than this year's squad.
In Week 1, Boise State heads to Seattle to take on the Huskies of Washington.
Last season these two teams concluded their schedules with a date in Vegas. However, what happens in Vegas now must be settled in Seattle.
It should be a very exciting and exhilarating game in a brand new, renovated Husky Stadium. The crowd will be loud, the air will be electric when the battle in Seattle commences.
Let's attempt to look beyond the days that separate this game from the present, and try to figure out how the players on the Broncos' roster might perform Saturday night.
No one player can determine the outcome of a game quite like a quarterback. If a team has a good one, it will win a lot more than it'll lose. If a team has a bad one, well, he may not even finish the season.
Virginia Tech senior quarterback Logan Thomas has experienced a little bit of both. As a sophomore in 2011, Thomas was outstanding. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,013 yards. He also tossed 19 touchdowns versus only 10 interceptions.
Thomas took a step back in 2012, completing only 51 percent of his passes, and his interceptions rose from 10 to 16.
The team took a major step back, too. The Hokies were 11-3 in 2011, played in both the ACC title game and the Sugar Bowl. The Hokies finished 7-6 in 2012, their worst record in 20 years.
The Hokies' failures in 2012 weren't all due to Thomas, however. Offensive line woes were the biggest culprit, and that trend could continue this season.
Here is a comprehensive look at Virginia Tech's best and most important player in 2013.
South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is a favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft and is arguably the best player in college football.
Right now, he has his eyes set on college football's most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy.
Can he claim it?
The Gamecocks' superstar defensive end possesses speed, power and a physical edge that is second to none. These skills can carry Clowney to the status of a college football legend in 2013.
Will anyone be able to slow down "The Freak" on his quest for the Heisman?
Here is a look at Clowney's Heisman odds and his outlook for the 2013 season.
Ohio State's freshman class this year may be one of the best in all of college football.
Few of its freshman shine as brightly as Scout.com's 5-star wide receiver Jalin Marshall from in-state Middletown.
Marshall, a quarterback in high school, possesses incredible speed and quickness in the open field, making him one of the most intriguing players on the Buckeyes' roster.
But can a converted quarterback have an immediate impact at wide receiver right away?
Here's our in-depth preview on the Buckeyes' electrifying freshman.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller set a single-season school record for total offense in 2012, throwing and running for a combined 3,310 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Those numbers were good enough to earn Miller a fifth-place finish in last year's Heisman race. Many are expecting bigger numbers and a higher finish for the Buckeyes' signal-caller this year.
The reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year will lead No. 2 Ohio State through a schedule that could yield huge numbers to the Buckeyes' offense. If Ohio State improves in Year 2 under Urban Meyer, something every team has done throughout his coaching career, the Buckeyes could be on the brink of a special season.
Will that special season include Miller winning Ohio State its eighth Heisman Trophy?
Read about Miller's chances of winning college football's highest individual honor with this slideshow.
Sometimes, things aren’t always as they appear.
The college football world was reminded of that on Aug. 22 when Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops made a shocking announcement via The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey. Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight, not front-runner Blake Bell, would be the starting quarterback for the Sooners this fall.
Who saw that one coming?
Oklahoma opens their season this Saturday at home against Louisiana-Monroe. That leaves fans little to no time to get acquainted with the young gunslinger.
No worries, B/R has got you covered.
As the countdown to Big Ten football enters the final days, there are many players around the conference getting ready for a breakout season in 2013.
Whether these players had a great 2012 or a promising spring camp and fall camp, these will be the superstars competing for national awards and All-American status at the end of the season. Circumstances like a lot of inexperience around some of these players will also help the spotlight shine more on them than ever before.
The following players show that the top level of talent does not reside solely in Columbus and Ann Arbor. Quite to the contrary, the other teams competing for Big Ten championships are recruiting and developing solid talent as well, even if the depth may be a bit less in some programs.
Still, all it takes is a couple of injuries and an entire team—even a good one—can be derailed from success. Just ask Iowa's running back corps from the past three years.
Next week, actual football will finally be the talk. For now, enjoy the final look ahead at the players who will define how well the Big Ten will do in 2013.
The following list is in no particular order, as all 10 of the players will be huge factors in the conference championship race.
Potential can be both a gift and a curse for football recruits. Some go on to fulfill the promise they show as players, while others never reach their high ceilings.
While many recruits in the 2014 class have shown signs they are developing as players, several elite prospects still have much to learn. However, their size, speed and athleticism have made them coveted prospects, as college coaches know that if they are developed properly, they will become studs.
A cornerback has world-class athleticism and instinct, but lacks great technique. A pair of prospects who play in the trenches are raw, but with good coaching, they could be difference-makers in college. Also, if a speedy offensive player learns the nuances of the receiver position, he could be an All-American.
From Johnny Manziel to conference realignment, college football had its fair share of excellent storylines all offseason long. But what will be the biggest storylines during the 2013 season?
With how much of a factor the media is in this day and age, there are going to be juicy stories all season long.
But what's going to dominate the headlines in 2013? The Manziel saga is likely to continue and conference realignment also does not appear to be over. What about the SEC's attempt at winning its eighth straight national championship?
All of those are likely to be talked about all season long, but what else makes the list?
Here are the 40 biggest storylines as the start of the college football season draws closer.
After a long offseason, Nebraska Cornhuskers fans can finally utter the three words they have been waiting months to say:
“It’s Wyoming Week.”
But as the new football season starts, many questions remain to be answered. Here are five of the biggest questions whose answers may determine Nebraska’s fate in 2013.
It was reported on Aug. 25 that sophomore quarterback Joel Stave will lead the Wisconsin Badgers offense in their Week 1 matchup against Massachusetts (via David Hookstead on Twitter). The announcement comes just six days before Wisconsin's opener, and it was a hotly contested position battle between Stave and sixth-year senior Curt Phillips.
Both signal callers are viable options for the Badgers, especially against an opponent like the Minutemen, a team that went 1-11 last season in their first year as a member of the FBS. UMass also happens to be a 45-point underdog as it gears up to enter the grounds of Camp Randall Stadium (via Bovada).
If things go according to plan, we should get a chance to see both Stave and Phillips on the field Aug. 31, and maybe even Tanner McEvoy—perhaps at both quarterback and wide receiver.
Plenty of players will see the field regardless of whether the Badgers are able to run away with a commanding lead, so this should have an impact on our projected statistics for Wisconsin against UMass.
PASSING STATS: 14-of-19, 170 yards, 1 TD
Joel Stave: 9-of-11, 135 yards, 1 TD
Curt Phillips: 4-of-5, 27 yards
Tanner McEvoy: 1-of-3, 8 yards
RUSHING STATS: 57 carries, 333 yards (5.84 average), 5 TDs
James White: 21 carries, 138 yards, 2 TDs
Melvin Gordon: 17 carries, 117 yards, 2 TDs
Corey Clement: 8 carries, 41 yards, 1 TD
Jeff Lewis: 4 carries, 10 yards
Derek Watt: 3 carries, 13 yards
Tanner McEvoy: 3 carries, 12 yards
Curt Phillips: 1 carry, 2 yards
RECEIVING STATS: 14 catches, 170 yards, 1 TD
Jacob Pedersen: 4 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD
Jared Abbrederis: 4 catches, 68 yards
Jordan Fredrick: 2 catches, 19 yards
Brian Wozniak: 2 catches, 11 yards
Alex Erickson: 1 catch, 12 yards
Jeff Duckworth: 1 catch, 13 yards
DEFENSIVE/SPECIAL TEAMS STATS: 6 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD, 10 points allowed
Kyle French: 1-of-1, 37 yards
Not only did UMass rank outside of the Top 100 in the FBS in scoring, passing and rushing, but its defense had its issues as well. It gave up 225.6 yards-per-game on the ground despite playing in a pass-happy MAC, and the Minutemen were far better in pass defense, allowing 235.8 yards through the air each contest.
There's no question that Massachusetts will key in on the run against the Badgers, but it won't matter. Wisconsin is simply too overpowering up front and will have its way with UMass' front seven.
As a result of its success running the football, Wisconsin won't find it necessary to throw the football very often. A lopsided game should allow just about everyone to see the field, which is why we have three quarterbacks listed in the passing department and seven different rushers.
There will be a few read-option looks with Phillips and McEvoy in the game—assuming both get in the game—but that's it, as head coach Gary Andersen probably won't want to give too much away for future opponents to catch on tape. Just enough to get a feel for it, and the same goes for Wisconsin's defense, which is switching to a 3-4 formation with a refined approach.
The bottom line? Football is back, and the Badgers will rout the Minutemen on college football's opening weekend.
Follow Bleacher Report's Wisconsin Badgers football writer Dave Radcliffe on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
Rivalries are one of the best features of college football. They're deep, passionate and highly competitive not only on the field, but also on the recruiting trail.
Many schools enter games versus their rivals with not just bragging rights, bowl games or conference championships on the line, but also with huge recruiting implications. The 2013 season has several rivalry games that will greatly influence the conclusion of the 2014 recruiting cycle.
A rivalry game between schools only several miles apart could decide if either program signs a top-25 class. A classic rivalry game of Big Ten schools will impact not only 2014 recruiting, but also 2015. And a growing rivalry in the SEC also is on this list.
In one week, the Texas Longhorns will debut Major Applewhite's highly anticipated up-tempo offense. If all goes to plan, Texas will ride it to once again become one of the nation's premier offensive attacks.
Though the focus of the offseason has been fixing a historically bad defense, the 'Horns will go only as far as Applewhite's offense takes them. Texas has only lost two games in the last five seasons when it has scored over 30 points, and that is the kind of production it takes to win in the Big 12.
Fortunately for Applewhite, putting up 30 a night should be no problem. He gets 10 out of 11 starters back from a unit that put up over 35 per game last season. He also returns a full stable of running backs and gets a more experienced David Ash under center. Applewhite could do some special things with this group and the 80 plays he plans to run per game.
The goal for this offense should be to put up 40 per contest. With the help of the conference's best quarterback, a 1,000-yard rusher and a breakout campaign from a speedy sophomore, he will do just that in taking Texas back to the top of the Big 12.
Nebraska football fans have much to be excited about entering the 2013 season. But perhaps the biggest reason for optimism in Lincoln is the favorable early season schedule that will allow the Cornhuskers to rise into the Top 10 before playing Michigan on November 9th.
A Top-10 ranking certainly seems like a stretch for a team facing as many questions on defense as Nebraska. But the Huskers' surplus of home games and back-loaded Big Ten schedule make the first two months of the season very manageable.
In its non-conference slate, Nebraska should handle Wyoming, Southern Miss and South Dakota State with ease. Although nothing is ever certain in college football, the Huskers should feel very confident against three opponents that combined for four FBS victories a season ago.
The one potential stumbling block is UCLA in Nebraska's third game.
The Bruins return roughly 14 of 22 starters from their 2012 team that brutalized the Huskers in Pasadena and narrowly missed out on a Rose Bowl berth. But in part two of this dual, Nebraska will benefit greatly from home-field advantage and the absence of former UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin as it exacts revenge for last year's defeat.
After finishing the non-conference schedule unscathed, Nebraska must survive two more tough tests before heading to Ann Arbor.
The first is a trap game at Purdue on October 12th.
Even though the Boilermakers struggled in 2012, they will host a young group of Blackshirts experiencing their first road game. Any lack of focus or composure from the Husker newcomers could cause the Big Red problems in West Lafayette.
After a bye week and a trip to Minnesota, Nebraska will face Northwestern in a pivotal game in the Legends Division race. The athleticism of Kain Colter and Venric Mark will once again give the Blackshirts trouble. But the offense will not turn the ball over like they did in Evanston last season and will outgun the Wildcats in a high-scoring afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
So, with five comfortable wins, a revenge victory over UCLA, a survival of their first road test and a difficult but confident win over Northwestern, the Huskers will awake November 3rd with an 8-0 record.
There will still be doubters, though. And perhaps for good reason. Critics will scoff at victories over Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota and claim UCLA and Northwestern to be middle-of-the-road contenders.
But like last year, when the Week 10 BCS Standings ranked every 8-0 team, save Louisville, one through four, the polls will have no choice but to vault Nebraska well into the Top 10.
The Huskers will have taken over two months to attain their lofty ranking, but they will then need one quality afternoon at the Big House to prove they deserve it.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
Until late last season, college football followers outside of the Big Ten weren't all that familiar with Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner.
That's because he wasn't one prior to Week 8, when he re-debuted as the Wolverines' No. 1 with 234 passing yards and two touchdowns during a 35-13 throttling of Minnesota.
Gardner posted a 3-2 record as a starter, which includes a three-touchdown showing during the Wolverines' 33-28 Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina.
His barely-above-.500 record may not jump out as overly impressive, but his offensive numbers were: 1,219 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, seven rushing touchdowns and a Big Ten-leading 161.7 efficiency rating.
And he completed just under 60 percent of his passing attempts.
He's a likely candidate for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors and a potential dark-horse Heisman contender.
But there is more to Gardner.