However, despite U-M starting three different starting offensive line groups through its first six games, center Jack Miller says the Wolverines offensive line is making ‘strides’ to becoming better downhill rushing team.
“I don’t know who the five will be at the end of the season. Who it will be next week. I don’t know about that,” Miller said on Monday. “I do think the offensive line is making strides. I do think even though we fell short of a win [at Rutgers 26-24 on Saturday], you could tell we were committed to running the ball. And there was a certain passion we had during that game that come hell or high water we were going to impose our will – I think we did that. Especially as the game wore on.”
Currently, U-M is rushing 180.8 yards per game though its first six games, which ranks 36th nationally. In 2013, the Wolverines averaged 125.7 yard per game, finishing 103rd nationally.
And while U-M is off to a 2-4 start, Miller says their record doesn’t back up their stats on the ground.
“It’s a misleading thing,” Miller said. “In five out of six game we averaged over four yards a carry. So there has been some bright spots there.”
As far as pass protection, that’s another story. The Wolverines offensive line has given up 12 sacks, and quarterback’s Devin Gardner and Shane Morris have been under a ton of pressure in the pocket. Morris recently suffered a mild concussion in Michigan’s 30-14 loss to Minnesota.
“When you bring eight guys and you only have seven to protect, you got to get the ball out, you got to run the right route, you got to be on your game from every position when it comes to that,” Miller said. “So we are making strides. There is a lot of good things going on. If we continue to build on that, I think the offensive line is going to be what we want it to be.”
Michigan(2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) plays host to Penn State (4-1, 1-0) this Saturday at 7 p.m. for “Under The Lights III” for U-M’s third ever night home game.
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