Gardner Making Strides Down the Stretch

Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier discusses the development of Devin Gardner and more.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It hasn’t been a perfect season for Devin Gardner. He’s struggled. His offense has struggled. His decision making process has struggled. Michigan has struggled.

But throughout this season Gardner still is making waves towards the right direction. And that was evident in Michigan’s 34-10 win over Indiana.

Versus the Hoosiers, Gardner completed 22-of-29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. It was his first 200 yard passing game of the season.

“Devin did some good things, and he did some things we need to correct,” Nussmeier said. “Obviously, 22-of-29 [passing]. He completed some balls. He threw two touchdowns. Obviously, the one interception we would like to have back. There was a couple other decisions. But he did some good things, and did some things we corrected.”

However, Gardner’s biggest stat he is judged on is wins and losses, and beating Indiana makes all wounds go away – temporally anyways. But with Michigan at 4-5, and looking to secure two more wins to be eligible for a bowl, Gardner needs to continue progressing down the stretch for the Wolverines to have chance.

“It’s always part of the evaluation,” Nussmeier said. “You want results. But you got to be process oriented when you play the position. We got to be n the right side of the field and have our eyes in the right place, and our feet, and our timing factors in. Anytime you look at a pass play, we look at all the factors that play into it. Whether it was a successful or not a successful play? And Why?

Ultimately, Nussmeier is happy with Gardner’s approach to the game. And he even acknowledged his quarterback has rare learning challenge of having his third offensive coordinator in his five years at Michigan.

“His preparation each week has been second to none,” Nussmeier said. “The way he has approached it and gone out and played.

“Anytime you have a quarterback who has three systems in five years, that’s a tremendous amount of growth. There is great opportunity to learn, because everybody is going to ask something different. Because everybody is going to ask to do something different of you, and ask you to do things in different ways. Devin has continued to impress each and every week. Some weeks more than others.”

This week will be another huge step.

Michigan (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) plays at Northwestern (4-5, 2-3) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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