Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno says the entire unit continues to improve in pass protection, much more than meets the eye.

Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno says the entire unit continues to improve in pass protection, much more than meets the eye.

Early in the 2015 season, Michigan's rushing attack became surprisingly overwhelming for opponents, especially during the non-conference slate. 

Outside of the season opening loss to Utah, the Wolverines ran off five straight games with at least 198-yards on the ground.

Getting into conference play, Michigan's rushing attack hasn't been as dominant, instead relying more on a much improved passing game with senior quarterback Jake Rudock -- especially over his last three games.

Whether it be dominant rushing performances or highlight reel passing clinics, Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno doesn't really care as long as the Wolverines win.

"No concern," Drevno said when asked about a struggling running game. "There's a softening process to everything. You look back and there's probably nine different times we could've handed it off last week and we chose to throw it because that put us in the most successful situation. 

"The neat thing about it is, the pass game is going and it makes you dimensional, not one dimensional but dimensional. And that's when you know you've got things going, you can pull a lot of different things out and be successful at it. It'd be hard if oh gosh you just got to run the ball or throw it."

And throw it Michigan certainly has as Rudock has caught fire at the perfect time for the Wolverines.

As Drevno noted Wednesday though, the vast improvement shown out of Michigan's passing game comes as a result of several different areas getting on the right track.

"I've been very pleased with it," he said. "The linemen are doing a good job, the backs are doing a good job of protection and Jake's getting us in the right protections. 

"But in terms of the pass game, just the rhythm, the timing, the ball delivery, there's a lot of other things that go into it and I'm very pleased where we are with it and these strides and excited about it."

One of the areas Michigan struggled with most under previous coach Brady Hoke was pass protection, specifically pass protection out of the running back position.

While it hasn't been perfect this season, De'Veon Smith and the running back group as a whole have been proficient under former Michigan tail back Tyrone Wheatley.

"Tyrone's done a nice job with it," Drevno said. "I think it's just him getting comfortable with his protections and doing a good job preparing him through the week and making sure we're getting the right looks and he's done a really nice job, picked up the physicality. 

"Probably one of the hardest things for a running back to do is protect and that's a hard thing for him to do cause you're always putting the ball in his hands to run. It's about want to and drive to be good at it."

A key factor to keep an eye on for Saturday's test against No. 8 Ohio State is the potential use of Jabrill Peppers offensively.

Becoming more and more involved as the season has gone on, Peppers has begun taking snaps as a running back as well, with his coach Jim Harbaugh giving high praise to No. 5 at his Monday press conference, even insinuating things could get crazy next season.

"I agree 100-percent," Drevno said. "Jabrill is an explosive football player, he can make plays for us and he's a guy that you want. 

"You put the ball in his hands he can make great things happen. He's a special football player. He's got that DNA in him that's very special and he's an NFL player playing at the college level."

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