ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan's rushing performance against Florida confirmed how good the offensive line can be when working together, says U-M redshirt senior Ben Braden, who spoke to reporters after U-M’s spring practice last week.
U-M rushed for 225 yards against Florida’s top-10 defense, as Michigan won the Citrus Bowl easily, 41-7.
And Braden says the offensive line as whole is using its Citrus Bowl performance as motivation moving forward this season.
In fact, he noted what was noticeably different about U-M that day.
“I really feel like we clicked fluidly at that game,” Braden said. “I think it was really awesome, like now we know what it feels like and we can always build on it from here.”
Adding: “It’s not like (last) season we were struggling the whole time. But it was really good just to have that feeling. ‘This is real,’ we are really fluid and we are really consistent about it. I think it’s a really good feeling now that we are building on that, and getting that back.”
How does Braden expect Michigan to continue its success rushing the ball this season? Well, he says it’s about being more consistent.
“Consistency in football is key,” Braden said. “Especially if you’re an O-lineman, you need to be consistent about things. You need to know what guys are going to do. You got to move with and flow with it. You’re almost like one person (as a group).”
Braden has played both tackle and guard throughout his career. Last season, however, he played left guard, which to his benefit he will most likely play again this season.
“It helps so much,” Braden said. “It’s kind of muscle memory really. I don’t have to learn a new position or anything. It’s just from history, its now just building with small details of your technique. It’s just more focused when you watch film and when you’re at practice, it’s just a great feeling.”
And another benefit this season is having offensive coordinator Tim Drevno back for year number two, Braden says.
“Being able to keep the same system it really helps,” Braden said. “You head is not really swimming a lot the first couple weeks. You just build on what you had last year and just continue to with it, and that’s a positive thing.”
Michigan plays its annual spring game on April 1.