ANN ARBOR—The statistics speak for themselves following Michigan’s 63-47 win over Indiana Saturday, the Wolverines largest offensive output of the 2013 season.
Michigan accounted for 751 total yards of offense, picking up 35 first downs on their way to punching the football into the end zone a whopping nine times.
Following that performance, is Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges feeling more confident heading into East Lansing on Nov. 2?
“I thought somebody would ask that question,” Borges said Tuesday. “I’ll tell you after Michigan State, regardless of the result.”
“You’re probably not getting 700-yards on them, on Michigan State,” Borges later added. “So (the question is), are you going to play efficiently and get what they give you, take what they give you, take care of the ball, and let the confidence from the last game carry over into this game?”
Setting a school and conference record after recording 14 catches for 369-yards and two touchdowns against the Hoosiers, senior wide out Jeremy Gallon now comes in second all-time in NCAA history for receiving yards in one game.
Quarterback Devin Gardner had a record setting performance of his own completing 21-of-29 passes for a school record 503 passing yards that also included 584 total yards of offense, another school record, passing Denard Robinson’s 502 mark.
“You work together long enough you know what the other guy is going to do,” Borges said of Gallon and Gardner. “And that’s critical. Like, in the middle of July when the coaches are on vacation and they’re out there throwing the ball, practicing back shoulder throws and throwing comebacks and doing all that stuff.
“Building a trust where both of them understand, he’s going to be here at this time and I know when I release the ball I can count on that to happen.”
Part of the reason for the offensive success was the balanced attack not only on first down, but also adding more looks out of shotgun sets for Gardner, opening up running lanes to go along with the threat of the pass.
Senior running back Fitz Toussaint flourished in the game plan rushing 32-times for 151-yards and four touchdowns Saturday.
“We’ve always had that in the offense, we just felt like against Indiana it was something that we were going to tap a little bit more,” Borges said. “And we’ll have that.
“A week ago we were pounding so much and we didn’t do a good job as you guys well know so, we just wanted a little more variation here and there.
“Are we becoming a spread team? No, we’re not becoming a spread team.”
Michigan still finished the game with 446-yards of offense from under center despite the noticeable production and success of the shotgun.
Up front, Michigan lost left guard Joey Burzynski to a torn ACL in the first half, paving the way for true freshman Kyle Bosch to take his spot along with right guard Erik Magnuson who made his first career start as a redshirt freshman.
Despite the shuffling, Borges was pleased with what he saw from the group but not enough to write a depth chart in pen.
“We’ll see,” Borges said. “Like I said, it’s still competitive but those five guys did a pretty good job during the game.
“Now, it’s going to get tougher and we’re going to have to demonstrate some consistency. But if indeed they can do that, they will be the five offensive linemen.”