Originally written on Maize & Blue Nation  |  Last updated 11/11/14
Jug Secured! There was a time not so long ago when winning a league road game in November was enough to make me declare the season a success. After Michigan's struggles on the road this season, this was a very nice way to spend Saturday afternoon. Highlights! Bullet takes! • How can you not be impressed with what Devin Gardner showed you on Saturday? Say what you will about how good or bad Minnesota's pass defense is (it's actually not that bad), no matter when you have a backup quarterback come into the game, you can only hope for a performance like Gardner's. 12 of 18 for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran the ball 10 times for 21 yards and another touchdowns. But what the box score won't tell you, and what you could only see if you watched the game, is that Devin Gardner looked poised and confident. Even after the rocky start and the ugly interception, he regained his composure and controlled the rest of that football game. It was great to see Devin perform so well when he needed to the most. The QB situation going forward is much brighter than it was a week ago...with or without Denard. I made the mistake late in the game on Saturday when I posed the question on Twitter whether Michigan now had a QB controversy. Let me clarify that I don't think Devin should be the starter if Denard is healthy enough to play. I love the way Devin played, but I think Denard brings a whole different threat to the game that defenses have trouble adjusting to. It's easier to defend a good passer than it is to defend a decent passer who can torch you with his legs. But it feels really good to know Michigan has both. • For as much as Devin looked good on Saturday, his offensive line did not. Gardner was rushed a lot, and the line didn't do it's job very well. But pass blitzes aside, even on running plays against an even man front, a few members of the line had a really tough time...namely Elliott Mealer and Ricky Barnum. On Twitter, throughout the game, folks were blasting Al Borges for his play-calling. Frankly, I wasn't seeing it. I though the play-calling was fine. It all came down to the line not executing. Pass plays got blown up by unblocked blitzes, run plays got shut down by our interior just being out-played. And it wasn't all the line, Fitz missed a couple blitz pickups as well. It was embarrassing. This unit needs to regroup and get it together or the next 3 weeks won't go so well. • Not to be over-shadowed by Devin or the O-line...the defense played another outstanding football game. Minnesota isn't all that great, but holding a team to 147 yards passing and 275 total is still an accomplishment. The Gophers were only 4 for 14 on 3rd down. As it stands right now, Michigan ranks #1 in pass defense and #7 in overall defense in the country. What a great job being done by Greg Mattison and his crew. If nothing else, Michigan is going to be known for dominating defense again, I can tell you that. They're for real...and they're only going to be getting better and more experienced. • Brendan Gibbons picked a perfect time to shank an extra point on Saturday. Minnesota was lined up in the neutral zone, thus giving the Michigan legend in-the-making another shot at keeping his PAT perfect streak going at 30 for 30. • Finally, the Jug remains at it's rightful spot next to Paul Bunyan inside the friendly confines of Fort Schembechler. Source window.dctile = Number(window.dctile) + 1 || 1; window.dc_ord = Number(window.dc_ord) || Math.floor(Math.random() * 1E10); if (dctile==1) {var vdcopt = 'ist';} else {vdcopt = '';} if (17>dctile) document.write('\n');
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

Gretzky: Connor McDavid could be the next Gretzky

Bucs' Clint McDonald: Jameis Winston already leading team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dana White: Rousey vs. Cyborg would break UFC PPV record

Report: Smith child abuse investigation 'sexual in nature'

DeGale: ‘At the end of the day I’m better’ than Dirrell

Belichick suspected Tom Brady wasn't being honest with him

Johnny Manziel to be a full participant in OTAs

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

Madison Bumgarner homered off of Clayton Kershaw

Would both Towns, Okafor prefer not being the No. 1 pick?

Spoiler Alert Central: Pitfalls in online viewing of live sports

NYPD officer takes photo with 'Eli's brother' at Letterman

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

NFL suspends Bills Marcell Dareus for violating substance abuse policy

Astros surprising, but can get better with prospects like Correa

JR Smith prefers taking contested shots to open shots

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.