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Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Grade Devin Gardner's debut at starting QB and the rest of Wolverines' performances

By Pete Cunningham


Devin Gardner got his first start at quarterback in his Michigan career on Saturday and led the Wolverines to a 35-13 win over Minnesota.

Melanie Maxwell |

Devin Gardner was the top-rated dual threat quarterback in the country the year he came out of high school and chose the University of Michigan. With a coaching change last year and the fact that he's been behind Denard Robinson, Gardner hasn't seen much time under center for the Wolverines, and has actually looked better at wide receiver than he ever has at quarterback.

But with Robinson out due to injury, Gardner had his number called on Saturday and he answered the bell.

Michigan football writer Kyle Meinke passed out his grades for the game, now it's your chance to grade Gardner and the rest of the Wolverines in our interactive polls.

Devin Gardner

The first few drives he looked like a guy who'd been playing wide receiver for six months, but the junior shined from there. His final line: Garnder completed 12-of-18 passes for 234 yards and 2 TDs and had 10 rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown.


Michigan moved the chains with consistency once Gardner's initial butterflies went away.


Brady Hoke has been preaching all week "If they can't score, they can't win." Well Minnesota did score, but Michigan still won and the defense looked impressive in doing so, holding strong in the red zone, particularly.

Special Teams

Not much of a factor in the game, what was up with Brendan Gibbons' missed PAT, though? Michigan didn't punt particularly well, but Jeremy Gallon did well on punt return duty. Has anyone seen the Dennis Norfleet lately?


Devin Gardner looked well prepared to step in in Robinson's absence, and credit should go to the coaches for that. But it begs the question, why wasn't this the case against Nebraska?


Put it all together, and what do you get?

Pete Cunningham covers sports for



Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

Nebraska was putting more pressure on UM, but I still think Gardner would have done a better job as backup had he been prepared ( taking reps in practice) in advance.


Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 9:44 a.m.

agreed last week will haunt us given nebraska is in control

Jojo B

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Hats off to Devin for stepping in! Unbelievable performance. It was amazing to see Michigan with a passing game *and* a running game today. And most importantly, it was good to see the offense forced to rise to the occasion. We weren't one-dimensional and predictable today. It wasn't just about one person acting as a superstar all on his own. Many people had good days today, including Fitz who looked like he was fighting and succeeding a lot more than previous games this season. When Denard is back, I hope Hoke and Borges still give Gardner more well-deserved time at QB. He was a smart-headed player today and I want to see him get more of a chance to do his thing!


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

After a shaky start, I think that the team performed rather well. It is difficult to determine whether Michigan was that good, or was Minnesota that bad. Regardless of who was good or bad, I thought Gardner did a very good job. The defense did a good job, with the exception of several mental errors that cost the team. The OL needs to improve its blocking. I see why Toussaint or anyone else has problems running-the blocking is not good. I think it is obvious who the QB will be next year. Hagerup had a terrible day, and Gallon was up to his old nemesis; hanging onto the football. Fortunately, he redeemed himself with some nice catches. Way to go Blue.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

It started horribly for the Maize and Blue in the 1st Q but Devin Gardner settled in and made clutch plays. Better recieving corps, running game decent. Glad to see Fitz broke loose for the final TD. Better late than never. Kudos as usual to the defense. This was a road game win, which is key. This was another win after a loss. Denard needed time off to heal and should be eady next Saturday. We now know that Gardner is a very capable sub. Hopefully, Gardner can get in for meaningful plays for the rest of season when needed. Most of all, very happy for Devin Gardner. MEEECHIGAN is home for two more games. I like our chances. Can Sparty help Big Brother and beat Neb? GO BLUE!!!