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GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner: Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — Bronco Offense and Defense


Posted at 6:00am — 8/29/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner: Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — Bronco Offense and Defense

Our readers may remember from the opening part of the game preview that much of the Bronco noise centers on the offensive side of the ball. So, this is a good place to start.

Last year, Coach Cubit’s offensive unit led by quarterback Alex Carder rolled up about 33 points and over 400 yards of total offense per game. These totals included some BCS opponents as well as the usual MAC foes.

There is potential to have totals as good or even better for the upcoming season. The catalyst is Carder.

Make no mistake, this junior is very, very good. The writer believes he is even better than Northwestern’s Persa as a next level player. There is very little not to like. Carder is listed at 6’ 2” and 225 pounds. He has mastered a sophisticated offense. Carder has decent arm strength and above average accuracy. Last year he threw for over 3300 yards and 30 touchdowns. This is two years of production for many starting quarterbacks. In addition, Carder ran for over 400 yards. He is very good at taking the middle when linebackers vacate. To putt things in focus Denard Robinson total yardage was about 4,000 for the 2010 regular season (bowl excluded).

Last year Carder had two 1,000 yard receivers, one returns for 2011, Jordan White, the rare 6th year senior. He put up some big numbers last year with almost 1400 yards and ten touchdowns. Ansel Ponder and Robert Arheim are solid and could have break out years.

Coach Cubit has commented he believes the running backs to be talented. Their numbers from 2010 are not impressive. The line was younger and lighter. Coach Cubit has commented he wants more balance and one major objective is to step up short-yardage proficiency. Athletic Tevin Drake will be given a chance to be a featured back and will be supported by Brian Fields.

As mentioned before the offensive line has some injury issues entering 2011. The goal is to get most guys back before the crucial Central Michigan game early in the season. One lineman, Kevin Galeher, has next level potential. He is likely to miss the opener. Some may argue Dann O’Neill is a next level prospect.

The 2010 Bronco defense was not awarded the status of the offense. But the coaches hope a bunch of returning starters turn the corner.

This group gave up about 24 points per game. One defender that already turns corners is undersized rush end Paul Hazel, another talented junior. He is a true sack master recording 8 sacks last year. Coach Cubit believes Hazel can be as good as he wants to be.

Desmond Bozeman leads the linebacker group.

The corner position has good depth and talent. Lewis Tolar can pick the ball well and offensive transfer Aaron Winchester has taken root and will be a starting cornerback. Raheam Buxton and Garrett Smith help with the rotation.

Special teams are pretty solid. Western has three players capable of being very good return men. One, Dervon Wallace averages about 27 yards a return and could be a game breaker. The kickers return and are pretty consistent.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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