Michigan Football: Grading the Offense in 2022

Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) is lifted up by offensive lineman Zak Zinter (65) after he rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) is lifted up by offensive lineman Zak Zinter (65) after he rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star /

Running backs: A

The running backs were incredible all season long. This position group gets an A and not an A+, however, because they were simply not as deep as they were last year. Unfortunately, injuries ravaged the group late in the season, and that lack of depth hurt the Wolverines.

They nearly dropped the Illinois game because they ran out of backs, and the TCU game is won if the Wolverines have an experienced third back.

Don’t let that distract you from the fact that this was the best position group on the team. Blake Corum would have won the Heisman had he stayed healthy in my opinion, and the Wolverines would have at least made the national championship.

This position group rushed for over 2,400 yards, and Edwards finished 9 yards away from 1,000. The backs were the reason Michigan football went 13-1. When JJ was struggling, it was the backs picking up the slack and moving the chains.

There are two great examples of these backs that define this room. Down 17-16 against Penn State, with all the momentum in Penn State’s direction, Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum ran for long touchdowns on back-to-back drives, sealing the game for the Wolverines and turning the game into a blowout.

Next, the heroics of Donovan Edwards that nobody will ever forget. “This is why they brought him here, he has got to get a stop”. That’s what Joel Klatt said about Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, seconds before a 75-yard rushing touchdown by Edwards.

In case that wasn’t enough, Edwards followed up with an 85-yard rushing touchdown the next series. Those are two plays that I will never forget, and that will forever live in Michigan history.

These backs were incredible, and the scariest thing is that next year could be even better.