By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 14, 2012
But the wide receivers have done their part to help.
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FUNCHESS THE DRAMA QUEEN: Two short tactical notes here, the first regarding Michigan’s spike of the ball with eight seconds remaining in regulation against Northwestern. Before that play, freshman tight end Devin Funchess sprinted on, then off, the field and dove across the sideline to avoid a flag for 12 men on the field.
Hoke said on Wednesday that the dive wasn’t necessary.
“He really didn’t have to,” Hoke said. “He was a little more dramatic.”
In reality, Funchess had about five seconds to spare even though he had gone as far as the middle of the field. Still, it raised the question of why Michigan was trying to substitute at all in a clear spike situation.
Hoke said that Funchess was prepared to make a substitution before the previous play ended and anticipated a hurry-up situation. “(But) when he saw where the ball was, it was, ‘Hey, I’m going to get off the field,’ ” Hoke said.
HUT, HUT, HUH?: Borges was mum on the reasons behind Michigan’s newfound propensity to draw the opposing team offside with Gardner under center. The Wolverines have induced five encroachment flags with Gardner as the starter.
That’s a pretty significant deviation from the average number of offsides penalties. Borges declined to say whether this was simply an effective hard count by Gardner or whether it was by design. His non-answer, though, should provide at least some answer.
“I won’t answer that question,” Borges said. “It’s too -- tells too much.”
Follwing Saturday’s victory over Northwestern, redshirt junior Taylor Lewan said plays are called to draw teams offsides.
“That’s a situation we’ve gone over a lot of times, and we have packages we put in every once in a while for different teams to keep them on their toes,” Lewan said.