Implementing a more pro-style offense, Gardner completed 11-of-16 passes for 145 yards and a score during five series with the first-team offense. Though Gardner struggled early, he eventually got into a rhythm and at one point completed seven of nine passes. The junior is unquestionably the leader of Michigan’s offense going forward.
Who plays behind Gardner is a bigger issue. With Russell Bellomy out indefinitely with a knee injury, depth at QB is an issue right now. Walk-on Brian Cleary unofficially ended with a 3-0f-8 performance with a touchdown.
Speaking of injuries, coach Brady Hoke — in short sleeves and shorts during today’s brisk “spring” game — said linebacker Jake Ryan could be back by October. Ryan sustained a torn ACL this spring. Hoke added that running back Fitz Toussaint (leg) and cornerback Blake Countess (knee) should be good to go for opening week.