All is not pretty in Ann Arbor, Michigan these days, but it should be noted running back Derrick Green is offering a glimmer of hope for the Michigan Wolverines. At a time when Michigan is looking to establish a winning identity, Green appears to be taking the lead on offense. Head coach Brady Hoke may be fending off criticisms, but he has nothing but positive things to say about his emerging running back.
“When you look at carries over the course of the year, I think Derrick is averaging 6.1 yards per carry, which tells you a little something, but [De’Veon Smith] is averaging 6.9,” Hoke said, according to MLive.com. “I mean, we have two very capable backs. But has Derrick been the guy who is featured? Well, he has most snaps, so I’d say so.”
According to CFBStats.com, Hoke is pretty much spot on with his rushing averages. Green is averaging 6.11 yards per attempt compared to Smith’s 6.93 yards per attempt. But Green has been carrying more of the offensive load for the Wolverines through the first few weeks of the season with 64 carries to Smith’s 28 attempts. Quarterback Devin Gardner is second on the team behind Green with 32 rushing attempts. Green has rushed for 391 yards to lead the team, which puts him easily on pace to surpass last season’s team high of 648 rushing yards from Fitzgerald Toussaint.
The escalation of Green’s role is not to be taken as a surprise of course. The highly rated recruit has moved his way up the depth chart at Michigan over the course of the year, from spring practices to fall camp to the start of the season.
Maybe Michigan should start letting Green be the focus of the offense.