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Published: 11/7/2013 - Updated: 5 months ago

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

End Zone: UM Wolverines

Wolverines' offensive line going through a baptism by fire

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

It's never too late for the Wolverines to plan for the future, right?

Not the near future, but well into the future. A direct route to winning the Big Ten title this season is all but out of reach, though a few inside Fort Hoke still can see a path to the Rose Bowl. I commend their idealism, but in November you think in terms of realism.

Start with re-programming the mindset of the offensive line.

One thing that's clear in the Wolverines' struggles this season is that the middle of the offensive line is going through a baptism by fire, and it's by no means easy. Not a lot of glory comes with working in the trenches, unless you're All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan or any of the first-round offensive linemen drafted.

Devin Gardner said he can't get angry at the big men who are supposed to open the holes in front of him, yet it's got to be frustrating getting sacked seven times in one game, and when it seems as if the direction you continue to go is backward, instead of forward.

The offensive line doesn't need a quick fix anymore. It needs to think about a long-term plan. Gardner, his guards, and his center will be around for at least another season. If not more. It's not too early to build a foundation for next year. And the year after.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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