MINNEAPOLIS - And now we may have a quarterback controversy.
Not necessarily regarding Michigan's starting quarterback spot, but Michigan's No. 2 spot. Will it be Russell Bellomy or Devin Gardner backing up Denard Robinson from here on out?
Before spring practices, Gardner appeared to be the shoo-in as Michigan's backup quarterback. But by the start of preseason practices in August, it was settled - Gardner would be moved to wide receiver and Bellomy, a redshirt freshman, would be Robinson's back-up.
That all but changed this afternoon in Minnesota. With Robinson out because of an ulnar nerve injury in his throwing arm, Gardner was called into action. At quarterback. And played in his first game of the season at the position.
"He's played a lot of quarterback," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said of Gardner, who was recruited as a quarterback out of Detroit's Inkster High School. "He's worked a lot at quarterback."
"Devin's a smart guy."
Prior to the 35-13 win at Minnesota, Gardner, a junior, had 16 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns in eight games, and the junior had stated his desire to return to quarterback in the future for the Wolverines.
Against Minnesota, Gardner finished 12 for 18 passing with 234 yards and two touchdowns, though he was intercepted once by Minnesota safety Cedric Thompson in the first quarter, part of a shaky start for both the Wolverines and for Gardner.
But Bellomy didn't take a snap on Saturday, a week after he completed just three passes and was intercepted three times in a 23-9 loss at Nebraska.
"Russell's situation is a little different," Hoke said after the win over the Gophers - a day after he said he decided Gardner would start at quarterback.
And Hoke didn't elaborate on Bellomy's status/situation.
"Not one that I'll discuss," Hoke said, tersely.
Strictly going by the numbers, here's a head-to-head comparison of Bellomy vs. Gardner:
- Bellomy: 4-21 for 46 yards passing, with four interceptions in five games
- Gardner: 12 for 18 for 234 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception in one game
As for Robinson? Hoke anticipates he'll play Nov. 10 against Northwestern at Michigan Stadium - though he anticipated that Robinson would play Saturday against Minnesota. Take that for what it's worth.