Jan. 3
8:30 p.m.
ESPN                                 Michigan vs Virginia Tech

Kyle Warber, who covers Michigan football for Mlive.com answered some questions for us about the Wolverines.



BS: 10 wins, and the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes. What can you say about Brady Hoke's coaching job in his first year and how would you assess the program overall compared to the past few years?

Kyle Warber: Brady Hoke's coaching job can be summarized in one word: "catalyzing." He took the talent that former coach Rich Rodriguez had assembled and he ignited it by hiring the right position coaches (e.g. Greg Mattison) for a bigger, badder and more explosive result than Rodriguez achieved. Compared to the past three seasons, the offense is a little better than it was during the Rodriguez administration (due to the evolution of the running back position) but the defense is on a much higher level. Of course Michigan fans hope this experiment will produce even better results once Hoke adds his own recruits to the petrie dish.
BS: The offense was impressive, ranking 11th in the country in rushing. Please talk about the weapons on this unit including QB Denard Robinson and his transition to a less spread oriented offense.

Kyle Warber: It was like running backs coach Fred Jackson posted a "running back wanted" sign and finally somebody applied for the job worthy of filling a position that has always had great tradition at Michigan. That player is Fitzgerald Toussaint and he has been a godsend for offensive coordinator Al Borges. Now, Borges can hand the ball off with confidence to Toussaint and limit Denard Robinson's exposure to injury.
BS: The defense was stifling, giving up just 17 points a game. Who and what make this defense so good and what has changed so much from last year, where the Wolverines gave up over 30 points 9 different times?

Kyle Warber: I think it's that "Tebow Magic" -- a team playing more inspired under new leadership -- coupled with a more competent playbook from defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. It really is hard to explain beyond that. How can you? It's essentially the exact same players who couldn't stop anybody last year.
BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Kyle Warber: Everybody thinks Denard Robinson will have a break out game because Virginia Tech has traditionally had trouble stopping mobile quarterbacks. However, I think the real break out performance will be on the offensive line. I think the unit has really gelled and they are going to open some huge holes for Fitzgerald Toussaint to run through.
Thanks a lot to Kyle Warber. Check his work out at www.mlive.com and follow @FireUpChips .

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