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December 26, 2013
Numbers game provides a sidebar
Shane Morris' impending start in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl obviously has a great impact on Michigan's look in the match-up against Kansas State. Of lesser importance but some interest is how some individual numbers might be impacted.
For instance, fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon has a shot at the most productive year in the history of Michigan football in terms of receiving yards. He's only 46 behind the 1,330 Braylon Edwards put up in 2004.
A favorite target of injured quarterback Devin Gardner, Gallon has certainly worked with Morris, but can't have the same level of comfort he does with someone he's caught passes from for four years. Gallon also snagged a catch in each of Michigan's last 38 games, tying him with Edwards for the longest streak by a Michigan receiver.
That mark should go to Gallon on Saturday night. The fifth-year senior also needs six catches to surpass Jason Avant (169) on Michigan's all-time receptions list, behind only Edwards (252) and Marquise Walker (176).
Gallon and sophomore receiver Devin Funchess have teamed for 2,011 receiving yards this season. The duo lingers just 45 yards behind the twosome of Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington, which established Michigan's all-time record for receiving yards by a tandem in 2007.
Gardner, meanwhile, threw for 2,960 yards this season, the second-most ever by a Michigan quarterback. With Brady Hoke's confirmation that Morris will start against Kansas State, John Navarre's 3,331 in 2003 is safe.
Any of the principles involved would stress that what counts is winning the game. Still, how Morris throws the ball - provided he starts and plays the whole game - can allow for a sidebar to track.