Down a few pounds, Michigan’s Derrick Green runs up the yards

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor – Sophomore tailback Derrick Green took a lot of knocks about this time last season after showing up 20 pounds overweight and then getting slowed in preseason camp by an ankle injury.

But now, lighter having dropped that weight from his 5-foot-11 frame, Green feels like a different back, one who can make a difference for Michigan.

Green rushed for 137 yards on 22 carries in a 34-10 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, and he scored two touchdowns. He had a career-high 170 yards in the season opener but was held to 25 yards on 13 carries in the Wolverines’ shutout loss at Notre Dame.

“Derrick Green had a great week of practice, probably as good as I’ve seen from him,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “(Offensive coordinator Doug) Nuss (Nussmeier) would say the same thing just because we’ve both said it together.

“He was finishing runs. He was really coming out of the other side. It will be interesting to see how he felt he played. I thought he played a nice football game.”

Green thought he was patient on his runs.

He said he didn’t feel any fatigue even after 22 carries.

“I felt good. I felt like I got have had some more carries,” Green said. “When me and De’Veon get in there, we’re going to get the job done.”

Backup tailback De’Veon Smith had 44 yards on nine carries.

Quarterback Devin Gardner, like Green, praised the offensive line and receivers.

“(Green) played really well, but a lot of credit goes to the perimeter, how our receivers blocked,” Gardner said. “He doesn’t get those runs if our receivers (don’t) take out a safety. The offensive line played really well. The linebackers were flowing really hard so we adjusted and called different plays and our offensive line responded.”