Mailbag: Addressing the Offensive Line Situation

Tag: Ben Bredeson

23Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #9B Ben Bredeson

Ben Bredeson (image via Twitter)

Note: With all the cutting and pasting and such while putting together the countdown list, a couple names disappeared. One of those was Bredeson, whom I’m slotting in here at #9B.

Name: Ben Bredeson
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 310 lbs.
High school: Hartland (WI) Arrowhead
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #74
Last year: I ranked Bredeson #59 and said he would be a backup offensive guard. He started eight games at left guard.
TTB Rating: 88

Bredeson was a highly touted offensive lineman coming out of high school who was pegged by many as an offensive tackle. The coaching staff insisted he was pushing Grant Newsome for the starting left tackle job, but when the season came, Newsome was entrenched at left tackle. Meanwhile, then fifth year senior Ben Braden was struggling with a back injury to start the year, so Bredeson and redshirt junior Patrick Kugler filled in for a spell. Once Newsome was injured, a brief flirtation with Juwann Bushell-Beatty at left tackle turned into a position switch for Braden, opening the door for Bredeson to become a full-time starter at left guard. He played solidly and didn’t have a lot of busts, but he couldn’t get a push and could only offer a bunch of stalemates per game.

Believe it or not, Bredeson is Michigan’s second most experienced starter, behind just left tackle Mason Cole. Center Kugler, right guard Michael Onwenu, and whoever takes the right tackle position will have only a handful of starts among them. I imagine some of those stalemates will turn into wins this season now that he has some extra strength and experience, so I expect a solid left side of the offensive line with Cole and Bredeson. Michigan will probably be pretty heavy with running to the left, because those are their two best linemen. It would be great to see this unit take a step or two forward from their mediocre performance last season.

Prediction: Starting left guard

31Dec 2016
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Florida State 33, Michigan 32

Mike McCray II scored his first career TD (image via NewsOK)

Jabrill Peppers is worth 1 point. I predicted a 24-20 win in my game preview (LINK), but that was before any of us knew that Peppers wouldn’t play in the game due to injury. It turns out Peppers hurt his hamstring on Thursday and didn’t have enough time to heal up before kickoff. I tweeted out just before kickoff that I thought Michigan would lose the game without Peppers. It was going to be a tight game, anyway, and Michigan needed Peppers to make a difference. His replacement at Viper was Josh Metellus (with some Noah Furbush at SAM). Metellus did return a blocked extra point for a 2-point conversion, but he did very little on defense and left some plays on the field that Peppers might have made. His replacement on punt returns was Jourdan Lewis, who did nothing with the short punts. His replacement on offense was . . . the same guys who haven’t been playmakers all year long.

Hit the jump for some more thoughts on last night’s loss.

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28Dec 2016
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Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan Offensive Line vs. Florida State Defensive Line

DeMarcus Walker (image via Jacksonville )



  • LT: Fifth year senior Ben Braden (6’6″, 335 lbs.)
  • LG: Freshman Ben Bredeson (6’5″, 310 lbs.)
  • C: Junior Mason Cole (6’5″, 305 lbs.)
  • RG: Fifth year senior Kyle Kalis (6’5″, 305 lbs.)
  • RT: Fifth year senior Erik Magnuson (6’6″, 305 lbs.)

After suffering a mid-season injury at left tackle, the offensive line was in flux for a while after trying a few different combinations. The players above played the several games together, and they did . . . okay. Michigan is #49 in Adjusted Line Yards and #41 in Power Success Rate, but #114 in Passing Down Line Yards and #80 in Opportunity Rate. They fare better in the passing game (#27 in Adjusted Sack Rate, #26 in sacks allowed), but it’s just a mediocre line altogether. Magnuson was named the team’s lineman of the year by the coaching staff, and Kalis earned some post-season accolades, but that might be more of a lifetime achievement award. Most of the time, the linemen block the right people and stay engaged, but they don’t get a lot of push in the running game and lack some athleticism at the tackle spots.

Key backups: The Wolverines have found a couple solid blocking tight ends in Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. and Devin Asiasi, so the need isn’t there quite as often to play six or seven offensive linemen at a time. However, redshirt junior center/guard Patrick Kugler (6’5″, 303 lbs.) and redshirt sophomore tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty (6’6″, 311 lbs.) are the primary backups, and Bushell-Beatty has donned an eligible number at times to play a jumbo tight end position.

Hit the jump for a look at Florida State’s defensive line.

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