Michigan had a near-nightmare of an outing Saturday, requiring a Fitz Toussaint touchdown with less than three minutes left to defeat the visiting Akron Zips 28-24 at Michigan Stadium.
Head coach Brady Hoke made it clear that the Wolverines' inability to win the turnover battle played a large part in the closer-than-expected margin, and that can be partly attributed to Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner. The junior threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the game, but received encouraging texts from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd afterwards, via Michigan Live.
"(Texas A&M quarterback) Johnny Manziel texted me, (Clemson quarterback) Tajh Boyd, I got a chance to talk to those guys," Gardner said. "It's really cool that they're friends like that. When you have a good game, they texted me after Notre Dame, and when you have a game like [Akron].
"They told me to keep my head up, and keep moving forward."
Manziel and Boyd are among the favorites for the Heisman, so Gardner certainly has friends in high places. The three met on the camp circuit this past summer, which led to this great photo:
Scouts say it's key for shorter QBs to have big hands (Brees) Here's Manziel hand next to 6-4 DevinGardner's pic.twitter.com/6h7wDwDZ6l— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 18, 2013
Boyd and Manziel, of course, have a bond known by no mortal before them - that of the money fingers.
Gardner and Michigan travel to East Hartford Saturday as they take on Connecticut for their first road game of the year.