ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan fired offensive coordinator Al Borges Wednesday following a feast-or-famine season in which the Wolverines struggled to run the ball and protect their quarterback.
Michigan went 7-6 and finished 86th in the nation in total offense. The Wolverines scored 41 points in both a win over Notre Dame and a near-upset against Ohio State - but their offensive line looked overmatched in losses to Michigan State and Nebraska as Michigan fell well off the pace in the Big Ten race.
"Decisions like these are never easy," coach Brady Hoke said. "I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person. I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan football for the past three seasons."
A message was left with Borges seeking comment.
Borges was one of several assistants who came with Hoke from his previous staff at San Diego State. Hoke took over at Michigan after the 2010 season and led the Wolverines to the Sugar Bowl in his first year. But they dropped to 8-5 in the 2012 season and disappointed in 2013.
Quarterback Devin Gardner had his moments, but the Wolverines averaged only 3.3 yards per rush this past season while rotating a slew of interior offensive linemen.
Michigan was tackled for a loss 114 times this season, the most in major college football. The low point was probably back-to-back losses in early November against Michigan State and Nebraska. Against the Spartans, Michigan gave up seven sacks and finished with minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the program's history.
The following weekend, the Wolverines rushed for minus-21 yards against Nebraska, allowing seven more sacks.
Gardner's lack of consistency wasn't all that surprising, since he rarely had time to throw behind a handful of inexperienced linemen. He also didn't have the luxury of a running game that defenses had to respect.
Gardner didn't play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl because of a toe injury. Shane Morris replaced him, and Michigan lost 31-14 to Kansas State.