Joe Milton shone for Michigan against Minnesota.

One of the biggest issues Michigan football has battled in the Jim Harbaugh era has been the lack of a game-changing quarterback. Watch out, Big Ten: Michigan may have that issue resolved in 2020.

Joe Milton (seen above) made his debut as Michigan’s starting quarterback on Saturday night as the Wolverines traveled to Minnesota for a Big Ten opener in primetime. Michigan opened the season with a statement in the form of a 49-24 victory against a Gophers squad widely expected to be in the mix for the Big Ten West Division in 2020. And while Milton didn’t have quite the debut as Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz on Friday night or match the efficiency Ohio State’s Justin Fields demonstrated earlier in the day, he did give Michigan fans plenty of reason to believe maybe, just maybe, this year could be different for the Wolverines.

Milton completed 15 of 22 passing attempts for 225 yards and a touchdown (an eight-yard pass to Ben Mason), and he added to the team effort in the rushing department. He ran eight times for 52 yards and a touchdown as the Wolverines overpowered a good Minnesota team.

For a guy that has drawn some comparisons to former Auburn Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton, it may not have been a surprise to see some similar play-calling at work.

One of the biggest questions facing Michigan was the ability of the offense to take its next step. If the first game of the season was any indication, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis could have this offense ready to hum.

It was just one game, but it was a heck of an inspiring game for Michigan. Now, the big challenge will be to prove this was not a fluke. Michigan will have a good chance to keep this rolling next week when Michigan State comes to Ann Arbor. The Spartans lost their season opener at home to Rutgers.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.