The Michigan Wolverines (6-1) beat the Indiana Hoosiers (3-4) in a 63-47 shootout. The game saw the Michigan offense explode, and several school and even conference records fell as a result. As good as the offense was, the defense struggled against the Hoosier fast paced spread attack. Let’s see how each position unit graded out.
Devin Gardner was nearly flawless. The junior quarterback went 21 of 29 passing, accumulating a whopping 503 yards through the air, a new school record. Two of his passes went for touchdowns, both to Jeremy Gallon. Gardner also made several plays with his feet, running for 81 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 584 yards of offense, also a new school record. This was also a turnover free effort by Gardner, something I think every Wolverine fan loved to see.
Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 151 yards on 32 carries, a 4.6 yards per rush average. He added four touchdowns, and looked decisive and made several very nice cutbacks that helped him gain yardage. This was easily his best game of the year, and in large part it was due to the offensive line getting a better push. Derrick Green showed some power in his six runs for 21 yards.
Wide Receivers: A+
Any time you have a guy perform the way Jeremy Gallon did, your offense is going to have a good day. The senior receiver broke the school record for receiving yards in a game with 369 on 14 receptions. Gallon had several big plays, repeatedly getting himself wide open, and added two touchdowns to his outstanding day. Devin Funchess had 84 yards on 4 catches, including a big 3rd down catch late in the game that all but erased any chance for an Indiana comeback.
Offensive Line: B+
The offensive line shuffling continued this week, but I think we’ve seen the last of the rearranging. Barring injury, the Wolverines have found their lineup. Kyle Bosch and Erik Magnuson seemed to spark this unit, and the offensive line repeatedly paved the way for the ball carriers. Michigan rushed for 248 yards, which is more indicative of the Michigan football we love to see. The pass protection was pretty solid as well.
Defensive Line: C
Honestly, no defensive unit is going to get a good grade for Saturday’s performance. Indiana rushed for 162 yards, and the defensive line didn’t do a lot to stop that attack. Indiana quarterbacks were way too comfortable in the pocket for my liking, and Tre Roberson had a career day for the Hoosiers. We need more pressure from this unit!
There isn’t a whole lot to be said about this unit. Nobody really stood out, and when the Indiana offense was scoring at will, it’s this position that really has to step up and make a play. I saw too many missed tackles on Indiana runningbacks.
This was a pretty bad performance from this unit. Several blown coverages resulted in Indiana touchdowns. Missed tackles all over the place. The only bright spot on the day from a secondary player were Thomas Gordon’s two interceptions. I think the fast paced offense that Indiana employed messed really got to this unit. Regardless of what caused the problems, this has to get better if this team wants to be successful down the stretch.
Special Teams: C
A blocked field goal and Dennis Norfleet running backwards were the lowlights of the day for the special teams. Norfleet did have a very good return however, but overall this unit seems to just be serviceable. I don’t expect the special teams to make any outstanding plays, but I don’t seem them as a weakness either. This is how I would describe their performance on Saturday.
Offense had a big day, defense not so much. Ground breaking, I know. Michigan will need to start having more complete performances,
and soon, if they want to keep their dream of a B1G title alive.
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