The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Report Card Michigan's Defense Outshines The Offense In Final Position Grades For 2012 B By Michael Spath y the only definition that matters — head coach Brady Hoke's — Michigan did not experience a successful 2012 campaign, failing to win the Big Ten Conference championship. However, there were definitive strides made offensively, defensively and on special teams to encourage a future with crowning possibilities. In fact, 2013 has a strong chance to be the year U-M ends its title drought (eight years). In looking back at 2012, a number of individual players and position groups excelled while a few struggled, especially the offensive line and running backs. Here is a final grade for each position group.   Quarterback Summary: Michigan quarterbacks Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner and Russell Bellomy finished with a pass efficiency rating of 130.35, ranking 69th nationally in completing just 53.1 percent of their pass attempts — the position's worst showing since 1995 (52.6 percent). All three scholarship QBs struggled with their accuracy and decision-making and were too careless with the football, combining for the fourth-highest interception total in U-M program history (19) while posting a nearly 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio (20:19). Robinson was expected to flourish in his second season under coordinator Al Borges, building off the strong finish he had last November in wins over Nebraska and Ohio State (a combined 25 of 35 for 347 yards with five touchdowns and one pick), but instead put up poor numbers before going down with an injury in week eight. Gardner feasted on the middling defenses of Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa, but slumped some against Ohio State and South Carolina, while Bellomy was completely lost in his extensive stint at Nebraska. However, the QBs also did some very good things. Robinson continued to explode for big plays with his legs, finishing with 14 rushes of 20 yards or more, including five touchdowns. For a record sixth and seventh times in his career, he also rushed and passed for at least two touchdowns in the same game (Air Force and Illinois), and he led the Maize and Blue to a win over rival

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