The Wolverine

January 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 171

BY MICHAEL SPATH W hen we doled out mid- term grades Oct. 20, five position groups earned a mark in the A range while the other four took home B's. In the second half of the year, however, struggles against Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio State brought those grades down for the defense and special teams. The offense, on the other hand, performed at a higher level, led by fifth-year senior graduate transfer quarterback Jake Rudock and red- shirt junior wide receivers Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson. Those three helped elevate the grades for their respective position groups. We've graded each position at the end of the regular season and have included their midterm marking for a comparison. Defensive Line: B+ Midterm Grade: A+ Reason For The Grade: Michigan's defense line was, arguably, the best in the Big Ten over the first half of the season, causing constant disrup- tion in the offensive backfield while helping to limit opponents to just 65.8 rushing yards per game and 2.2 yards per carry. The Wolverines aver- aged eight tackles for loss in the first six games for 30.8 negative yards per contest. From weeks seven to 11, U-M still created negative plays, averaging 31.2 lost yards per game, but oppo- nents started having more success running the ball. Minnesota racked up 144 yards, Rutgers broke off a 54-yard run and Indiana gashed the Maize and Blue for 307 yards and 5.6 yards per carry. The vaunted front three — which became a front four after the coaches adapted a new strategy following the IU game — had been dominant, but without redshirt junior defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, who went out in the first half of the Rutgers game Nov. 7 with a season-ending pectoral muscle injury, the line was suddenly vulnerable. FINAL GRADES Michigan's Quarterback And Receivers Improved Their Résumés In The Season's Second Half

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - January 2016