Michigan Football: Grading the Wolverines win vs Rutgers

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
1 of 3

Handing out grades for an ugly win for Michigan football against Rutgers. 

During the first three weeks of the season, it’s been pretty easy to grade Michigan football. It’s like the first few days of school when the homework isn’t all that hard.

Thus far, it’s been mostly A’s and B’s for Michigan football as it cruised to a 3-0 start and beat the spread with ease in wins over Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Washington.

Against the Scarlet Knights, everything was moving along well in the first half. Michigan built a 14-3 lead and blew a chance to go up three touchdowns before half, but still led 20-3.

The second half was disappointing. There’s no beating around the bush, Rutgers was the better team and outscored U-M 10-0 over the final 30 minutes.

However, even good teams have bad stretches of football. But is Michigan a good team? We’ll find out next Saturday because only good teams win at Wisconsin.

Before we look ahead, here’s the report card for Rutgers.

Offense: D

If we could give Michigan a grade based on one-half of football, it would probably be in the B-range. But the full 60-minute product wasn’t good. The Wolverines gained just 275 yards and managed just 112 on the ground, as well as only 2.9 yards per attempt.

Michigan did score on its first two drives, which was promising. But it also stagnated twice in the red zone and three times total in scoring position. Those opportunities can’t be squandered against the better teams on the schedule, which are coming up soon.

Cade McNamara started 7-of-8, but he finished 1-of-6 for seven yards in the second half. And you can blame the play calling all you want, on the first  drives of the second half, he missed open receivers and on many attempts, didn’t even give his guys a chance to make a play.

Not throwing interceptions is great. He’s a terrific game manager but at some point, if this program wants to be more than middle of the road in the Big Ten, it needs an elite QB.

The Wolverines have run the ball the fewest times of any team not named Air Force, Army, or Navy, and that can’t continue to happen, not with all the talent at wide receiver/tight end.