Michigan Football: Grading the Wolverines win over Wisconsin

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Michigan football rolled through Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday and here’s the report card from the win over Wisconsin. 

It had been a long time since the Michigan football program celebrated a win in Madison, Wisconsin. 20 years to be exact.

But after thrashing the Badgers by a final score of 38-17, in a game that wasn’t even that close, the Wolverines ended that streak. Jim Harbaugh also ended his 12-game losing streak as an underdog at Michigan football.

Harbaugh had the Wolverines focused and they were crisp in all three phases of the game. The second half was particularly impressive as Michigan went on a 25-0 run to start the second half, which caused the Badger fans to clear out early.

Looking back on the impressive win, here are grades for the Wolverines.

Offense: B+

The offense scored 38 points but Michigan football was helped by a defense/special teams that forced three turnovers, which led directly to 14 points.

Cade McNamara was solid and efficient. He did miss some throws and like on the pass to Donovan Edwards, if he had waited about a half-second longer and led him, it would have been an easy touchdown.

But, it’s hard to be perfect and it was definitely a step forward for Cade. He threw a dime to Cornelius Johnson in the first quarter on a flea-flicker and again on a fade in the fourth quarter on a second touchdown, as well as a two-point pass that made it 31-10.

After averaging just 2.5 yards per carry and getting just 112 yards on the ground, Michigan football had to win through the air, with its QB and receivers and it did.

Still, there were missed opportunities. Michigan settled for a field goal after getting the ball at a three-yard line leading 7-0. You have to score a touchdown there. The Wolverines were also 6-for-19 on third down tries, although U-M did convert four of five third downs.

The offensive line was also very impressive. The pass rush didn’t get to McNamara and while the run game struggled to get huge chunks, it was consistent and kept the offense in manageable situations.