Michigan Football: Midseason grades for Wolverines

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports /
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Michigan football has jumped out to a 6-0 start and has a bye this week. So we decided to hand out mid-term grades for the Wolverines as we have reached the midway point of the season.

If you’ve been following along for this Michigan football season, you’ll know that each week we hand out grades for the Wolverines.

The offense, defense, special teams, and coaching staff are all graded based on their performance. And for the most part, the grades have been pretty solid for Michigan football in 2021.

Things haven’t been perfect and despite a 6-0 start, there is still room for improvement. But, being ranked in the top 10 and is still without a blemish is the definition of a perfect start.

So here’s a look at our midseason report card for the offense, defense, special teams, and coaching staff with looks at each position group to follow later this week.

We start with the offense.

Offense: A-

At the start of the season, we had no idea what to expect from the offense. The offensive line and the running game were supposed to be the strength of the team and so far, it has played out that way. Michigan football ranks ninth in the nation in rushing yards per game.

The Wolverines are also 14th in scoring offense at 38.5 points per game and are the best team in the country (along with Oregon) when it comes to protecting the ball with just two turnovers in six games.

That’s a winning formula and Cade McNamara, who has gotten plenty of heat from fans, deserves lots of credit. Michigan is also 49th in third-down conversions (42 percent) and tied for 32nd in fourth-down conversions at 75 percent.

The Wolverines might be 40th overall in total offense, but Michigan football ranks 14th in terms of offensive touchdowns and is 20th when it comes to average yards per play.

When U-M has needed to throw, it has worked out. In consecutive Big Ten games, on the road, the pass offense went well over 200 yards, so this idea that Michigan can’t throw is ridiculous.

Michigan might not be Ohio State, in terms of throwing the ball, but U-M is averaging 441 yards and 38 points per game. That’s far exceeded all expectations and deserves an A, although the minus shows there is still work to do especially in the red zone where more TDs are needed.