Michigan Football: Grading Wolverines loss to Michigan State

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Michigan football suffered a brutal 37-33 loss to Michigan State on Saturday and here are the grades for the Wolverines. 

It’s Monday morning and the pain from Michigan football‘s loss on Saturday still lingers. This is one that will sit with U-M fans for a long time.

The Wolverines led by 16 points in the third quarter and by three points, with the ball and around four minutes to go.

We all know what happened next: J.J. McCarthy fumbled, Kenneth Walker III ran for a fifth touchdown and two promising drives by Michigan ended in a turnover on downs and an interception by Cade McNamara on what could have been the game-winning drive.

Sadly, game-winning drives don’t seem to happen for Michigan. At least not in games like this.

At any rate, here is the report card in a final look back at another absolutely awful loss for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

Offense: B

The offense played well for most of the day, except in the red zone which is where Michigan football really lost the game.

McNamara threw for nearly 400 yards and with McCarthy’s contributions, the Wolverines went over 400 and had three touchdown passes. The running game struggled and when Michigan needed it to quiet the MSU momentum and put the game away, it couldn’t deliver.

So the Spartans won the rushing battle and the game.

The other killer for Michigan was turnovers, especially the McCarthy fumble. If Michigan doesn’t give the ball up and even punts, it’s much harder for MSU to win the game.

A drive that comes up with any sort of points there and it’s probably game over. Harbaugh said Cade was working through something, but we’ll never know how severe it was.

At the same time, the offense totaled 552 yards and 33 points. That should have been enough to win the game and the grade reflects that.