Michigan Football: Grading Wolverines loss to Michigan State

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Defense: D-

This grade could have easily been an F. The Wolverines came in with the second-best scoring defense in the nation and allowed 37 points, with only seven coming off turnovers.

Michigan State drove the field most of the time and it was mainly due to big runs from Kenneth Walker III who put himself at the forefront of the Heisman conversation.

Walker was the best player on the field, but Michigan football still could have done more. It did get three sacks and should have gotten three turnovers, as well as a defensive touchdown when Aidan Hutchinson’s touchdown was taken off the board, but it wasn’t enough.

Not getting set and not being ready for the Spartans’ up-tempo offense was inexcusable. So was the tackling and frankly, the linebacker play was awful. Josh Ross did not have a good game.

And outside of David Ojabo and Hutchinson, neither did the defensive line or Daxton Hill for that matter who deflected two passes — one that was intercepted — but made little impact otherwise.

In the fourth quarter, there were numerous chances to ice the game. RJ Moten dropped what should have been an interception and after another fumble by Payton Thorne, the Wolverines couldn’t jump on the ball.

It was a tale of missed opportunities and also poor second-half execution as the Wolverines weren’t able to adjust and close it out.