Michigan Football: Grading Wolverines loss to Michigan State

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Coaching: D

The coaching staff didn’t get this team prepared, at least not on the defensive side of the ball and the fact that there were no adjustments in the second half was maddening.

It’s not like Mike Macdonald hasn’t seen tempo before in the NFL. He will need to learn from this and hopefully, he does soon cause you know Penn State and Ohio State will see that on film.

The run defense failed in its first real test of the season. It was solid against Wisconsin, but Walker is a different animal and it really makes me concerned about stopping Ohio State.

I have a hard time criticizing Harbaugh for playing McCarthy. He threw a touchdown (one of just two red-zone scores) earlier in the game and also ran for a first down in the third quarter. You need special players to score in the red zone and Cade is solid — he’s not special.

It backfired and I wouldn’t have played McCarthy after he fumbled the ball out of bounds. But it has been good to see Harbaugh unleash young guys such as Andrel Anthony.

Michigan should have been more aggressive throwing the ball and flat out, it needs to find some creative ways to score in the red zone. It’s been an issue for years now under Harbaugh and in case he hasn’t learned, kicking four field goals won’t beat top-10 teams.

At least not very often.

Special teams: A-

There were a couple of gaffes such as Jake Moody mishandling the snap and A.J. Henning allowing the punt on the final possession of the first half to go, losing about 20 yards of field position but Moody was solid and Henning had some really nice returns, such as the one right before McCarthy fumbled which got the ball near midfield.

It’s nice to have a reliable kicker and he showed the ability to hit game-winners against Nebraska but we saw him too much Saturday and that’s a huge reason why the Wolverines are 7-1.

Next. 5 things we learned against Michigan State. dark