Grades: Michigan falls flat at Nebraska with Russell Bellomy at quarterback
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Michigan lost Denard Robinson.
And looked lost without him.
The Wolverines' offense was sputtering with their star quaterback Saturday, then stalled completely when Robinson left the game in the second quarter with an elbow injury. Michigan fell 23-9.
Backup quarterback Russell Bellomy simply didn't look ready for prime time, misfiring on his first 10 passes and tossing three picks.
It spoiled an otherwise solid effort by the defense against the Big Ten's most prolific offense.
A look at how some key players graded out:
Russell Bellomy: Michigan's redshirt backup quarterback melted down while playing for the injured Denard Robinson. He misfired on his first 10 passes before finally hooking up with fullback Joe Kerridge, and also tossed a pick in that stretch. He played the duration of the second half, leading Michigan to just 52 yards of offense. Bellomy finished 3-of-16 passing for 38 yards and three picks, the final of which came in the end zone, closing the window for a Michigan comeback. It was a catastrophic outing. F
Denard Robinson:He was better than his typical road performance, but not good enough in the first half -- then left for good after sustaining an arm injury. His final line: 6-of-11 passing for 55 yards and 10 rushes for 46 yards. Michigan didn't find the end zone in Robinson's half, extending its touchdown-less streak to six-plus quarters. Robinson didn't commit many mistakes, but also didn't make things happen either. B-
Defensive line: Nebraska entered the game averaging 279.0 yards rushing per game, best in the Big Ten. Michigan cut down the Cornhuskers, though, yielding just 160 yards on the ground. It started up front, where Michigan's defensive line occupied blocks and gained push, which freed up the linebackers to make plays. Quinton Washington also stripped Taylor Martinez, forcing a fumble. A-
Fitz Toussaint: Nebraska's rush defense had been gashed this year, allowing 187.9 yards per game, 10th in the Big Ten and 92nd nationally. UCLA ran wild against the Huskers, as did Ohio State and even Northwestern last week. Michigan had no such luck, especially with Toussaint, whose season-long slumber continues. He finished with 15 carries for 40 yards, another paltry average of 2.7 yards. C-
Secondary: Michigan entered the game third in the country against the pass, but its secondary was pushed around by the Cornhuskers. Nebraska racked up 326 yards through the air, and drew multiple flags for pass interference which set up scores. C+
Brendan Gibbons: For the second consecutive week, Michigan's scoring punch came via its Brendan Gibbons. He made 3-of-3 attempts for the second consecutive week, and although he didn't have a game winner this time, he did drill a 52-yard field goal, easily surpassing his previous long of 43 yards. A