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Posted on Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

Grade the Wolverines: Rate Michigan's performance against Ohio State

By Rich Rezler

Here's your chance to weigh in on the Michigan football team's 40-34 win against Ohio State on Saturday. Grade the Wolverines on offense, defense, special teams, coaching and overall:


Denard Robinson accounted for all five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and had one of his best days in a Michigan uniform. He completed 14-of-17 passes for 167 yards -- with no interceptions -- and rushed 26 times for 170 yards. It wasn’t a one-man show. Fitz Toussaint ran for 120 yards, giving the Wolverines a pair of 1,000-yard rushers for the first time since 1975. Junior Hemingway, Kevin Koger and Martavious Odoms caught touchdown passes. Robinson connected with seven different receivers.


Braxton Miller had a coming-out party of sorts against the Wolverines. Michigan limited senior running back Dan Herron to 37 yards on 15 carries and dared the freshman quarterback to beat them — and he nearly did. Miller threw for a career-high 235 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards and another score. But after allowing Ohio State to march down the field (80 yards in 5 plays) to pull within 37-34 with 7:09 left to play, the Buckeyes went nowhere on their final drive, trailing 40-34, after a Ryan Van Bergen sack and Courtney Avery interception. “We let the offense down once,” Van Bergen said. “It wasn’t going to happen again.”


The bad: A bobbled snap by punter Will Hagerup set up a short scoring drive for Ohio State late in the third quarter. The good: A career-long 43-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons provided the game’s final points with 1:59 left. The mundane: Hagerup averaged 47.5 yards on two punts and Matt Wile had four touchbacks on seven kickoffs. Both teams’ return games were kept under wraps.


Ohio State, a team that averaged 24.2 points (84th-best in the nation) figured out a way to put up 34 against Greg Mattison’s defensive unit, which was allowing just 16.2 (8th-best in the nation). Score one for the Buckeyes there, but note that Al Borges’ offense scored 40 points against an Ohio State defense that allowed just 19.0 per game (14th-best in the nation). A potentially overlooked coaching moment: While the rest of the team returned to the locker room after pre-game warmups, Brady Hoke remained on the field to hug and pose for photographs with every senior player and their families.


The Buckeyes may have run up-and-down the field a little more than Michigan fans hoped, but the bottom line remains: A 40-34 win in The Game ends a seven-game losing against Ohio State, pushes the Wolverines' record to 10-2 and potentially sends them to a BCS game in January. If you predicted those three things in August, you should be living in Las Vegas.



Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

We won, but OSU could have gotten lucky at the end of the game like the Wisconsin ga E and beat us.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

"Good" is what I think across the board. I wouldn't give a better ranking because Hoke has not done so throughout the season. "We're not yet playing Michigan football" and "We are playing to the Big Ten championship" are two statements of his I think are true. Obviously, "Good" in this case means "Good Enough" though the ultimate goals were not met. Should we be happy? Oh yeah. The dropped snap by the kicker and the "double penalty" at the Ohio goal line both put the win in jeopardy. Michigan did not put Ohio away and it came down to Avery's drive-stopping INT to prevent a massive disappointment. Flash: During last night's Stanford / Notre Dame game, ABC announcer Brent Musberger was talking about Michigan's win over Ohio and about the job Coach Hoke has done. He ended with: "And how about Brady Hoke, is he the [next] Coach of the Year or what?" I fully concur! Musberger also thought that Michigan "should" have a lock on the at-large BCS bowl: simply because of the Wolverines' massive fan base across the country. As one who's seen evidence while traveling across the country: I think he's right about that.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

I won a lot of money from friends betting Mich. would win 9 or more games. I figured Mattison would fix the defense, the offense was no problem, and Hoke would provide leadership.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

@AZwolverine "Turns you on? Apparently the voters didn't catch your sarcasm. At least I hope it was sarcasm" Actually AZ I did not mean it to be sarcastic. It turns me on, and as you can see by all the votes I'm getting from my fellow Michigan Men, they agree. Coach Hoke and Borges really get Michigan Men who long for a manly man to be their leaders. Who not only looks good, but walks the walk too. It's a real turn on.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Uh...okay. As riverraisin said, to each his own.

Susie Q

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

Whatever mistakes were made, this team never quit. They have had a "monkey on their back" trying to get a win against Ohio. This game could have easily gone the Buckeye's way if the defense panicked, the special teams lost their way. Each part of the team suffered setbacks, but they never faltered and they kept coming back. EXCELLENT! Enjoy this and the bowl season. Next year will be brutal.....with Alabama, ND, Nebraska and Ohio on the road.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

No doubt about next year. Let's enjoy this season and have confidence in Hoke and Co. that next year's team will be even more prepared than this year's team for the tough schedule ahead.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:28 p.m.

My grade for today's performance: A+ We beat ohio!!!!


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

New owner of ohio Brady Hoke!


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

Michigan won! I was at the game and our fans were great. We saw a Michigan team that would not quit. It took nearly 60 minutes to put the buckeyes away on this one but the victory is sweet nonetheless.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

I guess they won't be trading their gold pants for tatoos this year.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

I'm sure you can find some gold pants somewhere being exchanged, they just won't have new ones to give out....gotta pay the bills now that tressel's gone...


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

Love this comment.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

10-2, a major (perhaps BCS) bowl and they won "The Game" in Hoke and Company's first year? If you predicted that in August, you are a certifiable genius! Fantastic!


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

Hoke's reputation for was taking somewhat down-and-out programs and revitalizing them. Nobody thought MIchigan was permanently down and out ... but temporarily, yes. We can be certain Hoke will not be moving on to something bigger and better. To him, this is the last stop. Now we will get to see what he's capable of in the longer term. I predict good things.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

The whole team deserves to be congratulated for the hard work they did today and throughout the season. I didn't worry when it was 7-0, I didn't worry when it was 24-23, and I didn't worry when it was 40-34 and OSU had the ball and the momentum. The team, throughout the game, acted like winners and did what was required to win the game. Such a switch from last year, they had to have worked hard this year to overcome the adversity and they succeeded IMHO. Congratulations to all the Wolverines for a job well done.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

when Coach Hoke talks, I really like what I hear. He says all the right things. A Michigan Man for sure. And I know I can speak for all the other Michigan Men on here by saying that it really, really turns me on.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Dude, Coach Hoke is married.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

Or maybe the voters are happy that Hoke turns him on? To each, his own.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

Turns you on? Apparently the voters didn't catch your sarcasm. At least I hope it was sarcasm.