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Posted on Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Grade the Wolverines: Rate Michigan's performance against Purdue

By Rich Rezler

Here's your chance to weigh in on the Michigan football team's 36-14 win against Purdue. Grade the Wolverines on offense, defense, special teams, coaching and overall:


The Wolverines gained 535 yards, averaging 7.6 yards per play. Fitzgerald Toussaint had a career-high 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Denard Robinson (63 rushing yards) and Michael Shaw (56 rushing yards) added touchdowns and Robinson was 9-of-14 passing for 170 yards and an interception. Devin Gardner was 1-for-2 passing with an interception. Michigan wideouts even got into the action, catching 8 of 10 passes -- including three for 79 yards by Jeremy Gallon.


Playing without starting safety Jordan Kovacs, the Wolverines allowed their first play of 40+ yards this season -- a 48-yard Caleb TerBush to Gary Bush touchdown pass -- but otherwise excelled. Mike Martin had a safety, the Wolverines made a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter and limited the Boilermakers to 89 rushing yards. Purdue was 3-of-13 on third downs and Michigan had four sacks.


Brendan Gibbons was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on PAT kicks and Will Hagerup -- kept off the field until the fourth quarter -- averaged 40.5 yards on two punts. Michigan's maligned kick coverage unit allowed the Boilermakers 24.5 yards on four returns while Jeremy Gallon averaged 27 yards on three returns for the Wolverines.


An off week can be tricky, particularly after a loss, but Brady Hoke and his staff seemed to have their team ready to play. Offensive coordinator Al Borges continues to reach deep into his playbook -- sometimes pulling out a dud, but keeping teams guessing -- and Greg Mattison's defense continues to play well.


A convincing homecoming win over what seemed to be a resurgent Purdue team -- the Boilermakers beat nationally-ranked Illinois last week -- was important heading into a tough four-game stretch at the end of Michigan's schedule. The Wolverines have back-to-back road trips to Iowa and Illinois before returning home to face Nebraska and Ohio State.


Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Nothing so far has surprized me. I felt the msu 'there' would be a toss up, given the approach that Dantonio takes relative to 'cheap shots'. I also expected DRob to get knocked out, as part of their game paln. That's why I wanted to see Gardner get more reps in the first 5 games. Going forward, the injuries to Lewan, and Kovachs worry me! ...As well as Iowa dropping an easy game to Minn. Iowa be ready to play a 'strong game' against anyone. And UM is unfortunate to have them this week. This will require a complete game in all pahses, by UM, to win saturday. I still feel that UM has a shot to run the table but every team on the schedule, poses a serious threat for them. This will be fun, as young teams will drive you crazy, but they also have the abilty to over achieve as well. Just a thought. 1. Bielma, had all week to work on defensing against a 'hail mary', and obviously did not do that. Wisconsin's offense has NO misdirection in it, so UW is suseptible to a 'fast' defesne that over pursues, such as osu. 3.osu backs were able to bounce plays 'outside' all night, on the badger defense, UW MEVER adjusted. 4. The officials totally missed a holding call by osu on the UW end, that would have brought back the 'next to last play sat night. league officals have done a poor job this year.

1st Down

Sun, Oct 30, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

A) Excellent. A win is a win...and this one was a blow out.


Sun, Oct 30, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

One of the best things about wins like this is that Denard didn't take much of a physical pounding due to the running backs running the ball so often and so well. U-M won the battle of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. However, the U-M passing game still leaves a lot to be desired. Too many "jump ball" passes and too many forced throws into traffic. This facet of the game really needs to improve for U-M to win against Nebraska and OSU. The defense continues to pleasantly surprise me and overachieve. This defense consists of many of the same players from last year who were torched on a regular basis a season ago but who now appear to be playing to their potential under coaches who know what they are doing.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

Enjoyable game to watch today. Michigan came prepared and ready to play. They looked much improved over the last few games. Last year this would have been a 36-34 game. Gotta agree 100% with burton. 90% of the credit goes to the coaching staff.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

Iowa is not dominant against a very very unathletic Minnesota team, but they will be up for Michigan. We saw that Sparty can be very mediocre when not motivated to play the game of the season, so with the final stretch of the season coming up anything can happen, a division first place is not impossible.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Overall, very solid performance against an improved Purdue team. This is just what Michigan needed heading into the final four games, starting next week with a very dangerous Iowa team that I feel many people are underrating. Iowa is a big, strong, typical B1G team, the likes of which Michigan has had trouble with the past three seasons. It's nice to savor this win for a day, but then get back to the work it's going to take to knock off a an upper echelon conference foe in their own home.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

Although I don't particularly like the term, Denard did a good job "managing the game" for the most part. Obviously helps to have the OL and RBs come through. Things get significantly tougher next week at Iowa.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

You really can't argue with 7-1. This team has over delivered this so far this season, and 90% of the credit goes to the coaching staff. Borges calls a pretty good game ( but why didn't they run the sneak on 4th and 1 at the goal line like they did the time before???) and Mattison's transformation of the defense has been the difference maker. I'd love to see some defensive stats compared to last year such as points allowed, rushing yds allowed, etc. (but I'm too lazy to look it up...) Nice to see the kicking game become respectable again too. Tough stretch coming up, but I can see a "W" in Iowa City next week, a tough loss to the Cornhuskers at home, and a HUGE WIN against the Buckeyes to go 9-2. Never would have thought that possible but it looks doable at this point. Nice job Hoke and Co. GO BLUE!!!


Sun, Oct 30, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

The record is not all that surprising. They were very lucky to beat ND, but other then that the schedule has been very weak so far. UM has one of the easiest schedules in the B1g this year. Next year it is a little tougher.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 9 p.m.

I know I completely forgot about Illinois on the road...Doh! That game may actually be tougher than the game at Iowa....the Illini are no pushovers. Be interesting to see if they can beat Penn State today.


Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Did you forget IL on the road? If we get the "W" @IA, they could get another road win @IL as well, then the two tough home games to end the regular season. GO BLUE!!!