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Posted on Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Your chance to grade Michigan's performance against UMass

By Pete Cunningham

The Michigan football team took care of business on Saturday. Not only did the Wolverines soundly defeat visiting UMass 63-13, and thoroughly dominate every aspect of the game, but -- for you gamblers out there -- they covered the massive 45.5 point spread.

Michigan football reporter Kyle Meinke passed out the individual grades for the Wolverines and, unsurprisingly, most received stellar marks.

Now it's your chance to grade the Wolverines' offensive, defensive, special teams, coaching and overall performance.


The first team offense remained on the field for the first three quarters, then took a well deserved break in the fourth. Several individuals had career days and nine different players scored touchdowns for the Wolverines.


The defense looked a little shaky in the second quarter, the only frame in which UMass scored, but besides that looked pretty solid.

Special Teams

Not much special teams to speak of, except for a bunch of fair catches by Jeremy Gallon. Maybe he should have taken a couple more chances?


Did they pull Denard too late, or was this a perfect coaching performance by Michigan's staff?


What overall grade would you give the team?

Pete Cunningham covers sports for



Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

So they beat up a noncompetitive team. SO WHAT.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

Would love to see a comparison of Denard's accomplishments compared to Henne, Navarre, others. Did they get great stats from playing non-competitive teams? How are stats influenced by number of games? How do stats compare if you only include conference games? IMHO, from my recollection of some of these players, yardage only tells part of the story. I don't recall that Navarre, Henne, or Brady were as inaccurate, or through as many panic passes, as does Denard.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 6:48 a.m.

Hmm, if the purpose of football is to score the most points (while inhibiting scoring by the other team) then a good team vs bad team is no real comparison. Michigan exceeded the predicted 45 point point spread by 5 points: the predicted margin was said to be an historic first for Michigan. So naturally we are influenced by this example of exceeding expectation. That's happy news but no real measure of where the Wolverines are now or will be at the end of this season. Rather: some expected gains lay with such things as giving younger players actual experience and further seasoning units like their defense (which had to play longer because Michigan scored 63 points with 8:46 remaining in the 4th quarter. This is very rapid scoring, which meant the defense had to come back on the field after just brief periods of rest (and had to do it at least 9 times in 60 minutes of play). Of course, Mattison rotated in "fresh players" more quickly too and that's what gave some freshmen early exposure to the playing experience. I'd not be too concerned with the 2nd quarter let-down by the defense, either. That's because there's a rhythm of ups & downs for every team in every game. In addition, the players knew early on they had the upper hand and would win - this affects any athlete's sense of urgency. As for coaching: I think it's obvious that Hoke & Co. used this game for some of the above reasons. They were clear about using younger players after their senior players gained a sufficient point margin. I think Coach Hoke's expression and manner after the game (as seen on TV), was serious and reflective. There was some back-slapping and smiling on the part of the players but I think all of the coaches were taking stock of what they'd observed during the game. The only real disappointment, IMO, was that Denard threw a number of bullets that sailed beyond the reach of his receivers (again).