with polls: Your chance to grade Michigan's performance against Alabama
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
But what of the offensive, defensive and special teams' performances as a whole outside of individual performances in the 41-14 loss? We'll provide the facts and figures, you let us know how you think each unit performed on Saturday.
Michigan gained 269 yards on offense, compared to 431 for Alabama, and had 11 first downs. In the 21-0 first quarter, Michigan gained just 34 yards to Alabama's 152. Quarterback Denard Robinson had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and backup Russell Bellomy's only pass attempt was intercepted
Michigan's defense forced a three-and-out on its first series, but Alabama scored on each of its next four possessions on its way to a 31-0 lead. Alabama gained 431 yards on the night, 260 on the ground and 199 through the air.
The positive side to getting scored on and having to punt with regularity? Special teams players get a chance to play a lot. Freshman Dennis Norfleet returned eight kicks for a total of 177 yard while punter Will Hagerup averaged 51.3 yards on his six kicks. Brendan Gibbons made both of his extra point attempts.
Coaching is a little less objective in how it may be presented and graded. Some noteable coaching decisions before and during the game include: leaving Fitz Toussaint, Frank Clark and Josh Furman back in Ann Arbor for the game, a lack of designed run plays called for explosive quarterback Denard Robinson, moving backup quarterback Devin Gardner to wide receiver and giving true freshman Dennis Norfleet handle kickoff duties.
What overall grade does the Michigan football team deserve after dropping a 41-14 loss to the defending national champions?