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Position Grades: Michigan

Some good, some not-so-good (to put it lightly)

NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

(Sigh) Let’s just go ahead and rip off the band-aid, shall we?

Quarterback: D

Drew Allar did have a nice touchdown run before halftime to give PSU fans some hope in a game that was already starting to feel like it was kind of slipping away, but also never felt like he was truly in a rhythm with the passing game (even though his O-line was giving him adequate enough protection) and had a very costly fumble at midfield while running for a first down, on what was looking like a promising opening drive in the second half. He also of course, was done absolutely no favors by the people up in the booth calling the shots.

Running Back: C+

Kaytron Allen was one of the few bright spots on offense, as he had a pretty decent day on the ground, racking up 72 yards on his 12 carries, including an explosive 34-yarder, which funny enough, is PSU’s longest run of the year from a running back. Kaytron also converted a fourth-down pass to Allar that led to the TD right before halftime. Why he wasn’t getting even more carries remains baffling to me. Nick Singleton had a couple nice runs on PSU’s first scoring drive of the game, which should’ve ended in seven points but ended with three.

Wide Receiver: F

A total disappearing act from this unit after their best performance a week ago. When your most notable highlight is Kaden Saunders making a nice 13-yard grab to move the chains on fourth down (his only catch of the day), it’s never a good sign.

Tight End: C

Well, at least Theo Johnson caught a TD?

Offensive Line: B

Oddly enough, the O-line was one of the better parts of the offense yesterday. Not too much to complain about when they were actually able to run block and pass protect enough to allow something good to happen.

Defensive Line: B+

Adisa Isaac was a dude, leading the D-line with six tackles, including three for a loss. Dani Dennis-Sutton also pitched in for a couple of tackles for loss, including a sack. The pass rush was causing major problems for Michigan’s offense early on, to which Michigan was able to adjust away from and just starting running the ball in lieu of trying to throw downfield.

Linebacker: B

Busy day for this group, as Kobe King led the way in tackles with nine of them, and Curtis Jacobs pitched in a couple tackles for a loss. Yes, Michigan did spring some bigger runs on them in the second quarter after getting stifled in the first quarter, but Manny Diaz was able to plug up those leaks and the defense did not allow another big run until with fourth minutes to play in the fourth quarter, right after the offense failed on a 4th-and-6 conversion at their own 30. Whatever your takeaways are from yesterday, you can’t blame this loss on the defense.

Secondary: B

Maybe not the greatest sign when your safety was the team’s leading tackler, but kudos to KJ Winston on his team-high 12 tackles. I thought about giving this one an “incomplete” grade since Michigan literally threw the damn ball eight times the entire game with their longest pass play being for 19 yards, but for the most part, the secondary was good in run support. Again, can’t blame yesterday’s loss on the defense.

Special Teams: A-

Riley Thompson had himself a day punting the ball, while Alex Felkins calmly nailed his lone field goal of the day, and Gabe Nwosu put his kickoffs into the back of the end zone. There was one punt return that Daequan Hardy could’ve had go for a bigger gain if he and his teammate didn’t run into each other. All in all, no real complaints.

Defensive Coaching: A-

I normally do the coaching in one category, but it wouldn’t be justified given the contrast between the two sides of the ball yesterday. Manny Diaz’s defense came prepared to play and for the most part, prevented Michigan from running all over them the way they did last year.

Offensive Coaching: F(ire Mike Yurcich)

So Yurcich finally has his prized QB recruit with a pair of solid running backs, tight ends, and a future top-five NFL draft pick at left tackle, and the offense delivers this absolute steaming pile of horseshit? With how well the defense played to keep this game competitive, the offense seemingly did everything possible to negate that.

[BONUS CATEGORY] Big Noon Kick: F

Sorry, but I was under the impression that Big Noon is supposed to focus mostly on the team whose campus they are hosting the show at? If the crew was going to spend the entirety of their two-hour show verbally fellating Michigan and using Trump-style narratives of playing the “victim” card for getting caught cheating red-handed, they should’ve just set up shop in Ann Arbor instead of across the street from Beaver Stadium. Aren’t you glad that FOX has the majority of B1G media rights for the foreseeable future??