Ohio State vs. Michigan: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Wolverines

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IINovember 30, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Fitzgerald Toussaint #28 of the Michigan Wolverines gets in the open field during a fourth quarter run while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

OSU 42, UM 41 (Final)

Michigan QB Devin Gardner's interception during a last-second two-point conversion was the deciding play in "The Game."

Get the stats on NCAA.com

Michigan Game Grades vs. the Buckeyes
Positional Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass offenseA-C-
Run offenseCD+
Pass defenseCC-
Run defenseCD-
Special teamsC-C
Nov. 30, 2013

UM lost 42-41. Gardner had a great first half but a so-so second. Still, he played well vs. the No. 3-ranked team in the nation.
UM lost 42-41. Gardner had a great first half but a so-so second. Still, he played well vs. the No. 3-ranked team in the nation.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


Game Analysis for the Wolverines

Pass Offense: In the first half, Gardner was at his best, throwing for 238 yards and a touchdown while keeping Michigan in striking distance. While not completely ineffective in the second half, Gardner wasn’t as sharp and looked like the struggling quarterback that he’s been during recent weeks.

Run Offense: The ground game was never option No. 1, made clear by the first half’s aerial attack. However, Derrick Green and Fitz Toussaint each contributed drive-sustaining carries. After weeks in the red, Michigan put up more than 150 yards on the ground vs. OSU.

Pass Defense: Braxton Miller didn’t need many opportunities to down UofM, but he made the most of them (see his 22-yard touchdown pass to Heuerman in fourth quarter).

Run Defense: Carlos Hyde dismantled the Wolverines with 226 yards and a touchdown. Michigan didn’t have answers for the continuous pounding from Hyde and Braxton Miller. Per ABC, Hyde had a record day for an OSU running back vs. UofM.

Special Teams: The holding penalty during Dennis Norfleet’s return in the first half would have won the game for Michigan. Mistakes have a way of piling up and biting a team in the end. 

Coaching: Coach Brady Hoke showed a lot of guts by calling for the two-point conversion after Devin Funchess’ touchdown. Borges used his offensive weapons, but Team 134 couldn't pull off the win. 


1st-Half Analysis for the Wolverines

Pass Offense: Considering the circumstances, Devin Gardner, who’s been physically beaten during recent weeks, couldn’t have been better at quarterback. He threw for more than 200 yards and made a living by finding Jeremy Gallon during the first half. Credit the O-line.

Pass Defense: The Wolverines gave up a 55-yard strike to Devin Smith, but Blake Countess finished the half with a pick and a deflection (vs. Evan Spencer, first drive for OSU). Other than the 55-yard score, UofM's secondary maintained its composure. 

Run Offense: Who needs to run when Gardner’s playing up to par?! Michigan’s running backs complemented Gardner’s lead with secure carries. Fitz Toussaint scored a touchdown, so running was worth it for UofM. Credit the O-line.

Run Defense: OSU’s Carlos Hyde had to claw his way for 114 yards. Michigan’s front bent but didn’t break while contending with the powerful Buckeyes back. UofM defenders did a great job of keeping Hyde in front of them, despite his 100-yard half. 

Special Teams: Dennis Norfleet had a sure touchdown called back due to holding. Had he scored, Michigan would be quite comfortable. Nonetheless, Norfleet is certainly due for a touchdown.

Coaching: Offensive coordinator Al Borges finally cracked open the playbook. Using his team’s strengths, Borges orchestrated several excellent stretches in the first half, including using Jeremy Gallon to perfection.


Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.