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Michigan vs Purdue: Postgame Grades for the Wolverines' Win vs. the Boilermakers

Steven CookContributor IIINovember 7, 2016

Michigan vs Purdue: Postgame Grades for the Wolverines' Win vs. the Boilermakers

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    The Michigan Wolverines went on the road to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 44-13 Saturday afternoon.

    Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson went for 235 yards on the ground on 24 carries, and Fitzgerald Toussaint added two scores for the Wolverines.

    Purdue falls to 3-2 on the season, and Michigan improves to 3-2, while getting their first conference win of the season.

    Let's take a look at the final report card grades for Michigan in their win over Purdue. 

Quarterbacks: B+

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    Denard Robinson had no trouble on the ground for the Wolverines.

    He finished with 235 yards on 24 carries and seemed to pick up more yards than we'd expect on every play. 

    Michigan fans may have wanted to see more production through the air from Robinson, as he finished just 8-of-16 with 105 yards and a touchdown. But, you can't complain with an easy win and with such a massive rushing stat line.

Running Backs: B-

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    Michigan feature running back Fitzgerald Toussaint gave the Wolverines a big boost in the scoring column by notching two one-yard touchdowns in the first half.

    But, he was never a presence in the middle of the field and finished with just a little more than one yard per carry as he notched 19 yards on 17 carries.

    Three other backs combined for 10 carries on the day.

Wide Receivers: B-

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    The receivers didn't have much to work with in this game, as the bulk of the big plays came on the ground. But, there were a few players who were able to get in on the action.

    Junior wideout Jeremy Gallon had three grabs for 37 yards, and Devin Gardner caught two passes for 31 yards and the only passing touchdown from Michigan on the day.

Tight Ends: C+

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    Wolverines tight ends were only featured on one play—a 14-yard reception from freshman tight end Devin Funchess. 

Offensive Line: B-

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    The offensive line has to get a great deal of credit for allowing Robinson the space to rush for as many yards as he does, but it can't be ignored that they struggled to block in front of an actual running back.

    Toussaint's 19 yards on 17 carries spells doom for the Wolverines offensive line, and if they can't have success handing the ball off, then it'll greatly diminish their ability to score points.

Defensive Line: B+

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    One of the biggest keys to this game was Michigan's ability to stop the run, and they made a big statement Saturday.

    Purdue finished with just 56 yards rushing, and their quarterback was pressured all night. They seemed like a cohesive unit that was inspired to right the ship. 

Linebackers: B

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    Michigan's linebacking unit stood a tough conference test and showed elusiveness to help stop the run game. 

    This doesn't look like a unit that is going to give up big plays on the ground. However, they could use improvement in forcing incompletions on short first-down throws that helped keep Purdue around in this one.

Defensive Backs: B+

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    Michigan's defensive backs were able to keep Purdue from sustaining drives, but they still gave the Boilermakers receivers something to work with.

    They kept them shut down as a unit for the most part but forgot about O.J. Ross, who caught eight balls for 46 yards. Otherwise, they had a pretty dominating performance as they didn't allow a receiver over 50 yards.

Special Teams: B+

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    Michigan wasn't pressed much on special teams. They finished 3-of-4 on field goals and had a great punt (57 yards) to go along with a muffed punt (27 yards).

    The kick return game was solid as well, but when it comes down to it, this game was decided well before special teams came into play. 

Coaching: A-

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    Head coach Brady Hoke was given a blessing, as his team went ahead early on in the game, and he did a great job of managing the lead throughout the second half.

    The coaches found ways to be creative with Robinson's running ability, and it ended in a big day for both the coaches and Robinson. 

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