Michigan Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Minnesota Game
Michigan retained the Little Brown Jug for another year, as it beat Minnesota without Denard Robinson.
Did fans find this performance impressive or underwhelming? Opinions seem to vary wildly, but we can sort it out a bit by looking at how the individual starters played.
Here's a look at all 22 offensive and defensive starters for Michigan and a grade at the end of the slide for each one.
QB: Devin Gardner
Gardner threw an early pick, but other than that, he was brilliant.
He looked better than Robinson usually does throwing the ball, and he also had some impressive runs, including a rushing touchdown.
He threw for 234 yards, two touchdowns and completed 66 percent of his passes—not bad for his first career start!
RB: Fitz Toussaint
The offensive line deserves a lot of the blame for Michigan's lack of production from its running backs this season.
Take out Toussaint's 41-yard touchdown run, and the numbers are pretty ugly once again. His overall numbers included 70 total rushing yards and a 5.4 average per carry.
WR: Roy Roundtree
Roundtree hasn't caught many balls this season, but he has been a deep threat at times.
He caught a 47-yarder on Saturday and actually had 64 yards overall on only two catches. This is the kind of performance we have come to expect of him here in 2012.
WR: Jeremy Gallon
Gallon caught four balls for 72 yards, including a leaping touchdown grab. This was one of the best performances we've seen from him here at Michigan.
He also carried the ball twice and racked up 21 rush yards.
There isn't much question that Gallon has been Michigan's most consistent and reliable receiver this year.
WR: Drew Dileo
Drew Dileo scored Michigan's first touchdown of the day, which was a 45-yard heave from Gardner around midfield.
On the day, Dileo caught four balls for 69 yards. Even though he technically doesn't start most of the time, Dileo has been one of Michigan's most reliable receivers this season.
TE: Devin Funchess
Funchess only had one catch for seven yards on Saturday. It's been a while since he's done a whole lot, but that can't be too surprising, seeing as how he is only a true freshman.
The freshman growing pains are going to be there, and it looks like Funchess may be going through them right now.
LT: Taylor Lewan
Taylor Lewan has been hard on his offensive line teammates much of this season—and deservedly so. Another subpar performance on Saturday from this unit really raises question marks.
Why can't they run block better? Why isn't this experienced group of veterans dominating up front?
These questions need to get answered.
LG: Ricky Barnum
Maybe the likes of Ra'Shede Hageman and D.L. Wilhite were just too much for this Michigan offensive line. Too often were they in the backfield, causing the running backs to once again be smothered.
Barnum's performance on Saturday was nothing to be proud of.
C: Elliott Mealer
The Michigan offensive line was dominated at times on Saturday, and Mealer had his fair share of mistakes.
It's really a shame to see this unit continue to underachieve the way it has.
RG: Patrick Omameh
Michigan only rushed for 155 yards on Saturday against a Minnesota front seven that had been getting dominated.
There was no excuse for the fact that Omameh and company didn't dominate this group the way other teams had so often this season.
RT: Michael Schofield
Even though Schofield has great versatility, it hasn't necessarily translated into great performance.
He has seemingly been beaten a number of times this year, and his play was nothing special against Minnesota either.
DE: Brennen Beyer
Beyer hasn't been a big factor this season when it comes to sacks and tackles for loss. Maybe that's why Clark and Ojemudia are rotated in so often for him.
Either way, he seems to have a mediocre performance every week.
DT: Will Campbell
We don't hear Campbell's name much either in terms of sacks and such, but that doesn't mean he's not getting the job done.
His job is to clog up the middle, and he has done a good enough job of that, so far, this season.
DT: Quinton Washington
Washington has been one of the most pleasant surprises for Michigan this season. He has been a force all season, and it was no different on Saturday.
Neither Donnell Kirkwood nor Rodrick Williams were able to get anything going all day.
DE: Craig Roh
Craig Roh does seem to be getting better, but his performance is nowhere near good enough.
Minnesota rushed for 128 yards, which is simply too many. The Gophers only averaged 3.4 yards per carry, but the 128 they did gain needs to be lowered.
LB: Kenny Demens
Demens has been playing great lately, but we did see more of Joe Bolden and James Ross on Saturday.
Whatever the reason, we still have to be happy with Demens' performance. He is in on so many plays and seems to have a nose for the ball.
LB: Desmond Morgan
Desmond Morgan seems to be around the ball an awful lot as well.
He may not be the fastest guy around, but he does seem to get in on most plays and help make the tackle.
LB: Jake Ryan
Jake Ryan is an absolute monster on this Michigan defense. He was in the Minnesota backfield a number of times again on Saturday, constantly wreaking havoc.
This has basically become routine to see Ryan cause this kind of trouble week to week.
CB: J.T. Floyd
J.T. Floyd looked very good at times and pretty bad at others. He had a number of impressive pass breakups but was also flagged for pass interference a few times late in the game.
As a whole, his performance was solid against Minnesota.
CB: Raymon Taylor
The fact that A.J. Barker didn't play really helped this Michigan secondary, but the corners still had some big challenges.
MarQueis Gray has a huge frame, yet he was completely held in check. Ray Taylor is only a sophomore, but he has held his own every single game this season.
S: Thomas Gordon
The Michigan secondary played very well, holding Minnesota to just 147 passing yards.
We didn't hear much of Gordon on Saturday, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. He isn't a great safety, but he's solid enough back there.
S: Jordan Kovacs
Kovacs isn't having the year many were hoping for, as he just isn't making the impact plays he was a season ago.
Whether it was his fault or not on Minnesota's first and only touchdown can be debated.
It would be nice if he stepped up his game a bit here in November, though.
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