Michigan-Florida grades: QB Jake Rudock picks apart Gators defense

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Wolverines’ win over the Gators.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Michigan-Florida grades: QB Jake Rudock picks apart Gators defense

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Wolverines’ 41-7 win over the Gators.

Michigan Wolverines

— What a day from QB Jake Rudock (+6.8). His offensive line was strong, as he was only under pressure on just 18 percent of his dropbacks. Rudock picked the Gators apart when he had a clean pocket, completing 18-of-26 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Rudock was fantastic when targeting receivers at least 10 yards downfield, completing 9-of-12 for 190 yards and a touchdown, including a perfect 3-of-3 on deep passes (20+ yards). Rudock had some help from WR Jehu Chesson (+3.1) who caught four of six targets for 112 yards and a touchdown, 81 of those yards coming after the catch.

— It was a fantastic game for DT Willie Henry (+5.1) and DT Chris Wormley (+4.4). Henry did most of his damage when rushing the passer, finishing with a quarterback hit and five hurries. That’s not to say he struggled against the run, as he finished with a +1.5 run defense grade. Wormley had a more balanced game, finishing with a +2.3 run defense grade and a +2.0 pass rush grade. On the season Michigan finishes with five defensive linemen grading over +24.0 overall, all of whom are likely to be back next year. So look out future Michigan opponents’ offensive lines.

— Michigan’s running game was the story of this matchup, gaining 227 yards on 46 carries on the day. RB De’Veon Smith (+2.4) was ridiculous, notching 109 yards on 25 carries. But it was his incredible 11 missed tackles forced that led to his big grade. The strangest part of the game was that the Wolverines’ offensive line finished with a -10.2 combined grade, but 138 of their rushing yards were gained before contact. A lot of that was due to the missed tackles Smith forced, but also due to outside runs where Gators’ defenders lost contain.

Top performers:

QB Jake Rudock (+6.8)
DT Willie Henry (+5.1)
DT Chris Wormley (+4.4)
WR Jehu Chesson (+3.1)
HB De’Veon Smith (+2.4)

Florida Gators

— QB Treon Harris (+2.1) finished with a positive grade, but that was only thanks to his successful running. When it came to passing the football, Harris finished with a -1.1 grade. Not really bad, but still below average. His real problem was when he was faced with pressure. With a clean pocket, he completed 6-of-10 passes for 105 yards. But when he was under pressure, he was a brutal 2-of-12 for 41 yards and an interception. He was able to show off his skills when he had to scramble, gaining 80 yards on just nine carries, and forcing five missed tackles. It wasn’t a great game for Harris, and he’s going to need to improve his under pressure play if he wants to continue to be the Gators’ quarterback come next seaon.

— It was a beast performance from DT Jonathan Bullard (+4.1), who’s been the Gators’ best defender all season. Bullard was dominating Wolverines’ linemen in the run game, and finished with a huge +6.2 grade against the run. He made three run stops and many more disruptive plays, as he’s been doing all season. He finished with an average pass rush grade, but his overall grade was brought down by a couple of penalties. Bullard is currently our highest graded DT in the country at +57.5 and first among all DT’s in the NCAA in run stop percentage at 12.1. Bullard is widely expected to go in the first round, and watching him play against the run, it’s very obvious why.

— CB Vernon Hargeaves III (-1.3) had a bit of a mixed finished to a not-great season by his standards. Out of the 28 targets that the Gators’ defense saw, only two of them went at Hargreaves. The negative about that was that he allowed both of them to be caught for 76 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown play was bad, as Hargreaves bit on a double move and was completely burned. On the other reception though, he had fantastic coverage that was just beaten by a perfect throw. Despite a season where he finished 54th among corners in terms of coverage grade (he was second last season) Hargreaves will likely still go in the top 10 of the NFL draft, and the team that picks him will likely not be disappointed.

Top performers:

DT Jonathan Bullard (+4.1)
DT Caleb Brantley (+2.5)
QB Treon Harris (+2.1)
CB Jalen Tabor (+1.6)
WR Antonio Callaway (+1.2)


| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Didn’t think we would beat a very good Gators team this easily. Even better things appear possible next season. Looking forward to it.

    • William Plaster

      One has to laugh when trolls post that Florida was a terrible team. That is ironic, because before the game, many were saying Michiga would have big trouble with the great defense of Florida. To each his own misery.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Even the best teams can have an off game. We’ve seen it happen to Alabama and some of the other top clubs.

      • William Plaster

        Had the score been the inverse, I can assure you that Florida would have received the accolades and Michigan would have been described as overrated.

  • Ed J

    Vernon Hargeaves is completely overrated. He was completely owned by Jehu Chesson. If Hargeaves is a Top 10 pick, then Chesson will be a first rounder next year as well. He has roasted DBs all season, and Hargreaves was his most recent victim.

    • John Osberger

      owned on a total of 2 passes, one of which was well defended and likely completed only because it was perfectly thrown? ok.

      • Ed J

        Thrown at twice. Beaten on two bombs. Torched. Chesson had Scorched Gator for dinner.

    • Mike J.

      I agree. I thought Vernon was good last year, but his play has been iffy in 2015.Plus, he has a slight frame, & isn’t all that tall. (I am waiting to see what he actually measures at the Combine.) If Hargreaves is selected in the top 10 of 1st. round in April, I will be amazed.

  • Hekthore Warro

    Michigan fans are very grateful how Jed York put Wolverines back to victory while tearing apart the Niners…

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s too bad Frisco fans don’t know how to be grateful though. They have had the baseball Giants and basketball Warriors provide them with championships yet they still whine.

  • Tim Edell

    It was amazing to see the progress Rudock showed throughout the year!