Grades for Michigan-Minnesota: Wolverines D-line shuts down Gophers

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from Michigan's 29-26 victory over Minnesota.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Grades for Michigan-Minnesota: Wolverines D-line shuts down Gophers

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from Michigan’s 29-26 victory over Minnesota:

Michigan Wolverines

— Once again the Michigan defensive line was utterly dominant, both as pass rushers against the run. Chris Wormley (+6.0) had five quarterback hurries, while defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow (+4.2) was fantastic against the run. The strength of the line, coupled with how much the Minnesota offensive line had struggled, makes the decision to try to win the game with a quarterback sneak much more questionable. They may have only needed half a yard, but that was half a yard against the best defensive line in all of college football.

— Safety Jabrill Peppers (+2.4) had a big game on defense, on offense and on special teams, making plays in all three facets of the game. He had two big returns on special teams and ran the ball in for a score on offense. Yet, as impressive as the big plays were, it was his work on defense where he really stood out. Targeted five times in coverage, he surrendered just one reception while finishing the game with two pass breakups.

— De’Veon Smith (+1.3) has been the Wolverines star runner this year, but it was Drake Johnson who stood out last night. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry, forced a missed tackle, and had runs of 13, 14 and 13 yards between the tackles. Smith on the other hand was held to 1.7 yards per carry.

Top performers

Chris Wormley (+6.0)
Maurice Hurst (+4.7)
Ryan Glasgow (+4.2)
Taco Charlton (+4.0)
Willie Henry (+3.2)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

— At linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (+5.7) has his best game of the season so far, impressing both against the run and in coverage. In coverage he was targeted just once, with no receptions allowed. Against the run was where he impressed the most though, with five tackle resulting in a defensive stop.

— They faced their toughest challenge of the season so far, but there wasn’t a single player on the Minnesota offensive line who finished the game with a positive grade. Left tackle Ben Lauer (-6.2) struggled the most, with the lowest run blocking grade on the line and allowing a hit and three hurries in pass protection.

— One of the most interesting matchups of the game was the battle between Minnesota’s top receiver KJ Maye (+1.0) and Michigan’s star cornerback Jourdan Lewis (-0.9). A total of seven passes where thrown to Maye when Lewis was covering him, with Maye just about coming out on top with four receptions for 40 yards, including two receptions on the final drive of the game.

Top performers

De’Vondre Campbell (+5.7)
Jack Lynn (+4.7)
Steven Richardson (+3.9)
Eric Murray (+2.8)
Rodney Smith (+2.0)



| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Not sure why you’d call a QB sneak when you have a fullhouse backfield but it worked out OK for the Wolverines so I won’t complain. Peppers is an exciting player who is always fun to watch. Hope the injury to Rudock isn’t serious.

    • Tim Edell

      They cant do much worse then having Rudock behind center.

  • Chronomage

    My impression was that our (Michigan’s) linebackers had an off night. Lots of mental mistakes like blown assignments and bitings on fakes, and it seemed they were responsible for the unusually high number of Minnesota’s big plays. Like the 3rd and 17 conversion on the last drive. Ugh.

    • WolverineFanInOhio

      Desmond Morgan is our best linebacker but I’m telling you he bites on that play-action 2 or 3 times a game and the result is always a running back catching a pass, and Morgan not catching up until after the RB has a first down.

  • jemblue

    Is that Smith’s rating for the year or just this game?