Michigan-Indiana grades: Wolverines defense shines in win over Indiana
Michigan Wolverines 20, Indiana Hoosiers 10
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest graded players from Michigan’s 20-10 victory over Indiana.
Quarterback grade: John O’Korn, 57.1
O’Korn’s legs help make impact
QB John O’Korn struggled throwing the ball throughout Saturday’s contest. In fairness to O’Korn, the wind and snow played a role in some accuracy issues, but even so he was not consistent as a passer. His shining moment in the game was a 30-yard scramble in which he slinked out of a sack and broke downfield, forcing another missed tackle on his way to converting a big first down. Aside from that play, the Wolverines’ new QB was hit and miss. O’Korn finished the day 0-4 on throws past 10 yards and was also responsible for a sack and a QB hit when he drifted in some clean pockets. Michigan hopes having a win under his belt and some better weather conditions will pick up O’Korn’s play in the upcoming big battle against Ohio State.
Top offensive grades:
RB De’Veon Smith, 76.3
TE Tyrone Wheatley, 72.0
LT Ben Braden, 70.4
RT Erik Magnuson, 70.4
WR Amara Darboh, 67.3
Smith helps run game carry the offense
RB De’Veon Smith was the most important offensive player for the Wolverines against Indiana. Smith forced four missed tackles and produced 70 yards after contact as he finished with 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. The offensive line definitely had their moments, but there were other plays that Smith simply made by himself. The only thing holding Smith back from a higher overall grade was a poor day in pass protection as he surrendered two QB hurries. TE Tyrone Wheatley and WR Amara Darboh helped solidify how the ground game carried the offense, as both skill players posted good run block grades. They were particularly noticeable at the second level throughout the game, creating movement and seals for Smith to squeak through. The two starting tackles for Michigan were adequate in the run game, but kept a clean sheet in pass protection to help O’Korn digest what he was seeing, something that will be much-needed next week.
Top defensive grades:
CB Jourdan Lewis, 85.8
DT Ryan Glasgow, 83.1
DE Taco Charlton, 80.5
DE Chris Wormley, 79.8
LB Mike McCray, 79.6
Big names show up for the Wolverine defense
All the household names were on display for Michigan’s defense. CB Jourdan Lewis led the way with a game-high grade. He was targeted six times and allowed two catches for only 24 yards (see below for the Indiana performance in his coverage). He also broke up half of those attempts (3 pass breakups) while one catch was on the last drive with the blizzard in full force. DT Ryan Glasgow wasn’t far behind Lewis in the grades race as he garnered a sack, three QB hurries, and three stops in a solid performance. The Michigan defense turned the pressure up in the second half and DE’s Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley combined for a sack, a QB hit, and three QB hurries as well. Michigan’s defense had very few holes against Indiana and was crucial in keeping the game manageable until the Wolverine’s offense started producing.
Quarterback grade: Richard Lagow, 53.2
Lagow can’t capitalize on few opportunities
QB Richard Lagow wasn’t asked to win the game for the Hoosiers, which was a good gameplan considering how the Wolverines’ defense played. It was obvious the Indiana staff wanted to control the clock and the rushing attack to shorten the game and keep it tight. Lagow was going to have to take advantage of the few opportunities given to him, and he wasn’t quite able to do it. He finished two of seven on passes thrown over twenty yards and got lucky that a couple didn’t result in turnovers. Once the Hoosiers fell behind at the end of the game, the conditions worsened which only helped put the nail in the coffin for Indiana as they were forced to put the ball in the air more with limited to no success.
Top offensive grades:
WR Mitchell Paige, 74.0
WR Nick Westbrook, 74.0
WR Ricky Jones, 68.4
RB Devine Redding, 68.2
RG Dan Feeney, 66.4
Little production from the Hoosiers
RB Devine Redding worked for every bit of his 50 yards rushing on Saturday. He forced three missed tackles and earned 47 of those yards after contact. WRs Mitchell Paige and Nick Westbrook tried to help bring balance to the offense but ultimately finished with a combined eight catches on 15 targets and a dropped pass, although they did have 139 yards between them. OL Dan Feeney gave up a sack and a QB hurry but was the only decently graded run blocker on the Hoosier offensive line. The rest of the group struggled with the talent-filled Michigan front and it only showed more as the game progressed.
Top defensive grades:
DT Nate Hoff, 81.9
LB Chris Covington, 81.8
LB Marcus Oliver, 78.9
DT Patrick Dougherty, 75.7
CB Marcelino Ball, 73.8
Indiana’s defense keeps the game in reach
The Hoosiers’ defense was going to need to play a big role if Indiana had any hope of pulling off the upset and they did manage to keep within striking distance throughout. DT Nate Hoff had a very solid game anchoring the middle of the defense. He was almost an immovable object in the center of Michigan’s offensive line as he stood up double-teams and worked off blocks. He finished with six tackles and four stops while also contributing a QB hit in the rush game. LB Chris Covington also contributed with four tackles, four stops, and a sack. Along with DT Patrick Dougherty and LB Marcus Oliver the middle of the Hoosier’s defense was a formidable force and if not for De’Veon Smith’s running prowess the Michigan ground attack may have sputtered. At the end of the day, the Indiana defense missed 12 tackles, which was just too many in a game where they couldn’t afford anything less than great defensive football.