Orange Bowl grades: FSU late score caps win
Florida State Seminoles 33, Michigan Wolverines 32
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Florida State’s 33-32 win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl.
Quarterback grade: Wilton Speight, 58.9
Speight ineffective under pressure
Michigan QB Wilton Speight was pressured on more than half of his dropbacks, and saw his passer rating drop by nearly 44 points on those passes. Nearly all of Speight’s production came with a clean pocket, and he finished just 3-of-12 for 54 yards and an interception on passes thrown more than 10 yards. Top target Amara Darboh saw 13 passes, but ended the game with only 5 catches for 36 yards and a drop.
Top offensive grades:
HB De’Veon Smith, 69.9
WR Amara Darboh, 69.4
TE Ian Bunting, 65.0
WR Jehu Chesson, 61.2
QB Wilton Speight, 58.9
Poor blocking limits Michigan’s offense
Michigan’s offense was completely overmatched against the Seminoles’ dominant front-seven, and the Wolverines earned well below-average grades for team run blocking and team pass protection. All five offensive linemen, fullbacks Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi and tight ends Ian Bunting and Tyrone Wheatley all earned below-average run-blocking grades. HB De’Veon Smith finished with just 36 rushing yards on his 16 carries, despite forcing four missed tackles and earning 35 of those yards after contact. Michigan had no answers for Florida State’s defensive interior in pass protection either, as center Mason Cole and guards Ben Bredeson and Kyle Kalis allowed a combined sack, 3 hits and 12 hurries.
Top defensive grades:
CB Channing Stribling, 90.8
DT Ryan Glasgow, 86.4
DE Taco Charlton, 85.1
DT Maurice Hurst, 84.2
S Dymonte Thomas, 79.4
Michigan defense grades well in loss
Michigan’s defense was excellent overall, but allowed a handful of big plays that made the difference in the game. DE Taco Charlton was the Wolverines’ most consistent pass rusher, finishing with a sack, 4 hits and 3 hurries. Defensive tackles Maurice Hurst (1 sack, 1 hurry, 87.0 run defense grade) and Ryan Glasgow (4 hurries, 83.2 run defense grade) were dominant in all facets of the game, and CB Channing Stribling earned his best grade of 2016 after allowing just one 8-yard reception on 5 targets, and adding a pass breakup.
Florida State Seminoles
Quarterback grade: Deondre Francois, 65.0
Francois struggles under pressure
Florida State QB Deondre Francois was under pressure on 19 of his 32 dropbacks, and while he was only sacked twice, he completed just 3 of his 17 pass attempts under pressure. The Seminoles used Francois on designed runs later in the game, to limited effect (5 rushes for 13 yards and 1 touchdown). Both of WR Nyqwan Murray’s catches were touchdowns, including a 92-yard bomb as Francois exploited an obvious coverage bust in the Michigan secondary, and a third-down strike to give Florida State the lead with 0:42 left in the game.
Top offensive grades:
HB Dalvin Cook, 86.6
WR Nyqwan Murray, 77.6
RT Rich Leonard, 66.9
QB Deondre Francois, 65.0
WR Kermit Whitfield, 61.8
Cook leads the way for Seminoles offense
Despite the poor run-blocking in front of him, Florida State HB Dalvin Cook finished the game with 20 carries for 145 rushing yards and a touchdown. Cook forced 10 missed tackles, and averaged 5.9 yards per rush after contact. Like Michigan, Florida State’s offense earned below-average grades for both pass protection and run blocking as a team. Guard Kareem Are played just 36 of a possible 65 snaps, and earned a game-worst 19.0 overall grade after surrendering 5 hurries and earning a 24.3 run-blocking grade. All six offensive linemen, plus tight ends Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders, each earned below-average grades for run blocking, making Cook’s performance even more impressive.
Top defensive grades:
DE DeMarcus Walker, 90.4
LB Matthew Thomas, 86.8
DT Derrick Nnadi, 85.4
S Trey Marshall, 84.8
S A.J.Westbrook, 82.4
Florida State front-seven overwhelms Michigan
The Seminoles were unblockable up front, led by star DE DeMarcus Walker. Walker played all 76 snaps in his final college game, and finished with a sack, a hit and 8 hurries and was stout in run defense. DT Derrick Nnadi added a sack, 2 hits and 2 hurries of his own, and earned an 85.0 run defense grade. LB Matthew Thomas led the team with 12 solo tackles, 7 defensive stops and a game-best 89.0 run defense grade, and OLB Josh Sweat added 2 sacks, 2 hits and 4 hurries in a dominant pass-rushing performance.