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Published: Thursday, 10/15/2009

The End Zone: Michigan

Michigan beat writer Ryan Autullo Michigan beat writer Ryan Autullo
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Saturday's home game against Delaware State couldn't have come at a worse time for those of us still trying to assess the Wolverines. We'd be foolish to place too much importance on a predictable result — the Wolverines have lost to every Division I-AA opponent they have ever faced. (Small joke.)

But just how should we assess UM at the midway point of the season? Well, let's dust off the calculator, crunch a few numbers, and issue some midterm grades. Consider Saturday's game a fall break.

Offense: UM leads the Big Ten in scoring at 33 points per game but that's misleading. Tate Forcier has struggled for most of the past three games and the explosive plays we saw during the nonconference schedule have dried up. But let's not be too harsh — good enough is good enough. Grade: B

Defense: A new coordinator was brought in, players have switched to different spots on the field, and … the results are similar to last year. A quick fix is unlikely as there isn't enough talent at linebacker or in the secondary. Recruiting becomes tremendously vital. Grade: C-

Coaching: Rich Rodriguez mishandled the QB situation at Iowa, looked foolish defending Jonas Mouton's punch, and is at the center of an NCAA investigation. Positives: Give him 10 points and Michigan is undefeated. Negatives: Take away two heroic comebacks and the Wolverines are 2-4. Grade: C



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