Grades Are In: Defense Makes Nebraska Look Like a Junior Varsity Offense

Two-thirds of Michigan's defense earned perfect scores in last weekend's 56-10 win over Nebraska.

Position groups are graded on a 1-5 scale, with five being the best.

Defensive Line - 5

Michigan's defensive line was responsible for 11 of the defense's 20 QB pressures, two of four quarterback sacks, and six of 14 tackles for loss as the Wolverines' humbled a Huskers' offense that came into the game averaging 464.5 yards of total offense but left Ann Arbor with just 132, 80 of those coming on Nebraska's final drive of the contest, against U-M's second- and third-string unit. At the conclusion of the first half, Michigan had twice as many points (39) as NU had yards (17). The defense dominated the line of scrimmage, creating opportunities for its linebackers to clean up.

Oh, and Rashan Gary did this.

Season Grade: 4.3

Linebackers -- 5

Junior middle linebacker Devin Bush continued his pursuit of All-American honors with a near-perfect game (I graded him out at 96.0 percent), recording team highs in tackles (nine), tackles for loss (2.5) and QB pressures (three), including a sack. Viper Jordan Glasgow filled in for junior classmate Khaleke Hudson and made plays, with a sack and a three QB pressures. Hudson returned and played his best half of football all year, until another targeting call late in the fourth quarter ended his day. Meanwhile junior Devin Gil and sophomore Josh Ross gave solid efforts as they solidify the WILL position.

Season Grade: 4.0

Secondary - 4

A week after one of their worst performances, the secondary bounced back in a big way. The only thing that kept them from a five was a pair of jump balls in which Nebraska came down with the ball successfully despite the fact U-M was in position to make a play. But overall, it was a good day for the defensive backfield, led by junior safety Josh Metellus, who played his finest football all year (and perhaps of his career). Watson allowed completions of 32 and 27 yards but junior cornerbacks Lavert Hill and David Long didn't give an inch.

After completing 67.8 percent of their attempts in the first two games, Huskers' QBs converted just 54.2 percent against Michigan, saw their yards per attempt drop from 7.4 to 3.9, and recorded a season-low 78.39 pass efficiency rating.

Season Grade: 3.3

Special Teams - 5

For the third week in a row, Michigan's special teams posted a perfect score. What do you expect when your punter sets a program single-game record with a 59.3-yard average (and had a net punting average of 58.3), your placekicker drills two, including just the 22nd make of 50 yards or more in U-M's existence, and your punt returner takes one back 60 yards for his second career score. And for good measure, freshman kickoff specialist Jake Moody allowed only three of 10 kickoffs to be returned with his deep and high pitch. According to, Michigan has the eight most efficiency special teams unit in the country and the best in the Big Ten.

Season Grade: 4.8