|Desmond Morgan struggled with Braxton Miller's speed but otherwise looks like a solid player for the Wolverines|
I once again worked out some grades for Michigan's defense against OSU (see also: Nebraska). Grades for each play ranged from +3 to -3 for good/bad reads, filling/missing assignments, and physical superiority/inferiority.
MMartin: +10 . . . Not as dominant as in previous games, but doesn't get beaten - ever
RVanBergen: +8 . . . More big plays than Martin, but got out of rush lane a couple times
WHeininger: +6 . . . Physically overmatched, but slanting helped him be effective
KDemens: +5 . . . Solid tackler who doesn't give ground
JKovacs: +5 . . . Decent day but took a late hit penalty
CAvery: +3 . . . Consistently solid and then made a huge pick to seal the game
JBlack: +2 . . . Nice play near goal line to keep his feet and chase down Braxton Miller
TGordon: +2 . . . Beaten in pass coverage but made some nice tackles in open field
DMorgan: +2 . . . Usually in position but not fast enough to keep up with Miller. Future MIKE?
WCampbell: +1 . . . Didn't play much but held his ground when he did
CRoh: +1 . . . Had some nice pass rushes but big mistake on Miller's TD run
JRyan: +1 . . . OSU ran away from him most of the game
BCountess: 0 . . . Got lucky on an overthrow, but mostly tight coverage
NBrink: -1 . . . Unfair to be matched up against Mike Adams but got blown off the ball
MJones: -1 . . . Just isn't very fast or aggressive
TWoolfolk: -5 . . . Seemed to make some bad reads
JFloyd: -10 . . . Beaten deep a couple times, missed tackle on Dan Herron's TD run
It sure seemed like defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was willing to take a lot of risks in this game, in hopes that Braxton Miller would make some freshman mistakes. He did, but not a lot. It looked like Mattison realized that his defensive line had been playing extremely well for the last several weeks and his game plan revolved around them dominating the game. The starters combined for a +25 grade with Craig Roh being the weak link.
DeVier Posey is a great deal better than J.T. Floyd and Blake Countess. There's no way around it. Michigan doesn't have anyone who can handle him on the regular, so it might have been a good idea to try to force Miller to scramble and look to check down. Miller probably played his best game of the season when it comes to throwing the ball, because they put almost the entire game on his shoulders.
OSU tried to take advantage of freshman weakside linebacker Desmond Morgan, but he held up pretty well. Morgan was too slow in the open field to catch Miller a couple times, but it's no surprise that an inside linebacker is going to be at a disadvantage against a guy like him. Otherwise, Morgan made some excellent plays inside and blew up fullback Zach Boren a couple times. He might lack the athleticism to stay at WILL for his entire career at Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him slide over and replace Demens in 2013.