Pass Defense - A-
We’ll again start with the good. Through two games this season, the CB duo of Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie have lived up to the billing. Granted FCS Montana and a still-finding itself Michigan pass game aren’t the most vaunted opponents, but they have done everything that’s asked of them so far. Michigan’s Cade McNamara completed 7 passes for 44 total yards. Only four of those passes even went for positive yards. Michigan seemed committed to running the ball but when called upon the secondary did its job. Alex Cook had 5 solo tackles from the safety position. Bookie Radley-Hiles also had a few moments and his athleticism is starting to flash.
Rush Defense - D
About as bad as it gets. Michigan piled up 343 yards and 4 TDs against a run defense getting worse by the week. Eddie and Jackson Sirmon combined for 25 total tackles but it always felt like the Michigan run game was moving forward - with only 3 TFLs all game, it was. While one of the talented DTs needs to step up and become an All-Conference level player, the safety position is still letting the defense down in run support. A better angle and Kam Fabiculanan is able to tackle Blake Corum, who instead sprinted 67 yards down the sideline for a TD. The speed of Corum and power of Hasaan Haskins had the Huskies on skates all night and they eventually just wore down. A better offense that can stay on the field will probably help, but something needs to improve. The goal line stand early makes this not an F.
Rush Offense - F
One-point-six (1.6) yards per carry on thirty two attempts. On the bright side, it balloons all the way up to 2.3 yards per carry if you remove sacks!
Pass Offense - C+
When the coaches actually call a pass play, this part of the offense is semi-functional (still just one pass TD in two games if you can believe it). We know what we have in Cade Otton already, and it was nice to see Taj Davis emerge. He showed strong hands and a will to fight for the ball. Terrell Bynum had his first 100 yard day as a Husky and it will be supremely frustrating to not see him get more opportunities as the season progresses. He is the best healthy receiver the Huskies have, bar none.
Dylan Morris finished with what looks like a good stat line - 20/37 for 293 yards and a TD. If you didn’t know any better you’d think we won game based on that alone. That said, no pass game will work unless the offensive line takes big steps forward, and Morris was sacked 4 times in the Big House.
Special Teams - C-
The fake punt was one of the key moments in the game as Michigan scored a long touchdown one play after converting on 4th and 1. Special teams were...nothing special the rest of the night. Peyton Henry got on the board with his first FG of the season.
Coaching - F
There’s nothing I can say about the offensive coaching that hasn’t been said already. Read Twitter. I just hope Jimmy Lake has the clarity to make changes before things really fall off a cliff.
Defensively, the team is battling, but for some reason the rush defense is just not pulling its weight. I have a feeling that with a more dangerous offense, teams would feel more pressured to throw against Washington in order to keep up scoring, ultimately leading to less rushes and the overall wearing down of the defense. In recent years the Washington defense has had the most success when it forced teams to throw into a secondary brimming with NFL talent. That is simply not happening anymore in the post Greg Gaines, Vita Vea, and Levi Onwuzurike years.
The delay of game on the first snap of the game, the poorly timed penalties, allowing a fake punt, and being simple awful in the both phases of the ground game, all point back to the head coach. Barring huge offensive improvement, does this team even make a bowl game?
Stay strong and Go Dawgs.