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PFF snap counts, grades from Michigan’s win over Ohio State

In a heated rivalry matchup where playmakers on both sides made plays, the Michigan Wolverines had just a few more of both.

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Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
Matt Hartwell Matt covers all things Michigan football related for Maize n Brew and runs the social media accounts.

The Michigan Wolverines’ performance against Ohio State was one of their best of the season, per the grading of Pro Football Focus. The Wolverines have won three straight against the Buckeyes and are now setting their sights on a potential Big Ten Championship three-peat.

Diving into the numbers, Sherrone Moore and company received a respectable overall grade of 84.2 for Saturday’s contest. If that sounds high, it’s because it is! To further put those numbers into perspective, it’s a threshold that the Buckeyes have only crossed on five separate occasions this entire season, while the grade is still considered the Wolverines’ fourth lowest overall on the year.

Here’s a closer look at the snap counts from The Game, as well as some other grades from our friends at Pro Football Focus:

Offense

Trevor Keegan - 60 / 71.0
Karsen Barnhart - 60 / 55.8
LaDarius Henderson - 60 / 45.0
Drake Nugent - 60 / 62.9
J.J. McCarthy - 58 / 71.9
Colston Loveland - 50 / 72.2
Cornelius Johnson - 50 / 67.6
AJ Barner - 47 / 57.2
Roman Wilson - 46 / 68.3
Zak Zinter - 40 / 50.6
Blake Corum - 35 / 73.3
Tyler Morris - 25 / 50.6
Donovan Edwards - 25 / 67.5
Trente Jones - 22 / 70.0
Max Bredeson - 10 / 63.2
Semaj Morgan - 5 / 60.8
Kalel Mullings - 5 / 64.3
Alex Orji - 2 / 65.7

Takeaway: Despite only throwing for 148 yards, J.J. McCarthy was still sharp. He completed 16 of 20 attempts and didn’t turn the ball over once to finish the day with an overall grade of 71.9. Colston Loveland was far and away his favorite target, and the tight end led the team with five receptions for 88 yards, attaining his own personal best offensive passing grade on the season at 83.4; his overall grade of 72.2 leads the team on offense this week.

Surprises: How about Alex Orji? To the surprise of everyone, Michigan had in fact been saving the dual-threat quarterback for Saturday’s contest against the Buckeyes. Orji entered the game for two snaps to start the second half and was every bit as effective as all of the Orji believers suspected he would be for the last 13 weeks. His two carries for 22 yards were good for a 65.7 overall grade this week (ninth-best on offense).

Equally impressive was Trente Jones, who entered the game in the second half following the injury to right guard Zak Zinter. Jones took over at right tackle while Karsen Barnhart slid over to right guard and finished with the second-best overall grade on the offensive line with a 70.0.

Defense

Rod Moore - 58 / 74.0
Mike Sainrsitil - 58 / 73.9
Michael Barrett - 56 / 68.8
Josh Wallace - 50 / 67.1
Junior Colson - 46 / 61.5
Makari Paige - 43 / 67.3
Mason Graham - 42 / 75.4
Will Johnson - 39 / 72.4
Derrick Moore - 36 / 71.5
Kenneth Grant - 32 / 62.5
Josaiah Stewart - 32 / 64.9
Kris Jenkins - 30 / 71.5
Jaylen Harrell - 26 / 65.3
Ja’Den McBurrows - 22 / 59.7
Braiden McGregor - 22 / 58.4
Quinten Johnson - 15 / 70.2
Ernest Hausmann - 12 / 67.3
Cam Goode - 9 / 47.4
Rayshaun Benny - 8 / 72.5
Jimmy Rolder - 1 / 25.5

Takeaway: Mason Graham once again led the defense with the best overall grade of 75.4. The sophomore defensive tackle registered four of the Wolverines’ 12 quarterback pressures while tallying the team’s lone sack on the day. Defensively, this was one of Michigan’s best performances of the season when considering the level of competition. While the Wolverines may have been outgained in yardage 378-338, the unit totaled out the day with a 78.6 overall grade. That’s good enough to be looked upon as the team’s sixth-best performance of the year.

Surprises: Though it may have seemed like Marvin Harrison Jr. was having his way with the Wolverines at times, the Michigan secondary kept the Buckeye offense relatively contained for many of the team’s 30 passing attempts. Harrison Jr. was followed closely for much of the contest by Will Johnson, whose 72.3 coverage grade was third-best on the team behind only Mike Sainristil (73.6) and Rod Moore (73.0). Collectively, the passing defense had one of its best showings of the season with nearly every cornerback or safety that saw the field grading above 67.1. The lone exception was Ja’Den McBurrows, who played the fewest number of snaps on the day of any of the bunch.