Sugar Bowl Will Propel Denard Robinson to Forefront of 2012 Heisman Race

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 3, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a second quarter touchdown with David Molk #50 while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan star quarterback Denard Robinson hasn't been the greatest passer during his tenure with the Wolverines, but his running ability has made him virtually unstoppable.

However, headed into his matchup against No. 11 Virginia Tech Tuesday in the Sugar Bowl, Robinson faces a challenge.

The Hokies have only been decent against the pass this season, but they've been very good against the run, which works in their favor against Robinson.

The only problem is Robinson is such a dynamic playmaker, none of this will matter.

Let me first start off by saying this: Robinson is coming off a big passing performance against Ohio State, going 14-of-17 for 167 yards and throwing three touchdowns. He's playing his best ball from the pocket all season. In that respect, he could still do some damage through the air.

But his scrambling from the pocket will spell the Hokies' doom and propel him as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy next season.

Robinson has rushed for 1,163 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He has Michael Vick-esque ability in the college ranks. He's rushed for over 100 yards five times this season, including 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State headed into bowl season.

Make no mistake about it, the main reason why the Wolverines are ranked No. 13 in the nation is because of Robinson. The Wolverines weren't even ranked in the preseason.

I expect the 2012 Sugar Bowl to be a riveting game, but, in the end, Robinson will be the difference and he'll head into next season with a full head of steam.

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