Michigan Football: Questions Wolverines Must Overcome to Dominate

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IAugust 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Under head coach Brady Hoke last season, Michigan catapulted from irrelevance to an 11-2 record and won the Sugar Bowl in the process.

The Wolverines had big wins against Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State and Virginia Tech, using the game-changing ability of Denard Robinson to flex their muscles.

However, the Wolverines not only have a tougher schedule this season, they also have lost some key players. 

Here's a look at some concerns for the Wolverines as they get set for their Sept. 1 opener against none other than the defending champions Alabama.


Offensive Line

The loss of David Molk certainly left a dent in the Wolverines' offensive line this summer, but there is hope with Ricky Barnum at least adequately filling in at center.

Offensive tackles Michael Schofield and Taylor Lewan should at least be an above-average duo, too.

With that being said, there is some concern at the guard spots, particularly on the left side of the line. Elliott Mealer and Kyle Kalis are the big names at the spot, although Kalis may need a bit more seasoning before he starts.

The biggest concern is injury. There isn't much depth, particularly at the guard spots, and a big injury could change the Wolverines' season in a hurry.


Defensive Line

After the departures of Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen, defensive tackle Will Campbell will be critical for the Wolverines.

The talent level and the dedication is there this summer (he's dropped weight and drawn praise from his teammates and coaches), but being a consistent player for a big program is easier said than done.

Campbell has been solid this offseason, but you never really know how a player is going to respond to the added pressure on the field until game day.

Campbell had 14 tackles and two sacks last season in limited action. Will he make the jump as the starter?


Denard Robinson's Accuracy

We all know Denard Robinson has the legs to create havoc. He's rushed for a combined 2,878 yards and 30 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Ann Arbor.

On the other hand, his accuracy and passing mechanics are different stories. He completed just 55 percent of his passes last season and went 9-of-21 for 117 yards through the air against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. It's no wonder why defenses began playing him differently last season.

There's also the fact that his rushing yardage and yards per carry dropped last season. Sure, he still rushed for 1,176 yards, but that's still a drop-off from his 1,702 yards in 2010-11.

If Robinson could even be above average with his passing this season, who knows what the Wolverines could accomplish?


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