Michigan Football: How Denard Robinson Can Get Himself Back in the Heisman Race
Denard Robinson has done it again.
Once again, the electrifying signal-caller has entered a college football season as a Heisman candidate only to seem to have fallen short. This time, it looks like those Heisman hopes have come to an end after just one week of the regular season, with an embarrassing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
One of the most exciting college football players of this decade will likely end his collegiate career without earning the most prestigious award in the sport.
But is there a way that the senior quarterback could possibly get back into the running?
Let's take a look and see what Robinson has to do in order to become the first Michigan player since 1997 to win the Heisman Trophy.
Relax Before You Do Anything Else
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The game against Alabama was horrible, no doubt. It was probably the worst game of his career at Ann Arbor, as he was completely shut down by the Crimson Tide defense and simply could not get anything going for his team.
But guess what?
It was only the first game of the regular season, and there are 11 games left at the very least since Michigan could wind up playing in the Big Ten title game and/or in a bowl game. Sure, Robinson got off to a horrible start to the season, but no Heisman Trophy has ever been won with just one performance, so the chances of one being lost over just one game wouldn't be fair either.
Let's all just take a deep breath and see what the season has to offer before we go ahead and write him off.
Stop Turning the Ball Over!
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The reason why Robinson has not even received an invite to New York is because of his turnovers. Last season, he threw a total of 15 interceptions, and the year before that it was 11. With two under his belt already in 2012, Robinson has only 41 touchdown passes to his 32 career interceptions.
That is not going to get it done against quarterbacks like Matt Barkley and Geno Smith, who put up godly numbers, but are also able to control the amount of mistakes they make. Floating the ball into the air, in the middle of three defenders, and hoping that your receiver is able to make a play, is not going to get it done.
This is now Robinson's third year as a starter, and although he is the furthest thing away from a true passing quarterback, you would think he would be making better decisions with the football by now.
All of the great numbers he has put up throughout his career don't mean a thing if he can't keep his interception total under 10 for the season.
Become Denard Robinson Again
Robinson has rushed for a combined 40 yards in the last two games in a Michigan uniform. Now Virginia Tech and Alabama have great defenses of course, but we seem to be seeing a completely new quarterback lately, one that does not even try to make plays with his legs.
The senior doesn't seem to be confident running the football anymore and is being asked to run an offense that better fits somebody like an Elvis Grbac. (Via Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News)
You're still learning, but it's less learning you have to do. Robinson said of being in his second year with offensive coordinator Al Borges. (At this time last year) I was trying to learn the basics. Now I'm comfortable throwing the (routes) and being on time with the ball.
Just Win, Baby!
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Robinson can do all of those things in the remainder of the season, but it doesn't mean much if the Wolverines aren't winning football games. Getting blown out on national television by Alabama doesn't help things, but Michigan still has at least four more ranked opponents on the schedule.
Taking trips to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Nebraska could get the senior back on the Heisman radar. Also, playing against Michigan State, which has another defense that shut Robinson down previously, could be used as a redemption game, one that could earn him many votes with a solid performance.
This is a very long college football season, one that can still be successful for Michigan, and one where Robinson can make one last Heisman push, if he plays the way we all know he is capable of playing.