Denard Robinson's ground game is still alive and well. He has racked up 324 yards rushing over the last two weeks alone, atoning for a 27-yard effort against Alabama and putting him within six yards of Le'Veon Bell for third place in the Big Ten in rushing yards—and 26 yards from conference leader Braxton Miller.
But something's been happening in the last couple games, something that really has no business happening on a football field. And that is Denard Robinson losing a shoe.
In retrospect, this shouldn't be that much of a surprise; Robinson's nickname is "Shoelace" since he quite famously doesn't like to tie his shoes and leaves the shoelaces "flowing in the breeze," as one announcer put it. It was even a Jeopardy! question (or answer, whatever) a couple years ago.
But at the very least, Robinson's shoes had been staying on over the course of his career, so the shoelace thing was more lore than a concern.
Then, Robinson's shoe came off near the start of a scintillating touchdown run against Air Force in Week 2. That was...well, it was pretty cool, as strictly a one-off thing that happened. To be able to torch a defense with one shoe on seems otherworldly. Ever even walked around with one shoe on? It's like driving with a flat tire. The universe is atilt.
Now, try breaking off an 81-yard touchdown like that—oh, and your one shoe has cleats on it. Right.
One week later, facing the lightweight UMass defense, Robinson lost a shoe again, this time on a 24-yard rush in the second quarter before stepping out of bounds rather than taking on contact. And now all of a sudden, this isn't a cute thing anymore—this is something that needs to stop.
We don't need to go over why keeping one's shoes on is important from a safety perspective, right? Everyone understands the danger of not wearing shoes when everyone else is wearing cleats? OK.
So, the onus is on Michigan's training staff to make sure Robinson's shoes are tight and staying on. If that's uncomfortable for Robinson, then he either has weird feet or someone's doing something wrong, because tied shoes are pretty normal for everybody.
Honestly, this feels like something a first-grader would write a report on. How is this even a thing that happens? Why is this a thing that happens? Let's just get Robinson a pair of cleats that fits and stays on when he cuts, and this'll no longer be a thing. And if he wants extra-long shoelaces so they flop everywhere even when they're tied, that'll probably be fine.