Michigan Football: Breaking Down Wolverines' Biggest Flaws After Week 4

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 22:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines fumbles the ball in the third quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 22, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines and star senior quarterback Denard Robinson entered the 2012 season heralded as one of the best teams—not only in the Big Ten—but in all of college football.

Four weeks later, the Wolverines sit at 2-2 on the season and have looked nothing short of terrible against serious competition. Any hope of Heisman consideration for Robinson has gone right out the window with another terrible performance against Notre Dame in Week 4.

While the team obviously has some serious flaws, credit has to be given to the Michigan defense that has been playing very well this year. If it wasn’t for the poor play of their QB and the atrocious play-calling, who knows where the Wolverines would be right now?

Probably better than 2-2.


While no one can question the merit of the Wolverines defense since Brady Hoke took over the head coaching position, the offense has done nothing but sputter and fail under any kind of serious pressure.

As much as Denard Robinson deserves blame—we’ll get there—this has to come down on the shoulders of the head coach and the plays that are being called. There are assistants that help make the decisions, but the final say always comes down to the head coach.

If Hoke can’t surround himself with coaches that will put Robinson in a better position to succeed every week, he either needs to find new offensive staff members or find a new job.

The Wolverines simply can’t depend on Robinson to touch the ball 50 times against college football’s top teams; it just doesn't work.

Denard Robinson

While Hoke and the coaching staff could do a much better job helping their quarterback, Robinson has put himself in bad positions all season long. The pass protection hasn’t been the best, but the elusive pass-thrower looks to run the ball too often.

When he does throw the ball, Robinson’s mechanics are easily recognizable and defenses have a chance to react to them. With four interceptions against Notre Dame in Week 4, look no further for the definitive evidence of his mental breakdowns.

Robinson’s 54.5 completion percentage is devastatingly low and has been the cause of too many three-and-out series for the Wolverines. Add in his ratio of six touchdowns to eight interceptions, and Michigan's major weakness is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde qualities of its star QB.

Michigan can lean heavily on Robinson in games against mediocre teams, but as soon as the competition stiffens up, the Wolverines must convert back to a classic offense.

If Robinson can’t run his offense from under center, maybe it’s time for a two-quarterback system.

Check back for more on NCAA football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.