UM College Football: Sorry, Why Robinson's Performance Will Not Help Rodriguez

Sherman L. McCleskyCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines throws a pass against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It was the performance of the week.

The University of Michigan's football program unveiled its newest weapon this past Saturday. A young man named Denard Robinson. He was quick, he was confident and he was reliable in Michigan's 30-10 win over Connecticut, its season opener.

Robinson posted Heisman-like stats in his debut as a sophomore QB. He threw for over 186 yards for 1TD, while rushing for 197 yards and 1TD. Such stats would have any average fan anticipating a spectacular season for this team. But for some reason I, as a Michigan fan, I can't jump on the bandwagon.

You see, I've seen this before. Last season!

Tate Forcier threw for 179 and 3 TDs in his opening debut as QB against Western Michigan. He went on to lead the Wolverines to a 4-0 start, before the "fit hit the shan".

Despite his 223 yard, 2 TD performance, Forcier's Wolverines lost the game against Michigan State. They went on to lose all but one of the remaining games of the season. Why? Because Tate Forcier can't play defense.

As I watched the game against UCONN, I was caught in a series of "shock and awes".

I was shocked by how much the Wolverines' offense relied so much on Robinson to make a play, but I was in awe of Robinson's ability to pull out such plays. I was shocked by how well Connecticut  had driven up and down the field against Michigan's defense, yet I was in awe of how the Wolverines managed to produce the turnovers needed.


The Wolverines' defense had given up 109 yards to RB Jordan Todman, then gave up 205 yards passing to QB Zach Frazer. A +200 yard day from a QB, and a +100 yard day from a RB, equals a bad day for a defense.

I believe that in the end that we were lucky. Our offense fumbled the ball two more times than our opponent, yet our defense came up with timely turnovers. That was the difference.

Denard Robinson is a very gifted QB, but he can't do it all by himself for 12 games. He has a defense that could bend and break, despite middle linebacker Obi Ezeh.

This still leaves Rich Rodriguez in purgatory.  If he thinks that Denard Robinson will save his job, week after week, he needs to think again. Eventually, Robinson will face a defensive coordinator that will throw all of the heat on him.

How Robinson will react is uncertain; all we know is that Rich Rodriguez's job relies on it.

Food for thought.