Michigan Wolverines Keep Winning, But Can They Keep It Up?

Sam TastadCorrespondent IIIOctober 8, 2010

Michigan gets ready to play some football.
Michigan gets ready to play some football.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are now 5-0 on the season, and opened the Big Ten season with a 42-35 win over Indiana on the road. Denard "Shoelace" Robinson shined again, as he had five total touchdowns, and 494 yards of total offense. He even had a 72-yard rushing touchdown, and a 70-yard passing touchdown in the game.

Michigan has played decent this season, but its first real test will be this Saturday at home against in-state rival Michigan State.

One of the reasons Michigan has done so well is the spectacular play of Denard Robinson throughout the first month of college football, and now in the first week of October.

So far this season, Robinson has 1,008 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception. He has completed 69.8 percent of his passes, and has a 179.97 passer rating. Robinson has also an astounding 908 yards rushing through the first five games. He's run the ball 98 times for an average of 9.2 yards per carry, and has eight touchdowns. Robinson also hasn't fumbled the ball yet this season.

His longest touchdown was an 87-yard run. Robinson is third in NCAA in passer rating, leads all rushers in yards, and ranks 44th in passing yards. He's led Michigan to the second overall team offense in the country, third in total rushing yards, 26th in total passing yards, and 10th in getting first downs. Robinson will look to continue his fabulous play by running over opponents, and showcasing his arm ability.

Robinson has also cemented his name in the Heisman race with his speed, statistics, and fabulous play throughout the first five games.

Running backs Vincent Smith and Micheal Shaw have impressed and gave the Wolverines other speed options besides Robinson.

Wide receivers Junior Hemingway, Roy Roundtree, and Daryl Stonum have all looked good, and will need to continue to do well, so Robinson has other options when teams shut the down the run.

The offensive line has been decent, as they have blocked well for Robinson, and gave him and the running backs holes to run down the field. The offensive line has some big tests coming up, especially in two weeks when they face Adrian Clayborn and Iowa's line. Senior lineman Stephen Schilling will have to step up to make a difference on this line.

The schedule will get tougher for Michigan now, and it starts with rival Michigan State this weekend at home.

One thing that the Wolverines will have to change is the way they play defense. Their defense has given up a lot of points, and granted the offense has scored a lot too, but against good teams, such as Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin, they would burn you. Good defenses like these will make stops on offense, and force the Wolverines offense to play from behind in games, which would make it hard if the defense is constantly giving up points.

The Michigan defense ranks 83rd in the nation in total defense. They allow 25.4 points per game, and 433.6 yards per game. They've given up 1,539 passing yards,and 629 rushing yards. Their offense has made up for that with the play by quarterback Robinson, running backs Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw, and wide receivers Roundtree, Stonum, and Hemingway.

The Michigan defense ranks 80th in the nation in sacks with seven, which means they are having trouble getting to the quarterback. That will have to change, because in Big Ten play, you have to pressure quarterback if you want to win games.

Terrelle Pryor, Ricki Stanzi, Kirk Cousins, and Scott Tolzien can all burn you if given time in the pocket. Lineman Ryan Van Bergen will have to step up and be a leader for this young defense. Craig Roh and Greg Banks will also have to keep contributing. Senior linebacker Jonas Mouton will have to be a leader in the middle, get pressure on quarterback, and play well in coverage.  

Their secondary has been alright, but have gotten burned a lot, too. They rank 17th in country in interceptions with seven, which isn't too bad. Cornerbacks J.T. Floyd and James Rodgers will all have to keep receivers in check, make tackles, and force turnovers to keep the defense off the field, and give the offense more scoring opportunities as the games get tougher.

At safety, Jordan Kovacs and Cameron Gordon will have to cover the deep ball, get pressure on quarterback occasionally, and not make any stupid or bad plays when in coverage.

There you have it, a look at the present Michigan team, and what they'll have to do to keep being successful. Now go out and watch your Michigan Wolverines and support Big Blue!