Michigan Football: Denard Robinson Good, Not Great as Wolverines Win Opener
As the Brady Hoke era officially kicked off in Ann Arbor, there is no doubt that one of the biggest questions in the minds of the Michigan faithful was how Junior quarterback Denard Robinson would transition from the spread to the pro-style offense being implemented by Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges.
Early in the 2010 campaign, Robinson took the college football world by storm and quickly established himself as an early Heisman Trophy contender. However, he would cool off as the season continued and so did the Heisman hype.
Most of the early Heisman Trophy discussion this year has focused on Stanford's Andrew Luck, Oregon's LaMichael James and Boise State's Kellen Moore. Still, there is a contingency of those who would be quick to make the case that Robinson deserves to be part of the conversation.
Robinson got off to a quick start against Western Michigan.
On the Wolverines' opening drive, Robinson completed all five of his pass attempts for 33 yards and carried the ball four times for 26 yards.
After a missed field goal attempt by the Broncos, Michigan failed to pick up a first down as Robinson missed Kevin Koger on his first deep throw attempt of the game.
Robinson was very efficient in the first half, completing eight of nine passes for 61 yards and rushing for 40 more on six carries.
Pouring rain and severe weather warnings caused a game delay after Michigan sputtered out of the gate in the second half. Robinson attempted two passes in the rain and both balls missed badly as the Wolverines went three-and-out before the stoppage in play.
Michigan got the ball back midway through the third quarter. Toussaint and Michael Shaw both busted huge runs as Michigan ate up 87 yards in just three plays as the Wolverines extended their lead to 34-10.
Robinson’s first completion of the second half came with 3:23 left in the third quarter when he connected with Junior Hemingway for a 37-yard strike on first down.
Three plays later, the game was recessed and the stadium was evacuated for a second time due to lightening.
How would you grade Denard Robinson's performance in the season opener?
It was a successful season opener for the Wolverines, but Robinson never really got on track in the second half due to the two delays.
He finished 9/13 for 98 yards. He also rushed for 46 yards on eight carries. It was an efficient performance, but he failed to find the endzone through the air or on the ground.
In a Heisman race that is focused more on individual statistics than team victories, Robinson’s performance wasn’t enough to place him squarely in the middle of the conversation for college football’s most prestigious individual award.
With a breakout game next week against Notre Dame, Robinson could earn more national recognition as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks and Heisman Trophy contenders.
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