|Denard Robinson rushed for 218 yards and threw for 208, accounting for 4 touchdowns|
(image via Sporting News)
Devin Funchess is the new Junior Hemingway. The freshman tight end is listed at 6'5", 229 lbs. I expected him to look skinnier than he does, but he's fairly solid looking and showed an ability to stretch the field a little bit. He caught a 29-yard wheel route and a leaping 30-yard touchdown, totaling 4 receptions for 106 yards and that TD. Jump balls aren't going to work with most receivers on the roster, but this guy could be Denard Robinson's savior.
These are not the droids you're looking for. Forget what you saw the defense do yesterday. Yes, it was ugly. Michigan allowed 290 yards rushing and 127 yards passing, but Michigan won't see another triple option offense this year unless they meet Air Force or Georgia Tech in a bowl game. The defensive line won't see cut blocking like this, the outside linebackers and safeties won't have to be as disciplined, etc. I know yesterday was frustrating and too close for comfort, but it's also mostly irrelevant to the rest of our opponents.
The cornerbacks are scaring me. Raymon Taylor was very, very weak in run support. I'm not a huge fan of J.T. Floyd in run support, either, but Taylor looks to avoid contact with blockers whenever possible, and that's a bit scary. Now I'm going to go back to forgetting what the defense did.
The offensive line has taken a step backward. The absence of David Molk is noticeable, and I still wonder whether it was a good idea to let Rocko Khoury walk instead of getting a fifth year. Starting center Elliott Mealer's snaps have been good, but he's much slower than Molk. Meanwhile, Michael Schofield looked much better at left guard last year than he does at right tackle. The offseason was rife with talk about how Schofield looked so great at right tackle, but I'm just not seeing it. Some people mentioned how Fitzgerald Toussaint looked rusty, but it wasn't Toussaint - it was the offensive line allowing so much penetration. He had nowhere to run at all.
Dennis Norfleet wants to eat. When Norfleet jumped in front of Drew Dileo to steal a kickoff return, I sort of felt bad for Dileo. Dileo's body language indicated he wasn't too happy about it, either. Norfleet got hit after a short return, but then he bounced off and turned in a nice play. He had 3 returns for 77 yards yesterday, an average of 25.7 per return. The kid is going to be exciting to watch for the next few years.
BREAKOUT PLAYER JERALD ROBINSON! He had 1 reception for 10 yards. Departing seniors have been calling for him to explode for the last two seasons, and now he has 1 career catch.
The linebackers will be awesome for years to come. Jake Ryan had 11 tackles, including a nice tackle on the second-to-last play, and a leaping pass breakup on Air Force's final pass attempt. Overall, he had an excellent day. Sophomore Desmond Morgan made some nice plays at times, freshman Joe Bolden made 10 tackles, and freshman James Ross made a couple nice plays.
Denard Robinson continues to destroy mediocre defenses. It was a blast watching Denard Robinson yesterday as he demolished the Falcons' defense, but it wasn't unexpected. This is what he does to so-so defenses (see Bowling Green, UConn, UMass, Indiana, Eastern Michigan, etc.) and occasionally to good defenses (see Ohio State circa 2011). A guy who's faster than Usain Bolt (not really) ought to run away from a bunch of Air Force Academy cadets, and Robinson looked fairly comfortable in the pocket. If Michigan continues to struggle blocking for the running backs, Robinson is going to need to replicate this performance many, many times this year.
Hail to the Air Force Academy. I'm sort of glad that Air Force put up a good fight. My father and grandfather are veterans, another close family member graduated from the Academy, and I have a strong appreciation for those in the military. They don't deserve to be embarrassed anywhere, including on the football field. They should be proud of the way they played on Saturday.