The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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interested in fanning the flames of a quarterback controversy, repeatedly insisting Robinson is the starter. ���I make that very, very clear to Devin and Denard ��� we are just trying to get our best players on the field, and it has nothing to do with losing confidence in Denard,��� Borges said. ���The thing about Denard is he has a lot of different facets to him, and he gets a lot of attention, and that can be very beneficial. You can design things to go to him and design things off of that.��� A team-first athlete, Robinson is on board with Gardner���s role. ���Devin is a tremendous athlete, a great quarterback and a great competitor, and when Coach says he���s one of the guys we need to get on the field because he���s explosive when he gets the ball in his hands, I���m all for it,��� Robinson said. ���It���s all about the team, and whatever I can do, I���m going to doing it.��� Moving Forward In leading U-M���s comeback from a 24-7 fourth-quarter deficit to Notre Dame, the 6-0, 195-pound Robinson completed 7 of 10 attempts for 202 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, while also rushing for 24 yards, in the final 15 minutes. With his team trailing Northwestern 24-14 at the half, Robinson led four second-half scoring drives, completing 7 of 8 attempts for 149 yards while rushing for 69 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. He doesn���t have to be Tom Brady for this offense to succeed and for the Wolverines to win football games, but he must show the ability to pass with accuracy because Michigan���s remaining opponents will pack the box with eight defenders to stop the run. ���Every team we���ve played so far has loaded up,��� Borges said. ���When they do that, it���s just a matter of taking advantage of those opportunities to complete passes. Some days, we have been there. There just have been some games where we haven���t. ���I���m happy with Denard. He���s making plays and he���s winning games, but we���re never satisfied, and Denard is not satisfied, because we can all improve. ���We have to learn from our mistakes, correct them and move on without panicking, and if we don���t panic, and keep our eye on the ball, these things tend to sort themselves out. ���I absolutely have confidence in Denard, and so do Brady and our other coaches, and all of his team- mates. He needs help, just like any quarterback needs help, and I have to make sure we���re doing everything as coaches we can to help him. But Denard is a proven commodity. He still has phases of his game that need to be better. He knows that, I know that, but he���s working hard.��� ��� Stock Report: U-M���s Upward Trending Offensive Performers While all eyes are on the quarterback all of the time, he is not the only player responsible for making the offense go. Now halfway through the Big Ten season, some of the Wolverines are stepping up their game. Here is a look at those players on the rise. Receiver Roy Roundtree: After a slow start in which the redshirt junior had just five receptions through the first five games of the season, Roundtree has developed into a more consistent target for the Wolverines. He had seven grabs for 149 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games against Northwestern and Michigan State. Roundtree and quarterback Denard Robinson had outstanding chemistry in 2010, when he made 72 catches, and it was only a matter of time before they started connecting again with regularity. Receiver Jeremy Gallon: The 5-8, 185-pound redshirt sophomore is the only U-M receiver with at least one catch in every game this season. He leads the Wolverines with 23 receptions, good for 384 yards and two touchdowns. Gallon���s role is seemingly growing every week ��� in Big Ten play he has made 15 catches for 241 yards. Left Tackle Taylor Lewan: Michigan���s offensive line play has been largely inconsistent this year, with veterans Mark Huyge and Patrick Omameh struggling through unexpectedly uneven performances at right tackle and right guard, respectively. The left side of the line has been better, and Lewan has, arguably, been U-M���s best lineman. The redshirt sophomore has played within the rules of the game while still competing with a nastiness necessary to maul opponents. Fullback Stephen Hopkins: Though his production is not overwhelming ��� the sophomore has just 25 yards rushing on eight carries and one reception for 28 yards ��� Hopkins has taken over the starting fullback job from fifth-year senior John McColgan. The 6-0, 228-pound Texan is not big enough to be an ideal road grader, but he has enough size to take on Roy Roundtree had made just five linebackers, and he���s percatches through five games, but he formed solidly in his bodygrabbed nine in U-M's next three guard role for Robinson. games, giving him 14 through Oct. 29. Photo by Lon Horwedel ��� Michael Spath November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 27

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