Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 1: Biggest Performers And Underperformers

While Michigan did not walk away with a Week One win, there were still some notable performances from both sides of the ball. Some were good; others bad.  It will be interesting to watch how these players rebound against Air Force and going forward.

Top Performers

1. Jeremy Gallon - WR

Jeremy Gallon was very impressive throughout the course of the game on Saturday, leading both teams in receiving yards with 107. Gallon looked very comfortable within the offense, which is a great sign this early in the season, and Robinson definitely needs a go-to receiver.

I was most impressed with Gallon's consistency, and he looked to be running very clean routes. Hopefully, this is an early sign that Gallon will become a big part of the Wolverines offense and can make an impact on the outside with his hands and speed.
2. Dennis Norfleet - KR

Dennis Norfleet was one of the quiet surprises on Saturday night for the Wolverines. He is an extremely fast Freshman who was seeing his first action in college. It just so happened to be against Alabama. Norfleet had 8 kick returns for 177 yards with a long of 33. Impressive? Yes.

Norfleet is a player who could end up having a huge impact on the Wolverines for this 2012 season with his speed. He accelerates quickly, waits on his blocks to get in place, finds the lanes, and can create for himself. He's perfect for the job and had quite the buzz for himself on Saturday night via Twitter.

3. Vincent Smith - RB

Vincent Smith was expected to see a decent amount of playing time on Saturday with the absence of starting Running Back Fitzgerald Toussaint. However, he ended performing a little better than most people saw coming. The feeling going into the game was that Thomas Rawls would not only fill the starting spot for the night, but excel in the process. While Smith didn't make fools of the Alabama defense, the Senior did a nice job of stepping up when his team needed him.

With Toussaint coming back next week, I don't have confidence in saying Smith will have a consistent role with the Wolverines offense. But Saturday was proof that, if need be, he could step into the position and perform.


1. Roy Roundtree - WR

This was supposed to be the game that Roy Roundtree broke out of his slump dating back to last season, but it took him almost the whole game just to come up with his first catch. He would only have one more reception throughout the game.

Roundtree still has all season to prove that he can be the number one receiver for Denard Robinson and the Wolverines, but that transition needs to come quick. Other guys are starting to show they have a lot of upside, and, if Roundtree isn't careful, he could find himself falling back.

2. Denard Robinson - QB

Simply put, Denard Robinson was not Denard Robinson. The Alabama defense held him in check all game, and the Wolverines could not find a way to utilize his talents. Robinson's biggest problem last year was 15 INTs. Last night, he had 2. It wasn't the greatest start to the season for Robinson.

The biggest problem I saw with Robinson's game was his inability to throw an accurate ball. There were a good amount of opportunities thrown down the drain because Robinson couldn't deliver a catchable ball. That's something that can be fixed against a defense like Air Force, who isn't very strong against the pass. Hopefully, some confidence can set him straight for the rest of the season.

3. Thomas Rawls - RB

Thomas Rawls was one of the most anticipated starters for the Wolverines heading into Saturday night. In some cases, people were saying Toussaint would have to earn his spot back from Rawls. Turns out, that won't be much of a problem. Rawls only had 9 yards on 6 carries.

I still have hope that Rawls can be a solid back up for Toussaint when he comes back, but I didn't see anything on Saturday night to impress me.

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