Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 2: Biggest Performers and Underperformers

It seemed like Michigan was 0-1 for a couple of months, and, throughout the course of the game against Air Force, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if Michigan lost back-to-back games to open the season. I'm sure it would have been ugly, but it's a reality we don't have to face thanks to some very key performances on the field.

Of course, where you find good, you also find bad. Or at least unproductive. There were some not-so-great performances from some Wolverines, too. But it is always best to start with the positives.

Top Performers

1. Devin Funchess - TE

Especially after Kevin Koger left for the NFL a year ago, who would've thought we would be mentioning a Tight End as a top performer for the Wolverines? I certainly didn't. But it turns out Devin Funchess might be a vital weapon for this offense heading forward.

Funches recorded all of his first career stats last week against Air Force, and it wasn't just getting a couple numbers next to his name. They all pop out. In fact, you would probably think you're looking at a big threat Wide Receiver's numbers.
The 6-foot-5-inch Freshman delivered big for the Wolverines against Air Force with 106 yards receiving and his first career touchdown. His big body showed surprisingly good hands, and he showed great patience with catching the ball first, then trying to make more, rather than the other way around. That's always a great sign from a Freshman.

2. Denard Robinson - QB

Denard Robinson looked to be back on track against Air Force, seeming to be much more comfortable within the offense than he was against Alabama. He busted open TD runs of 60 and 80 yards. Combined with the rest of his game on the ground, Robinson accounted for over 200 yards.

It was also very important for Robinson to establish himself in the passing game, something I thought he really improved on from week one. Having a go-to target like Funches for this game really made a difference, too. Other than that, he helped himself out a lot by showing the Denard we are all used to -- running fast and using that to establish a passing game.


1. Fitzgerald Toussaint - RB

I was very disappointed in Toussaint's performance on Saturday. He hurt the team by getting suspended for the game against Alabama, and everyone was really looking forward to his return against Air Force. Unfortunately, it was nothing we were expecting.

Toussaint gained 7 yards on 8 attempts. I'm no math whiz, but that looks to be less than one yard per carry. Part of the problem was the offensive line did not do a particularly great job of opening up for the running game when Toussaint's number was called. But he needs to have more of an impact than that if he wants to contribute to the Wolverine offense.

2. Will Campbell - DT

This was not the Will Campbell we are used to seeing on the Michigan defense. He usually has a very strong grip on the game, and some even see him as the anchor of that front line. Still, against Air Force, he looked to be over powered on just about every play.

There could be a number of reasons as to why he didn't have his normal game with him, but Campbell simply did not produce the way the defense needs him to. The Defensive Line is young, not deep, and under sized. They depend on Campbell to carry a lot of the load.

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