Late Season Assessments #3- Michigan Wolverines 8-1 5-0 Key Players: Offense- QB- Denard Robinson- 83-144 1587 yards 18 TDs 1 INT Denard has played a big part in why Michigan is 8-1 and number 3 in the country, but he's not the only reason. Michigan has proven it can beat teams without Denard, even key conference foes such as Nebraska, as Denard has missed about 4 and 1/2 games combined due to injury. Still though, he has put up some very impressive numbers, and doing so while only throwing 1 interception. Pretty solid for the SR QB out of Florida. He also has 3 TDS on the ground. RB- David Harrison- 141 att 729 yards 9 TDs 1 fumble 19 rec. 212 yards 2 TDs David is a True Freshman who many thought would be redshirted this season, but the coaches instead decided to let him play, and save his redshirt just incase. The 6'1 Wisconsin native has proven he can be a starting back in the B1G and thrive in the spread offense running the ball. David was splitting carries with Fitzgerald Toussaint to begin the year, but with Fitzgerald went down with a broken collarbone, David was asked to carry more of the load. He's done well in his first season in Michigan but it's not clear what his status will be for next season. He still isn't the back that Michigan needs him to be. WR- Je Ron Stokes 25 rec 843 yards 12 TDs 5 drops 22 KR 617 31 PR 308 Je Ron took the place of Roy Roundtree in the offense after Roy unexpectedly left for the draft. The SR WR has been a do it all type of player for the Wolverines and has done very well. He's actually benefited more from Denard's injury than anyone else because he quickly became back up QB James Johnston's favorite wide out. True Freshman Matt Herron is having a big year as well, and that has taken a lot of the coverage away from Je Ron and opened him up a lot more than originally expected. K Will Hagerup- 24/25 Long 59 45/45 XP Normally a kicker is an afterthought but in this case, Will has been almost perfect for Michigan this season, and has made it seem that if Michigan can get to the 40, they will put some points on the board. Defense MLB Kenny Demens - 35 tackles 7 TFL 1 Sack 4 INTs 2 FF 2 FR 2 TD When you talk about the Michigan defense, it all starts with Kenny Demens. The SR LB has done everything for Michigan and really has been great for them. It seems he's everywhere and even though it says he only has 7 tackles for loss, he has a lot for 1 or less yards. He's been great all season and is a big reason Michigan is undefeated in conference play. LE Craig Roh - 15 Tackles 10 TKL 8 sacks 1 INT 1 FF 1 FR Craig has been solid for the Michigan line this season, tallying off 8 sacks on unsuspecting QBS. In a defense that doesn't blitz much, you have to have great defensive linemen if you want to get to the QB. Craig is one of those guys that are lucky enough to have the ability to get to the QB without much help. He's played great up front and Michigan will miss the SR when he graduates this Spring. BIG WINS 26-9 over then #10 Nebraska. This was a big conference win that was a MUST WIN at the time and the reason it's such a big win is because Denard Robinson didn't play a snap in this game. He was out with an injured back from a previous game and could not go. The Redshirt sophomore James Johnston was asked to be a game manager and even though he threw 3 interceptions in the game, the defense played well and forced Taylor Martinez into 5 interceptions and came up with a win. 38-24 over then #10Iowa. Another big win because Denard Robinson played a total of 1 minute in this game and was knocked out of the game after completing a touchdown pass to David Harrison. This was also the first time the Michigan coaching staff and players had seen an option attack and had to adjust on the go. James Johnston played excellent in this game throwing for over 250 yards and only having 4 incompletions on the day. Again,t he Michigan defense stepped up and stopped the option attack for the most part and picked up a big win to all but lock up a spot in the B1G championship game. TOUGH LOSS 27-24 against then #8 UNC. This was a tough loss for Michigan as they had several opportunities to get stops, but just could never get over the hump and make the play. Michigan had trouble getting any type of offense going in the first half, and was lucky to get an interception on a screen pass to tie the game at 10 going into the half. This game was early on in the season and the freshman David Harrison was still adjusting to the speed of college football, only had 7 yards on 9 carries, by far his worst outing of the season. A lot of that had to do with UNC's defense though. Denard tried to take it upon himself to carry the team and had 3 passing TD's on the day, 67 rushing yards, and 200 passing yards but threw his ONLY interception of the year in this game. This was a tough hard fought game and Michigan can only hope to get a shot at a rematch in the Orange Bowl if both teams do their part to get there. BIG Games Left- Week 13- #8 in the BCS Purdue At 7-2, Purdue defeated the early favorite in the Leaders Division, Wisconsin, in Overtime by a gutsy go for 2 call. Purdue has came out of no where and is having a great season. A much anticipated match-up next week and Purdue has the home field advantage. Purdue boasts the leading Big Ten rusher in Ralph Bolden, and Michigan will have to slow him down in order to win the game. B1G Championship Game- This could be a rematch of Week 13 against Purdue assuming Purdue doesn't drop 2 of their next 3 games. If Purdue does lose, it will be a rematch of last seasons B1G championship with Wisconsin playing Michigan, the only difference this season is Michigan will be the higher ranked team, and hopefully have Denard Robinson healthy and ready to go. * A little late on this, wanted to do it at mid-season but we were moving at such a great pace, I let it slip my mind. Thought it'd be fun if other teams wanted to post their Assessments so far here too.