ANN ARBOR - Saturday became sort of a love-fest of all things Denard Robinson. Rightfully so, in respect to Michigan's senior quarterback. He finished with 426 yards of offense, rushing and passing, and had more total yards than Michigan as a team (422) - a factoid that even caught the attention of Deadspin.
The math's not that difficult. Robinson ran for 218 yards and passed for 208 yards. However, behind Robinson was a drastic drop-off in Michigan's running game. Tailback Fitz Toussaint finished with seven yards on eight carries, and Michigan lost 11 yards on three carries - all three losses were credited to the Wolverines as a team and Michigan finished with 214 yards rushing.
But if there's an area of concern for the Wolverines heading into next week's game against Massachusetts, it's not just the run game - it's also team defense. Granted, defending against a triple option is not easy. One, because of the offense's dynamics and two, because Air Force is a team that, even when it's down, will continue to grind away and somehow remain competitive. (And if Air Force is ahead, they'll simply grind their opponents into the turf - consider that consistency a characteristic of a military academy. It almost seems as if the only way to beat Air Force is to outscore the Falcons.)
In two games, Michigan has given up an average of 424 yards in its first two games, including an average of 261 yards rushing. It's no wonder Michigan coach Brady Hoke still considers the Wolverines a work in progress of sorts on defense.
Though, as a new FBS entry, Massachusetts is 0-2 after a 45-6 loss Saturday to Indiana, and they always say never to underestimate an opponent, Saturday's game against the Minutemen at Michigan Stadium is one that could be regarded as a tune-up of sorts - in two weeks, Michigan travels to South Bend, Ind., to face Notre Dame in the annual grudge match between the two traditional powers. If you're looking for a yardstick to find out how Michigan (or Notre Dame) measures up, that Saturday night affair could be it.