- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
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Each week WolverineNation will update how Michigan players mentioned on preseason award watch lists fared in their most recent game. Here is what transpired in the opener against Alabama:
QB Denard Robinson, Sr. (Camp, Maxwell, O'Brien): Robinson was bruised and battered in an underwhelming performance against No. 2 Alabama. He completed 11 of 26 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, and he added 10 carries for 27 yards. In other words it wasn't the kind of performance that will keep him on any award list when it next trims its list.
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, RS Jr. (Maxwell, Walker): Toussaint did not play in the opener because he was suspended for a DUI arrest and subsequent guilty plea on a reduced charge. With Michigan's next two games against Air Force and Massachusetts, he could put up two big performances out of the gate and might get a boost from not having played against the Tide.
WR Roy Roundtree, Sr. (Biletnikoff): It probably wasn't the season opener anyone on the Michigan team had hoped for, but Roundtree's day was especially disappointing. The senior caught two passes for 12 yards and was anything but a true threat to Alabama's defense. His knee -- he had it scoped in early August -- didn't look to hurt him too much, but if nothing changes in the next few games you can count out Roundtree.
LB Kenny Demens, RS Jr. (Lombardi): Three tackles. Not exactly the stat line that you'd expect to see from one of Michigan's most consistent defenders. It's also not the kind of stat line that will keep him on watch lists. But his numbers will climb in the next few games, and he should prove why he deserves to be on this list.
S Jordan Kovacs, RS Sr. (Nagurski): Kovacs had eight tackles, good enough for second-best on the team. It wasn't an inspired performance, but he kept the secondary and team together during a game in which would've been very easy to let go. Kovacs is a steady performer who will have better games, so he'll still be in the conversation as the Big Ten season starts.
LT Taylor Lewan, RS Jr. (Lombardi, Outland): Lewan picked up three personal fouls, though Hoke said after rewatching the tape that he believed his left tackle should've picked up only one. Lewan also went down in the fourth quarter with what looked like a leg injury, but Hoke said he's perfectly fine. Penalties were what held Lewan back as a redshirt freshman, and he spent most of last season hanging his hat on how few penalties he had drawn. He's one of the best in the Big Ten and possibly the country, but if he's a liability, he won't be a contender for the Outland Trophy at the end of the day.
K Brendan Gibbons, RS Jr. (Groza): Gibbons didn't get to attempt a field goal, but he did convert both extra point attempts. If he wants to remain a contender, Michigan will have to score a bit more or get him in field goal range so he can really show what he's made of.