- 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’s what went down against Air Force:
QB Denard Robinson, Sr. (Camp, Maxwell, O'Brien): The senior was nothing short of electrifying against the Falcons. He reminded everyone exactly why he was nicknamed “Shoelace” with his two touchdowns and 218 yards on the ground. On top of that, his arm appeared much improved as he completed 14 of 25 passes (though he had one interception). It was a huge improvement on his performance against Alabama, and it brings him back into the conversation for these awards.
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, RS Jr. (Maxwell, Walker): He didn’t play against Alabama. You could almost say the same thing for Air Force. He had 7 yards on eight carries and impressed no one. He has dug himself quite the hole. It’s not a hole that he can’t get out of, but it’s pretty deep and with only one game left before the Wolverines face a team familiar with Michigan’s offense, he better get going.
Roy Roundtree, Sr. (Biletnikoff): One catch for 5 yards doesn’t win a player anything, much less the Biletnikoff. Two poor performances in a row. On top of that, Robinson seems to be gaining confidence with Devin Gardner and other receivers. Short of huge performances in the next 10 games, he seems to be out of the running.
LB Kenny Demens, RS Jr. (Lombardi): Demens recorded seven tackles against Air Force, but Brady Hoke seemed to favor true freshman Joe Bolden over Demens. Not good signs for a player in the hunt for the Lombardi. If his performance doesn’t improve, his playing time and ultimate chance to be a finalist will disappear.
S Jordan Kovacs, RS Sr. (Nagurski): Michigan’s secondary took a hit when Blake Countess went down against Alabama, but Kovacs is anchoring the secondary pretty well still. His leadership and steady play has gotten him to the place he is today, but if his numbers don’t pick up, his chances won’t be too great.
LT Taylor Lewan, RS Jr. (Lombardi, Outland): Lewan was pretty hard on himself and the offensive line after Michigan’s poor performance in the run game against the Falcons. But for the most part, he has kept Robinson out of harm’s way and been the most solid of the O-line. He still has a shot for both awards and assuming he keeps his penalties down and his play up, his stock will be high at the end of the season.
K Brendan Gibbons, RS Jr. (Groza): Gibbons was 4-for-4 on PATs and made a 31-yard field goal, his only attempt, to cap the scoring. None of his kicks was in a high-pressure situation, but most went right through the middle of the goal posts.