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Monday, September 17, 2012
The Michigan 10: Week 3

By Michael Rothstein

Fitzgerald Toussaint
Fitzgerald Toussaint got his first TD this season and got into the Michigan Ten for the first time, too.
A 50-point win against the worst team on Michigan’s schedule aside, the Wolverines now have a big jump in their schedule from UMass to Notre Dame.

Denard Robinson led the way against Massachusetts, accumulating almost 400 yards of offense on Michigan’s way to a 63-13 win over the Minutemen in a game where the Wolverines played a lot of young players, including backup quarterback Russell Bellomy for almost a quarter.

And once again, Robinson leads this week’s Michigan Ten, which rates the Wolverines based on performance and other factors relating to the team. As always, think of this like the stock market, with players able to move up or down weekly.

1. QB Denard Robinson (1): While he had a second interception returned for a touchdown this season on Saturday, Robinson also racked up 291 yards passing and 106 yards rushing along with four touchdowns against UMass, continuing his strong play of late. With Notre Dame up next, it’ll be interesting to see if Robinson continues this pace.

2. WR Devin Gardner (2): Michigan’s most talented receiver had a quieter day on Saturday, two catches for 48 yards, but he also had another touchdown. Gardner has now played three games at wide receiver -- and has three touchdowns. He’s developing a nice rapport with Robinson.

3. TE Devin Funchess (3): The other half of Team Devin, the freshman also had a quieter day than his 100-yard debut against Air Force, catching two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. But he is on the verge of becoming a major playmaker for Michigan -- so much so even Brady Hoke hinted at it during his postgame news conference.

4. LB Jake Ryan (5): The redshirt sophomore didn’t have the career-high game he did against Air Force, but Ryan did have four tackles, including a half-tackle for loss, against UMass. He continued his strong play and is establishing himself as an anchor for a Michigan defense that needs one.

5. DE Frank Clark (8): The sophomore picked up a start in Brennen Beyer’s absence and put more pressure on than any other defensive lineman. As part of a group that as a whole has struggled, Clark has stood out. He had three tackles, including one for loss, and two pass breakups.

6. RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (NR): Michigan’s featured back finally got started, gaining 85 yards and scoring his first touchdown of the season. He also found holes easily and when he received at least adequate blocking was able to reach the second and third level with ease.

7. LB James Ross III (7): In his first career start, the freshman had three tackles and a tackle for loss. He handled the role Desmond Morgan vacated due to injury with ease and once again looked like a potential playmaker in the future.

8. P Will Hagerup (10): He might not see the field much -- and Michigan would be OK with that -- but Hagerup is a game-changer when he boots the ball. He averaged 46 yards a punt Saturday and having regained his confidence is turning into a good safety net for Michigan when the offense can’t move the ball.

9. RB Vincent Smith (NR): He touched the ball only three times as a rusher, but when he did, he found the end zone. Smith scored two touchdowns and continued his career of being effective in spurts.

10. LB Brandin Hawthorne (NR): He isn’t a starter and benefited from an injury to Desmond Morgan and a blowout early, but Hawthorne led Michigan in tackles with seven.

Dropped out: KR Dennis Norfleet (4); LB Joe Bolden (6); CB J.T. Floyd (9).