This game has been on the minds of Michigan players for over a year now. And now, after all the anticipation, the night is finally upon them. No. 8 Michigan flew to Dallas to take on No. 2 Alabama at Cowboys Stadium Saturday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.
It’s arguably Michigan’s most important game in over two decades, and the Wolverines know what needs to happen in order for them to come out on top against the defending national champs.
QB Denard Robinson needs to have his best Heisman performance yet. And he’ll have to do it without starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint who was suspended for his arrest in the off-season on DUI charges.
Robinson’s Three Keys To Success:
1) Contain his composure and not get too hyped up.
Robinson’s had a history of getting too jacked before games and it’s hurt him in the past. He’s now turned to listening to more slow R&B before games to keep his calm before kickoff. It’s important Robinson doesn’t turn the ball over in critical spots on the field. Giving Alabama any points won’t help Michigan’s case in trying to play catch-up against the best defense in the country.
2) Forget the past.
When Michigan faced Michigan State, Illinois and Virginia Tech, the best defense’s the Robinson faced, he didn’t complete 10 throws in any of those games or reach 125 yards passing. He completed just 43.6 percent of his passes and average a measly 110.7 yards passing in those games. Those defenses also held him to just 2.0 yards per carry and 28 yards per game in those contest. Alabama’s defense is even more brutal and has the ability to throw nearly every scheme possible at you. Robinson has to put all that behind him and trust his offensive line and receivers in order to be successful Saturday.
3) Get the ball out of his hands quick.
Nick Saban is going to throw every look imaginable at Robinson and try to make him beat them through the air. He needs to get the ball out of his hands quick and to his receivers before the pressure gets to him. Michigan has three new starters on the offensive line and will likely struggle against the size and power of the Tide’s defensive front.
Will Robinson’s offensive line give him enough of a push up front? Will his receivers help him out? Who will be running the ball besides Robinson? Will Robinson be able to find holes to run through?
All questions that will be answered tomorrow. We’ve waited awhile for this gem.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.