TSX Files: Michigan improves to 3-0

Michigan got out of the gate slowly against Eastern Michigan, but eventually dominated on the ground.


--Michigan got out of the gate slowly against Eastern Michigan, and watched the Eagles build up a 140-32 advantage in offense in the first quarter. By the game's end, however, the Wolverines had a 471-236 edge in total offense.
--Michigan QB Denard Robinson ran brilliantly against Eastern Michigan, but missed his first five passing attempts and finished the day going 7-of-18 through the air for 95 yards. --On the strength of its third straight win to open the 2011 season, Michigan moved into the top 25 in both of the major polls for the first time in more than a year. Michigan is 3-0 to start the campaign for the third straight season.
KEEP AN EYE ON: QB Denard Robinson -- Michigan has gone to its ace in the hole often in the early phase of the 2011 season, after making it clear that Robinson's role was likely to diminish this year. Against Notre Dame, Robinson had to run the ball 16 times to help pull out the win. In the 31-3 domination of Eastern Michigan, Robinson was called on to run the football 26 times. As his carries increase, Michigan knows his exposure to injury is also moving up the curve.
LOOKING GOOD: Michigan DB Jordan Kovacs shows the value of quality walk-on players to a major program such as Michigan's. Kovacs walked on at Michigan in 2009, and became a starter in 2010. He is now one of the leaders of the Michigan defensive unit. Kovacs put a hit on Eastern Michigan RB Javonti Greene that stopped Greene on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, with Michigan trailing 3-0 at the time.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The Michigan start against Eastern Michigan might be a scary sign that the team still has a ways to go in order to be considered in an elite class again. Michigan allowed the Eagles, a 2-22 team over the past two seasons, to dominate the first quarter. "I think we came out a little flat and got off to a rough start again," Michigan junior DB Jordan Kovacs said.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Offensively, we ran Denard a little more than we'd like to because we'd like to keep him healthy for the year. I think we've got work to do." -- Michigan coach Brady Hoke voicing concern over using junior QB Denard Robinson too often as a ball carrier


--RB Vincent Smith recorded 118 rushing yards on nine carries for the second 100-yard rushing performance of his career. His career-best performance was 166 rushing yards against Delaware State on Oct. 17, 2009. Smith also surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards with the effort, wrapping the game with 1,009 career yards
--S Thomas Gordon got the first interception of his career and his first fumble recovery, both in the 31-3 win over Eastern Michigan.
--LB Brandin Hawthorne made the first start of his Michigan career against Eastern Michigan and finished the game as the Wolverines' leading tackler with 10 stops.
--QB Denard Robinson had 198 rushing yards against Eastern Michigan, marking the third-best performance of his career. He had 258 rushing yards against Notre Dame last season, and then totaled 217 rushing yards a few weeks later against Indiana.


--CB Terrence Talbot, injured in the win over Notre Dame, did not play against Eastern Michigan.
--LB Cam Gordon is still dealing with an injured back, and after missing the Notre Dame game, Gordon was held out of the Eastern Michigan game as a precaution.
--DE Craig Roh left the field with an apparent shoulder injury in the first quarter of the win over Eastern Michigan, but later returned to the action.
--LB Brandon Herron, who missed the Notre Dame game with a leg injury, sat out the Eastern Michigan game but Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he expects Herron to return next week.

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