With Michigan running backs accounting for just 57 yards on 27 carries through two games in the 2012 season, junior left tackle Taylor Lewan and the offensive line know that the onus is on them to create running lanes for the Wolverines stable of backs. Fortunately for the men up front, senior quarterback Denard Robinson amassed over 200 yards Saturday in a 31-25 victory over Air Force.
"I think it was better than I first described it," said Lewan Monday. "At first I was upset because the running back shad seven yards, but people don't get that we also block for Denard too and he had 200-some yards. That's successful on our part—but we need to get the running back going whether it's Fitz, Vince, anybody, we need to get the ball going."
"My goal for the running back is 150 plus yards every week, and that's my goal personally," Lewan added. "As an offensive line our stats are—Denard's rushing yards or running back rushing yards, those are our stats and we have to take pride in that."
The reasons for the struggles at running back could be many, but Lewan is adamant that their job as blockers doesn't change no matter who is carrying the football.
"Denard has a read," said Lewan. "We have a ‘64' read where he reads the end with the linebacker, that's his thing, and if he pulls the ball that's an opportunity for him. If he gives it we have to give Fitz an opportunity, but we block the same play for either guy."
Lewan understands being a freshman
With the recent impact of true freshmen for the Wolverines, Lewan and the elder statesmen of team 133 aren't playing with fear of losing their jobs.
"When you come to a school like Michigan there's always going to be competition," said Lewan. "There's always going to be the greatest competition ‘cause you're bringing in some of the best players from all over the country. That's what happens. It's going to be like that every single year at Michigan."
With lack of depth at several key positions for the Wolverines, fresh faces in the two deep are plentiful. Lewan, who had the luxury of redshirting when he arrived in Ann Arbor in 2009, understands the challenge of being a freshman, away from home for the first time and trying to fit into the Michigan football culture.
"The first couple weeks you figure out what we do before games," said Lewan. "Pre-game meals you don't talk, you just keep quiet. I think they're learning. It's the third week, so they should know what they're doing by now. I don't think there should be too much babysitting on my end."
"Its difficult—and you know when I redshirted I was 250 pounds as an offensive linemen," said Lewan. "That's not going to work out especially in the Big Ten. SO I knew I wasn't ready at the time—but obviously you've all seen a couple guys that can get it done and I'm happy for them."
To watch video of Lewan from Monday's presser, click play below.