Denard Robinson for Heisman!

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Denard Robinson  of the Michigan Wolverines runs against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan defeated Notre Dame 28-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

All right, so that’s a little premature. But even the staunchest of Michigan haters have to admit that the sophomore has looked mighty impressive in his first two performances of the year.

A week after compiling 383 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in a win over Connecticut, Robinson absolutely torched Notre Dame for 502 total yards on Saturday, including 244 passing and 258 rushing. He also scored three touchdowns (1 passing, 2 rushing), one of which came with only 27 seconds remaining to give Michigan a 28-24 victory.

The criticism Rich Rodriguez has received over the last two years has been well deserved, but it’s fair to note that he hadn’t found a starting quarterback to run his offense. Now that he has one, Wolverine fans are finally seeing positive results. Robinson might not be a traditional passer, but that’s not what Rich Rod’s offense calls for anyway. And it’s hard to find any fault in the way the sophomore signal caller has started the season.

Granted, he hasn’t faced Ohio State, he hasn’t faced Iowa, Penn State on the road or Wisconsin either. But it’s not like the Irish play with 11 amputees on the defensive side of the ball. And while the outcome of the game may have been different had Dayne Crist been able to play all four quarters, Robinson was still a one-man wrecking crew.

He’s made Michigan relevant again.

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Denard Robinson for Heisman? Not yet, but he’s off an running

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball on a 13 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Denard Robinson just made Michigan fans’ wildest dreams come true. Well, not quite, but he’s definitely going to have the maize and blue clad minions smiling from ear to ear tonight.

Robinson torched the Connecticut defense today for 198 yards on 29 carries, and was 19-for-22 for 188 yards through the air in Michigan’s 30-10 victory. That second number is huge, because anyone that watched Robinson throw a football in game action last year might faint at the sight of that completion percentage.

When he arrived on the scene in Ann Arbor a year ago, Robinson excited Michigan fans with his elite speed. His inability to produce in the passing game, however, made him more of a situational player while his classmate, Tate Forcier, handled the bulk of the load. Now that Forcier has fallen out of favor with Rich Rodriguez (true freshman Devin Gardner entered the game for a few plays after Robinson went out with a minor injury in the third quarter), Robinson seems to have a firm grasp on the starting quarterback position in Ann Arbor. His performance today will do nothing but strengthen that.

So is Robinson a true Heisman Trophy contender? It’s way too early to say — and remember, Michigan started out on fire last year, and many were asking the same question about Forcier. But he’s definitely off to a good start, and I’d expect him to be on most Heisman watch lists on Monday. If he helps lead Michigan back to prominence, don’t be surprised to see him in New York in December.

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