Michigan had also expected to see the return of wide receiver Darryl Stonum, who was redshirted the previous season for disciplinary reason, Michigan will be forced to replace captains center David Molk, defensive tackle Mike Martin, and tight end Kevin Koger, as well as starters defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, defensive tackle Will Heininger, safety Troy Woolfolk, offensive tackle Mark Huyge, long snapper Tom Pomarico and wide receiver Junior Hemingway, as well as the 2011 team's leading kickoff returner Martavious Odoms.
Safety Josh Furman was arrested February 11, 2012 and faced three misdemeanor charges (illegal entry, assault and battery, and domestic violence) in court.
Robinson ran for 218 yards and two touchdowns, and passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns, his eight career game with at least four touchdowns.
He was also the first Michigan player to have two touchdown runs of 50 or more yards since Tyrone Wheatley in the 1993 Rose Bowl against Washington.
He declined the offer of a plea agreement of domestic violence.
He was found not guilty of all three charges on April 26, 2012.
Air Force responded with a five-yard touchdown run from Cody Getz, ending the half trailing 14–10.
In the third quarter, Robinson expand Michigan's lead to 11 with a 58-yard touchdown run.
Following a missed field goal on Air Force's opening drive, Denard Robinson ran 79 yards for a touchdown.Craig Roh, co-captain Jordan Kovacs and Jake Ryan earned second team recognition.Although they split the quarterbacking duties, both Devin Gardner and co-captain Denard Robinson earned multiple Big Ten Player of the Week awards with Robinson rewriting record books along the way. The 2011 Michigan Wolverines football team compiled an 11–2 record under first-year head coach Brady Hoke and defeated Virginia Tech in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, 23–20 in overtime.Michigan scored its first points at the end of the first half on a Denard Robinson six-yard touchdown run, making the halftime score 31–7. The game was Michigan's first season opener at a neutral venue.In the third quarter, Cade Foster kicked a 51-yard field goal for Alabama, while Michigan responded via a 44-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to Devin Gardner. Alabama scored its final points of the game in the fourth quarter as a result of a T. The loss was Michigan's first in September since September 13, 2008, against Notre Dame. Jeremy Gallon's 71-yard reception in the second quarter set a record for the longest play in Cowboys Classic history, while Will Hagerup's 61-yard punt also set the record for longest punt in Cowboys Classic history.