"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
Robinson Collects Second Straight Walter Camp Player of the Week Honor
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For the second straight week, University of Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach HS) has been named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week. Robinson collects this week’s honor after racking up 502 yards of total offense in the Wolverines’ 28-24 victory at Notre Dame yesterday.
Robinson led the game-winning 12-play, 72-yard scoring drive against the Irish, capped by his two-yard scoring running with 27 second left in regulation. He accounted for all 72 of the Wolverines yards on the drive, completing 5-of-6 passes for 55 yards and gained 17 rushing yards on six attempts.
Robinson set the Big Ten rushing record for quarterbacks with 258 yards on 28 carries against the Irish. His rushing output is the best road effort ever for a Wolverine ground gainer and the fifth-best single-game effort in school history.
He set career highs in every passing category, completing 24-of-40 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown. Robinson became the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to run and pass for over 200 yards in a game and the first since West Virginia’s Pat White accomplished the feat against Pittsburgh on Nov. 16, 2006 (220 rushing and 204 passing).
In addition to his two-yard game-winning scoring plunge, Robinson raced 87 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter at Notre Dame. The scoring run was the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history and the sixth longest run in Michigan football history.
Robinson reset the Michigan total offensive record with 502 yards at Notre Dame, surpassing his total of 383 yards set last week against Connecticut. He also set the school record with 68 total offensive plays (28 rushing and 40 passing) in the Notre Dame game.
Robinson leads the nation in rushing (227.5 avg.) and total offense (442.5 avg.) through two games.
Robinson is the fourth FBS player to earn Walter Camp Player of the Week honors twice in a season. The last player to earn the award twice was Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell (won the award twice in a three-week span during the 2008 season).
Not mentioned in the release: He's the first-ever guy to win it in consecutive weeks.
Fifteen yards, Twenty yards,
Eighty-seven yards rushing,
All in the valley of Irish
Smoked for five hundred.
"Forward, the Wolverines!
"Charge for the goal!" he said:
Into the valley of Irish
Drove for five hundred.
"Forward, the Wolverines!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the Irish knew
Kelly would blunder:
His not to make reply,
His not to reason why,
His but to lose and cry:
In the valley of Irish
Burned for five hundred.
Irish to right of him,
Irish to left of him,
Irish in front of him
Volley'd and sundered'd;
Storm'd at with Shaw and Smith,
Boldly he rushed and well,
Into the jaws of Irish,
Into the mouth of Hell
Drove for five hundred.
Blurr'd all his laces bare,
Blurr'd as he went to the air,
Torching the defenders there,
Charging for touchdowns, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the misty-rain
Right thro' the line he broke;
Te'o and Fleming
Reel'd from his righteous moves
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they struggled back, but not
Not for six hundred.
Irish to right of him,
Irish to left of himm,
Irish behind him
Volley'd and sunder'd;
Storm'd at with Shaw and Smith,
While defenders fell,
They that had play'd so well
Came thro' the jaws of Irish
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
With yards of five hundred.
When can his glory fade?
O the wild game he play'd!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge he made,
Honor the Wolverine,
Blazed for five hundred.
That was an unbelievable experience, watching the game with my family, unwittingly teaching my 4yo son a bad word or three, watching Michigan rewrite the 2009 script to include the new answer to all that ails Michigan Football. Because that is what Denard Robinson is, The Answer. Not just an answer, but instead The one and only Answer that you will need right about now. Let's demonstrate:
Q. Why is the sky blue?
A. Because Denard Robinson.
Q. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A. De-Nard Rob-In-Son.
Q. Why do Michigan fans have a shit-eating grin on their faces?
A. The answer is The Answer, and he'll be here all season, just ask away.
Seriously though, enjoy this everyone. Denard Robinson is making Michigan Football history and for the first time I can remember we have a new script.
Other things I learned:
- Rich Rodriguez is old school. To hell with the latest in game theory, he will punt on fourth down and makable in the opponents end of the field, even on 4th and 2, if he wants to. No amount me ranting about it in my living room will make him change his mind. And let's not get started on trusting the leg of Gibbons a second time. Of course there was an answer to my frustration, see above.
- Michigan now has, I believe, the toughest group of players I have ever seen play anywhere. Roy Roundtree comes back a week after serious internal bruising, gets crushed again in this game, and gets back up to catch arguably the most important ball thrown all day. Odoms took a couple wicked shots as well. Of course Denard Robinson defies what every hater has said all week, getting up time and again and channeling the beating he is receiving into pure awesome. Credit to the almighty Barwis.
- Tate looks like he has decided to be a team player. His hug with RR at the beginning of the game looked a tad scripted ("Is the camera looking yet? OK now!") but it was nice to see him with the headset on, ready to help out. Others mentioned in various comments that he was getting the team huddled up during time outs and generally was with his teammates. I am glad to see this.
- This season our defense no longer looks incompetent, it merely looks young and inexperienced. Big plays burned us over and over, but for the majority of the plays faced, the defense appeared to be improving if anything. Man this Kool-Aid tastes good...
- Cam Gordon can really hit, but he needs to improve quickly as the deep contain. One bad angle and one letting a man behind him = burn crispy twice. Future opponents are definitely going to try to exploit him.
The best-case scenario has come true through two games. Denard Robinson's amazing displays have shoved all talk about RR's hot seat and the NCAA investigation out the window, and we are looking at a probable 4-0 start (I don't like adding Indiana into that figure after last year's game). Pretty much everyone of note is healthy and I think this team is showing improvement on defense despite some issues giving up the long ball. Take away the two touchdowns totaling 148 yards and Michigan has at least an average day on defense.
It was easy after this game to get very concerned about our reliance on one player. With Denard Robinson accounting for 502 of 532 total yards on offense, what happens if he goes down? Let's not forget that the OLine is getting great push, creating holes, and protecting the QB. Let's not overlook that the receivers are getting open, catching the football, and blocking well. And most of all, take solace that in Tate Forcier we have a more than capable starter waiting in the wings, and that he appears to have adopted a team-first mentality.
Enjoy this time fellow fans.
**Note: Sorry if some of this is redundant with any other posts/diaries. I'm short on time**
I was able to attend the Alumni Association Tailgate before the Michigan-ND game today (great game)! AD Brandon did a Q&A session at it. I thought I'd pass on a few of his thoughts/answers. Nothing to earth shattering, but probably of interest to at least a few folks. I'm trying to provide the answers as quotes, but this was transcribed on my phone as he was talking, so it's bound to contain some paraphrasing.
From his opening remarks:
Sorry this isn't really 'original' from the perspective of me creating it, but it seemed kind of long to put in a Board.
Thank you James Madison for your amazing victory at Va Tech today. No longer will THE HORROR be considered the single biggest upset in college football history. You have now attached Va Tech/JMU game, doubling the all time most embarrassing games to 2. Sure Va Tech is coming off just 6 days of rest but you holding Tyrod Taylor 210 total yards and 16 points makes Michigan's offense look competent in THE HORROR. What ever happened to Beamer's amazing defenses? They got run over by Boise and followed that up by allowing JMU to score on a 77 yard pass and have their unathletic slow QB run for 2 TDs (7 and 12 yards) in the 2nd half.
Thank you for also making Boise State look like nothing special. I really hate teams that play 1-2 hard games a year and expect a BCS bowl. Now, VA Tech can't be considered a big win. Boise, just join the Big 12 already and try and beat some real teams besides TCU.
Also.... does anyone else feel slightly better after UCONN destroyed Texas Southern 62-3. I'm watching a replay of the game now and man does UCONN's offense and defense look 10x better than last week. UCONN's O-line is creating huge holes even when Texas Southern sends 6-7 guys. UCONN's RB just gashed the defense for 45 yards. Wow. Makes Michigan's defensive play seem even better. UCONN's defense has also stopped Texas Southern twice, TWICE, on 3rd and long. Either they were really nervous playing in the Big House and were just off or our defense is better than I thought. Yes, I know it's Texas Southern, but UCONN has easily moved the ball down the field twice and put up 10 points in 1/2 of the 1st quarter. 7 minutes and nearly 150 total yards.
I saw on another diary that people were talking about Ezeh's game and I thought it'd be interesting to see who people thought were the best 5 and worst 5 today.
1. Denard: Duh! 3 TDs and 0 turnovers. He averaged 7.38 yards per play (502 total yards / (40 passes + 28 runs), which is just sick. Stretched ND out and put pressure on ND's defense. Forced the safeties to come down allowing 1 on 1 coverage outside. I had a ton of confidence he'd drive down the field and score when we needed a TD late.
2. Roh/Martin/RVB Combo: Constantly got to the 3 QBs. Even when we sent just 3. Even on the 95 yard TD throw these 3 forced Crist to move his feet and allowed Michigan to drop 8 into coverage. Unless I am incorrect most of the game Roh put his hand down, which is pretty interesting and probably in response to ND's spread offense. Martin blew up his double team at least 50% of the time, RVB knocked down numerous passes and chased down Allen when he ran to the right, and Roh burned the LT time and time again. They helped create 2 of the turnovers, knocked the QB down and just made sure the QBS were never really comfortable in the pocket.
3. Mouton: Huge momentum turning pick. Good job reading the QBs and dropping deep into zone coverage. Very few open targets across the middle for ND. Had a couple of huge hits and helped blitz the quarterback successfully. Seems to really be stepping it up. Only had a couple of plays where his aggressiveness took him out of position.
4. GERG Robinson: Not only did he decide (correctly) to move Roh up front but he also decided that those 3 could handle the OL most of the time. He also clearly went after Crist on the first drive and while ND did score on that drive, they clearly knocked him out before the TD sneak. On the 2 big touchdowns he had guys in that area and clearly had the right protection/coverage on. Players just messed up. Did a good job with what he had. Also, decided to not let the RBs beat them. Especially when Crist got knocked out. Held Floyd to 66 yards (and 0 TDs) and 4.8 yards per carry.
5. Kovacs and Thomas Gordon: Kovacs had a great pick and almost grabbed another. He got beat a couple of times but nothing deep. Barely heard him or Thomas Gordon mentioned, which is a great thing for a safety. Gordon was impressive, had a nice sack, and some big hits. He also never got beat deep. Very good first start for him. I think we might see a 2 0 2 out of him on the UFR.
* Disclaimer: While I might list these guys as the worst 5 I do realize that they are all kids and I am not attacking them personally. It's just my observation and yes I do realize that I couldn't touch 1 of these guys as a football player.
1. Gibbons: You can't miss 2 mid-range FGs. 1/4 on the year is bad. This game reminded me of Washington from 2002. You can't miss a FG within 40 yards in a game like this, nevermind twice. He clearly has a good leg, now we need some accuracy. I know he's a RS Freshman, but he has 1 job to do, make FGs. With that said, he did a good job on kickoffs.
2. Gordon: I know he's young and not a natural FS but you can't let anyone behind you when you are the last line of defense. I was hoping his size and WR skills would let him pick off the 95 yard TD pass. He seems like he doesn't trust his skills yet. He jumped on the 53 yard TD but was well short of the ball (and let Jones behind him). At the end of the first half he also completely ignored the wheel route and helped double team the seam route, leaving Riddick wide open for Montana. ND should have gotten 3 here. So (and I hate writing this) about 17 points are on him. I really know he has the talent and size to be good at that spot. He just needs to realize he is the last guy back and give up a 20 yard catch instead of going for the pick. That or actually get the pick.
3. Omameh: Another bad game. Really did a bad job in my mind. He got pushed around and picked up dumb penalties. Our middle 3 didn't do great but Molk and Shilling at least blocked their guy 90% of the time. Omameh getting blown up constantly killed the inside draw on the QB read. He also slowed up Molk, not allowing him to slip to the 2nd level, meaning the ND LBs got more shots on Denard then they should have. The third and inches stop was on him and Molk getting beat back. 3rd and inches. AHHH.
4. Banks/Sagesse: It's not what they did, it's what they didn't do. When one of these guys was up front instead of RVB or Martin the D-line did nothing. We had tons of pressure when they weren't on and it disappeared when we subbed on one of these guys. They just don't have the pass rushing skills that the other 3 do, which I think is why GREG kept them off the field as much as possible. We need them to be better from here on out. We'll need to be able to sub for Martin and RVB when we are playing teams like Wisconsin and OSU.
5. Christian: 1 play and 1 huge mistake. Yeah, the shot wasn't hard and the guy was just barely out but you can't do that. I know he's really young and super excited to be out there playing, but he can't take a personal foul there then. The play goes from a so-so 15 yards gained to 30. ND moved from the 42 to the 27. From the 42 ND might not be able to get the ball into the endzone besides just throwing it up. There are plenty of college passes that gain 27 yards. Changes the chances of success from 1 in 50 (god damn you Kordell) to 1 in what 15? 20? Big difference, especially when it's Michigan-ND, and we have Rich Rod's luck.