You are a tribute to the collective. May you never be disenfranchised from this work.
This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Given that the Molotov cocktails (and even SS-20 nuclear missiles) were flying last week, it only made sense to wait until this weekend to put forth the latest edition of the Almanack. Doing so also allowed me to incorporate the statistics from the games played yesterday.
It will be interesting to see how Denard does against Mississippi State's stout defense, ranked 20th in rushing defense and 50th in pass efficiency defense. This, of course, assumes that Denard's dislocated fingers are healed up by then: something I don't take for granted, though he should be ok.
Congratulations to Denard for being named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. He also finished the Big Ten season in first place for total offense (conference games only) with 317.5 yards per game. Roy Roundtree led all Big Ten receivers with 83.9 yards per game, and Will Hagerup led all punters with 46.0 yards per punt.
The last Michigan players to lead the Big Ten in those categories? Jim Harbaugh (247.4 YPG in 1986), Mario Manningham (109.8 YPG in 2007), and Zoltan Mesko (45.2 YPG in 2009).
Prefatory Verbiage • New This Week • Week in Review • Record of the Week • QBs as Rushing Champions • QB Rushing, Game • QB Rushing, Season • QB Rushing, Career • Rushing (Any Position) • 200/200 Club • 1500/2000 Club • 1500/1500 Club • 1000/1000 Club • All-Purpose TDs • Total Offense • Total Offense Per Play • Passing Efficiency • Other M Passing • Other M Rushing • Team Offense • Miscellaneous Records • Standard Disclaimers • Acknowledgments • Comments
New to this week's Almanack is a section on all-purpose touchdowns, which I published after the Wisconsin game as a separate diary. I've also tried to liven up the sesquipedalian text with some historical photos, along with Monumental's remarkable Denard action figure.
Statistically speaking, Denard had a pretty good first half against OSU, running for 95 yards and throwing the ball reasonably well against an outstanding pass defense. But he left late in the second quarter with two dislocated fingers, came back for one drive in the second half, and didn't play the rest of the way.
Unlike the Iowa game, where Tate Forcier was able to give M a spark, OSU's talented secondary shut Tate down, and Robinson's running ability was sorely missed. Denard ended up with 105 yards rushing on 18 carries for 5.83 YPC, including a critical red-zone fumble. He also threw for 87 yards on 8/18 attempts and no TDs, for a season-worst QB rating of 85.04.
Hopefully, the break before the bowl game allows Denard to recover fully from his various nicks and bumps.
Of the other prominant dual-threat QBs, Cam Newton cemented his Heisman-leading status by getting absurdly cleared by the NCAA, and rushing for 112 yards and passing for 551 in two impressive victories against Alabama and South Carolina. Colin Kaepernick ran for 45 and threw for 259 in a scintillating upset of Boise State, then ran roughshod over Louisiana Tech with 155 on the ground and 159 through the air. Taylor Martinez missed Nebraska's regular-season finale against Colorado, and got destroyed by Oklahoma's defense in the Big 12 championship game, rushing for minus 32 yards and going 12/24 for 50 yards and an INT through the air.
LaMichael James, Denard's leading rival for the FBS rushing title, ran for 126 against Arizona and 134 against Oregon State, to reclaim the lead in the rushing yardage race. As James' last game will be against Auburn's ferocious defense, Denard has a shot at catching him.
Denard is 175 yards short of tying Tim Biakabutuka's Michigan single-season rushing record of 1,818 yards, set in 1995. If he manages to stay healthy for an entire game, this record will certainly be within reach. (His 2010 per-game average is 136.9.) He currently sits fifth in Michigan's modern era in single-season rushing yards: the only backs ahead of him are Biakabutuka, Anthony Thomas, Jamie Morris, and Chris Perry. If Denard gains 100 yards in the bowl game, he will have ten 100-yard games on the season, tying a Michigan record held by Jamie Morris.
Our Comrade from Deerfield Beach is 230 yards away from setting the Big Ten single-season total offense record, currently held by Drew Brees with 4,189 yards in 2000. (Denard's 2010 per-game average is 329.9.) Denard currently sits fifth in the Big Ten's modern era in this category.
Denard is 184 yards short of 2,500 passing for the season, which would make him the first person in major college history to throw for 2,500 and run for 1,500 in the same season.
Though his average keeps trickling down, Denard still holds the Michigan career yards-per-carry record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 6.4 YPC. The previous record had been held by 6.3 YPC by Jon Vaughn (from 1989-1990).
Denard lost his hold of the Michigan career pass-efficiency record with a minimum of 200 attempts, as the Ohio State game brough him down to 146.2. The current record is 148.1 by Elvis Grbac (from 1989-1992), though Elvis had the benefit of a Heisman Trophy-winning receiver. Denard's 146.2 mark is also on pace for fourth all-time in the Big Ten, though he needs 300 completions to qualify for that record (he currently has 169).
Denard remains on pace to break the Michigan single-season total offense per play record, with 8.0 yards per play as of this week. The current record is held by Drew Henson, who recorded 7.9 YPP in 2000.
A quarterback has never led the NCAA FBS in rushing yards over a single season. In 1937, the first year in which the NCAA kept official football statistics, Colorado halfback Byron "Whizzer" White led the nation in rushing with 1,121 yards, along with 475 passing yards. (If that wasn't enough, White also went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, played in the NFL for Pittsburgh and Detroit, served in World War II during which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, came back and graduated from Yale Law School, and was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States.)
This year, Denard could become the first quarterback in history to finish the season as the NCAA rushing champion (by yards gained). He currently has gained 1,643 yards on the ground, 39 yards behind LaMichael James. Bobby Rainey of Western Kentucky has also edged ahead of Denard by 6 yards, but the 2-10 Hilltoppers are not headed to a bowl game this year.
On a yards-per-game basis, James is in first place with 152.9 (Denard has fallen to fourth with 136.9, behind James, Rainey, and Connecticut's Jordan Todman). Personally, I find the YPG statistic to be arbitrary: should Denard be punished because the Bowling Green game was a rout, and LaMichael James be rewarded because he was suspended for one game for pleading guilty to harrassing his ex-girlfriend? FWIW, on a yards-per-carry basis, Denard is well ahead of James.
Here are the top 5 rushers in the country, sorted by yards gained:
|Bobby Rainey||W. Kentucky||340||1,649||4.85||12||135.6||13|
|Lance Dunbar||North Texas||274||1,553||5.67||12||124.6||13|
* - LaMichael James was suspended for Oregon's first game against New Mexico for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
Denard currently holds the Michigan and Big Ten records for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game: 258 vs. Notre Dame. The NCAA FBS record is 308, on 22 attempts, by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, against Fresno State, on Oct. 6, 1990. The previous Michigan single-game record was held by another #16, Steve Smith, who ran for 147 yards on four carries against Minnesota in 1983.
Denard currently has 1,643 rushing yards in 12 games. This projects to 1,780 over a 13-game schedule. He owns the NCAA FBS (I-A) record, previously set by Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1996 with 1,494 yards. The Big Ten record was previously in the hands of Antwaan Randle-El in 2000 with 1,270 yards. Denard has destroyed the previous Michigan record for QB rushing yards in a season: 674 by Steve Smith in 1981.
Before you get too overwhelmed by all the numbers in this diary, just stop and think about that for a minute. Denard Robinson, your starting Michigan quarterback, playing before your very eyes, is on pace to almost triple a Michigan rushing record. And not just any record, but one that has stood for three decades. Even if you account for the fact that we're playing a very different style of football now—it's just incredible.
There's no point in projecting Denard's career rushing totals, since there are a number of variables (does he stay his senior year? Does a great tailback lighten his rushing load?). But here are the records:
Michigan's career record is held by Rick Leach (1975-1978) at 2,176 yards: a record Denard could break this year, at his current pace. Denard needs 182 yards in the bowl game to take this title. (Guys like Leach and Steve Smith must salivate at what they could have done in the offense of Comrade Rodriguez.) The Big Ten record is Antwaan Randel El's (1998-2001) at 3,895 yards. The NCAA FBS record is held by Pat White (2005-2008) at 4,480 yards.
The NCAA FBS per-game career record is 109.1 yards by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, achieved from 1988-1990 over 25 games.
For a single game, the Michigan record is 347 by Ron Johnson (pictured) in 1968 against Wisconsin; the Big Ten record is 377 by Anthony Thompson of Indiana in 1989 against Wisconsin; the NCAA FBS record is 406 by LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU in 1999 against UTEP.
For a single season, the Michigan record is 1,818 yards (Tshimanga Biakabutuka, 1995); the Big Ten record is 2,087 yards (Larry Johnson, Penn St., 2002); the NCAA FBS record is 2,628 yards (Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, 1988). Denard can break Touchdown Tim's Michigan record by gaining 176 yards in the bowl game.
That Barry Sanders record will be around for a long time. At one point, Denard was on pace to break Larry Johnson's Big Ten rushing record, but he has slowed down as the schedule has gotten tougher, and that record now looks out of reach for this year.
For a career, the Michigan record is held by Mike Hart (5,040 yards, 2004-2007); the Big Ten record is held by Ron Dayne (7,125 yards, 1996-1999); the NCAA FBS record is also held by Ron Dayne, but they list it as 6,397 yards. (Herschel Walker of Georgia holds the record for a 3-year career at 5,259 yards, set from 1980-1982.)
Denard is the only player in FBS history to gain 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing twice—in regular-season games. To me this is a silly distinction: who cares if it was done in the regular season or a bowl game? If anything, Vince Young's performance in the 2005 Rose Bowl against USC is even more remarkable, given that that USC team is considered one of the most dominant teams of the modern era. Wake me up when Denard gets his third 200/200 game. (He did go for 191/190 against Penn State.)
Anyway, here are the 200/200 games listed in the NCAA record book, sorted by total offense. You'll note that Denard is the only member of the 240/240 club, and Marques Tuiasosopo is the only member of the 200/300 club.
Pictured at right is Penn halfback Francis "Reds" Bagnell, 1950 Heisman Trophy runner-up and great-uncle to MGoComrade Dandaman. Bagnell was the first member of the 200/200 club. It took 36 years for a second player to accomplish the feat.
|Player||Team (Opponent)||Year||Rushing||Passing||Total Off.|
|Marques Tuiasosopo||Washington (Stanford)||1999||207||302||509|
|Vince Young||Texas (Oklahoma St.)||2005||267||239||506|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Notre Dame)||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Indiana)||2010||217||277||494|
|Reds Bagnell||Penn (Dartmouth)||1950||214||276||490|
|Brad Smith||Missouri (Nebraska)||2005||246||234||480|
|Brian Mitchell||La.-Lafayette (Colo. St.)||1987||271||205||476|
|Antwaan Randle-El||Indiana (Minnesota)||2000||210||263||473|
|Vince Young||Texas (USC Rose Bowl)||2005||200||267||467|
|Patrick White||W. Va. (Pittsburgh)||2006||220||204||424|
|Steve Gage||Tulsa (New Mexico)||1986||212||209||421|
There is one quarterback in college football history—Division I, II, or III—who has both rushed for 1,500 yards and passed for 2,000 yards in the same season.
There is one quarterback in major college football history who has both rushed and passed for 1,500 yards in the same season.
Johnny Bright, a halfback from Drake, was the first member of the 1000/1000 Club, the same year Reds Bagnell joined the 200/200 Club. In 1951, Wilbanks Smith, a racist defensive tackle from Oklahoma A&M (later Oklahoma State), deliberately broke Bright's jaw, permanently damaging his football career. The incident led the NCAA to mandate the usage of face masks, and earned the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for the photographers who documented the assault. Drake temporarily withdrew from the Missouri Valley Conference to protest the fact that the conference didn't discipline Smith for the attack.
When Bright graduated from Drake in 1951, he held the NCAA career total offense record, with 5,903 yards: a record that stood for 15 years. It took three decades for another player to join the 1000/1000 Club. Tragically, Bright died at the age of 53 of a massive heart attack.
Today, there are 30 quarterbacks (and one halfback) in FBS who have run and thrown for 1000 yards in the same season. Other than Denard, none have both run and passed for 1500 yards (the previous rushing record for QBs is 1,494).
Seven quarterbacks have achieved this milestone multiple times: Brad Smith (thrice), Colin Kaepernick (thrice including this year), Vince Young (twice), Pat White (twice), Beau Morgan (twice), Joe Webb (twice), and Joshua Cribbs (twice). Only two people have joined the 1000/1000 club as freshmen: Brad Smith of Missouri, and Joshua Cribbs of Kent State. Air Force leads the overall list with five different QBs, in six different seasons, in the 1000/1000 club. (It is interesting that an instrument of American capitalist imperialism, the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the premier exponent of communist football.)
The list below of 1000/1000 members is sorted this list by rushing yards. Cameron Newton and Colin Kaepernick have also reached the 1000/1000 mark this season. I've also added 2010 season totals for Taylor Martinez, who may also get there. Newton is also likely to join Denard as a 1500-yard rusher.
|Newton (on pace for)||Auburn||2010||1,517||2,788||4,306|
|Dilithium (on pace for)||MICH||2010||1,780||2,509||4,289|
|Beau Morgan**||Air Force||1996||1,494||1,210||2,704|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2007||1,335||1,724||3,059|
|Dee Dowis||Air Force||1989||1,286||1,285||2,571|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1995||1,285||1,165||2,450|
|Antwaan Randle El*||Indiana||2000||1,270||1,783||3,053|
|Johnny Bright (HB)||Drake||1950||1,232||1,168||2,400|
|Chance Herridge||Air Force||2002||1,229||1,062||2,291|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2006||1,219||1,655||2,874|
|Keith Boyea||Air Force||2001||1,216||1,253||2,469|
|Dwight Dasher||Middle Tenn.||2009||1,154||2,789||3,943|
|Dan LeFevour||Central Mich.||2007||1,122||3,652||4,774|
|Joshua Cribbs||Kent State||2002||1,057||1,014||2,071|
|Josh Nesbitt||Ga. Tech||2009||1,037||1,701||2,738|
|Bart Weiss||Air Force||1985||1,032||1,449||2,481|
|Ell Roberson||Kansas St.||2002||1,032||1,580||2,612|
|Brad Smith (Fr.)||Missouri||2002||1,029||2,333||3,362|
|Joshua Cribbs (Fr.)||Kent State||2001||1,019||1,516||2,535|
|Reggie Collier||So. Miss.||1981||1,005||1,004||2,009|
* Previous Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback ** Previous NCAA FBS (I-AA) record for rushing yards by a QB
There are different ways to calculate touchdown records. The Michigan record book tracks touchdowns scored; i.e., the player who has the ball in his hands in the end zone. The NCAA also tracks all-purpose TDs; i.e., the combination of passing touchdowns and touchdowns scored, something that Michigan does not track.
What is interesting is that we actually do have game-by-game accounts of touchdowns scored going back to the beginnings of Michigan football in 1879. As a result, Michigan does track touchdowns scored on an all-time basis, and not just for the modern era. The all-time Michigan record for touchdowns scored is held by Al Herrnstein, who scored 26 touchdowns in 1902.
In order to look at all-purpose touchdowns, I had to go back and look at individual season statistics to compile the data. I actually went through the game-by-game accounts of the 1901-1905 seasons from the Michigan Alumnus in order to get accurate information about touchdown statistics in the Fielding Yost "point-a-minute" era, and reviewed old NCAA research on pre-1937 touchdown statistics. It's possible that there are other pre-WWII players that I've missed.
According to the stats I've been able to find, Robinson is indeed out front with 30 all-purpose touchdowns, more than any player in the 121-year history of Michigan football. On a per-game basis, Denard at 2.50 per game is second only to Tom Harmon, who scored 23 touchdowns (including a kickoff return and an interception return) over 8 games in 1940, for an average of 2.88. (Harmon also scored 2.50 touchdowns per game in 1939, though over 8 games compared to Denard's 12.) The only asterisk is that I don't have information on passing touchdowns for the Yost-era teams.
Here is the table, sorted by touchdowns per game, with a cutoff of 1.60. Remarkably, the 1901 team had three separate players score at that pace:
|Name||Yr.||Pass TD||Rush TD||Rec TD||Kick TD||Int TD||TD||G||TD/G|
|Tom Harmon, LHB||1940||7||14||0||1||1||23||8||2.88|
|Denard Robinson, QB||2010||16||14||0||0||0||30||12||2.50|
|Tom Harmon, RHB||1939||6||13||0||0||1||20||8||2.50|
|Rick Leach, QB||1978||17||12||0||0||0||29||12||2.42|
|Al Herrnstein, RHB||1902||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||26||11||2.36|
|Steve Smith, QB||1981||15||12||0||0||0||27||12||2.25|
|Chad Henne, QB||2004||25||2||0||0||0||27||12||2.25|
|Willie Heston, LHB||1904||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||20||9||2.22|
|Drew Henson, QB||2000||18||2||0||0||0||20||9||2.22|
|Ron Johnson, RHB||1968||0||19||0||0||0||19||9||2.11|
|Steve Smith, QB||1983||13||10||0||0||0||23||11||2.09|
|Elvis Grbac, QB||1991||25||0||0||0||0||25||12||2.08|
|Chad Henne, QB||2005||23||1||0||0||0||24||12||2.00|
|John Navarre, QB||2003||24||0||1||0||0||25||13||1.92|
|Rick Leach, QB||1976||13||10||0||0||0||23||12||1.92|
|Steve Smith, QB||1982||14||9||0||0||0||23||12||1.92|
|Desmond Howard, SE||1991||0||2||19||2||0||23||12||1.92|
|Willie Heston, LHB||1901||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||20||11||1.82|
|Bob Chappuis, LHB||1947||15||5||0||0||0||20||11||1.82|
|John Navarre, QB||2002||21||2||0||0||0||23||13||1.77|
|Elvis Grbac, QB||1990||21||0||0||0||0||21||12||1.75|
|Tom Brady, QB||1999||20||1||0||0||0||21||12||1.75|
|Neil Snow, FB||1901||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||19||11||1.73|
|Bruce Shorts, RT||1901||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||17||10||1.70|
|Chad Henne, QB||2006||22||0||0||0||0||22||13||1.69|
|Willie Heston, LHB||1902||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||15||9||1.67|
Note that Bruce Shorts scored 17 TDs as an offensive lineman: now those were the days!
The NCAA FBS (I-A) single-season record is 63 touchdowns, by Colt Brennan of Hawaii in 2006 (58 passing, 5 rushing). The per-game record is 5.0 in 1990, by David Klingler of Houston (55 TDs in 11 games).
The FBS single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback is 27, by Ricky Dobbs of Navy in 2009 (in 14 games). The season record for most touchdowns scored (i.e., excluding TD passes thrown) is 39, by Barry Sanders in 1988 over 11 games.
Tim Tebow and Cameron Newton are the only players to have both thrown and run for 20 touchdowns: in 2007, Tebow threw for 32 and ran for 23, and Newton has thrown for 28 and run for 20, with one game left. (Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan threw for 27, ran for 19, and caught 1 in 2007.)
The Michigan career record for most touchdowns scored is held by Yost-era legend Willie Heston, with 69 from 1901-1904 (the Michigan record book lists Heston at 72 TDs, which is incorrect according to my game-by-game tally). The Michigan record for most all-purpose touchdowns is held by Chad Henne, who threw for 87 and ran for 3 (for a total of 90) from 2004-2007. If Denard plays through his senior season, there is a realistic chance that he could break Henne's record.
Here is the team photo of the all-time great team of 1901, courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library. Al Herrnstein is the right-most player in the front row. Neil Snow is the second from the left in the middle row. Willie Heston is right-most in the middle row. Fielding Yost is in the center of the back row. The "501-0" football that captain Hugh White is holding reflects the fact that this picture was taken before the team beat Stanford 49-0 in the inaugural Rose Bowl game of 1902. The lopsided score so disappointed Rose Bowl officials that they didn't hold a second Rose Bowl game until 1916.
Denard already owns the Michigan single-game total offense record (502 yards against Notre Dame). In fact, Denard has broken the old Michigan single-game total offense record four times this year, with games of 502, 494, 383, and 381 yards. (The previous record was 368 by John Navarre against Iowa in 2003.) Against Illinois and Wisconsin, Denard almost broke this record again, gaining 367 and 360 yards respectively: giving him six of the seven highest totals in Michigan history.
|Denard Robinson||Notre Dame||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||Penn State||2010||191||190||381|
As noted above, Denard has annihilated John Navarre's single-season total offense record of 3,240 in 2003 (Denard has 3,959 as of today, and projects to an astounding 4,289 yards over 13 games).
The Big Ten single-game total offense record is 585 yards by Dave Wilson of Illinois, vs. Ohio State in 1980. The Big Ten single-season total offense record is 4,189 yards by Drew Brees of Purdue in 2000, which is well within Denard's reach. Denard has to gain 231 yards of total offense in the bowl game to pass Brees; he is currently averaging 330.
The NCAA total offense records are dominated by prolific passers. Those records appear to be unattainable by Denard: 732 yards for a single game (David Klingler, Houston vs. Arizona State, 1990); 5,976 for a season (B.J. Symons, Texas Tech, 2003); 16,910 for a career (Timmy Chang, Hawaii, 2000-2004).
As with total offense records, these will be tough for Denard to keep pace with, and his performances against Big Ten opponents have left him further behind the pace. Through Saturday, Denard has 3,959 yards of total offense in 495 plays, for an average of 8.0. This would be a Michigan single-season record: the current record is held by Drew Henson, who in 2000 gained 2,140 yards on 270 plays for an average of 7.9.
Here are the NCAA FBS records for a single game: 14.3 by Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996) in 37 plays and 9.9 by David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990) in 63 plays. Denard came pretty close to Martin in the Indiana game, where in 35 plays he averaged 14.1 yards per play (which is almost certainly a Michigan and quite likely a Big Ten record):
|Denard Robinson||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|NCAA Records||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|Game: Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996)||37||529||14.30|
|Game: David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990)||63||625||9.92|
|Season: Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006)||645||5,915||9.17|
|Career: Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-09)||970||8,439||8.70|
As you can see in the table, for a single season (minimum 3,000 yards), the record is 9.2 by Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006). For a career (minimum 7,500 yards) it's 8.7 by Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-2009).
Passing efficiency is a statistic that rewards quarterbacks for yards, touchdowns, and completions per attempt, and punishes them for interceptions per attempt. The NCAA formula, which differs from the NFL one, is:
(8.4 * yards) + (330 * TDs) - (200 * INTs) + (100 * completions) ________________________________________________________________ attempts
Denard's 2010 passing efficiency is currently 152.9; his career efficiency (including last year) is 146.2, which is within reach of a Michigan record. Here are Michigan's pass efficiency records:
Bob Chappuis' Michigan single-season mark is also the Big Ten single-season record. (That’s him on the right. Check out that throwing motion.) The NCAA FBS pass efficiency record belongs to Colt Brennan of Hawaii, who reached 186.0 in 2006: out of Denard's reach.
At the end of 2009, here were some of the other Michigan passing records. Denard could break some of the completion percentage records (Tate broke one as well):
At the end of 2009, here were the other relevant Michigan rushing records. On average yards per carry, he owns one of the single-game records Michigan tracks, but is surprisingly far from the other ones (not that that couldn't change in a hurry). The single-season and career records are within reach:
Also, Denard is one of 5 quarterbacks in NCAA history to record 5 consecutive 100-yard rushing games (the others are Ricky Dobbs of Navy in 2009, Joe Webb of Alabama-Birmingham in 2009, Brian Madden of Navy in 1999, and Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1995). No one has done it 6 times in a row.
Michigan is averaging 500.9 yards per game in total offense, second-highest in Big Ten history? (First place belongs to Penn State's 1994 team, which averaged 512.7 yards per game.) If you take out the 72 extra yards Michigan gained in the three overtimes against Illinois, Michigan is averaging 495.0 yards per game, which would be fifth all-time.
This year's team is on pace to demolish the old Michigan total offense record of 466.9, set in 1992, when Gary Moeller roamed the sidelines, barking orders to Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard, and Tyrone Wheatley.
|Big Ten All-Time Leaders||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. MICH (including overtime)||2010||514.6|
|1. Penn State||1994||512.7|
|3. Ohio State||1998||497.6|
|4. Michigan State||2005||497.3|
|5. MICH (regulation only)||2010||495.0|
|8. Ohio State||1974||493.2|
|9. Ohio State||1996||490.4|
|10. Michigan State||1978||481.3|
|11. Ohio State||1995||478.6|
|Michigan All-Time Leaders (QB/WR/RB)||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. Robinson / Roundtree / Smith (regulation)||2010||495.0|
|2. Grbac / Howard / Wheatley||1992||466.9|
|3. Navarre / Edwards / Perry||2003||446.7|
|4. Henson / Terrell / Thomas||2000||446.1|
|5. Grbac / Howard / Vaughn||1990||432.5|
In terms of scoring offense, Michigan is averaging 34.3 points per game in regulation (32.5 points per game including the overtime scoring), stats that lag the total offense by yardage due to our terrible kicking and defense. The 7-point output against Ohio State brought the season average outside of Michigan's top 10 all-time teams.
* - Excludes points scored in overtime
The Fielding Yost "point-a-minute" teams averaged 50.5, 58.5, 47.1, 56.7, and 38.1 points per game from 1901 to 1905. Fritz Crisler's 1947 national championship team of Bob Chappuis and Bump Elliott, nicknamed the "Mad Magicians," averaged 39.4. (The official Michigan record book erroneously lists the 1947 average as second-highest in school history; it is missing the performances of 1901, 1903, 1904, and 1905.)
Dynamic offenses have been few and far between in the postwar era. The 1976 Bo Schembechler team, led by Rick Leach and Rob Lytle, scored 36.0 points per game, and owns the rushing season record with 345.3 yards per game. The aforementioned 1992 team averaged 35.9 points; and the 2003 team averaged 35.4.
Here are some other stats:
As most of you know, against Illinois, Roy Roundtree destroyed a 44-year-old Michigan single-game receiving record, by gaining 246 yards (on 9 catches with 2 TDs). The old record was set in 1966, when Jack Clancy (pictured) gained 197 yards against Oregon State.
Roundtree's mark wouldn't even make the top ten all-time in the Big Ten: the Big Ten record is 301 by Chris Daniels of Purdue against MSU in 1999; the NCAA record is 405 by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech against Nebraska in 1998.
Thanks to Comrade tf (Michigan rushing single-game record) and danieljpaul (Denard's season totals) for corrections. H/T to tubauberalles and enlightenedbum for tracking down the FBS single-game QB rushing record. Comrades Raoul and UM in VA persuaded me to post the total offense numbers, and pointed out Denard's ridiculous per-play stats, which I also added to the diary. Trebor pointed out that we should keep an eye on the impressive seasons of Taylor Martinez and Cam Newton. Comrade U of M in TX helped identify a few updating errors. Raoul also suggested putting in the team offense stats. Hillhaus pointed out that I should discuss the pre-1912 scoring conventions. Raoul and BigHouseInmate suggested I look into Michigan's all-purpose touchdown records, which ended up being a lot of fun. And finally, thanks to all of you for enjoying the Almanack each week. That's what makes it worth my while.
You are a tribute to the collective. May you never be disenfranchised from this work.
I enjoyed your diary today as well. Very interesting stuff.
Seemed interesting to me. With a bowl game left to go, Denard Robinson is 6th in the country in Total Offense.
|Bryant Moniz, Hawaii (13 Games)||4705||361.9|
|Landry Jones, Oklahoma (13)||4164||320.3|
|Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (13)||4014||308.8|
|Cameron Newton, Auburn (13)||3998||307.5|
|Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (12)||3969||330.8|
|Denard Robinson, Michigan (12)||3959||329.9|
|Dominique Davis, ECU (12)||3841||320.1|
In terms of YPG, he is 3rd, behind Hawaii's Bryant Moniz and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden. Wow.
The nationwide leaders and NCAA record holders for total offense tend to be QBs who play in wide-open passing attacks in second-tier conferences, where the defenses aren't very good...it's impressive that Denard is where he is, given these disadvantages.
Everytime I read your diaries, I get tinglies and scream at my computer that Denard should be invited to a podium in NYC. I do have one concern though. I see Cam Newton is now playing for Michigan and is on pace to compete heavily with Cam Newton from Auburn. If Cam Newton does win the Heisman, will it count towards Michigan or Auburn or both? I would rather put Newton at long snapper for Michigan and Denard back in at QB. Denard's character is way beyond Newton's radioactive past and charades. That is all. Great post! + 1 for you. Meet you at the Kremlin for some Stoli.
Update: Cheers to you for clearing up my confusion. I sometimes forget where I am. The doctors call it Paternolism. Anywhoo, cheers to you sir.
I was having some formatting issues with the various graphic images—I think I've fixed it now—hopefully we're all good!
I didn't mention this specifically in the prose, but Cam, with the extra game he played, has overtaken Denard in terms of how he projects for total offense over the season. But barely so (4,306 to 4,289): Denard can get him back.
the Heisman will taste even better next year once the forces of evil are conquered and it comes with a Big Ten chamionship.
So the Space Prince eclipsed the Space Emperor's senior season average as a freshman? Including those rough first weeks? Goodness.
You're still first in my heart, Zoltan.
Those stats are for Big Ten games only, so they don't include some of his early-season jitters.
Also, "Auburn's ferocious defense". Joke?
I know the stats don't show it, but they seem to have gotten better as the season went on. That Fairley is a beast, dirty player or not.
...but, like Oregon, they'll also stuff good offenses when it counts.
If all it took to go undefeated, win the SEC and get to the title game was a great offense led by a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, we'd be better than 7-5.
Personally, though, I can't see them doing to Oregon what they did to Alabama, the other SC, etc. Their defense isn't THAT good...
You have it the same as what he currently is at. Surely we don't plan on ditching the forward pass for our bowl game?
My apologies. It is a law of nature that I always make a handful of typos with this thing.
Just to mention, you also state in a few places that Denard's totals are after 11 games (though the tables and a few other places have 12 games). I just wanted to mention it so you can correct it in your Bowl Game edition.
Thanks for the great compilation! It always makes me smile to read your series
As always, great work. Imagine what this team would be with a competent defense!
Of these, none have both run and passed for 1500 yards (the rushing record for QBs is 1,223
Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1996 with 1,494 yards
I'm sure there are about 10 different places you looked to get this data, but Beau Morgan clearly was the leader before Denard.
I corrected this typo and also the 11-game error mentioned by Tully Mars above.
Thank you for posting an excellent diary. Just trying to help out a pretty exhaustive research project.
These stats capture what we love best about Denard: his speed, his toughness and despite his incredible running abilities, the fact that he actually burns opponents for more yards in the air than on the ground.
What they don't capture are his more worrying tendencies: turnovers, dithering in the pocket, a tendency to get injured and held out of most games at least for a little while.
[On that last quip, it's good we've got Tate, but as OSU showed, his own quirks (turnovers, overconfidence in his ability to make something happen on the fly) may also come into play in tough games, particularly if he hasn't had a chance to get warmed up.]
I think this is what separates senior Cam Newton from sophomore Denard. That, and playing on a team with a much better defense. Everyone expects Denard to improve in the offseason, but even if he does, his yardage stats may actually stay about the same or even go down next year. Why? A few reasons. First, more teams are ready for him. The gaudy numbers early in the season reflected, in part, the fact that people didn't have schemes ready for a guy like that. They did later on. Second, we will hopefully get more out of our RBs next year, meaning that there's less reliance on Denard to carry the team. Third, we should be able to kick field goals. Finally, with this RB improvement, FG improvement and an improved defense (fingers crossed), there will be less desperation involved in Michigan drives. This year, that desperate need to score touchdowns, score touchdowns now and score touchdowns often fueled both lightning touchdown drives and soul-destroying turnovers.
This is why, if RR returns and improves our problems at RB, special teams and defense, I expect Denard to have the same or fewer yards but better overall performance for the team. I guess that's kind of like Pat White from 2006-2007. He did gain some more yards in 2007, but barely any, and scored fewer touchdowns.
I would only say as a half-counter that Denard was injured a lot this year, and played a lot of half-games. If he stays healthy for a full season (a modestly big "if"), and he gets better at reading defenses, he might have better stats next year despite a better RB complement.
His stats were pretty good against Wisconsin and Penn State, and would have also been great against OSU, had he not gotten hurt.
...he might have a better season with worse yardage stats. I guess I mean in the sense of fewer turnovers, better clock management (actually the one game I think we did this really well in was against UCONN) and benefitting from better average starting field position and an average field goal kicker.
Some of this would reflect in his passing efficiency numbers, as well as YPA and YPC(arry), but would also reflect in our turnover margin, 3rd down efficiency and, most importantly, on the scoreboard.
On a related point, if Denard rushes for 500 fewer yards and our RBs rush for 500 more, I think this is a net gain, even if our overall rushing stats don't change. Why? Because it makes us less predictable, lowers the likelihood of Denard getting hurt, would make the zone read deadlier and REALLY open up possibilities for the passing game.
to go 7-5 with the gentleman we have at QB. HE is a Michigan Man.
of records on Defense as well
Thanks for the year-long compilation. Kudos also for putting the old-time photos in there as well!