Denard Robinson Record Watch, 10/22

Submitted by JeepinBen on October 22nd, 2012 at 4:38 PM

With all the "Denard sucks, lolz" and "Denard can't play QB" and "That wasn't one of his best games" coming out of the internet, I thought we could take a look at where Denard is for some pretty awesome milestones, NCAA wide, and Michigan wide:

He's already got these records under his belt:

College records

NCAA (all divisions)

  • Only 1500-yard passing/1500-yard rushing season

Division I FBS

  • Rushing yards by a QB (season)
  • Division I FBS 200-yard passing/200-yard rushing regular season games (career and season)

Big Ten Conference

  • Rushing yards by a QB (single game and career)
  • Total offense (single-season)
  • Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week awards (career)
  • Silver Football Award Winner


  • Total offense (single-game)
  • Rushing yards on the road (single game)
  • Passing yards (single half)
  • 200-yard rushing games (career)


In addition to being Michigan's all time total yardage leader, beating ND, MSU, OSU, and winning a BCS Bowl in 2.5 years as a starter, let's see how he's doing elsewhere:

Single Game Michigan Records:

Total Offense: Denard has the top 8 and 9 of the top 10 games from a total offense perspective. John Navarre's 368 yards against Iowa in 2003 is the only game record that isn't his.

Passing Yards: He sits at #9, #10, and 20.

Passing TDs: Tied for the record (with many others) with 4TD passes in a single game. (ND 2011)

Rushing Yards: Numbers 5 and 7 belong to #16, with the 2010 ND and Purdue games.

Career Michigan Records:

Passing Yards: With 6195 Yards so far, he trails only Henne, Navarre, and Grbac, with Elvis in his sights less than 300 yards away.

Passing TDs: He's #4 again behind the same 3. The 22TDs he needs to pass Grbac here might be harder to do before he graduates.

Rushing Yards: At 4129 Denard trails only Hart, Thomas, Morris, and Wheatley. He needs 912 yards to pass Hart, but as of right now Hart has an extra 439 carries to his record.

Rushing TDs: Again trailing only Wheatley and the A Train he's now tied with Mike Hart with 41. If he can get 15 more he'll pass Thomas and be the highest in the official record books. *

*Willie Heston's 71 TDs from 1901-1904 aren't included in the official database because the pre-1949 stats are incomplete.

Career NCAA Records:

The big one, QB Rushing Yards. Pat White's 4480 is in reach 351 yards away.  Denard has 5 more B1G games, and he'll need to average 70.2 per game to have this record by the time the clock hits zeros in Columbus.

Criticize his decision making, throwing off his back foot, etc. but to say he hasn't been awesome to watch the past few years and that he hasn't had a remarkable career... I'd respectfully disagree.



El Jeffe

October 22nd, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^


At 4129 Denard trails only Hart, Thomas, Morris, and Wheatley. He needs 912 yards to pass Hart, but as of right now Hart has an extra 439 carries to his record.

is flabbergasting.


October 22nd, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

Click through those links, lots of great information on this internet thingy. Again, all of this is in 2 and a half seasons as a starter.

Hart ran for 5040 yards in 1015 carries, or 4.97 YPC over his career. Which is a great number. He leads Michigan History in both yards and carries.

Denard has 576 carries and 4129 yards or 7.17 YPC.

If Denard got 2.1 YPC for the rest of his career (unlikely) but ran it as many times as Hart (even less likely), Denard would be Michigan's all time leading rusher.  


October 22nd, 2012 at 8:25 PM ^

Only 188 yards passing and 351 yards rushing as a Freshman.  Basically everyone he is looking up at played significant minutes as a freshman (true or RS).  Even Navarre had more yards from scrimmage (even after subtracting his -34 yards "rushing") playing behind Drew Henson.


October 22nd, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

This is exactly what I've been thinking about the past few weeks.  Say what you will about his passing "skill" or whatever, he is still behind only the elite of the elite Michigan QBs of all time and sits near the top of the rushing records when compared to the elite Michigan RBs!  If he sets the NCAA record for yards rushing as a QB I think he will cement his place in Michigan lore as one of the all-time best to come out of Ann Arbor.  His contributions to the team and college football in general are extensive and he almost single-handledly kept many Michigan fans happy during maybe the darkest years we've known.  I know he's my new favorite Wolverine I've ever known, easily passing Desmond and Woodson.


October 23rd, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

If you watched any lead-ins to this season (and last), Denard was mentioned in every single one of them as one of the most exciting players in college football.  Not to mention that he was arguably the one shining light for Michigan football, a standard-bearer if you will, during the past few years of not-so-fun for Michigan fans.  I don't think I'm overstating his importance at all.



October 22nd, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

To the 2 dumbass high school kids next to me in Section 8 who kept saying that "he can't throw" and kept throwing pieces of Pom Poms at old ladies then ducking, and had to ask me things like "why didn't that interception matter" to which I replied "it's halftime and you might as well try to make a play"....

Learn Football you idiots.


October 23rd, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

+1 to you good Sir.  I think we should have a Football I.Q. test to buy tickets.  People need to know the game before making a supid comment.

I hope Denard breaks all the records.  However, I am really excited to have Bellomy and Shane fighting for the starting QB next year.  I think I am going to upgrade to 4 seats as the value of the tix will rise with every win.


October 22nd, 2012 at 5:10 PM ^

whackjobs who sat around on their couches in their underwear dissing Henne while he broke a pile of records, too. If their superheroes don't fly through their parents' basement windows and hug them, some people just can't admire great athleticism, devotion to school, the wonderful moments such people offer us. It's their attitudes that need adjusting, their loss. . . 

EDIT: Appreciate your respectfulness, btw. I'm feeling fed up with some of these people, myself. 

Farmhouse Funk

October 22nd, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Would be nice to turn all those stats into a T-shirt so I wouldn't have to argue with people about Denard. Problem would be it would probably take 2 or 3 T-shirts to get all his accomplishments on the shirts.

I for one am going to miss him once he is gone, we may never see another dynamic QB like him again at Michigan or any other school for that matter. I am just going to enjoy watching him for another hopefully 7 games.

I look at what John Bacon said about him that in his time watching Michigan football there have been 4 signature athletes AC, Desmond, Woodson, and Denard. People need to realize how great it is to be able to watch and cheer for a player with the passion, love, commentment, drive, personality, ... I could go on. 

Enjoy it while it lasts you may never see it again in your life.

Go Blue!!!

Johnny Blood

October 22nd, 2012 at 5:41 PM ^

I think this is a case of people not appreciating what they have and also not appreciating people who don't conform to their standard mold of what a certain position should be. 

Denard is a true gem and we are very lucky to have him as the face of our program and the leader of our team.  He will undoubtedly and deservedly go down as one of the greatest Wolverines of all time.

Just remember, even Van Gogh wasn't appreciated in his lifetime.


October 22nd, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

when he's not competing against you. Well, I take that back, even then he's fun to watch but less so.

Michigan has certainly been fortunate to have Shoelace putting on the Maize and Blue these four seasons.

Two questions:

1. what are his pro prospects and projected draft place, if any?

2. What is life after Denard and how will it affect your 2013 season prospects?


October 22nd, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

  1. He's been projected as high as a number one receiver prospect. I'm no NFL draft expert but somehow I doubt he's the first guy taken off the board at receiver. Again, I'm no expert but I'm assuming that his draft position depends on how his meetings go with teams, and their impressions of his willingness to move around. If Denard flat out says, "I'm cool with playing some receiver, some RB, some wildcat stuff, KR/PR" I don't think he gets passed up by a whole lot of teams, and could even sneak into the first round. If he insists on being a QB, who knows (and I'm not 100% sure Denard won't strongly oppose moving).
  2. If the defense can live up to expectations, we should be fine. We return a lot of skill guys, but lose 3/5 of the OL (assuming Lewan stays), I think we'll take a step back, but could still be better than average in the Big Ten (on O). I don't know if it will be a Rose/BCS year, but we definitely won't be a 6-6 team; 2015 and to a lesser extent 2014 are the big ones, IMO. Denard will be missed dearly, but we're all pretty excited about Shane Morris coming in, especially in 2014/15, when he'll be in his second and third years with the program.


October 22nd, 2012 at 7:54 PM ^

we could have DG in year two of playing receiver, sophomore Funchess, senior Fitz coupled with sophomore Rawls and Norfleet. Gallon would have more experience engaging cloaking devices and Lewan would be a RS Senior.

Having a RS Senior Denard and being able to keep Gardner at WR could make the 2013 offense very, very good. If a young interior OL could look anyting like their recruiting



October 24th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

And just to clarify, I'm not saying Lewan hasn't "earned" the right to leave, I just don't know if he will. I know he's been projected really high, but from a little work on Google right now he looks more like a mid-first round pick at the moment. That's still a ton of money and insane in general, but he does have room to move up, and a lot of players take the chance that they will.

Either way, the original point was just that we lose 3/5 assuming Lewan stays, which is obviously 4/5 if he leaves.


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:46 AM ^

He has a few other records that he holds or shares.


5—Beau Morgan, Air Force, 1995; Brian Madden, Navy,
1999; Joe Webb, UAB, 2009; Ricky Dobbs, Navy, 2009;
Denard Robinson, Michigan, 2010


53 times. Most recent: Michigan, 2011—Denard Robinson
(1,176) & Fitzgerald Toussaint (1,041).


Denard Robinson: Notre Dame 2011 and Northwestern 2011
One of 4 QB's to accomplish this feat twice in the same season, joined Michael Bishop KSU, Dan LeFevour CMU and Chase Clement Rice.


Chance to tie Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, as the only two players to have done it 3 times.


One of only 9 players to have ever accomplished this feat.
Denard = Rushing 252 and Passing 294
Leader is Dan LeFevour CMU = 298 Rushing and 612 Passing (He wont pass him, needs 68 more combined TD's. He could finish 4th all time on this list with 22 more combined TD's to pass Robert Griffin III, Baylor.  Only Dan LeFevour CMU, Colin Kaepernick, Nevada and Tim Tebow Florida ahead of him.)
(NOTE:  He's now leads in Michigan History on this list passing Rick Leach 204 Rushing and 270 Passing, Michigan is the only team that has two players listed.)


One of only 8 players to ever accomplish this feat.

Space Monkey

October 23rd, 2012 at 9:21 AM ^

As much as I have enjoyed watching Denard achieve all these stats, it has still been frustrating. I think the reason I say that is a good quarterback should make everyone else around him better. Where are the records broken by his RBs or WRs? Granted that may be based on their inabilities, but still there seems to be more Denard needs to show me before I put him on too high of a pedestal.

If he could simply lead his receivers more even on screen passes or throwing it to the correct shoulder or not under or over throwing it, he would be setting them up to succeed. I think I have been spoiled watching the likes of some of our past QBs who were much more accurate ... those who had NFL arms albeit some with lead feet. The reality is that Denard makes us one dimensional, so stop Denard (if you have the athletes to do so) and you stop our offense. Some of this is scheme and the players surrounding Denard, but a lot of it is the need to rely on Denard's legs to make him more effective as a passer.


October 23rd, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

Its kind of hard to have RBs and WRs that are breaking records when there are no true standouts at either of those positions.  I don't mean to demean the current players but I think we can all admit that none of the players at the skill positions the past few years have been NFL-caliber like there have been at Michigan all the other years I've been a fan.  If you don't have true game-changing playmakers at those positions, you better have them somewhere else if you want to win games.  Luckily, Michigan has had Denard.

Look, if you don't want to (or cannot) truly appreciate what he has done, that's fine.  I'm not going to hold it over your head.  But dissecting his accomplishments and value to Michigan football and college football in general on the basis of him not being Andrew Luck in the pocket does a disservice to everyone.

ND Sux

October 23rd, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

to break the Pat White record.  I've been tracking this too, and I also show 351 to go.  Doesn't he have at least SIX games left (bowl game) and possibly seven (conf champ game)? 

All these games count in the record books, right?  Also, what about the Western Michigan game last year?  I thought I heard the stats wouldn't count (Denard had 46 rushing).


October 23rd, 2012 at 11:27 AM ^

With each game, it seems likely that Pat White's rushing record will be broken sometime in the next month or so. Right now, at 900 yards total rushing for the year after seven games, that comes to 128.6 yards average per game. If he can get more than 128 yards rushing in each of the next three games, then rushing yard 4,481 likely happens sometime during the Northwestern game. I mentioned this a few days ago, but I would almost want it to occur at Senior Day against Iowa as breaking an all-time record in his last game in Michigan Stadium would make for a great atmosphere. 

That being said, this is a great diary and shows really how remarkable and special Denard Robinson's time at Michigan has been, and indeed, how priviliged all of us have been to witness it in person or through media. 


October 23rd, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

Denard also has the potential to go 23-4 over his last two seasons, 30-10 overall, as a starter.

How does this stack up with history? 75%, I'll take it.

The object is to WIN games not fit some mold created by armchair geeks and hairgelled pundits.

Denard is a winner and a gamer. Any other argument is crap.


October 23rd, 2012 at 6:27 PM ^

Awesome post. I guess I need to venture to the diaries more often.

In case my MGoBlog handle isn't clear, I am a huge fan of this guy. He might not fit the mold of an "elite passer " or a traditional "pocket passer" but he has made something I have enjoyed my whole life even more enjoyable. As a kid, I became a fan of Michigan by watching Tyrone Wheatley run over the team my dad took me to see every week in Evanston. A few years later, watching Tshimanga Biakabutuka drop 313 on the school in red cemented my fandom. I can't imagine how many 7 to 15 year olds are a fan of Michigan because of #16. He's given them the best gift ever. . .the gift of Michigan football. And that ish lasts.

Not to mention that list of teams he's beaten over his 2.5 years. If there was ever a guy who deserved to put roses in his mouth, this is him. To me, that would cement his place with the all time greats. No doubt about it.


October 26th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

In many instances over the next several seasons, our QB—Morris, Bellomy, whoever—will be forced to scramble, or to try for a first down with his legs, or otherwise do something other than throw the ball. And they are going to trip over their own feet at the LOS, they're going to gain four yards when seemingly 20 was available to them, and they'll run with the ball with what looks like a wide open path to the end zone before them, and they'll be easily caught from behind. And half the fan base will start bitching about why they can't run with the ball like Denard could.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:31 AM ^

Great post.  Something that needs to be on all the other message boards around the sports world. Help settle some of the ignorance people have about him and his talent as a pure football player.

I am also hoping he can add another first to his list with a B1G title.