Denard Career Rushing Record Watch: Week 2

Submitted by MGoBender on September 9th, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Denard got back on pace to break the all-time career rushing record for a quarterback.  With 218 yards on 20 carries Denard has 245 rushing yards on the season.

 

Pat White: 4,480 on 684 rushes

Denard Robinson: 3,474 on 576 rushes

 

Denard needs to average 94.5 yards on the ground per game for the 11 remaining games to break the record (NCAA counts post-season games in individual records, beginning in 2002).

Comments

1464

September 9th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

This is one of those things that fans (myself included) care a lot more about than coaches.  I think he can easily eclipse that mark.  I don't think he will, though, as the coaches want him to stay healthy.  If he has less than 100 yards on the ground next week, we can pretty much kiss that fish goodbye.

I look forward to a post at the end of the year that breaks down all of his achievements.  It will be long.

MGlobules

September 9th, 2012 at 12:23 PM ^

the receivers and that may be that. With Denard's ability, however, and UMass's genuine, quasi-historic terribleness I'll bet many of us will be glued to our seats (my wife will be beating the drum for me to get to my daughter's soccer match, and I will be very torn). 

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

We're going to need the B1G Championship Game.

With that said...I could care less about this record. I just want Denard to stay healthy and make good decisions with the ball.

 

Also, Borges has struggled in playcalling this year. I was VERY disappointed in how much he ran Denard in the first half. We outweighed Air Forces defense 50 pounds a man. It's like he was trying to make up for the Alabama game in which he should've called MORE designed runs to Denard.

So far he's 0-2 in my book. Versus Bama he should've called more straight runs, not read-option plays. Against Air Force he should've tried to establshed the line up and hit them in the mouth more. Instead, he allowed Air Force to use it's speed by running the RBs on sweeps. Run straight at them!

Bodogblog

September 9th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

To that point, why not more Funchess?  The AFA DB's were like middle schoolers trying to cover him.  I would have liked to see 5 more deep throws his way.  I'm sure everyone is saying this, but I was at the game and not on the liveblog and haven't read yesterday's posts.

I'm no critic of Borges, I'm sure there was a reason.  Just love that kid (as I'm sure everyone does)

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

You shouldn't have to ride your QB vs. Air Force. No disrespect.

But did you read what I said? My problem was the PLAYCALLING. It was too much of the Michael Shaw sweeps to the outside. Not enough Brandon Minor straight forward.

Fitz's longest run was on a dive play in the I-Form. Striaght ahead.

That's where I knock Borges. Against Alabama he called too many read-options and not enough designed runs for Denard. And it's like he heard about it all week and against Air Force everything was for Denard. When Fitz did get a shot, he was running to a sideline and not an endzone.

Establish the LOS vs. a team you outweigh on the offense line. Just like Alabama did against us. Instead we go east/west and it plays into the smaller, quicker guys' hands.

Whats wrong with that comment/thought?

Blue in Seattle

September 9th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

But why do you expect no one to disagree and state their disagreement?

Running Backs go side to side when no holes are open.  Your comments about Fitz are very similar to comments about Rawls from the Alabama game.  The typical fan just watches the running back and critiques that position, when most of the failure and success of running backs are the offensive line.  If you watch all the plays of the offensive line, even the ones Denard ran, you will see an offensive line that gets no push at all.  Borges called the QB ISO's this game because it adds the H-back and the RB as blockers in front of Denard.  Many of thos Denard was waiting 3-4 seconds for the pile to finally push forward to the LB's before he would have room to run.  Fitz never had a lead blocker on many of his runs from the shotgun.  The OL was not blocking well as a unit.

Air Force even got some decent pressure on Denard during passing downs, granted with blitzing, which was punished a good bit, but the high throw to Vince that got intercepted and a couple others that ended up incomplete, were caused by QB hurries.  Which all QB's suffer from, so I'm not sure why everyone is so critical of Denard when he's not given enough time.

Against Alabama, I don't think the QB ISO's would even have worked.  I would have to go back to UFR or Film to see the results from Alabama, since Denard ran so infrequently, but against Air Force I'm thinking that the two Denard 80 yard runs are balanced by two to three Denard 3 yards or less runs.  Yes Denards Mean yardage is awesome, but his Median is not as good.  And if you are the OC you are thinking Median not Mean when you call a play.

 

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

That's what this board is for...for sharing opinions. So to anyone that took it as you have to agree with me - my bad, apologies.

With that said, the fact that people pos/neg because they see it as some poster bashing Michigan after a win...that's bullshit. The same thing happened during the Rich Rod era, we'd barely beat a team or let Illinois score a million points on us and someone would say something about the defense and it would be -1 Flamebait (SHUT UP, WE WON!)

Again, watch Taylor Lewan's presser, read Hoke's and you'll see the team isn't close to satisfied just because Denard went off.

As for your comments I agree running backs go side to side when no holes are open. But the plays that were called were east/west plays. Not 1 hole north/south plays with maybe a cutback lane. My problem was that we didn't even try to line up and run it down their throats since they were so much smaller (like OMG Shirtless pointed out). Just like we didn't try to ditch the Read-Option and just run Denard and use the extra RB as a blocker vs. Bama. They were defending the Read like they were the Baltimore Ravens. When we weren't doing that, we were running Vince Smith to the outside.

I don't think we beat Bama with MANBALL, but I do think we have success vs. Air Force with MANBALL. And you can still run Denard and get him on track, but don't run him a bunch vs. a team you should handle on the LOS. Air Force is MUCH better than EMU, but I'd be upset if we ran Denard a bunch vs. them too.

I understand why Borges calls QB Isos...same reason Rich Rod did. And your reasoning is exactly why I think we should've used it more vs. Bama. Even if Denard only picks up 4 yards.

Lastly, just for clarity, when I say MANBALL, I don't be line up in the I. I do think we would've had some success there vs. AF, but you can line up in the gun and hand it off to Fitz going downhill. You can do it from the 2 back or put an H-Back as a lead blocker as well. Just get up field and impose your will. Instead when you run sweeps, you allow the quicker/smaller defender to get into the holds or find the cracks and blow up the play.

1464

September 9th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

With that said, the fact that people pos/neg because they see it as some poster bashing Michigan after a win...that's bullshit. The same thing happened during the Rich Rod era, we'd barely beat a team or let Illinois score a million points on us and someone would say something about the defense and it would be -1 Flamebait (SHUT UP, WE WON!)

I don't like this practice either, but it is not limited to banging on Michigan. If I like Cap'n Crunch and another MGoUser likes Frosted Flakes, many times he will neg me for expressing my love for Cap'n Crunch*, even if I back it up with substantiated arguments. I try to get away from doing this myself, but sometimes I will do the same to other users. +/- is not representative of your post quality, but of whether you are in the majority or minority. It sucks, but it is what it is. I've learned to just not care about it at all. I'll state my opinion, well received or not.
*Sometimes people don't shut up about their love or hate for Cap'n Crunch, so negging is warranted, despite any valid points presented.

1464

September 9th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

I can't get onboard with using Borges as a scapegoat.  Our offense produced, even without a RB threat.  We NEED to establish that, but it looked as if Borges attempted to with Toussaint, and abandoned it when he had like 7 rushes for 9 yards.  His only two options were QB run or QB pass.  I think he balanced those nicely to get us out of a dangerous situation.  I'm not completely sold on Borges, but I still think that he's not the problem so far this year.

PurpleStuff

September 9th, 2012 at 11:17 AM ^

The running game was fantastic yesterday.  AFA was able to stop Fitz, but when you have multiple options it is the total that matters, not what one guy does. 

It just so happens that one of our options (and often the best one) plays QB, so some fans for some reason act like he isn't really a part of the running game.  When you pick up 7+ yards per carry as a team, things are going well, no matter which guy is carrying the load.

bluewave720

September 9th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

I keep hearing how Borges is really stubborn.  I'm not so sure I agree with that.  Certainly he has a default setting with a list of tendencies, as does every coach.  I am pretty sure "run a shit ton with Denard just for the sake of running him" is not one of them.  Every OC, when running the ball, wants to be effective doing so.  The most logical progression of that idea would be to get production from your RB, so as to leave as many avenues open for gaining yards.  I mean, that's why a running QB in general is so damn hard to defend against.  You have to account for both the RB and the QB in the run game.  However, seeing how ineffective Fitz was yesterday (for whatever reason), he kept using what was working during that game.  

Moving forward, we probably are going to have tough sledding if we can't run with Fitz/Rawls/Smith.  But for the game yesterday, I am glad he didn't use that as a crutch to keep insisting on "rock" in the game of rock, paper, scissors (referencing to a post from Brian several years ago discussing the perceived offensive philosophy of Carr).

He coached during the game, calling what was working.  I will never have a problem with a coach wanting to win a certain way or thinking that a certain method has a better chance of success in the long run.  What kills me is when coaches seemingly refuse to pay attention to what is happening in a particular game.  Yesterday, Borges was not guilty of that IMO.

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

I think Borges is stubborn in some ways, but he has tailored his offense to Denard...period. He should get a TON of credit for that.

Where I think he's stubborn is that he doesn't go off the gameplan for that particular game as much as I'd like.

I get that the guys practiced all week and you can't throw out the script as soon as something doesn't work, but I do think you have to change/adapt (in game) a little more than he does. We run such a multiple offense, it's not like we're Air Force and if someone takes away the run I'm suggest they should go shotgun and pass 50 times. We are very balanced and give a ton of looks, we have the ability to move away from the gameplan a little bit and run something else in the playbook. No one is asking Borges to start making up stuff on the fly - sandlot style.

TheTruth41

September 9th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

After Alabama showed a way to contain Denard I was surprised Air Force didn't at least try to do the same.  I know personel and ability vary a bit between Alabama and Air Force but they showed a way, seems silly to at least try not to copy it.  I guess they were picking their poison and decided to shut down the RBs which also seems silly...if you're going to shut down one I would think that it would be Denard, unless they didn't believe they could shut him down and thus have the RB go off as well.

joeyb

September 9th, 2012 at 12:20 PM ^

Bama can do what they did because they have 315lb+ DL that can just sit around and 2-gap. If we double blocked them then the LBs have free reign on the ball carriers. Most of AF's line is in the 240-260 range and they don't have a single guy on the roster more than 265lbs. AF's guys can't just stand around and "build a wall". They have to move or be moved. Now, you might see someone like ND try to do that (emphasis on "try") but I really don't think that there any teams with enough talent to do what Bama does.

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

We won. How could he be a scapegoat?

 

But read Hoke's presser...watch Lewan's, tell me if they're satisfied.

 

Lewan said it was "awful" and "embarrassing"...he also spoke about how the alumni and Michigan we watching and they got 7 yards of offense outside of Denard and that's no good.

 

So they're not satisfied...why can't we talk on a message board about what REALLY happened?

 

No one is complaining about the win, but there is always room for improvement? Or are we National Championship perfect?

1464

September 9th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

There are definitely problems, but I am not ready to pin them on Borges.  You're misrepresenting my opinion by saying we are NC perfect.  What we are doing now, aside from bickering a bit, is talking about what REALLY happened. 

You think Borges jacked up our offense, I think it's a little more complicated.  He went to what he knew would work.  That won us the game.  Who knows, maybe Fitz gets going after a few more carries.  I doubt it though.  I seem to remember him getting stuffed inside as well.  He had no room, didn't make any plays either.  I don't like not having a RB run game, but I don't like losing even more than that.  I feel those were our two options, for better or worse.

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

But we didn't beat Alabama and we looked awful. So by your logic we did what we should've done vs. the Crimson Tide.

Fact is what Borges did vs, Alabama didn't work. I'm not suggest running Denard crazy into an NFL defense would've won the game but Brian and others 'Picture Paged' all week about how bad the playcalling and execution was with the read-option vs. Alabama.

And I NEVER said we shouldn't have ran Denard. I said, we shouldn't have ran him as much. Not when you should be able to line up and run right at that SMALLER defense that you JUST mentioned. Instead we tried to run around them all game and it clearly didn't work. So just like I question the playcalling vs. Bama that didn't work...why can't I question the playcalling vs. Air Force that didn't work (even if some of the calls did).

 

 

snarling wolverine

September 9th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

Fact is what Borges did vs, Alabama didn't work. I'm not suggest running Denard crazy into an NFL defense would've won the game but Brian and others 'Picture Paged' all week about how bad the playcalling and execution was with the read-option vs. Alabama.

Here's what I don't get. Everyone seems to agree that running Denard more against Bama would not have been the difference in the game. So . . . why do we care then? A loss is a loss.

I can only imagine how intense the anti-Borges backlash would be if he'd run Denard 25 times against Bama and saw him blow out his knee on carry #25. There was a huge potential downside to giving him a heavy workload in that game, and very little potential upside.

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 8:14 PM ^

If what we did didn't work...and nothing else you would've done, why the work...therefore you shouldn't even try it, why play?

Again, between you and OMG Shirtless, the logic is terrible.

You have to at least TRY it. Run Denard on 5-7 QB Iso's and see what happens. It couldn't have been any worse...right?

Why not run Fitz on 7-10 north/south plays (not read-options)...straight at the smaller defense. It couldn't have been any worse...right? He ran for what 7 yards on 8 carries?

 

Point is, and none of you can argue this. You don't know if you don't try.

snarling wolverine

September 9th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Dude, Alabama could have hung 50 on us if they'd wanted to.   They went through the motions the whole second half.  If you want to argue that Denard might have gained enough yardage to remain in Heisman contention if he'd carried it 20+ times . . . maybe I can buy that. But no way in hell were were going to win a game where we were killed on the line of scrimmage.  And given that he was injured twice in that game as it was, I don't blame the coaches for not wanting to get the guy killed.

I don't understand why all your consternation is on the offensive side of the ball.  We scored 14 points on Alabama.  That's not bad.  That's more than most teams score on them.  It's the 41 we gave up that was the real problem.  

 

 

Mr. Yost

September 9th, 2012 at 8:22 PM ^

But we didn't beat Alabama and we looked awful. So by your logic we did what we should've done vs. the Crimson Tide.

Fact is what Borges did vs, Alabama didn't work. I'm not suggest running Denard crazy into an NFL defense would've won the game but Brian and others 'Picture Paged' all week about how bad the playcalling and execution was with the read-option vs. Alabama.

And I NEVER said we shouldn't have ran Denard. I said, we shouldn't have ran him as much. Not when you should be able to line up and run right at that SMALLER defense that you JUST mentioned. Instead we tried to run around them all game and it clearly didn't work. So just like I question the playcalling vs. Bama that didn't work...why can't I question the playcalling vs. Air Force that didn't work (even if some of the calls did).

Edit: Again, you all can take offense all you want. But I'm with the coaches and the players. 7 yards rushing from players not named Denard is embarrassing. You should be able to beat Air Force without Denard accounting for 98-99% of the offense. We're going to face tougher defenses.

Also, again, my issue is why do you not TRY to run north/south? You all are confusing that question with me saying run Fitz more and Denard less...not what I'm saying at all. I do think Fitz should've gotten more carries, but the carries that he DID get should've been going upfield vs. a smaller defense. That's on the playcaller. Period.

Brhino

September 9th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

I believe conference championship games are officially considered postseason games, so if he's going to do it, it's going to have to be before then.

joeyb

September 9th, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

I went through the Michigan records before the season to see which ones Denard has a chance to break this year. The numbers are in the form of "number needed to tie (2010 numbers, 2011 numbers)". So far, he's on pace for the rushing TDs, 200yd rushing games, 200yd passing games, and all-purpose records. I think he'll get the all-purpose records against ND.

 

Rushing Yards (career): 1811 (1702, 1176)
Rush Yards (season): 1818 (1702, 1176)
Rushing TDs (career): 20 (14, 16)
Rushing TDs (season): 19 (14, 16)
Longest Run: 92 (87, 53)
100yd games (season): 10 (9, 5)
200yd games (career): 2 (2, 1)
200yd games (season): 3 (2, 1)
 
Passing TD (season): 25 (20, 18)
200yd games (season): 10 (6, 2)
300yd games (career): 5 (1, 2)
300yd games (season): 3 (1, 2)
 
All-purpose yards (career): 1270
All-purpose TD (career): 15

EnoughAlready

September 9th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

Denard rushes and passes for over 200 yards.  Why aren't you playcalling better!  Why did you call plays that made the O-linemen miss blocks, so that Fitz got grabbed in the backfield!?

ole luther

September 9th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

Ten other guys are doing their job on any given play.  Usually one or two guys get the credit because they ran the ball or threw and caught the ball.  For a couple of years now, we've watched Denard do this consistantly.....CONSISTANTLY!  "Would it have made a difference against Bama?"

Would Bama have stopped him on all 30 rushing attempts if he actually would have had 30 attempts?...probably not.  The law of large numbers suggests that he would have gotten loose a couple of times.  If he had, that would have changed the backers and Dbacks process throughtout the game which may have opened up the passing game more....we'll never know because we left our ship in he harbour!

"A ship in the harbour is safe....but, that's not what ships were built for!"

And by the way, ND is not going to be a guage for us.  Not if you watched the ND/Purdue game.

Muttley

September 9th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

taken a shot that would have him sitting with Blake Countess.

We got destroyed at the line.  The law of large numbers also predicts that if one team manhandles the other at the line on boths sides over ~80 plays each, that team will win easily.

ole luther

September 9th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

It's pointless to guess wether or not Denard gets hurt. That road wasn't traveled through trial and error of an offensive system that has shone him to be the bulk of the yards gained. What the numbers show is that he has great vision when running and few, if any have gotten a clean shot at him.

So, what have we learned here?....Denard MAY be sitting next to Countess who IMO is just as valuable to us as Denard....that we'll take our chances with anyone else getting hurt on any given play but we won't use our prize thoroughbred when needed most?...everybody wants the national stage attention but is more than happy to sit back and say "Thank God our one and only chance of showing up didn't get hurt,..on national tv,..against a top team,..after selling out.

jmblue

September 9th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

Any chance we had of winning the Alabama game went out the window when it was clear that  our defensive front seven was utterly powerless to stop their running game.  I'm not sure how offensive playcalling would have changed that fact.

As for Countess being as important to the team as our starting quarterback . . . you lost me there.

 

Sten Carlson

September 9th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

*sigh* Are we really going to go through this AGAIN?!? What is so difficult to understand about the game plan that Borges utilized in the Bama game? Bama was NEVER going to allow Denard to run, never ever. You can sit there and say that some mathematical law indicates that Denard would have broken a few long runs, but I disagree. We've seen that when good defenses set out to stop Denard from running, they do -- save broken plays/scrambles. Running him, in spite of this is either desperate, or stupid. Against MSU last season, for example, Denard wasn't as comfortable with the offensive passing scheme as he was going into the Bama game. As such, Borges came out with a more Denard running centered scheme. It didn't work, and he was forced to shift to a more passing based scheme, that didn't really work -- although it had more success than running. This year, Borges had the experience of the MSU loss, the VT game, and other games in which Denard was shut down. The difference is that this season Borges is more confident in Denard's passing, so he went with the appropriate scheme against a "stop Denard from running at all costs scheme." Unfortunately, Denard wasn't perfect, nor where the WR's and the defense wasn't able to keep the game close. Not a good winning combination.

So, what have we learned here?....Denard MAY be sitting next to Countess who IMO is just as valuable to us as Denard

This is the most asinine statement ever stated on this board. You cannot possibly be suggesting that: a) a decent DB is more important than an amazing QB; nor b) that a DB is more important than the player that has accounted for 90% of all Michigan's offensive production over the past 3 years.

Really?!?