Denard likely to miss out on QB career rushing record

Submitted by Gulogulo37 on November 15th, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Denard has 4,129 rushing yards for his career while Pat White has the record for QBs at 4,480. Earlier this year, it seemed certain Denard would break that but now it's looking very unlikely. Getting at least 100 yards rushing seems it would have been all but certain against Minny, NW, and Iowa. And that would leave just a handful more for the rest of the Nebraska game, Ohio, and the bowl game (I believe those count). Even if Denard is back for the Iowa game, and I'm guessing he won't be, 351 yards is no gimme, especially considering we're likely to play a tough SEC defense in the bowl game.

Obviously Denard has had a great career regardless, but it's too bad he probably won't end up as the top-rushing QB of all-time as he deserves. Sorry to make you more depressed about Denard's injury, but I haven't seen this discussed at all since the beginning of the year, so apologies if it's been in threads I haven't seen.

I miss you Denard *sigh*



November 15th, 2012 at 8:20 AM ^

I was going to post this down further and you obviously beat me to it.

Well, can someone do the math here and average out yards on the ground per game over the careers of the top rushing QBs?  I think there's a good chance, even though he may not get the total yards, he might've averaged the most yards per game

If I missed this analysis earlier, just neg this to death and forget I posted it.


November 15th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

Well, we can be depressed, or we can look at it the other way: we were pretty fortunate that Denard was able to make 33 consecutive starts.  This is life with a running QB.  They get injured  from time to time.  If every running QB could have stayed healthy throughout his career, the record books would look very different.


Sac Fly

November 15th, 2012 at 2:11 AM ^

That's 117 yards each in the next three games. If Denard plays against Iowa he's going to go over that because they aren't very good, so let's say 90 against OSU and our bowl opponent. not out of the question at all. I'm an optimist.


November 15th, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

You do realize that Denard's fastest 40 verified time, which is 4.32, is faster than what Michael Vick got in the NFL combine (4.35, I believe, which is the fastest recorded "official" time for a college QB)?  For your reference, I think the fastest confirmed time for Taylor is 4.42.  Do you also know that ESPN's sport science a couple years ago clocked Martinez's top speed at 20.5 mph, while in the same year they clocked Denard's top speed at 21.82, which is a pretty big difference when we're talking about football.  To put it bluntly, it's not debatable at all, and anyone who thinks otherwise, including Pat Narduzzi and evidently you, is extremely uninformed and/or blind as a bat.


November 15th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

I think the reason a lot of people who are watching from the sidelines might claim Martinez "looks" faster is because he always goes full throttle. Denard is a much more patient runner, who waits to cut or until he can take off through holes or to outrun chasing defenders. Martinez looks like every step he takes is full speed ahead.

Or, to satisfy Occam's razor... They're just asshats.


November 15th, 2012 at 3:56 AM ^

...every single player on that team wants one thing: a BIG championship. The class that Denard has displayed during this stretch is testament to his legacy at Michigan. 

San Diego Mick

November 15th, 2012 at 4:12 AM ^

as much as I'd love for Denard to have that record and as the OP stated, he would have broken it easily if he hadn't gotten hurt and probably add a 200+ yds to that and put that record out of reach for a while.

But I gotta say, I've enjoyed DG playing QB in the last 2 games way more than Denard, sorry if this really upsets a segment of our fanbase, but it's how I feel and I think we're a better team w/DG at the helm and too bad we didn't have Devin available to have come in relief against ND when Denard was really struggling in that game & Neb and won those games and be ranked close to the top 5 with a 9-1 record.



November 15th, 2012 at 5:32 AM ^

 We're where we deserve to be as far as polls go. With an offensive line that can't run block or pick up a blitz I'd rather be an underdog in some bowl than go into one as a top 5 team and get embarrassed like Ohio state did in the 2 national championship losses.

  I'm just hoping the offense looks better next year. The defense seems to be in good hands.


November 15th, 2012 at 7:41 AM ^

Unless Braxton Miller gets injured and misses significant time, he would have likely broken whatever record Denard put up anyway. Miller will finish his sophomore season with more rushing yards after his second season than Denard had after his second season (Miller obviously benefited from being a starter for most of his frosh season) and Miller will still be playing in a QB run centered offense under Meyer for the next two seasons unless Meyer can't keep his p*cker in his pants, I mean, unless he gets "sick" again.


November 15th, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

He's late to the party, but I also wouldn't overlook Jordan Lynch at NIU. He's in all likelihood going to break Denard's single-season record for QB rushing yards, as he's at 1502 after 11 games, and NIU is going to the MAC title game, so he's got 3 games left this season, including a bowl game against either a mediocre Big Ten team or another mid-major. He's got an outside shot at 2000 yards on the ground this season. He only had 608 yards his first two seasons, but if he keeps his pace up (136.5 yards per game) for the rest of this season and next year (NIU should win the MAC this year and next, so 17 games), it's an extra 2320 yards for a career total of 4430.

Braxton should still end up with the record when his career is over (barring injury, of course), but the trend towards QBs that can pick up tons of yards on the ground means we're going to see a lot of 4000+ yard QBs in the future (Manziel already has 1000+ as a freshman, Lynch and Miller discussed above).


November 15th, 2012 at 9:08 AM ^

Yeah records are made to be broken. It's a shame Denard will (most likely) never have it for some part of time, but that's just how circumstances are.

My useless opinion though, is record or no record, Denard is still the greatest Running QB of all time. I think if you give him 4 years in a run-spread offense, or an option offense, he would put up numbers that would last for quite a while


November 15th, 2012 at 8:08 AM ^

Wise to extrapolate performances against Minny and NW defenses to ND and Nebraska.  I'm confused as to why you don't think Gardner would have beat Alabama.

You are the fan who will be screaming for Shane Morris as soon as DG has a bad game next year.


November 15th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

He's played against 2 bad teams.

It's way too early to annoint him.

That said, his play has impressed me, and certainly changed my mind from OHGOD2013BELLOMYOHWHYOWHY to perhaps a decent offense.  We're going to have to get RBs involved, we won't be sniffing a Big Ten title or anything more next year by running an air raid offense because our OL/RBs can't get any production.


November 15th, 2012 at 5:51 AM ^

According to, he has 4,175 career rushing yards(this is the site I use when I do these comparisons anyway). Against what it would take to beat Pat White by a single yard (4,481),  that's a difference of 306 yards, or 102 yards rushing per game average assuming three games (if in the rather unlikely event we found ourselves in the BTCG - 9% chance by the Massey ratings - it drops to 76.5 rushing yards average). Not impossible, as others mentioned, but certainly more difficult to achieve now.

That being said, I would much rather have a healthy Denard out there at QB than the rushing record, even though both would have been a bonus. Given what Denard Robinson has already accomplished, being between Brad Smith and Antwaan Randle El on the list of all-time rushing for QBs is still quite an achievement. 

Bill the Butcher

November 15th, 2012 at 7:27 AM ^










Comp %

























Those are Pat White's Freshman stats.  While he did split time in the early part of the season, by the 7th or 8th game he kind of took hold of the starting job.


For comparison Denard's freshman year went like this:

During the 2009 season, Robinson completed 14 of 31 passes for 188 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also ran for 351 yards and five touchdowns in 69 attempts.


Source is wiki.



Edit: Late to the party, as I was researching stats and trying to fix my table, Trebor beat me too the punch.


November 15th, 2012 at 8:14 AM ^

I just want him to play in his last game at Michigan Stadium. Records are nice and you can always play the what if I wasn't injured game with records, but it would really be a bummer if that injury took him out of his last game at Michigan Stadium. That to me would be worse than not getting the records.


November 15th, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

The Team. The Team. The Team.

I'm sure Denard would be the first person to tell you that, as long as Michigan wins, it doesn't matter where the yards are coming from. 

That being said, it is sad to have Denard watch games from the sideline when he as so few remaining as a Wolverine. I wish him a quick recovery and all the best life has to offer, he certainly deserves it. 


November 15th, 2012 at 10:19 AM ^

I mean, it's fine to say that, and it's true as far as it goes, but I'm sure he'd still like to set the record. Plus we're not him; it's easy to say it doesn't matter when it isn't you. More importantly, I'd like to see him get the record just because he has been through so much with the transition. He basically sacrificed personal greatness for The Team at that point. Does anyone doubt he'd have hit the record at Oregon or somewhere? I don't.

He's just such a great individual that I want him to get all the accolades he deserves. I'd have loved to see him get the Heisman, but that's not going to happen.