Pretty good for a QB that some said should be benched

Submitted by Don on November 28th, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Considering that Denard was doing so "poorly" that some loons said he should have been replaced by DG, he did pretty well against OSU.

So well, in fact, that he set a record for most TDs accounted for—5—by any UM QB in a single game against Ohio State.

Robinson is the first Michigan player in the modern era to score at least two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in back-to-back games, doing it against Nebraska and OSU.

He also passed Vince Young in career rushing yardage by a QB.

More on the records DR has accumulated at…



November 28th, 2011 at 9:36 AM ^

DRob couldn't have picked a better game to have the performance that he did.  Here's to hoping that he matured this weekend, and we'll be seeing a lot more games like that from him next year. 


November 28th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

I'm just reminded of the guy on the liveblog who wanted him out after the first half. The kid was 7/8 with >100 yards and 1TD, plus he had two rushing TD's and was averaging more than 6YPC.



November 28th, 2011 at 9:49 AM ^

IMO, Denard reached another level during this game and I don't think he'll look back.  At some point in the second half I stopped thinking "Don't throw an int!!" on passing downs and looked forward to the results. 

The UFR will answer this but wasn't Borges' call playing a lot more restricted to Denard's strengths vs earlier games?

Litt1e Rhino

November 28th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

Couldn't agree more. It seemed that Borges was really playing to his strengths Saturday. But Denard was also playing out of his mind. He was making all the correct decisions and his throws were far more accurate then we have seen out of him. His throw to Koger for a first down was one of his best throws in his career in my opinion. e put just enough touch on it to loft it over a Ohio backer and in front of the Safty. They had absolutely no way to defend a pass like that. He was very fun to watch Saturday. Not only was he passing great but he was also running tougher then he ever has.




November 28th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

Borges obviously worked to establish Denard more as a runner in  this game, but as far as the passing game went, I don't know if the playcalling was that different than before.  Denard just played really, really well.   A few of his throws were into pretty tight coverage (particularly the TDs to Hemingway and Odoms and the long pass to Dileo) but he put it exactly where it needed to be. 


November 28th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

The Denard of the past few weeks is hardly the same guy who played against MSU (when people wante him benched). People expected this kind of improvement over the offseason, but a transition to Borges' coaching temporarily held him back. I think it has finally clicked for him (just look at his perfect footwork in the OSU game compared to earlier in the year), and he should be fantastic next year.


November 28th, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

I'll admit that I was one who thought the team might be better with Denard playing more of a Percy Harvin role and Devin playing QB. Most people arguing for Devin at QB did not want Denard "benched". So I don't think that word is accurate. Credit to Denard for improving when I thought he was stagnating. I never stopped rooting for him, just questioning if he had reached his ceiling as a passer. I'm not holding my breath when he passes anymore.


November 28th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

Didn't make a bad decision in the passing game all day, as far as I can recall, and his throws were all on the money -- usually you have at least one or two passes a game w/Denard where someone like Hemingway or Koger bails him out with a circus catch on a poorly placed throw, but not this time. His decision-making regarding when to scramble and when to stay in the pocket and go through his progressions was also terrific -- just watch the TD pass to Hemingway again, for example.

Can't wait to see what Denard can do with another off-season in this offense under his belt, and as Borges continues to learn what works and what doesn't with the current personnel.



November 28th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

You can put my idiot brother into the bench Denard camp - or at least he was there until the Nebraska game. He spent much of the pre-game tailgate explaining in great detail to all of us why Denard was nothing more than a slot receiver and the best use of him would be on jet sweeps and double passes from Devon. Needless-to-say I told him he was completely full of shit and just demonstrated his absolute lack of any football knowledge.

And for the past two post-game tailgates I've had great fun reminding him of what a good "slot receiver" we have at QB. As a matter of fact our slot receiver just did something that the great Chad Henne could never do - he beat Ohio State!


November 28th, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

Unfortunately, QB's with "too much" skin pigmentation get criticized more.  The darker the skin and the more "hip hop" the appearance, the less mainstream America trusts a player to be a QB.  What really angers me about this is that Denard is emerging as one of the finest role models in college football, both on and off the field, but he still has critics in his school's home town.

Denard doesn't get into trouble, he praises God after every touchdown instead of himself, he deflects compliments in pressers and redircects them to his teammates and coaches, and he never has anything bad to say about anyone.  There are no "incidents" at bars, frat beatdowns, or vehicles beyond his means.  There are no drug or alcohol convictions.

Also, don't forget that if Denard had left in January, a lot of people would have followed him.  Instead, he not only stayed, but asked everyone else to stay.  He "bought into" and learned an offense that doesn't totally fit his skills, and pretty much guarantees that he won't win a Heisman.  He worked hard over the summer with receivers.  He has learned footwork on the fly, as the year has gone by.  

He rushed for 1117 yards this season and passed for 1958.  His TD/Int ratio was 18/14, and his rating was 142.8.  His rating against Nebraska was 170.7 and it was 223.1 against Ohio. Other than selling popcorn at halftime to get extra revenue for the athletic department, I really don't know what more anyone can ask of him.  

I hope your "idiot brother" reads this thread.

coastal blue

November 28th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

How does your brain even concoct such a ridiculous notion?

I stood by Denard all season but to say that people thought he should be benched because he is black is so boldly dumb it defies reason. I'm guessing that it had WAY more to do with his 50% completion rate and his tendency to throw dumb picks than the fact that he had dreadlocks. 

Do stereotypes and racism exist in some circles? Yes. And they always will because there will always be people whose minds work in ways that defy reason . But 99% of the time when someone brings up race as an excuse for something - especially today - it is dead wrong. And my friend, you are definitely in the 99% on this one. 

Yost Ghost

November 28th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

How can people on this board who were concerned enough about the success of the UM football team, and the struggles that team was having with it's passing game, during a crucial stretch of the season be considered racists for wanting the starting QB moved to a position suited to his talents and replaced by QB of the same skin color?


November 28th, 2011 at 5:15 PM ^

He was illustrating how dumb people were being about wanting to replace Denard at QB by making an equally dumb assertion about why people wanted to replace Denard.  You have to appreciate the sophistication of his use of irony -- that's what separates us from MLive, you see.

Yost Ghost

November 29th, 2011 at 9:11 AM ^

giving too much credit to tater's comments. I agree with everything else he said about Drob except for what he said in the first paragraph. Whether people think it was dumb to consider replacing Drob with DG or not is of personal opinion. I have to admit I was begining to get worried during that middle stretch of the season. Not all of that was on Drob some of it was Borges. But there were many out there, including former coaches and players, questioning the choice of Drob under center. Heck even Hoke was giving DG more playing time. Some due to play calling, some due to injury but in a couple instances Drob could have returned but didn't. There were legitimate concerns.


November 28th, 2011 at 10:13 AM ^

it is truly remarkable how well Denard played.  I didn't realize it at the time, as I was so stressed out just wanting us to win, but he played probably his best game in his biggest game.  And the best part was that he showed a ton of improvement.  Kudos as well to Borges who rightly recieved criticism after the MSU and Iowa games. 

Borges and Denard really seem to have adapted well to each other.  Lets hope they keep it going.

Darker Blue

November 28th, 2011 at 10:13 AM ^

Anyone who ever said that Denard should be benched should be punched in the face. I don't hate all of you people, everyone makes mistakes, but damn dude why would you want to put that man on the bench. 


November 28th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

Are you kidding me. You guys are a bunch of bandwagoners. Ok listen, yes he has done wonderful the last 2 weeks and thank god for it! But dont try to pretend for one second that everyone of you at one point or another didn't want hom benched, say, the MSU game... He was doing horrible in the moddle of the season: throwing stupid picks, terrible decisions, couldnt hit the broad side of a barn. So yes, there was in fact time where if his name wasnt Denard Robinson and they had a back up that was more ready that he MOST DEINATELY would have been benched. Get off the band wagon and see what is in front of tour face. BTW i do love Denard but i also dont kid myself when i know whats going on. Anyways thank god he has gotten 1000X better amd looks like he will be huge for us. GO BLUE!!!


November 28th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

Denard is a fabulous runner and worked perfect for RR's system, but he Could not fit in Hokes system whatsoever, however thank god HOKE is a miracle worker. But i'll ask you this, if the times where Gardner played during some of the games, say he made more of his throws (which hwe most certainly didnt so this is hypethetical) and jus plain looked ready; You wouldn't want Hoke to work with him more and maybe work with Denard at HB or WR?

coastal blue

November 28th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

I am so glad I wasn't apart of the herd, woe-is-us fanbase that thought a team returning 18-19 starters, facing a weak schedule and vastly improving their DC position would only go 7-5 before the season started. 

10-2, 9-3 was the pick from the start for anyone who actually looked at the team we had assembled. 


November 28th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

nobody with half a brain regarding Michigan football wanted DG to start over DR. Even with his struggles he was still the best option we had at QB and DG proved that many times with some epic derp moments. New coaching staff trying to implement a new system means just about any QB would struggle with all the new wrinkles added to the playbook.


November 28th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

Youre totally right, nobody would want DG to start over DR. Which is why i asked the hypethetical "what if DG had looked great the times that he ha gotten playin time, what are your thoughts then?" becase come one DR played some big roles on losing our 2 games. Yes though, i am aware he also won us alot of games, (i do like DR here fergodsakes, i just want our team to win in the meantime)


November 28th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

That's the thing, though. There wasn't a backup QB ready to go. So, no, I never wanted him benched. If Devin Gardner could do more than try to scramble like Denard and fail, with the occasional nice pass, I would have been all for him. But every time Devin was in this season, I was cringing. Especially in the Iowa game. 


November 28th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

Your definately right. We didn't have a back up so it was basically out of the question. Im just sayin that for parts of the season you never thought, " god if we just had a better back up and maybe Denard could play slot or something our chances of winning would increase!"? Because i also cringed when Denard threw the ball also! In the earlier parts of the season, but hell im just as glad as anyone that he has improved so mich out of nowhere.


November 28th, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

I wanted Michigan to stop running an offense apparently designed to play to his weaknesses.  It's absolutely no coincidence at all that he's played 6 billion times better since Michigan started running the spread as their base set.