Tag:Denard Robinson
Posted on: December 7, 2010 1:33 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 2:55 pm

Michigan players enthusiastically support RichRod

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It doesn't happen all that often -- usually college football players are fully behind their coach come bowl-less hell or high water -- but occasionally when a head coach comes under fire, the lukewarm response from the players (or even more rarely, outright hostility, as in the case of Mike Leach at Texas Tech) gives away the fact that even they aren't really sold on the coach being retained.

Given their comments this week , it's safe to say the situation at Michigan with the beleagured Rich Rodriguez is not one of those times. Junior wideout Darryl Stonum:
"I love my coach ... I committed to Coach (Lloyd) Carr and Coach Rod came in. Coach Rod treats us like his own kids. Like Denard (Robinson) said in his MVP speech, we're all brothers and we're all family. I'd be pretty devastated if anything happened."
That's one thing. But maybe the best indication of how badly the Wolverines want A.D Dave Brandon to keep Rodriguez at the helm is Ryan Van Bergen' s defense of his coach's now infamous Josh Groban -soundtracked appeal at the team banquet. Van Bergen:

The pressure he's subjected to, especially over the course of his three years here, I think he's been handling it with as strong a front as you could possibly have. I think it was really appreciated by some of the seniors. That was directed toward them. The guys who stuck around -- there's not too many of them -- they were his closest supporters."

As for some public ridicule, Van Bergen said: "He wasn't doing that for them."

Bear in mind that even Groban himself thought RichRod's banquet presentation went too far in the direction of corny. If his players are willing to not only look past but even embrace that kind of decision, give Rodriguez credit: they really will follow him anywhere. That won't do as much for him as beating Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl or, say, not losing quarterback commitments to Wake Forest, but it's something.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:53 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 11:22 am

All-Big Ten Teams Announced, Pryor unhappy

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Big Ten released their all-conference teams on Monday, and clearly both the coaches and media value the play of the individual at each position.  The conference has seen an amazing collection of quarterback performances this season, making the narrowing process difficult for the voters.  But when the ballots were counted, Wisconsin's Scott TolzienMichigan's Denard Robinson and Northwestern's Dan Persa made the first and second teams, with Persa making both lists. 

One quarterback not too happy with the results was Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor.  Who, in the same fashion as so many brilliant athletes before him, took to Twitter to say something that will likely be misunderstood and blown out of proportion.  

Obviously Pryor is not going to quit football anytime soon.  But his frustration is somewhat understood.  Pryor is still thought by some to be a longshot Heisman candidate and plays on a team that tied for the regular season title, so conventional wisdom would likely place him atop his other Big Ten counterparts.  But this was not a conventional season at quarterback in the Big Ten.  

Plus Pryor could have possibly won some of the "career honor" type votes if he wasn't so adamant about coming back next season.  Come on Terrelle, work the system baby, work the system. 

Below are the full media and coaches' All-Big Ten squads as reported by the conference.

Click here to enlarge media list
Click here to enlarge coaches' list

Posted on: November 27, 2010 1:43 pm

Ohio State having no trouble with Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This game basically started out in the best way imaginable for Michigan.  On defense, the much-maligned Wolverines held the Buckeyes to two three-and-outs on Ohio State's first two drives of the game.  On offense, Michigan put together two quality drives.

The problem is that after those two drives the score was still 0-0.  That's what happens when you have a coach who has absolutely no faith in his kicker and has to go for it on fourth down, which Michigan did on its opening drive and failed.  The second drive ended with a Denard Robinson fumble that Ohio State recovered at it's own 10-yard line.

Terrelle Pryor led Ohio State to a field goal on the ensuing drive, and it's been all Pryor and the Buckeyes since.  Michigan got itself back in the game with a Vincent Smith touchdown halfway through the second quarter, but Jordan Hall returned the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards for a touchdown, and the Buckeyes had a 10-point lead right back.

A few minutes later Pryor was hitting Devier Posey for a 33-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 17-point lead, which is where the lead now sits at halftime.

It also turns the heat on Rich Rodriguez's seat up that much higher.  Bowl eligible or not, don't think for a second that if Michigan gets destroyed by the Buckeyes again that Rodriguez's job won't be in danger.  Particularly with Michigan alum Jim Harbaugh leading Stanford to heights unknown out west.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 3:10 pm

Robinson makes history in loss

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Wisconsin didn't score 83 points again , but they made a decent go of it, gouging the sad-sack Michigan defense for 359 rushing yards, 560 total yards, and 48 points in a 20-point victory. Though the Wolverines made a respectable rally in the second half, twice closing within 10 points after trailing 24-0 at the break (and potentially closing within more if they'd recovered either of two well-executed onsides kicks), the Badgers were never seriously threatened.

But the headlines afterwards won't belong to the Badgers exclusively, not after Denard Robinson set a new single-season FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Robinson collected 131 yards on 20 carries , putting him over 1,500 yards for the season and breaking Air Force quarterback Beau Morgan 's record of 1,494 yards, set in 1996. Robinson added 239 yards passing, giving him more than 2,000 through the air for the season and making him the only member of the 2,000/1,500 club. Not to mention the 1,500/1,500 club, of course.

Because of a rash of interceptions and turnovers and Michigan's slide after their 5-0 start, Robinson's early-season Heisman momentum has stalled. But with these kinds of record-breaking, history-making numbers behind him -- numbers that would have garnered a lot more attention if the defense opposite him wasn't one the country's worst -- it will be a shame if Robinson isn't rewarded with at least a trip to New York for the presentation ceremony.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 1:46 pm

Wisconsin might just break 80 points again

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Not that we endorse gambling here at the College Football Blog, but even we couldn't help wondering why exactly a Wisconsin team that beat Indiana by 63 points was only a five-point favorite this week over a Michigan team that needed some late Denard Robinson heroics to squeak past the Hooisers by one score. Did Vegas know something we didn't?

Not this time, they sure as hell didn't: the Badgers are opening up the proverbial can on the homestanding Wolverines, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime that could have been even worse if Scott Tolzien 's only incomplete pass of the first half was an interception that ended a Badger scoring chance 30 seconds before the break. Otherwise, he went a cold-blooded 13-of-14 for 196 yards against the tattered Michigan secondary, while Monte Ball and James White have combined for more than 180 yards rushing and three scores.

The Wolverines showed against Illinois that they have the potential to keep up even in the face of that kind of offensive onslaught, but not today; their final four possessions of the half produced zero first downs, one turnover (on the kickoff return), and a chorus of boos when the home crowd disagreed with Rich Rodriguez 's (understandable) decision to lick their wounds in the locker room over risking another major malfunction.

The Tolzien pick means that the Badgers likely won't repeat their 83-point explosion of a week ago ... but at this rate, they won't come up a whole lot short, either.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 2:35 pm

Denard Robinson shouldn't punt

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Denard Robinson can do a lot of things.  He can run faster than the wind, he can throw for some long touchdowns, and if today is any indication, he can turn the ball over with anybody in the country.

You know what he shouldn't do, though?


Thanks to @WorstFan

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 13, 2010 1:28 pm

Bad decisions, mistakes hurting Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Things started out well enough for the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday morning.   A defense that has been much maligned all season started the game off by forcing a fumble from Purdue running back Dan Dierking, which was scooped up by Cameron Gordon and taken 58 yards for a touchdown.  Michigan's offense would get in on the fun a few minutes later when Denard Robinson hit Roy Roundtree for a 9-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Since then?  Well, the Wolverines have gotten sloppy and made some questionable decisions.

The Wolverines have turned the ball over three times in the first half, which have led to all of Purdue's points.  The biggest one came when Denard Robinson had the Wolverines in the red zone and made a bad pass into coverage that was picked off by Ricardo Allen and taken back 94 yards for a touchdown to make the game 14-10.

Then Rich Rodriguez decided he wanted to get in on the questionable decisions.

Purdue had driven into Michigan territory during the second quarter and faced a third down.  The Boilers then threw an incomplete pass -- that was nearly intercepted -- but a flag was thrown on the play for holding.  Rodriguez could have accepted the penalty and pushed the Boilermakers back another ten yards, which would have pushed them out of field goal range.

Instead Rodriguez declined the penalty, and Carson Wiggs booted a 46-yard field goal to cut Michigan's lead to 14-13.

So, yes, Michigan still has the lead at halftime, but they hold it in spite of themselves.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm

Maxwell semifinalists released; where are RBs?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:

WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.

All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .

So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?

Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.

Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.

They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
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