“I’m speechless right now. I really don’t know what to say right now. That was amazing. Our team obviously came together and the defense played well, and we just put it together.”
Those were the first words Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson said when addressing the media in South Bend yesterday after his Wolverines defeated Notre Dame 28-24. He’s not the only speechless one. In the first two weeks of college football action, Robinson has gone on a ridiculous spree mutilating anything and everything in site like Jimmy Conway during the “Layla scene” in “Goodfellas.”
For the second straight week, Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach HS) was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week.
He racked up 502 yards of total offense Saturday in leading the game-winning 12-play, 72-yard scoring drive against the Irish, capped by his two-yard scoring running with 27 second left in regulation. He accounted for all 72 of the Wolverines yards on the drive, completing 5-of-6 passes for 55 yards and gained 17 rushing yards on six attempts.
Robinson set the Big Ten rushing record for quarterbacks with 258 yards on 28 carries. His rushing output is the best road effort ever for a Wolverine and the fifth-best effort in school history.
“I think I’ve improved a lot,” Robinson said.
“As you can see, I mean, I’ve been practicing and working with the receivers, and they’ve been trying to get me better. Obviously the quarterback coach has been working with me, obviously. And the offense, basically what’s going on.”
He set career highs in every passing category, completing 24-of-40 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown. Robinson became the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to run and pass for over 200 yards in a game and the first since West Virginia’s Pat White accomplished the feat against Pittsburgh on Nov. 16, 2006 (220 rushing and 204 passing).
In addition to his game-winner, Robinson raced 87 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter at Notre Dame. The scoring run was the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history and the sixth longest run in Michigan football history.
Robinson reset the Michigan total offensive record with 502 yards at Notre Dame, surpassing his total of 383 yards set last week against Connecticut. He also set the school record with 68 total offensive plays (28 rushing and 40 passing) in the ND game.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez had a ton of praise for Denard.
“He kept his poise the whole game, really. He’ll be the first one to tell you there’s about five or six plays and throws he’d want to have back, some potential touchdown throws and some things that he was seeing it, and he just kind of, overthrew it or something.
But he was really on as far as seeing the field; and for a guy that weighs 185, 190 pounds, he’s tough and physical. Stuck some lines up in there and got some good blocking down the field.”
Robinson currently leads the nation in rushing (227.5 avg.) and total offense (442.5 avg.) through two games. Robinson is the fourth FBS player to earn Walter Camp Player of the Week honors twice in a season. The last player to earn the award twice was Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell.
Rodriguez also commented on Robinson’s sick, and I mean SICK numbers yesterday. A fellow reporter asked him about the 500+ yards.
“That’s a lot, I don’t know if I’ve had a guy ?? I’ve had some terrific quarterbacks. I don’t know if I’ve had that many yards rushing and passing combined. But he’ll get a few ice bags on him today and sleep on the way back, maybe on the bus, and rest up for the next one,” Rodriguez said.
Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
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