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Denard Robinson Puts on Record-breaking Performances

Tom Chieppo

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The most exciting quarterback in all of college football has to be Denard Robinson, because he scored the game winning touchdown with 27 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter this Saturday afternoon, to give the Michigan Wolverines a 28-24 victory against Notre Dame at South Bend.

Quarterback Denard Robinson

In front of 80,795 people in attendance, Robinsons’ most electrifying moment came late in the second quarter when he went to the right side and sprinted right pass the Irish defense for an 87-yard score, making it the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history. (Dick Panin broke off an 88-yarder for Michigan State in 1951, the longest run ever at Notre Dame Stadium.)  Robinson obliterated his three records at UConn last week, where he had 186 yards passing, 197 yards rushing, giving him a total of 383 yards.  Now, these records include 244 passing, 258 rushing and 502 total yards.  He was 24 for 40 passing as well.  Also, Robinson was the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to rush and pass for 200 yards.  “Man, I didn’t even know that,” Robinson said, according to ESPN.com.  “I just do whatever it takes for the team to win.  I don’t look at the stats.”  Robinson broke down the last drive of the game.  “I’m speechless right now,” he said, according to collegefootballrivals.com.  “The offense came together.  Everyone was ready for the drive.  It was time to put it away.  We had let them stick around for too long.”

The Wolverines improved to 2-0 and Head Coach, Rich Rodriquez, who is 2-1 lifetime against the Irish, had more to say on NBC after the game.  “There were a lot of ups and downs in this game,” he said.  “Lot of momentum changes, and I’m proud the way our players played.  We will enjoy this win for the next 24 hours, and it is on to the next one.”  Rodriquez explained the importance of Robinson’s role.  “Needless to say, our quarterback was special today,” he said according to collegefootballrivals.com.  You would be happy to if you had Robinson.  I don’t know if I ever have had a quarterback account for that many yards in a game, and I have had some good ones.”

“He’s a tough kid,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly, according to ESPN.com. “We hit him hard.  You run a quarterback 25 times, you got to have toughness.” Kelly also said, according to NBCsports.com, “We have a lot of things to cleanup. We were one play away.  Our offense needed to give us a chance to win this game.  It was a good game.”  Coach Kelly’s Fighting Irish squad dropped to 1-1. This was the first time Kelly experienced a rivalry just like quarterbacks Tommy Ress and Nate Montana, who is the son of Hall-of-Famer quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana.

Is Robinson Heisman trophy material?  Robinson has a total of 885 yards in his first two contests, 455 rushing yards, and 430 passing yards.  He’s an unflappable quarterback and has great intelligence of what defenses are coming, whether it’s a blitz, sending eight men in the box, and a cover. He has a keen ability to escape that the opposition’s defenses are always one step behind.  Additional skills include him having a great pocket presence, knowing where to find his wide receivers and also knowing when it’s time to run the ball when the play-action pass is taken away.  This will be Coach Rodriquez’s ultimate weapon to get a shot at the BCS Championship if his performance continues like this; he will be the leading candidate for the Heisman.  Robinson certainly belongs in the discussion because he can back up his performances with a bunch of victories.

The Michigan and Notre Dame clash began in 1887 and this matchup was the 38th time these schools met each other in the regular season.  Wolverines outscored the Irish 802-637.  They lead the overall series 22-15-1.  Both schools have a combined total of 21 national titles: 10 titles for Michigan and 11 for Notre Dame.  Some of the biggest moments in the epic rivalry history for both teams were Harry Oliver’s game-winning kick for 51 yards in 1980, Reggie Ho’s four field goals in 1988, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail two touchdown returns in 1989, Desmond Howard’s catch in 1991, and “the tie” in 1992. Now you can add Robinson’s 502 yards performance for 2010, with the Wolverines having 533 yards as a team. Robinson became the entire offense that day.  Just like all these other memorable moments, Robinson will cherish this game for the rest of his life.

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Denard Robinson Puts on Record-breaking Performances