Denard Robinson continued his assault on the record books in leading the Michigan Wolverines to a thrilling 28-24 victory at Notre Dame. Robinson racked up an astounding 502 yards of total offense to go along with 3 TDs (2 rushing, 1 passing). He shattered the single game QB rushing record that he established last week by piling up 258 yards on the ground. That is also the 5th best game total by any Michigan player. Robinson also obliterated the Total Offense record that he set last week as he tacked on 119 more yards to the record. Robinson became the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to rush and pass for 200 yards or more in a game. The last player to accomplish the feat was West Virginia’s Pat White against Pittsburgh on Nov. 16, 2006 (220 rushing and 204 passing). He was and has been incredible through two weeks. For more on Robinson’s fast start to the season click here.
Notre Dame struck first in the game with a decisive 13 play 71 yard TD drive on the opening possession of the game. Irish QB Dayne Crist looked like he was going to be a handful for the Wolverines defense. However, on Notre Dame’s second possession back up QB Tommy Rees entered the game because Crist couldn’t see out of his right eye. Rees threw an interception on his first career pass. Michigan parlayed that into some offensive momentum. Robinson, who was just getting warmed up, led Michigan on a game tying TD drive and capped it on a great play when he fired it to a wide open Roy Roundtree for a 31 yard TD.
Two possessions later Stephen Hopkins gave Michigan the lead on his first career carry which was a 1 yard TD plunge. Robinson capped the first half scoring with a scintillating 87 yard TD which of course is a Notre Dame Stadium record for longest TD run.
The Irish had a chance to score at the end of the half. Brian Kelly elected to forego a chip shot field goal at the buzzer and Notre Dame’s 4th down and goal play came up empty. As a result Michigan took a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
The Irish socked Michigan in the mouth to open the second half. After stuffing the Wolverines first drive they went to work on the Michigan defense. Crist, who apparently could now see, came in and piloted Notre Dame to 10 quick points and sliced the Michigan lead to 21-17.
The two teams traded blows until Crist hooked up with Kyle Rudolph on a 95 yard TD pass that put the Irish up 24-21 with 3:41 seconds to play. Michigan had left the door open for an Irish comeback and Notre Dame finally took advantage. The Wolverines were penalized 8 times for 99 yards and each of the penalties seemed to be of the back breaking variety as they often snuffed out Michigan drives. They also failed to turn any of their 3 interceptions into points; instead they all resulted in Michigan punts.
Notre Dame left enough time on the clock for Robinson to engineer a historic 12 play 72 yard TD drive. The key plays on the drive included a 4th down and 1 conversion that Robinson picked up by willing his way to the 1st down marker. The biggest play was a 3rd down and 5 play from the 17 yard line. If the Wolverines didn’t pick up the first down Rich Rodriguez would have been forced into a very difficult decision. Would he dare trot out Brendan Gibbons for a third FG attempt, after he had badly missed on his first two attempts in the game, or would he go for it on 4th down? Robinson spared his coach from having to make that decision by firing a dart to Roy Roundtree who corralled it and was brought down at the 2 yard line. On the next play Robinson punched it in for the game winning TD.
Robinson was simply sensational as he made big play after big play throughout the game.
- Robinson hooked up with Roy Roundtree on a 31 yard TD pass that was set up beautifully be a play fake.
- Robinson hooked up with Martavious Odoms on a similar play that set up the Hopkins TD.
- From his own 13 yard line Robinson burst through the heart of the Irish defense for the 87 yard TD.
- On a 3rd down and 3 play that looked destined to be a Notre Dame sack, Robinson somehow eluded 3 Irish defenders as he kept his eyes downfield he located Darryl Stonum and hooked up with him on a 12 yard pass play.
- Robinson lofted a perfectly thrown ball to Roundtree over two Irish defenders that should have been caught for a TD.
- Robinson converted the critical 4th down play on Michigan’s game winning TD drive.
- The aforementioned 3rd down and 5 play that he converted by firing to Roy Roundtree at the Notre Dame 2 yard line.
- And of course the game winning TD.
- Martavious Odoms hauled in 7 passes for 91 yards.
- Roundtree had 8 receptions for 82 yards and a TD one week after suffering internal bruising in the UConn game.
- Jonas Mouton was outstanding as he tallied 13 tackles and 1 interception.
- Jordan Kovacs was also outstanding with 10 tackles and 1 interception.
- Thomas Gordon made his first career start and totaled 5 tackles and 1 huge sack of Crist.
- Will Hagerup punted 9 times and shanked a few in the process.
- Robinson’s 258 rushing yards is also a Big Ten record for QBs
- Redshirt freshman Seth Broekhuizen recorded his first collegiate point, connecting on the point-after following Robinson’s game winning TD.
- Robinson has rolled up 885 yards of offense in 2 games. That is incredible.
- For more on Robinson’s fast start click here.
- @richeisen: That was absolutely unbelievable. New UM offense: 87 yards and a cloud of dust.
- @greggdoyelcbs: Denard Robinson ran for 258 yards. Threw for 244. Led 72-yard TD drive in final minutes. Any questions?
- @wingoz (Trey Wingo): Denard Robinson ….unreal.
- @WhitlockJason: What an awesome game! Congrats RichRod. Shake the haters off!!
- @Adam_Schefter: Have just seen the best performance by a Robinson for Michigan since Rumeal helped the school win a national championship.