Robinson takes no praise after record
Notebook: Ohio State rushes into high gear; Spartans rally
Michigan senior quarterback Denard Robinson characterized his performance at Notre Dame on Sept. 22 as the worst of his four-year career.
Two-weeks later, he turned in a performance that can be characterized as historic.
Robinson accumulated 340 total yards -- 235 through the air and 105 on the ground -- in leading the Wolverines to a conference-opening victory at Purdue last week. In doing so, the senior signal-caller became the Big Ten’s all-time career rushing leader among quarterbacks, passing Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El’s mark of 3,895 during the second half.
Robinson’s 3,905 career rushing yards is also good for fifth on the NCAA’s all-time quarterback rushing list, and fifth on the Michigan career rushing list.
Robinson has always been the ultimate team-player and not one to talk about personal records. His attitude didn’t change this past week.
“We’ve got so much talent on this team,” he said. “We’ve got to put everything aside and take advantage of these last games.”
Of course, breaking records is nothing new to the Michigan quarterback. As a sophomore in 2010, Robinson broke the NCAA record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,702, and became the first player in college football history to produce 1,500 yards rushing and passing in a single campaign.
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke isn’t one to go overboard with individual accolades either and such was the instance after the win in West Lafayette. He did however, perfectly sum up Robinson’s career on Saturday.
“He’s a playmaker; he does a lot with the ball in his hands,” he said. “That’s why we trust him with it so much.”
The Wolverines have seven games remaining in the regular season, and each week will present an opportunity for another record to fall at Robinson’s feet. He needs 575 yards to tie Pat White’s mark of 4,480 for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback.
Records mean nothing to the one they call “Shoelace” right now however, as he is focused only on the number 1 -- the position he wants the Wolverines to be in the conference standings at the end of the year.
“This is the Big Ten season and we still have a chance to be champions,” Robinson said. “We’re going to get better every game as long as everyone comes in and plays Michigan football.”
Illinois (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten)
• The Illini offense continued its 2012 swoon, managing only 284 yards in a 31-14 loss at Wisconsin last week. Senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase gained 262 total yards with a pair of touchdowns, including one on the ground and the other through the air.
• Illinois was a dark horse pick to make noise in the Leaders Division prior to the season, but the Illini have been silent. Illinois has now dropped three consecutive games, all by a combined score of 118-45.
Next Game: at Michigan Oct. 13
Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten)
• Second-year head coach Kevin Wilson seemed primed to get the signature win he’s been looking for in Bloomington, but the Hoosiers couldn’t finish the job in a 31-27 loss to Michigan State last week. Indiana dominated the first half on both ends of the field, but was outplayed in the second frame, losing the time of possession battle, 37:50-22:10.
• The loss keeps Indiana searching for its first conference victory since 2010, but the road doesn’t get any easier. The Hoosiers welcome in one of the hottest teams in the country, Ohio State, this weekend.
Next Game: vs. Ohio State Oct. 13
Iowa (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten)
• The Hawkeye defense was supposed to be the team’s weak spot, but the group currently ranks 25th in the nation in points allowed, averaging 17.4 per game. The offense has instead lagged, ranking 85th in passing yards (200 per game) and 98th in points per game (22.6).
• Iowa responded from a disheartening non-conference schedule with a big win against Minnesota in their conference opener on Sept. 29. The Hawkeyes have an opportunity to make a statement in the Legends Division race as they head to East Lansing, Mich., to take on Michigan State this week in what could be seen as a must-win for both teams.
Next Game: at Michigan State Oct. 13
No. 25 Michigan (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten)
• Senior Quarterback Denard Robinson helped the Michigan offense outgain the Boilermakers 409-213, as well as dominate the possession battle, 36:11-23:49, as the Wolverines stomped Purdue 44-13 in the conference opener for both squads.
• The Wolverines have now won seven consecutive conference openers and have jumped out to a tie atop the Legends Division standings with Iowa, thanks to Nebraska’s loss at Ohio State. They face a struggling Illinois team this week as they look to remain on the road to Indianapolis.
Next Game: vs. Illinois Oct. 13
Michigan State (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
• Michigan State was on its way to a crushing defeat at Indiana, but the Spartans rallied with 17 unanswered points to close out the game in a four-point victory.
• The win kept Michigan State from falling two games out of first in the Legends Division, and sets up an important game this week at home against Iowa. The game is key to the Spartans, who are trying to keep pace in the league race. The Hawkeyes can go up two games on the Green and White with a victory.
Next Game: vs. Iowa Oct. 13
Minnesota (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
• The Golden Gophers were brought back to Earth in a 31-13 defeat at Iowa on Sept 29. In its 4-1 start, Minnesota’s defense has led the way, allowing less than 20 points per game, but the offense has struggled under back-up quarterback Max Shortell.
• Shortell, in for the injured MarQueis Gray, will be the focal point for the Gophers moving forward as the offense must find ways to generate more points. The sophomore threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns, but turned the ball over three times at Iowa. Minnesota next hosts Northwestern in a divisional battle.
Next Game: vs. Northwestern Oct. 13
Nebraska (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
• The Cornhuskers led 24-21 midway through the second-quarter, before being overwhelmed in a 63-38 loss at Ohio State. Nebraska’s offense stalled in the second half, handing the ball over a total of four times while being outscored 28-14.
• Senior running-back Rex Burkhead left the contest early in the third quarter with a left knee injury, after running for 119 yards on 14 attempts. The Cornhuskers catch a break with a bye week on the horizon, giving their star back time to rest before heading to Northwestern in two weekends.
Next Game: at Northwestern Oct. 20
Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten)
• Northwestern carried an 11-point lead to the final frame against Penn State, but couldn’t hold on as the Nittany Lions zoomed past the Wildcats to a 39-28 victory last week. Junior RB Venric Mark’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown seemed to nearly ice the Wildcat win, until Penn State rallied late in the fourth.
• Northwestern lost its sixth consecutive game while ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll, and missed out on getting to 6-0 to start a season for the first time in 50 years. The Wildcats also blew a halftime lead against Penn State for the third consecutive year, and now face an important road test at Minnesota.
Next Game: at Minnesota Oct. 13
No. 8 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
• Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller ran for 186 yards, threw for 127 and accounted for a pair of touchdowns as the Buckeyes ripped Nebraska 63-38 last weekend. Miller set a school single-game quarterback rushing record with the performance which included a 72-yard scamper in the second quarter to kick-start Ohio State’s offensive roll.
• Junior running back Carlos Hyde became the first Buckeye to score three rushing touchdowns in a game since Beanie Wells did it five years ago against Wisconsin.
• Head coach Urban Meyer has started his Big Ten career with a pair of impressive victories, and will look to stay perfect as the conference’s top team faces Indiana.
Next Game: at Indiana Oct. 13
Penn State (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
• Senior quarterback Matt McGloin continued his phenomenal final season in Happy Valley, throwing for 282 yards and two touchdowns to lead Penn State to a come-from-behind 39-28 victory against then-No. 24 Northwestern last week. McGloin accounted for three second-half touchdowns, including the winning score with 2:37 left in the fourth quarter.
• The Nittany Lions seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. They dominated the Wildcats all afternoon, outgaining Northwestern 443-247 and holding a 39:17-20:43 lead in time of possession. Penn State, which has won four consecutive games, has a week off, before a cross-divisional night affair at Iowa.
Next Game: at Iowa Oct. 20
Purdue (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
• The Boilermakers failed to show up early, and paid in the form of a 21-0 first-half deficit in their eventual 44-13 home loss to Michigan last week. Purdue was thoroughly dominated, getting outgained by almost 200 total yards and outrushed 304-56.
• The Boilermaker defense allowed more than 400 total yards and 40 points for the second consecutive week. Purdue has to find quick answers, as it faces a crucial divisional game when it hosts Wisconsin.
Next Game: vs. Wisconsin Oct. 13
Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
• The Badgers’ offense got back on track as freshman quarterback Joel Stave threw for 254 yards and two scores as Wisconsin ran past Illinois 31-14 last week.
• The victory moved Wisconsin a game behind both Ohio State and Penn State for the top spot in the Leaders Division. With both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions ineligible for postseason play, Wisconsin may be back in the driver’s seat to get to the league title game in Indianapolis.
Next Game: at Purdue Oct. 13