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Posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Alabama DE Damion Square on Denard Robinson: 'That's what we're coming to stop'

By Kyle Meinke


Quarterback Denard Robinson is going to have a target on his back when Michigan opens the season against defending national champ Alabama.

Melanie Maxwell |

Denard Robinson has accounted for 65.6 percent of the Michigan football team's offensive production since becoming its starting quarterback in 2010.

Alabama is aware of his exploits, and that the Wolverines' offense will flow through him when the teams tangle Sept. 1 in Arlington, Texas.

"He opens up things because he's very, very fast," Alabama defensive end Damion Square told reporters Wednesday, according to "As a defense, we've got to first and foremost come in the game and stop what they want to do first.

"They want to give him the ball first, and that's what we're coming to stop."

It appears the nation's reigning No. 1 defense -- overall, scoring, rushing and passing -- will be targeting Robinson, who either passed or ran on 56.8 percent of Michigan's plays last year, and 58.1 percent in 2010.

He led the Big Ten last year in overall offense at 257.6 yards per game.

"He has the ball in his hands every play and he's a real dynamic guy, so it is very dangerous," Square said. "You have to come and be prepared to stop him first and foremost."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Terry - Got news. Ever heard of Jeff Demps? Demps was a member of the USA silver medal winning 4 x 100 relay in the London olympics. He is also a HELLUVA football player. Wonder if he could outrun DumRob..LOL! Jeff had 3 carries for 4 yards against Bama last year. The Tide held UF to -19 yards rushing...that was the same defense that crushed MSU in the 2011 Capital One. That was the defense that shutout #1 LSU in the MNC game. Bama will lose some real talent from that "D" but Saban will simply re-load. You have NEVER seen a defense play like that up close and personal. I was in Orlando and, to say the least, that defense was right up there with the Buckeyes from the Jack Tatum era. Too bad that you can't afford a plane and game ticket to Dallas to watch the carnage. Then maybe you'd "get it"...but probably not. Gonna accept my bet? Bama wins you're gone....UM wins I'm gone? Back it up!


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

AZ, I don't judge this offense by the RR days, I judge it from now. Our offense hasn't changed much from the RR days because Borgess must work with Denard at QB.( plain and simple.) I can honestly say that our Defense improved with Mattison because of his attacking style. But we don't have the talent on the field yet to see how much better we are. I celebrated our miraculous season in 2011, but I knew we were not as good as advertised. We had a lot of lucky bounces that fell in our favor, now this year we may have to earn it!


Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

You'll have to earn it in 2013-14 too when the BADgers are added to your schedule. s The 2011 M season was comparable to the 2010 MSU season. There was vast improvement in record of both teams. MSU took their lumps from Bama and came back as a much improved, far more physical team in 2011. Now it is Michigan's turn to see if they can do the same. If they play great football in 2012 they will have earned it.

Matthew Durr

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 5:12 a.m.

I'm excited about this game! Michigan has a few ?'s but, so does Alabama on defense. I don't think this game will be a blow out for either team and that's why I'm picking Michigan in the upset. 17-14 in overtime. People are worried about Michigan D line but, they look just as big , faster and more athletic overall than Michigan d line last year. Michigans linebackers and secondary should be able to make up for any slack the d line leaves out. Bamas D was great last year but this year group is young and inexperienced. We'll see what happens in a few weeks tho , I just think Michigan will want this game more and if it's close in the 4th will pull it out


Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Jordan Kovacs might(?) play on special teams if he was a member of the Tide football team. He'd NEVER see the field in down and distance situations. That's one of the differences between these 2 teams. PS. Kovacs couldn't start at MSU either.

Larry Thompson

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 4:31 a.m.

HI FOLKS. I'm a Bama fan that remembers when Bart Star was QB. I remember when Bear came home as he said (mama called) it was the same year star went to Green Bay, Star went 0 and 10 his Sr. year, no Alabama team had ever done that. Bear turned things around quick, I think y'all have that kind of coach now. I am really impressed with the thought and civil way this blog runs. That being said I think Bama has a great team this year, our QB is great (watch him work) all things look good, I hope y'all have a good team, and TEAM is the thing. Coach Saban is all over TEAM. If we beat you don't feel like its the end.. LSU beat us, and we played them again in the BIG game. GOOD LUCK this year, and ROLL TIDE


Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

Larry - Satan lost he first 4 games vs. UM while at MSU winning his 5th and final vs. Tom Brady in 1999. Mark Dantonio lost his first game vs. UM (losing a 10 point 4th quarter lead) in 2007 and has won 4 straight. Dantonio inherited an MSU team that had gone 5-6 and 4-8 in its two previous seasons. During his 5 year tenure at MSU Dantonio is 44-22/27-13. 67% winning percentage. Satan inherited an MSU team that had gone 6-6 and 5-6 in its two previous seasons. During his 5 year tenure at MSU Satan was 35-24-1/23-16-1. 59% winning percentage. It would appear that Satan has a score to settle with the yellow and blew. Most (including you) now regard him as the best coach in CFB. Hmmmmmmmmmmm..... Satan ran from the rivalry. Dantonio has embraced it. ROLL TIDE!


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

We have to be honest with what we have, and that's an average offense with one of the most explosive QB"s in America. Our offense is limited with Denard but yet, has a puncher's chance in every game because of him. Very good to elite defenses will stop our offense because there is little balance by design. Even with Fitz our offense stumbles because we have difficulty making consistant passes, so teams load the box and play their's not rocket science. Our players have never faced the likes of team speed and power like we're going to in Texas this season. We have problems with NW, ND, MSU ect. so how will we match up with Bama?


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 7:29 a.m.

The defense making maybe the biggest turnaround in NCAA history is why the team was so much better last year. Honestly, anyone who isn't astonished by Mattison last year is just not understanding what they saw. Going from 110th to 50th would have been very impressive. Going from 110th to top 10? Come on. And he didn't win coordinator of the year...


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 7:19 a.m.

Diversified the passing game by utilizing the TE? Michigan TE's had 24 catchest for 259 yds and 4 TDs last season. In 2010, Michigan TE's had 19 catches for 266 yards and 3TDs. Yeah, the TE use was absolutely the gamechanger in the passing game... Or wait, no. Did you maybe not notice that Denard had a lower rating, less passing yardage, and a worse TD/INT ratio, in 2011, too? The passing game was WORSE in 2011 than in 2010, across the board. Oh, and there were 300 less yards rushing in 2011 than in 2010. Non-Denard rushers had 1400 in 2010 and 1700 in 2011, but Denard's total was down 600ish yards. In conclusion: the 2011 offense wasn't better than the 2010 offense.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 3:32 a.m.

Everyone judges this offense by the RR days. It's not the's WAY BETTER. This offense IS balanced, and that IS by design. Michigan had two 1,000 plus yard rushers and diversified the passing game by utilizing the TE last season. Even though OSU was not very good last year, they had an excellent defense, as did Nebraska, two teams Michigan rolled all over last season. No, it's not rocket science, but Michigan has a very good (not average), well balanced (by design) offense. That doesn't mean Michigan will roll on 'Bama, but if they don't, it's because no one does, not because Michigan's offense isn't good.

Steve McQueen

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Does Bama have a player on Defense named "Bush"? If so, there is a possibility of Square and Bush making a tackle on Roundtree.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Better than Bush Hunter, I suppose.

Steve McQueen

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 12:06 a.m. it is...Hunter Bush Defensive Back

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

I cannot wait! And I ain't askeert, neither. Go Blue!!

Chad Williams

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

All the comments about bama being number 1is in defense is irrelevant. That was last year . The thing about bamas defense which unlike a good B1G defense is the speed on the Dline. Those guys can move very well. The second is they run a 3-4 and that kid #25 nico johnson is a stud. The defense with all the losses will still have speed and will be physical. The most important thing saban is preaching is discipline. As much as we talk about dennard we need to know about then. You just cant put talent in games and have a good defense. There is a system of familiarity down there and just because they lose 7to starters doesnt mean the next 7few are clueless. KNOW YOUR OPPONENT. Everyone is talking about what we have but what do you know about them.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Alabama was #1 in 2011 Alabama was #6 in 2010 Alabama was #1 in 2009 Alabama was #8 in 2008 We will have another top 10 defense this year. We don't have to have a #1 defense to beat you, A top 10 should be just fine!!!


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

SEC Fan, your math is correct. Somehow your 2 plus 2 isn't adding up to 4. Sounds crazy but that why they play the game. All I hope for is a close nail biting game for both Mich and Alabama. Go Blue!


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

let's see. One coach has a 72% winning record in NCAA, 6 bowl game wins, and 3 National Championships while coaching at 3 schools. The other coach has a 52% winning record, 2 bowl wins, ZERO National Championships over 10 years at 3 schools. now...who was it that has the "greatest coach" in NCAA????

Steve McQueen

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

Good points. I remember that bowl game a few years ago where Utah rocked them and everyone thought Bama would roll. That is why they play the game. Just listen to the announcers pre game lol:

Terry Star21

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

Well, everyone down bama way going to be in big trouble. Although the article does show respect for DRobb, it also illustrates the fear and threat our QB and team possess, things the SEC has been able able to solve in over a century. The reason the media has only had one access to the Michigan football team this summer is simple - preparations, planning and executing for different offensive schemes. This is not the same QB/team that Mississippi State saw and knew what was coming every play. A must see for America September 1. MgoBlueForTiM....bama chasing DRob, but wait, he doesn't have the ball - touchdown Meeeeechigan !


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.'re not supposed to tell them that there are actually other players in NCAA who are faster than Denard....


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

oh yeah...Mr. Sabin is awake all night worrying about ummmyyyy....he soooo scared. You tell him Terry!

Chad Williams

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

The sec has plenty of speed and they are familiar with guys who run 4.3. The book is still out on whether he ris comfortable throwing from the pocket. He will need a Michigan football running attack which is easier said than done. This O line wont see athletes like this year. And as far as i know dennard didnt grow over the summer so good luck seeing over the defense.

Terry Star21

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

Sorry, should be 'unable to solve'....what is with the auto-spell checker ?


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

Actually, aside from the getting the snap from the Center, Denard is not the option. I am glad one Mr Square from Alabama is thinking that way. I know that the Alabama coaching staff thinks differently. Hopefully, they ALL think like that because it would make Al Borges' job much easier. This just brings more excitment to the upcoming game.


Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Terry Star - I have a proposition to make to you. Michigan wins I quit posting here. Bama wins you quit posting here. Gonna take that bet? Time to put up...


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Rightmind, your right! I was at the Big House in 1973. No, I haven't been in coma ever since. How about Fitz Toussaint rushing for over 1000 in 2011? How about Junior Hemingway's catches last season? That's my point as Hoke and Borges have been successful in taking the offense less dependent on Denard and I predict that we'll see more of the same in 2012. Go Blue!

Terry Star21

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:06 p.m. are right on ! Great comment, bama will be surprised, confused and beaten. Go Blue !


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Denard is like a drug, said Al Borges, and the percent of total yards attributed to Denard changed little as the staff realized they could not transform the offense without the horses to do it. They still won't be able to this year, I'm guessing, and the Bama D will probably overwhelm the M line by the time it's all said and done. When Brady's recruits are in place and have physical maturity and experience M will look different, but probably won't this year.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

When was the last time you saw a UM game? 1973? Didn't Denard lead the B10 with 257 yd/gm average? What game was it last year that Denard wasn't instrumental in the win? Or loss? Al borges even changed his offense because he found out he really only had one option, Denard. If I was Alabama I would bring the house on Denard. He may beat you once or twice, but once you knock him out, game over. What is UM going to do? Play the alcoholic? Maybe the thief? Unproven line, no proven wide receivers, yeah 73, Denard is the freakin offense.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

Denard is a great player but Michigan relies on him too much! Stop Denard and Stop Michigan! An a number of Teams have stopped Denard so I do not think Bama should have a rough afternoon.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 7:10 a.m.

Relies on him too much? He's the QB and the best rusher on the team. Name a team in the country that doesn't rely on their QB and/or their best rusher.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

SEC... "most teams" don't win 11 games. Further, Michigan WON their bowl game, the only B10 team to win a BCS bowl. So, Michigan isn't like "most teams"...they're better.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:06 a.m.

@true...actually no. most teams have a passing and a running game. ohhh...that's it the "bo" way...just run, "win" (actually, share) the big10 championship, and lose your bowl game....


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

Well, yeah...stop the QB of any team and your chances of winning go way up. Easier said than done with Denard. Borges has a year under his belt with Denard and will come with a good game plan. If Michigan sticks with the running spread offense then we'll have a good shot at beating Bama. Couple that with a (hopefully) improved passer in Denard, Michigan has an even better shot at winning.

Steve McQueen

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

This headline is misleading and is attempting to be inflammatory. The Bama kid complemented Denard and made mention of their focus on him, that is all.

Steve McQueen

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 8:46 a.m.

you talking to your self "the way": aka jack a00


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 7:08 a.m.

Your name is misleading. It implies you're cool.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

I click on every story....every day. Can't wait for the season to start!


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

Inflammatory headlines are used frequently here, once the article is read the headlines take on a different context. It's a Drudge-like method.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

Damion Square did complimentary comments about Denard. It occurs to me that all QBs have the ball in their hands upon the exchange from the center.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

But the headline got both you and me to click on the story. Just be careful Coach Hoke and DRob. This is a Saban coached team which doesn't mean they'll be playing clean.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Iowa, and Michigan State didn't really seem to have a problem stopping Denard. Just saying...


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

I agree. Watching the Sugarbowl replay the other night, I became rather pessimistic about our chance against Bama. Bama's O will not be too threatening, but our O will not score many points.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

Va Tech, MSU, and Iowa did pretty well against Michigan. ND did for three quarters until Michigan unleashed 28 4th quarter points on them...I'd say they had some very serious problems stopping him. Outside Va Tech, all of those games were early to mid season. By the end of the regular season, no one could stop Michigan's offense, with 85 total points against OSU and Nebraska the exclamation point. Does that mean that Alabama won't stop Michigan? No, but to only mention the 3 games out of 13 that Michigan was even slowed (and the 4th you mentioned - ND - is incorrect), is misleading. UM racked up huge offensive numbers outside of 3 games, and they had a chance in all 3, actually winning one of them. Just sayin...


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Agreed. Michigan's offense looked terrible in everyone of those games. Now there is Alabama .


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

That was last year and as you know each year a college football team is literally a new team. Do you think Alabama is the same team they were last year ?

Lifetime AA ND Fan

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

I wish!


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Notre Dame????


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

"They want to give him the ball first, and that's what we're coming to stop."-- Easier said than done. Of course, if 'Bama's defense does manage to stop Denard, it'll show they are still the No. 1 defense in the country and all the other teams on their schedule had better watch out. But I don't think there are that many repeats at No.1. IMO, it's still the Michigan offensive line that needs to prove itself. If they (with the help of Coach Borges) demonstrate top effectiveness, Denard will be able to do his thing. Denard's "September Heisman" will become his November Heisman and Coach Hoke will have his perfect season in the Big Ten.


Sun, Aug 19, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

AZ - OSU had it's first 7 loss season since 1897. Does that win on 11/26 really count? Nebraska was very weak vs. the run. VaTech STONED the feeble, unprepared U of M offense. The Spartans beat them up. Alabama is a force. They have the best OL in college football. They are going to DOMINATE the Mattison defense at the line of scrimmage. If Saban wants to score 50 points in this game Bama will. He did cut the JoePa's some slack by not running up the score in 2010-11. Saban HATES Michigan. Be prepared for the inevitable BEAT DOWN!

Blu n Tpa

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

I agree about LSU/SEC. Just ignore her.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

Instigational. lol. I made that word up


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 5:44 a.m.

AZ, why respond with an argument to sec? He only wants a rise. Ignore it. He used to post a semi productive, non-instagtional type post every now and again. All you see now is posts trying to ruffle feathers. If the feathers wont ruffle the ruffler will go away.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

SEC, If UM loses, it's because 'Bama is an elite team. As for Robinson only doing well against bad teams, that's not true. It was true under the previous staff, but last year Denard crushed most B10 teams, including top notch defenses in OSU and Nebraska. Now that UM runs a more diverse offense, it's a lot easier for him to do his thing, and he did it all season long last year, not just against bad teams.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

yo, Tru2...they don't need the #1 D to stop ole Denard...I believe a couple of teams have stopped him without having the #1D. actually, he's only good against really bad teams with no D... I just can't wait to hear all the excuses..."too sunny (in a dome)...too rainy...'Bama insisted on playing tackle football...they said "mean" things that hurt our feelings"...

Chad Williams

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

If you think bama will fall off what do you say about Michigans defense who kinda over achieved last year? What makes you think Michigan will get better and not bama?


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

If the Alabama d stops Denard it will be because Borges used him incorrectly. And you can count on that happening.


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

They have no chance. The real reason NASA's Mach 10 Scramjet crashed yesterday is because it was out run by Denard Robinson, while he was carrying Usain Bolt on his shoulders. Hail!


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

Haha love it


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

oh my...