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Posted on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Denard Robinson mum on injury, Devin Gardner fares no better in Michigan loss

By Nick Baumgardner

EAST LANSING -- After being chased, harassed and drilled for the better part of the second half, the final hit of the game against Michigan junior quarterback Denard Robinson proved to be one too many.

After throwing an incomplete pass to Jeremy Gallon late in the fourth quarter, Robinson was thrown to the ground by Michigan State redshirt freshman defensive end Marcus Rush.

Rush was flagged for a personal foul, one of five MSU had Saturday, while Robinson was helped to the sidelines and did not return.

Following the game, neither Michigan coach Brady Hoke, nor Robinson, detailed the severity of the injury, or what exactly was injured for that matter.

"He got beat up a little bit, yeah," Hoke said. "I really don't know what it is, yet."

Hoke has been quiet on injuries all season, and says that's his policy.

It's apparently Robinson's, too.


Michigan's Devin Gardner is taken down by three Spartan defenders.

Jeff Sainlar I

"I got a little dinged up," he said. "We'll see, we'll have to talk to the trainers and see what's going on."

Asked if it was a concussion-type injury, Robinson said no. Asked if it was a cheap shot, he offered little explanation. The only thing he was clear on was the trainers wouldn't allow him to return, and that the injury shouldn't force him to miss any more game time.

He hopes not, anyway.

"We've got two weeks (with an off week next on the Wolverines' schedule) and our training staff is one of the best in the country," he said.

Prior to Robinson's injury, Michigan filtered in sophomore quarterback Devin Gardner periodically. At times, the Wolverines showed a wildcat-type formation with Gardner at quarterback and Robinson split out in motion.

At other times, Gardner was in the game on his own, with Robinson was on the sidelines.

"We thought we might do some of that," Hoke said in reference to playing both quarterbacks. "And part of what pushed (us to do it more) was that it was a windy day.

"And Devin, at times, can throw the ball a little more accurately."

Robinson finished his day 9-for-24 for 123 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception. He rushed for 42 yards and was sacked four times. It was the second straight week he's been forced to leave the game due to injury. He missed three second-half plays with a hand injury during a 42-24 win at Northwestern last week.

Gardner, meanwhile, finished 3-for-7 with 45 yards passing. He also carried the ball six times for -15 yards and was sacked three times.

Following Robinson's injury on the final drive, Gardner threw his best pass of the season, a 32-yard pickup to Gallon.

After that, though, he threw an incompletion, was flagged for an illegal forward pass and finished the game with back-to-back sacks, the final on a lengthy scramble that saw him reverse his field twice before being taken down for a 10-yard loss.

No matter how you slice it, Michigan's quarterbacking numbers were poor Saturday. Combined, the Wolverines-duo went a combined 12-for-31 for 168 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

On the ground, they carried the ball 24 total times for 27 yards.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

Marcus Rush is a freshman, not a junior. Just a puppy. The good news next year he will be a lot bigger and stronger.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

The bye week will be of immense help both physically and emotionally for this Wolverine team. Brady Hoke has said it more than once about this being a tough man's game. I don't think he and his coaching staff were passing out crying towels back in Schembechler Hall. It sounds like hard work is ahead. At this point, if have some faith or hope that this team can rally. I also know that a 2009 or 2010 late season swoon is on their minds at Schembechler Hall. Many fans will take the skeptical approach about our chances. Time will tell.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

what the hell was people watching yesterday?? outside of a few runs we wouldve been blown out the water worse than we were. denard is NOT a QB. anyone who understands, knows the game sees that, two: i could pretty much bet if devin had as many opportunities to throw as denard he damn sure wouldnt have went 9-24 or whatever shoelace did. im a michigan fan to the fullest but im also a realest if the rest of the b10 see this film the same will happen. michigan needs a drop back thrower right now to help those recievers. their talented enough to get free and get downfield. if not well be back here not only next year but well falter down the stretch for a third year.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

Of course Devin Gardner will implode. The guy was not groomed to be the backup by both Hoke and Borges from the start. Devin Gardner did not play a single down in the WMU, ND, EMU and SDSU games, he just played in the Minn game and some in the NW game and that was it. Hoke and Borges should have assumed that in the Big Ten, there will come a time when Denard will be checked and will have a bad day and/or will be injured and it will be a good thing if Gardner was given the most possible time to develop properly as the backup. You don't bench the backup in the first four games of the season and then throw him into the fire against MSU and expect him to do good, you have to slowly develop him by giving him time on the field since the first game.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

In an ideal world where your first string Junior QB had spent two (or if a red shirt three) years in your program, you'd be able to devote more playing time to your backup in early games. In an ideal world where you did not have to reduce your practice time by 96 hours to make amends for the sins of your predecessor you'd have to rely less on your first games as practice. If your first game had not been shortened by weather so that you lost the better part of a half you'd have had more choice. In the world that Michigan footballs faces in 2011, the choice was denying adequate playing time to BOTH quarterbacks to learn a new offense, or making the choice to get your starter to where it made sense to begin to give your backup more time. I submit that, under the circumstances, they have in fact "given Gardner the most possible time to develop properly as the backup". There is no doubt that Hoke and Borges are well aware of the potential for QB injury, unfortunately they have only so much time to get both of their QB's up to speed.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 2:14 a.m.

Are you nuts? Keep Denard in-- sure MSU got into his head but he had no time to do anything. We just couldn't stop the blitz. Any quarterback is going to have problems under those conditions.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

THANK YOU, Rufus!!!!


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

If the OL doesn't execute then you have no passing nor running game. Sure on any given play the backfield might make something happen despite having the defense in their faces blocking up their lanes, but if play after play you can't control defensive penetration you don't have an offense. It is a safe bet that the Michigan coaching staff had a plan to deal with the greater power of the MSU DL. Based on the comment that Hoke made about waiting to see the video to determine what kind of OL motion was being generated we can make some guesses about that plan. The fact was the OL did not execute that plan. That is one of the reasons that Hoke said that they were out coached and that the coaches failed the team. The coaches have two weeks to deal with this, the rest of the season will hinge on how well they meet that challenge.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Real Michigan football fans are the ones who can look at it neutrally and see our team for what it is. The fact is, Denard Robinson has constantly shown us that his passing game is poor and we'll have no chance of progression with him passing. Michigan is a one dimensional running team, and might be that way for the next season too.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Wow another intelligent poster. amazing how after one loss, one year into a new staff and offensive system everyone wants to blame Denard. Sometime I can see why people see Michigan fans as arrogant and self righteous. That coming from a Michigan alumni. Go Blue. Go Denard. Go Hokester. Next up Purdue.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

tim, You surprise me. An intelligent post? I am not used to that. Give me a second here, I need to get oriented.... Denard is one of the best players in the country - everyone knows that. MSU did not get "into his head" they got into his face. They were everywhere. And they were unnecessarily dirty. It seems the MSU people are happy about an illegal throw down of Denard. THAT is Little Brother. I am an older brother and I got spit on by my little brothers many times. I would love to shake the hand of the Spartans. They OWN us these days. But if I stick my hand out, they flash tattoos or something. Like my little brother.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

If you live Denard then u die Denard. Keep him in the whole game if he's capable. Other wise leave Devin on the side line unless they are both in together. You can't expect Devin to waste a down and then expect Denard to pickthe up ten yrds on 2 plays.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

I am now on the Devin "The Dude" Gardner bandwagon. Please, give this kid more snaps, he's our best chance at having a passing game.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Don't kid yourself, Rufus. We watched the same game, Denard had 4 complete passes at the end of the 3rd quarter. Enough said. Even the worst passing QBs can do better than that. Gardner actually was able to set his feet and hit his receivers in stride, and avoid the pocket pressure in the few snaps he got.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

You must have been watching a different game than me. I saw State's defensive line dominate Michigan's O. line. The Michigan RB's were getting hit in the backfield every time. So now it's blame Denard and put Devin in. They did put Devin in and he didn't stop the D. Line of State from dominating. We are doing better. Stop expecting perfection in one season.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

Yeah! Denard Robinson has 1 and 1/2 seasons left. Do they think that a Junior could suddenly turn into Tom Brady as a passer? Denard is good, but what you see is what you get as a junior, the guy has 5 games and 1 full seasons left, that is it. If the coaching staff wants a new passer, time to develop a new guy RIGHT NOW with 5 games and TWO FULL seasons left. You will not know what Devin will have not unless you let him play more in the next 5 games, the Purdue game is a perfect game where you can test Gardner with a more varied playset. Denard is good, but what you see is what you get.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

I agree. That 32-yard first down pass he threw in the 4th quarter was all I needed to see. Gardner is capable of being a good passer if given more time to develop. Robinson is as good as he'll ever be.