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Posted on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

Denard Robinson underwent MRI, Michigan football team's record after off weeks and more

By Pete Bigelow

Denard Robinson’s sore throwing shoulder concerned the Michigan football coaching staff enough during the team's off week that the sophomore quarterback underwent an MRI last week.

Much to their relief, the medical test showed no structural damage.

Asked if Robinson will be ready to face Penn State this weekend in Saturday’s 8 p.m. kickoff, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez gave a definitive “yes.”


“You can’t mention quarterbacks in the conference without mentioning Denard Robinson. He’s electric.” -- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference.

Bowl glance

Three Big Ten teams are already bowl-eligible: Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Three more -- Michigan, Iowa and Northwestern -- are one win away from locking up postseason eligibility.’s Mark Schlabach and Andrea Adelson both had projected the Wolverines to land in the Gator Bowl for the past month.

But they’ve revised those projections downward this week. Adelson currently projects a Michigan-Texas matchup in the Houston-based Texas Bowl. Schlabach has the Wolverines headed further west, landing in an Insight bowl matchup with Oklahoma State. The week after Michigan didn’t have an off week last year, but during Rich Rodriguez’s first year in Ann Arbor a week-long break worked out pretty well for the Wolverines.

Michigan beat No. 9 Wisconsin in 2008 following a week off, 27-25, and the game after a off week has generally treated them well.

The Wolverines hold a 6-1 record this decade when playing after a break. Their only loss came in 2000, in a 54-51 defeat against Northwestern.

Rodriguez has fared even better in games following an off week. Starting in 2001, when he became West Virginia’s head coach, he has compiled a 7-1 mark following a break. His only loss came at the hands of No. 5 Louisville in 2006.

As for Michigan-Penn State this week?

“We had a good week in the bye, had a chance to get some guys healthier and a little bit of a break, and now we have a big challenge ahead at Penn State,” Rodriguez said.

Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2551, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 10:52 p.m. are exactly right in your comments and concerns about M becoming a replay of ND's fall from greatness. There is NO program historically bigger than ND's and their fan base dwarfs M and all other programs...Catholics generally root for Catholics. The biggest mistake M can make is really believing this can't happen to them because "we are Michigan". It happened to ND in football, UCLA and Indiana in basketball following the Wooden and Knight eras, and to some extent, Nebraska in football following the Devaney/Osborne dynasty years. M needs to right the ship and soon. Giving RR "more time" unless he makes a vastly improved showing these last 4 games is risky business. The program has a lot more to lose than if you are gonna bet on this horse, you better know horse racing. Many of that fan base that burgeoned during the Bo to LC years had ties to the "state" of Michigan, but no real allegiance to M itself. Their love affair with M football had everything to do with winning. The alumni (most) will be faithful no matter what, but M relies on the non-alums infinitely more to promote their brand nationally. Don't kid yourselves, every game RR's teams play stinky football, the wagon will get less crowded. Happens logical reason to expect it won't happen at M if they don't handle this thing properly.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 2:01 p.m.

mgoblue - Looking at MSU's depth chart it looks like closer to 10 starters are seniors than 15. When UM hired RR I thought it was going to be trouble for UM and better for MSU. Mainly character-wise - the year previous he had all but accepted the Alabama job (remember hearing on ESPN) and pulled out when WV sweetened his contract (which included the buyout that UM helped him pay). LC was never flashy but always had solid teams (Off. & Def.) and until the vest did very well vs OSU (and always vs MSU - Bobby Williams/John L Smith). LC always had highly ranked recruiting classes, it is strange why so many either left or were chased out, effectively making the "cupboard bare". RR can coach offense, but if you keep him around until Denard is a Senior, I believe RR will leave at that point, or possibly sooner if UM gets to 9 wins. Good luck vs PSU this Saturday.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 2 p.m.

Hey, PSUfan, does that mean that Redd will be a bust in the NFL just like all the other PSU RB's?


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 1:51 p.m.

PSU will cut #25 loose this weekend...freshman Silas Redd. Michigan won't know what hit them. Best #25 since Curt Warner...remember him? The Rich Rod farewell tour starts this Saturday night in an 8PM White Out at Beaver there to witness it in person!


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

@Saginaw You forgot the mush-mouthed ND apoligist, Lou Holtz. He broke that "string" you quoted. @mgoblue Can anyone explain to me why they want to keep RichRod around? His performance as head coach has been atrocious in all facets of that role. Everything he's done has been poor. Why should he stay? Why should he engender ANY loyalty?


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 12:05 p.m.

@ PU MSU, Sounds very much like what Coach Charlie said at Notre Dame. I am with you. But, it has been three years. We should be seeing vast improvement on defense. We need to be near the top of the Big Ten; not 1 - 2. What would happen if Michigan played Navy this year?


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 10:50 a.m.

Calling for immediate wins in part of the problem here. This self entitlement that you someone deserve wins as a Michigan is kinda pathetic. Sure we have been very lucky as fan to not have down seasons. It was bound to happen. Step back and look at the big picture. The team is very young. Expect great things in years to come. Right now this team is not ready for greatness.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 10 a.m.

I really don't worry about RR anymore. I worry about the NEXT head coach at Michigan. The last thing that we want is to become another Notre Dame: Gerry Faust Bob Davey Tyrone Willingham Charlie Weiss Brian Kelley We must break the string of bad coaches at "one". No one would ever have predicted five bad coaches in a row at Notre Dame, but it happened. Notre Dame added 20,000 seats to their historic stadium and they had a special TV contract with the NBC network. RR's major problem is his performance against Big Ten opposition -- this must change immediately.

Jay Allen

Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 9:54 a.m.

@mikeb: The BOOSTERS forced Coach Carr out. This is a fact. The BOOSTERS were tired of the mundane 9-3 or 10-2 record and playing on New Year's day just as ERM's Ghost correctly stated. The BOOSTERS wanted a new sheriff with a new offense and guess what? They got it. Now go ask'em what they want? It ain't RR.

Sean T.

Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 8:17 a.m.

It will be interesting PU MSU. Very interesting!


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

This week will prove alot about this team and RR. Great coaches win after a bye week. 7-1 is pretty good. Andy Reid has won the las 11 after a bye week. Belichek has won the last 8 after a bye week. This week will show a lot.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 6:43 a.m.

For most of you UM faithful, RR is your coach and you HAVE to support him because that is what a fan does. Unfortunately, you're OK with having a guy for a coach that most of the rest of the country sees as a guy who is looking out for only himself. Most people supported Richard Nixon until it was proven he WAS a crook because the faithful American citizen supports his president (until very close to election time). Republicans supported him 'til the end. Get my point? I imagine that whenever you've had enough of the fantasy and RR is gone, the faithful UM will beat RR into the ground much like they are doing LC now. Somehow, that kind of fan doesn't seem like someone I would want helping me support my TEAM.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 12:30 a.m.



Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 12:22 a.m.

so I really hope my points for the first bullets come through because I had so many good ones (while silling next to an MSU fan who could not refute my logical). A nyway, to reiterate my points about turnovers - most of those came when we were desperate to come back, and weere therefore forcing things.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 12:16 a.m.

So... to be fair: 1: I said right off the bat that Offense is NOT the problem. and you would be an absolute fool to tty to make that argument right now. The offense is amongst the best in the country... that is the absolute saving grace of this team. To say that Rod refused to fit his system to his players is a hard argument to make... because few, if any, of those players were ever going to be starters. Lloyd put all his eggs in one basket named Mallett.. and when that did not work out (word is he was gone long before Lloyrd left), we were in a tough spot no matter who came in. 2: It sucks losing to MSU (the yappiest bunch of yaps from never-won-nothing U without roids (Mandarich!!). Until you will the BCS I will not eat those words - but good on ya if you do!!), I know that, but they have been close games (this year the exception minus the horrid turnovers). UM had a great chance to win all those games, they didn't and give credit to MSU, but to call any of those games a decisive victory is plain insane. 3: If you actually take any time to research the violations it is clear that these persisted under Lloyd, and Rod just inherited them assuming that Lloyd has his shit together. Now... I loved Lloyd Carr - and had he opened his offense up like he did against Florida in the Cap One Bowl he would have been my hero forever (but he was too conservative!). Blaming Rod for inheriting the exact same practices that Lloyd allowed is insane. The NCAA even published a report that their rules pertaining to this violation were vague at best... so call me an apologist... but I truly believe this was more a situation of misunderstanding that willful violation. Rodriguez, despite the thoughts of many... is clearly not moron. Coleman is a great president and would not have hired some idiot from the backcountry... please give him the benefit of the doubt. #4: Like I said, he walked into a bad situation and ended up making it worse Couple that with a resurgent Big Ten and he looks worse than he is. #5: This was true before when there was not enough of the offense installed to be able to made those adjustments. But recently, show me where this is a clear factor. On defense, yes I concede the point we are lacking... but that should be no surprise to any remotely-intellgient fan.... Its like bitching at target employees for not tailoring a suit... you now they can't do it, you knew that coming in to the store, so why is it news? :5 This seems like basically a repeat of #5, but Michigan has been better a this recently as more of the offense has been implemented. Those first two years, you can only teach someone X number of plays and expect them to run them well. I'm sure Rod has 100 X plays... but if you throw that number of plays at any kid they are going to execute them all like shit. I would rather have 20 plays we can execute decent than 100 plays we can't even get the snap right on. # 6: This is a repeat of #4 and $5. Yes the defense is bad but this is hardly a new trend. See above. It sucks, I don't like and you don't like it, but it is what is it. Rod is well aware that defense is a part of the game, and to imply that he completely ignores that side of the ball is simply asinine. Maybe he hasn't paid enough attention to it in the past... fair enough... but he is not stoopid (for u MSU fans I know how that is spelled) and he is working on it #7 - this kind or proves my point. He hired a few hotshot up and comers who fizzled out... you hit and miss with these guys. Would i love for him to hire a vet like Norm Parker - HELL YES!!!!! - but Robinson had proven to be very capable in the past when not saddled with the head coach responsibilities. Clearly this is not working out and that is the true weakness of the team. Yes, Rod is ultimately responsible, but to call him a bad coach ignores his contribution to creating, arguably, the best offense in the country. I'll say it again, if anyone is still reading this, but Rod is, and has always been, an offensive coach, and he has proved that to this day. #8 - Rod is not throwing those INTs. Those were some of the most egregious INTs iver ever seen... but to blame that on the coach is stoop, just stoopid. These are basically first year starters, they make mistakes. Compare this offense (and defense for that matter) and please give me the figures. I guarantee you we are at least as good as everyone else in the country - including USC. USC has ll 4/5 starts, but they are all freshman/sophomores like michigan, and look at their record. experience cannot be overrated, and we lost the thin veil we had with injuries but we are close. I ask, where will MSU be next year when they lose 22/25 starters from pure eligibility concerns?

Sean T.

Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 10:57 p.m.

Nice one, Sevans!


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 10:23 p.m.

MgoBlue - Here are some reasons some fans want Rich gone 1 - poor record and forced his system in year 1 resulting in one of the worst seasons ever. Had he tried to modify his offense to fit the players he had I would have given him more slack. 2 - 3 straight losses to instate rival MSU (2 at home). Carr won the previous 6 games. "Every game is important" (which is true) but he doesn't seem to go all out or have anything extra or special for the rivalry games (MSU/OSU). 3 - NCAA sanctions - even though I know every team has players put in extra time he had the players monitored (and yes it is his responsibility). 4 - 4 wins 15 losses in Big Ten Play so far. Even if he wins out he will be 9 & 15. 5 - The teams do not seem to make good half time adjustments especially in big ten play 6 - The 3 worst defenses in Michigan history. He is the head coach & is responsible and so is Greg Robinson 7 - 2 Defensive Coordinators in 3 years with the 2nd one on the hot seat. He chose the D coordinators. 8 - Turnovers - too many turnovers by his vaunted offense (which he is highly involved in). I would expect turnovers early in the season and improvement as the season progresses, this isn't what we are seeing. 9 - Eliminating Captains - that is tradition and builds team leadership which this team is sorely lacking at times. 10 - The team appears soft, undisciplined and lacks toughness needed to win in the big ten. And I didn't even have to list no bowl games to get to 10.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 9:53 p.m.

Can someone explain to me exactly why they want Rich Rod to be fired... using intelligent and coherent arguments and not just quoting his record? Rod always has been (and has made no secret about this) an offensive-minded coach. He has since turned a decent Michigan offense (with the likes of Henne, Long, Mario, Hart, etc....) into one of the best offenses in the country. Now I know that you're thinking... but what about the defense!? Not like Michigan had a great defense the past couple years (anyone remember Juice Williams, Trow Smith, Oregon, etc...)? Yes, without a doubt the defense has been worse the past couple years, but it should hardly come as a surprise the way things were trending. So Rod hires Robinson, who coached dominant defenses at the college level at Texas, and the professional level at Denver. I would argue that Robinson, not Rodriguez, should be on the hotseat right now. The fact of the matter is, get a serviceable defense and Michigan is undefeated right now. Pay attention to recruiting and see the staff has shifted their attention to the defense now that the offense is starting to roll. Once we are able to stop playing all freshmen and sophomores we will be in much better shape. Keep in mind that MSU has something crazy (don't quote me on this) like 15 of 22 starters in their senior/4-th year senior years... that is why they are as good as they are. To counter the inevitable argument that Rod is a horrible coach because he ran off players... so did Bo - and we all worship him for it.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 8:27 p.m.

tz, You're right...he was 6-7. My point is that for RR to be "light years better" than Carr, he's got to be better than.500 against OSU. If he isn't, than he's not better than Carr in that regard. Make sense? By the way, Dantonio has dominated RR year after year.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 8:14 p.m.

azwolverine LC was not above 500 against OSU. Tressel dominated him year after year.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 8:10 p.m.

Pete Big, good job on researching and reporting in the story.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 8:06 p.m.

Wow, 54 - 51. I almost forgot about that. Was RR coaching both Michigan and Northwestern that game?


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 8:03 p.m.

michboy, by "light years better than anything we saw from Carr," you must mean averaging 10+ wins, and at least a 13-0 season, not to mention dominating MSU, PSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, and +.500 against OSU. Further, he would have to go to bowl games every year (oops, already missed that one), and a higher percentage than 11 of 13 of them would have to be on New Year's Day. If he can't do that, than he is NOT doing light years better than Carr. In fact, he'll be doing worse. RR backers complain about a high bar for their king...guess who's setting it? And yes, he does have to meet those expectations, otherwise the previous two years of misery (three if you count this year's MSU debacle) were wasted.


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 5:39 p.m.

Nothing like 4 Big Ten wins in three seasons...yeah great direction we are going. Hopefully the direction we are going in is new head coach!


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 5:38 p.m.

Sadly, any records, streaks, or tendencies pertaining to Michigan Football pre-2008 are no longer relevant to the potential performance of the present team. BC-AD = BRR-DRR... ARR?


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

We probably have two more wins in us this year, but I'll take 'em and like 'em! Even though Lloyd is gone, with his New Years Day bowls I still like the direction of the program more now than I did then. When we get the D straitened out, and our O is rolling, this will be light years better than anything we saw from Carr (other than1997, which was more Woodson than carr IMO). SO god speed Michigan, keep you head high, but your nose down and you will go far! As a nagging whiner once said, "Good Night and Good Luck"


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

@edward ghost..darn right i will watch them in whatever bowl they are in.... and im sure you will be too..of course, who in there right mind would not want them in a major bowl, but for now it will have to do. you can pretend to come off any way you want, but that's okay..wishy washy fans are fun to have on board know you will be watching, you can say you wont, but you will, you come on this site, so you are still interested, if you were not you wouldn't even be reading anything about michigan..gooo blue...


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

Geez dead guy, perhaps while you were in London covering the blitz you missed that Lloyd Carr retired? Retired, quit, left the team, not fired, retired. He is no longer the head coach because he did not want to be. Why don't you use Fritz Crisler as your beacon? He was more your contemporary - and won over 80% of his games Meanwhile, JoePa who also covered (cowered)? during the blitz is still coaching Penn State. UM wins Saturday, Sunday we awake to new bowl predictions and sadly, (or perhaps not)? Ed Murrow is still deceased


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 3:02 p.m.

After the past few years I guess I deserve to have the Wolverines come to me for once rather than the annual pilgrimage to AA. See you in Tempe RichRod!


Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Michigan will definitely win this weekend, and denard will have a solid all in all, the weekend will be a good one with the wolverines winning, and the lions beating the redskins on sunday...ill be waking up Monday with a smile and a bowl game locked up...go blue..