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Posted on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

Denard Robinson's success may mean end of 'Shoelace,' plus Michigan football team nears Top 25

By Pete Bigelow

Denard Robinson may have been too fast for his own good Saturday. His performance against UConn could cost him his nickname.

Desperate to stop the lightning-quick “Shoelace,” the Huskies resorted to trying to strip the sophomore quarterback of his cleats, which he has preferred to keep untied since age 6.


Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson works to get past Connecticut defensive end Trevardo Williams in the second half of Michigan's 30-10 victory on Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell |

They succeeded a few times, and Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez figures if future opponents latch on to the strategy, his quarterback may need to tie his shoes.

“If it becomes an issue that they keep yanking on them, we’ll have to get them tied on,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “It’s kind of funny. He has Velcro, so it’s not like they’re loose.”

Robinson mentioned no plans to alter his routine Wednesday, but has already put his 383 all-purpose-yards effort against the Huskies in the rear-view mirror.

“I had to refocus, put that behind me and focus on Notre Dame,” Robinson said. “I’ve just been watching film on Notre Dame and trying to prepare.”

Michigan is at Notre Dame on Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. game (NBC).

Follow-up on Big Ten changes

After having a week to ponder Big Ten divisions and the conference championship game, Rich Rodriguez is upbeat about future prospects.

“It’s another game you have to win to get to the national championship,” he said. “The positives certainly are, well, we’ll get to see the league on display and play in a conference championship game.”

He thought the conference handled the scheduling changes that came as a consequence of the two-division format well.

“It creates more rivalries that haven’t exited before, and keeps traditional rivalries intact,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

Michigan on the outskirts of the Top 25

At the time he spoke Wednesday, Rodriguez hadn’t yet learned that the Wolverines were ranked No. 26 in the country following their 30-10 win over UConn.

Had he known Michigan had received 71 votes, he probably would have urged people to be cautious about overconfidence.

“Every coach in America would probably tell you the same thing, but we’re still a work in progress,” he said.

Looking at Notre Dame

Growing up in Florida, the annual rivalry game between Michigan and Notre Dame wasn’t exactly a focal point for Denard Robinson. “I didn’t really pay attention to it,” he said. “But now that I’m a part of it and see how intense it was last year, it was crazy and amazing, and it’s exciting to be a part of something.”

Robinson did not play in last year’s 38-34 Michigan victory.

Pete Bigelow can be reached at (734) 623-2556 or emailed at Follow him on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 8:52 p.m.

good for threet, best of luck to him. we might light up ND for 500, but don't be surprised if it works the other way too.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 11:01 p.m.

I am for Denard doing his thing, but I am more concerned that a loose shoe may cause him to turn an ankle on a quick cut. Wouldn't a tight shoe also make him faster with better traction? Just a thought. Go Blue! UMClass 74


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 10:57 p.m.

I am a UM fan, but Rich Rod needs to be careful that Denard doesn't cause the team to sluff off a little bit. Some real good players can take your team mates out of a game or raise their playing level. I hope it is the latter. Since the Irish will be gunning for DR, it would be wise to put more plays in for dual quarterbacks or WR, TE and running backs to keep the Irish defense honest and off guard. IT would also help Denard stayt fresh. Punish that defense with OTHER options and open up the offense! Our defense should make adjustments and not give up the big plays. Hopefully they got rid of first game jitters and settle down to work as a team and communicate. As far as Forcier is concerned, he should buck up and support the team. Denard supported him when he (Forcier) was starting. I know he's disappointed, but until Denard is unable to take snaps, he has to support the team. That's what Rodriguez wanted, competition, to make the players WANT to get better and compete at the positions. SO it is working. Sorry Tate. You got to earn it back. Go Blue UMClass 74

Sean T.

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 7:31 p.m.

DVB, Kelly's spread is designed much different than RR's, it's based mostly on passing.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 4:52 p.m.

not with kelly. cincy had about as weak of schedule as boise state does this year. big east = joke


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

DVB You're kidding right? Kelly did exactly what you're claiming can't be done at Cincinnati and won 10 games that first season. Texas made a similar switch (I form to spread) as well and are making the switch back again this year. It can be done in a single season.

Sean T.

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

I agree Michboy40. But I don't believe this will be easy but maybe we do see Tate and Denard at the same time? Just a thought. Hail!!!

David Vande Bunte

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:02 p.m.

I see Notre Dame as being the team Michigan was two years ago. A newly converted spread-option team comprised of the exact WRONG players for the style. Notre Dame is going to have all of the same issues Michigan did with Threet and Sheridan at QB...when you don't have the right guy for your offense, it cripples you. Granted, Brian Kelly relies less on QB running than Rich Rodriguez does, but the principle is the same. You can't go from a pro-style offense to a spread offense in a single offseason and expect to avoid serious growing pains. Michigan "should" have a decided advantage over Notre Dame because of that. They have already had two years to adjust, including getting players better suited to the style...and having a QB who can run for almost 200 yards certainly doesn't hurt, LOL

Blue Marker

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 7:11 a.m.

Didn't someone predict this score last week? UConn 47 UM 2 What happened with that? It doesn't seem to keep the dribble from coming though. Keep posting and I'll keep laughing.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 7:07 a.m.

I've always found it interesting that people who are obviously OSU or MSU fans spend so much time negatively commenting on UM football stories. I'm not sure what the reason is, but they have to have some deep-seated issue that's rearing its ugly head (or they have a vitamin deficiency of some sort.....).. Go figure


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 6:24 a.m.

Trying to remove his shoes! Really? Smacks of desperation to me. I doubt the Irish will be trying to take his shoes off. His head maybe but not his shoes. Just like the Michigan D will be trying to do to Crist.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 3:50 a.m.

If Robinson has his shoe completly removed and the refs see it, They may make him sit out a play for an equipment violation. but whether there is a penalty or not, spending 15 seconds trying to put your shoe on in the huddle is a huge amount of wasted time, may even cost michigan a time out. ND 11 U-Mich 8 Forcier, Transfer


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 11:48 p.m.

I think we will be able to score on ND. I think they will be able to move the ball and score on us. Our special teams have to be great to win this game. NO FUMBLES on kick and punt returns and no long runs for ND. If we can pressure their QB, it will give our secondary a chance to cover and make plays. I still feel pretty good about this game. Michigan 27 ND 24.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

You're right, YourWrong. D Rob had 4 carries for 21 yards against ND last year. Isn't it ironic, however, that YourWrong uses the word 'Your' incorrectly (should be You're)? Go Blue!


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

I hope the OL can open up some holes for our RB. I don't want to see DROB running as much against a bigger defense. I think Tate will be seeing some playing time next week, just a hunch!


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 9:25 p.m.

You might want to check your facts Pete. Your wrong, Shoelace did play in last year's 38-34 Michigan victory. He did not attempt a pass but he did take some snaps at quarterback.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 8:09 p.m.

Sunset Just an FYI, there is no penalty for removing someone's shoes


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 8:02 p.m.

You dont change a nickname just because you change your behavior everyone knows that. I hope he does not start tying his shoes, I threw away all the shoelaces in my household after Saturday's game.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:44 p.m.

"The no-shoelace thing works for him. Why change?" Well if his shoe is ripped off and then a a large football dude steps on it in cleats it isn't going to be pretty.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:30 p.m.

The no-shoelace thing works for him. Why change? In fact, if an opponent rips off a shoe after the play is dead, there's a risk a referee will see it and add 15 yards to the play.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:27 p.m.

michboy4O said it best, they need to be DESTROYED!!!!! GoBlue!!!!!!

peg dash fab

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:16 p.m.

right on, michboy40! go blue!


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

Don't care where we are ranked until Jan. Bowl season. They could move us all the way up to 3rd in the nation but it won't mean nothing come Sunday if we are bad. Our D-line will have to use their speed. Our O-line will have to be sharp Sat. That is where it all started this year. In the trenches.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 5:39 p.m.

I hope D Rob lights up the domers for 500 yards and 6 TD's! I want them to walk off their own field devastated in every way!