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Posted on Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

Quarterback Denard Robinson delivers standout performance for Michigan football team

By Pete Bigelow


Michigan junior running back Michael Shaw celebrates a touchdown with his teammates during the second quarter of Michigan's season home opener against Connecticut.

Melanie Maxwell I

Note: Story updated at 9:41 p.m.

A few times Saturday, Denard Robinson talked so fast that he needed to repeat himself in the huddle.

“We’re from Florida, so our slang, the way we talk, is different,” wide receiver Martavious Odoms said. “So some of the plays, he’s got a certain cadence in the way he talks, and people we’re looking at him like, ‘What?’”

They weren’t the only ones who had trouble keeping up with the Michigan football team’s new quarterback.

Robinson created all kinds of havoc for UConn and set a school rushing record while leading the Wolverines to a 30-10 season-opening victory.


Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson trots untouched into the end zone for a Wolverines touchdown during first quarter action.

Lon Horwedel |

Until Friday night, the sophomore from Deerfield Beach, Fla., didn’t even know he was starting.

But Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, entering a pivotal third season as coach after compiling an 8-16 record his first two years in Ann Arbor, was rewarded for his faith.

By the time it ended Saturday, Robinson had completed 19 of 22 passes for 186 yards, carried 29 times for 197 yards and generally made defenders look like they were playing in slow motion.

“Denard Robinson is going to make people look bad,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said. “He’s an extra running back back there. We made some adjustments in the second half and really tried to take the ball out of his hands.

“But give him credit. I think he’s an outstanding athlete, an outstanding athlete.”

UConn’s frustrations in trying to contain Robinson, grew so much that the Huskies defenders slapped at his untied shoes in an effort to de-cleat him. “They were like, ‘Take his shoe! Take his shoe!” said Robinson, who has been nicknamed Shoelace since high school for his refusal to tie his shoes.

“They were trying to slow me down, I guess, and the offensive linemen too, because they were just killing them.

Robinson’s debut as starter, in which he compiled 383 total offensive yards and two touchdowns, was one of several events Saturday that went off without a hitch.

Michigan opened its gates for the first time since completing a $226 million stadium renovation and hosted 113,090 fans Saturday, the largest crowd to watch a college or professional football game in U.S. history.

The university marked the occasion with two flyovers before the game, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and a gathering of Wolverine alumni. Before the game, Brock Mealer, the brother of Michigan lineman Elliott Mealer who was paralyzed in a car accident, led the Wolverines out of the tunnel and walked to midfield under his own power.

Once the Wolverines took the field, Robinson took over.

On Michigan’s first offensive series, which started on the team’s own 4-yard line, Robinson methodically directed a 14-play, 96-yard drive that culminated in a 12-yard Vincent Smith touchdown run.

On the next drive, Robinson ran for a 32-yard touchdown on a play in which the Huskies didn’t lay a hand on him.

By the middle of the third quarter, he had set the single-game rushing record for a Michigan quarterback, breaking a record previously held by Steve Smith, who ran four times for 174 yards against Minnesota in 1983.

Robinson took a shot to the hip in the third quarter. True freshman Devin Gardner replaced him in the huddle for two plays before he returned.

After the game, Robinson, who touched the ball on 51 plays, said he was fine.

His speed and elusiveness weren’t a surprise - he flashed glimpses of it as a true freshman. But his accuracy throwing the football had dramatically improved since 2009.

“You could just see it in spring practice,” Rodriguez said. “He was getting a knowledge of not only what we wanted to do, but how we want to attack defenses."

Rodriguez acknowledged bumps in the road are surely ahead - it would be hard to conceive of a much better performance.

But after a preseason filled with quarterback uncertainty, it appears he has not only an answer, but one that comes with heaps of long-term promise.

Box scoreVideo highlights from Michigan

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



Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 10:11 a.m.

Great game for Michigan, all around. Denard REALLY showed a much improved game - especially passing the ball. The defense still has issues, but they showed an ability to make the big stops that they haven't shown the last two years. We're still going to need to score points, but the offense keeping possession for longer will do a lot to help the defense. I think Michigan CAN'T have D-Rob carrying the ball 29 times every game. He WILL get injured doing that. They need to get the running backs to take more of the load, and probably do a little more passing. But, that will depend on the competition somewhat. U-Conn was a perfect team to give the "D-Rob Treatment" to. But, Notre Dame will be a different story - as will some of the Big Ten teams. Offensive line is MUCH better. The holes were there most of the game. Special teams need a lot of work. I really wanted to see Jeremy Gallon take off on a return. But, the wind played havoc with the punting and kicking. But, missing an extra point is really bad. I'm more optimistic about the Notre Dame game than I was a week ago. Go Blue1


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 4:25 a.m.

First off, I have been a Michigan fan since I was 4 years old when my dad first introduced me to them. Now I am 25. So yes, I saw the Brady days, the Woodson days, the Howard days and so on. Furthermore, I think D Rod had a tremendous game on Saturday. I don't think we have EVER had a scrambling QB; at least in the years I have been watching them. He knows how to work the offense and how to make everyone play better. He IS and WILL BE the QB of the future and we may even win the Big 10. As far as Tate goes, I hope he stays around. I dont think D Rob can run like that the whole season without injuries. It would be good to know Tate is around and experienced rather than just putting all of your hopes and dreams in a rookie QB. His dad said on that Tate WILL NOT transfer. We will beat Notre Dame this week and hopefully we'll get all W's on our record. Tate needs to just suck it up and stop pouting and support D Rob and the rest of the tram in winning. I see in the future he WILL get another chance behind center. Also he may want to try a little harder in practice. And last... GO BIG BLUE and GO WHO DAT!!!!!!!


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 11:34 p.m.

15crown, so what's your point, one would suspect that you did not enjoy the win. Everyone should thoroughly enjoy this win next week is in the future. We're all going to die someday does that mean we shouldn't enjoy today?


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 11:04 p.m.

Censorship in America?


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 7:11 p.m.

I think this game was a B- performance against a middle of the road Big East team (which is not exactly the SEC or Bog Ten). Here are the facts: *DRob had a great game, but any guy who runs that much as a QB is destined to miss plays, games or seasons from injuries. He is not Tim Tebow size. How many people about lost their lunch when he went out for two plays? * Special teams- not a single positive thing to say. A horrible field goal effort, a HORRIBLE missed extra point. A muffed punt. Special teams can not play that poorly against winning programs * Defense- Dropped passes and a fumble were the difference. Every one of those 30 points will be necessary against the better teams. UConn is not exactly a juggernaut offense. Their pass game is anemic. Michigan has always fared well against one dimensional teams. *Coaching- I'll give him a B. The team played inspired, and did the two things that are important: minimal penalties and no turn overs. There is an asterisk next to that because of the lucky bounce on the muffed punt.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 6:50 p.m.

IF D ROB makes it to the meat of the schedule we'll see how he he doesn't run 20x against ND and he won't complete 19/22 either


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 6:41 p.m.

ya they played ok so what?the opponent wasn't exactly stellar.let's leave the judgement on how great they are until the end of the season.last year they started 5-1.ended 5-7.that should tell u something.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

They say the biggest improvement comes between the first and second game of the year. That has got to scare the hell out of the Irish! Go get'em MEN!

Chad Williams

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

Imagine if Denard would have enrolled early last year, im really proud of him. He has always a step behind tate because of tate's head start and 12 starts in the season. He still has a lil bit to work on as we go on but he needs more production from smith and shaw. If those two to can take away half of his carries the offense will be even more dangerous.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

Goblue Pa your not wrong about anything it's your opinion and your entitled and I'm not going to get upset if Mich. loses next week cause to me this is entertainment and it was damn good entertainment. I suspect your on the money about the QB reckless play and possibility of injuries. They tossed him around a couple of times yesterday and I thought, this could be bad if he takes a major hit. I agree with Urban Myers when he said ya need 3 QB's in this system, I hope Tate acts like a man about all this becuase there is a strong possibility that he will get playing time if not take over. It's kind of bizarre but watching Robinson I almost felt like he's to fast for his own good well anyways, yesterday was a blast from the past and it just made my barbecu taste delicious. Boys and girls we just might have a team here.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 12:23 p.m.

Anybody remember so many Mi fans talking smack after winning at home against a unranked opponent? Is this how far we have fallen? Conn was in this game for a long time and they played terrible. Hate this offense...QB runs 20 times ugh. Never seen Mi be a one man team. We will see how long he holds up.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

DR had a great game. Call me cynical, but before everyone starts predicting a BCS chance for Michigan, I'd like to see DR perform against a Big Ten school before getting my hopes up. They played UCONN, not Ohio St or Penn St, for God sakes. Stop setting the bar so low.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 11:22 a.m.

Michigan's biggest weapon this season besides Denard appears that it may be time of possession. We got killed in TOP the last two years and it manifested itself with the two worst defensive years in forever. I was pleasantly surprised to watch the team move the chains and roll up 7 minute drives. It reminded me of the old Bo teams. I think RR understands that the D is still suspect so the best chance for the win is to keep the D off the field. It worked like a charm yesterday.

Blue and Maze Haze

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 10:55 a.m.

I'm pretty sure leading up to this game UCONN was supposed to contend for Big East Championship. I believe I heard their defensive line was one of the best in the Nation. They said Michigan should have picked another opponent to open the season. They may have been right about UCONN, but they were wrong about Michigan. People have this notion that Michigan is one dimensional of Offense and the defense is terrible. If Notre Dame puts 8 in the box against Michigan next week they can kiss that game goodbye. We have SPEED at receiver and we know D-Rob can get the ball out there. Defensibly our linemen and Linebackers are good enough to compete. If we can just get a few plays out of our Secondary we'll be fine.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 10:48 a.m.

D Rob is a joy to watch, and by all accounts he is a good kid and student off the field. RR needs to change the way he deals with his depth chart. We can't continue to loose guys due to plating time, attitude, etc... We WILL need to Tate Forcier before this season is over! So he and RR need to get on the same page. The D Line and backers got the pressure they needed in order to bail out the secondary. THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR: We have better depth acroos both lines. We have better depth at the skill positions. THINGS THAT ARE THE SAME: Secondary is really suspect, to put in nicely. Runnig back is questionable. I think we need to find more ways to get the ball to Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw to take the pressure off the QB position.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 10:01 a.m.

Man, these Rich Rod haters are laughable!! Always focusing on the negatives, instead of enjoying a well played win! I am glad I don't hate our coach, so I can whole heartedly cheer for my football team. I know most of you haters were quietly praying for the team to lose to expedite Rich Rod's exit. You haters should just find a different team to root for, maybe just look at the polls and see who's number one each week and root for them, since you are obviously just front runners anyway. Keep hating boys, while the rest of us real fans are cheering our team on. It was nice being among the 113,000 there yesterday, cheering our team and OUR COACH!!!


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 9:13 a.m.

OK, I'll take my lumps. First, I was wrong on the UConn game. I thought they'd lose to UConn. The boys on the field played a great game and it's good to be a Wolverine today. Second, I was not convinced DRob was ready (though I've been saying since the Spring game he would be the starter). I was wrong on that aspect too. He played a great game throwing the ball. The difference, as I see it, was that UofM was prepared to play on Saturday and UConn played like a team starting the season. This is why most folks play a cupcake week 1 to work out the kinks. Play this game again later in the season and it would almost certainly not be this one sided. Would we still win? Maybe. The defense was not good on Saturday. There were holes big enough to drive a truck through and there wasn't a single down field receiver covered all game. They were always open. The pressure up front helped prevent the completions, but it looked to me that unless we blitzed, we couldn't get to the QB. As for DRob, he's already heading down a parallel path to Tate last year. He looked great yesterday, just like Tate last year, but he's also already dinged up, just like Tate last year. I'd like folks to climb into the Way Back Machine and view how Tate RAN the ball last year. In the first couple of games, he was just as reckless with his body as DRob was here. By about week 2 or 3, he started sliding before the hits came. What did we see out of DRob after he got whacked? He started sliding before the hit. Sure it's smart, but it also takes away what DRob is. This offense eats up QB's and spits them out. I hope DRob can stay healthy, because we could very well be looking at a repeat of last year.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 8:47 a.m.

Maybe U-conn is the team it was last year, who knows, they've only played one game. It is apparant that Mich isn't the same team as last year or before. There were few mistakes and certainly ones that weren't detrimental. Freshmen are not consistant, experienced or developed. Each year these kids will get better and more confident. Next week will give us all a better handle on what kind of team we have. Young teams don't play well on the road in hostile environments. Go Blue, Beat Notre Dame!

Jeff Butler

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 8:45 a.m.

Story line #1 for this day was Brock Mealer - what a tribute to determination and faith! Epitomizes what we want every "kid" coming to Michigan to learn about being a "Michigan Man". Brock you are a Michigan Man doubled and tripled, also more importantly sounds like you are a real man of God! Next for me was DRob - way too much fun to watch this guy play!! Congrats to him on a great performance. What do we expect for the season - heck who knows, but with offensive fireworks and not much defense again (don't be fooled by the 10 points allowed) it should be a rollercoaster and thrillride! We could lose to anybody- but also beat anybody, get ready Wolverine fans for a "Cedar Point Experience" of a season!! Lol


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 8:10 a.m.

Well now, that was an entertaining 3 hrs. for me win or lose. MMMM those baby backs were delicious and those Italian sausages and that corn on the cob. My Michigan flag was flying high over my house out here in the Ca. desert and my family was over and the cheers were loud and that boys and girls is what this game is all about and all you can ask for on any given Saturday. I don't know how the rest of the season will go hope they play well but winning every game has never been what I take from my Michigan Wolverines. I take the pure entertainment from the game itself to the beautiful magnificent stadium to all the vendors and gigantic crowds to the smells of the whole affair. I'm not going to sit here and say see, I told you complainers, what I am going to say is, that was a real good 3 hrs. of entertainment win or lose and that's all. Oh ya, how bout that QB?


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 8:10 a.m.

Although I am not going to lose my head, Michigan dominated this game. I am sure we did not show everything our offense had this game with ND due up next week and clearly Uconn was having problems handling Michigan's base offense. That was about as good of a first start out of a Michigan QB as I can remember. Robinson is going to be a nightmare for the top Big 10 teams this year. I am sure Wisky, Iowa, PSU and tUOS have already taken note.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 7:32 a.m.

Great effort but still many concerns.... (Sadly, I side with 3 n out so I'll put my helmet on) The Good: The O Line- They will be the most talked about group in the big 10 all year. They were men against boys this week. Against the conference they'll be tested harder but should remain THE scary force all year D Rob- This was his coming out party for sure. The wheels impressed me but his accurate throws were what put me over. Wayyyy too many touches though, and RR doesn't seem concerned?? Rushing Game- Nice to see Vinny Smith back. Shaw was decent to good. Again, the holes were enormous D line- Decent pressure throughout the game. Rushing 3 against UConn worked for us as their passing game never really got started The not so Good: Gardner/ Forcier- My jaw dropped to me knees when I saw Gardner trot out to play that series. We must be missing something?! Maybe Forcier IS set to transfer and his Dad is running interference. No way you burn a red shirt just to send a message Secondary- Lots of open receivers even with dropping 8 in coverage. Drops will happen on any team but they'll need more pressure on QB's all year Kicking game- Namely place kicking. Not a surprise question mark here. Kick offs were a mystery with the squibs. Touch backs are always a good thing. Punting was, well...incomplete :-) Overall I'm pleased but not too excited. UConn is NOT the team of last year. Great effort at home but RR will have to get more creative on offense to beat ND. They'll key with 8 in the box all game and challenge the throw. This is why Forcier needs some reps. D Rob will be so banged up by mid October that the depth will come into play. Yes,Forcier pouts, I hear ya. But if my QB is ok with no playing I would be MORE concerned. He just doesn't play the disappointed part very well. Give him his reps as we'll need him tuned to share duties some time this season


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 7:20 a.m.

As I've said before, I loved Bo, Mo, and Lloyd. But this football is fun to watch. You never quite know what's coming next with the spread. We will be tested heavily in the def secondary tho. Special teams will improve. And how many times did we punt? Great field long drives and time of posession. As for Tate, I would have liked to have seen him get some snaps. Apparantly his ego is fragile. College football is a time when boys become men, not only physically bigger, but develope mentally and emotionally. Tate needs to adopt the TEAM attitude. He has lots to contribute. Fun game. GO BLUE!


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 6:07 a.m.

3 and out, Just because You keep spouting it dosn't make it true.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 2:54 a.m.

3 And Out... Lets see if I have this straight... "I would have been correct had Uconn caught the pass on the 2, caught the sure TD pass and not fumbled inside the 5." I'll play along... but first, are there anymore "if's" you'd like to add to the list? Lets say all those things happen. You do realize that Michigan gets a chance to answer? You do realize that if the games closer that Michigan may open up the play book a little more? You do realize that Michigan used a ball control offense, never threw deep because they led from the beginning? You do realize that Michigan also had there own list of "if's?" Your reasoning is completely flawed. Every action has a reaction. You can't just take away mistake, add TD's and FG's at the end of the game and pretend like the other team doesn't exists. Michigan dominated UConn up and down the field. They could've scored 50 if they had wanted to open up the offense. But there was no point considering the ease at which they moved down the field draining the clock in the process. Please, lets be civil. You butcher logic then throw this quote at me in defense... "either way if you think I said "easily handle" well that puts you right in that bottom feeder category that Scooter aka RBI fit in." Excuse my exaggeration, I apologize for the error.

3 And Out

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 1:20 a.m.

btw.... 5-7 still... We lose to ND next week, Kelly is far superior to RR and will have his team ready at home... we will be looking for a new head coach in December.

3 And Out

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 1:19 a.m.

eehhhnt...wrong Kubrick...stick to making movies. I predicted U Conn 34 Michigan 31 and I would have been correct had Uconn caught the pass on the 2, caught the sure TD pass and not fumbled inside the 5...but it was what it was...either way if you think I said "easily handle" well that puts you right in that bottom feeder category that Scooter aka RBI fit in.


Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 12:27 a.m.

3 and out was exposed long ago as either a Spartan or Buckeye fan. The troll can't be happy with his teams winning this week, he still has to dump on Michigan after a fantastic win. These are signs of a Michigan hater starting to deal with the fact that Michigan is on its way back to the top.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 11:09 p.m.

3 and out... Did you even watch the game? Uconn averaged over 30 points a game last year and returned most of their offense. Their five losses were by a total of 15 points. You predicted that they would easily handle Michigan. "Defense Line-Sub par - Got gashed all day." They gave up a total of 138 rushing yards. Is that the definition of gashed? "Coaching-Average = DRob bailed them out. Burned a redshirt." Bailed them out of what? UConn never led and scored only 10 points. "Opponent = Terrible" UConn is now considered a terrible team? So a team is good until they lose to Michigan then they're considered terrible? You'd be more convincing if you just came out and admitted that you hate Michigan.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 10:24 p.m.

These guys just hate RR, it's as simple as that. 3 and out is pretty funny. He was all about the upset prior to the game. "Down goes Frazier!" is one that I remember. Well, that didn't work, so they'll try to find fault in the victory. I can already hear next weeks post, "If only RR would have reached out to Tate and done more to get him to stay, we'd have depth at QB." Keep rooting for the loss 3andout, because you don't like the coach. Pretty soon, you'll be an MSU or OSU fan, if you aren't already. Great game today, Big Blue! Really looking forward to the ND game.

3 And Out

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 8:58 p.m.

Michigan Game Quarterback-Great Offensive Line-Great Defense Line-Sub par - Got gashed all day. Secondary-Sub par - Wide open guys all day got luck with drops and bad throws Running Backs- Average Receivers-Great Special Teams-Terrible kicking game and dropped punt = Bad Time of Possession-Great Penalties-Great Turnovers-Great Coaching-Average = DRob bailed them out. Burned a redshirt. Third Down Conversions-Great Opponent = Terrible How Is That The Same As Last Year? Because it is. What game did you watch?


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 8:34 p.m.

Michigan Game Quarterback-Great Offensive Line-Great Defense Line-Great Secondary-Great Running Backs-Great Receivers-Great Special Teams-OK Time of Possession-Great Penalties-Great Turnovers-Great Coaching-Great Third Down Conversions-Great How Is That The Same As Last Year


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 8:22 p.m.

No one else is concerned that if Denard gets hurt, Michigan's offense is gone? Totally gone. Well, so far they've done 20% of what they did last year and matched last year at this point in the season. From the game video, it looks like Tate is gone (=gonna transfer)...unfortunate if true. Massachusetts and Bowling Green are likely wins, if ND doesn't knock them up too badly.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 8:15 p.m.

If you were surprised about Denard starting, you couldn't have watched the spring game film. He is in a completely different category from Tate. I was a little surprised about Gardner getting the call in D-Rob's brief absence, but Tate's sideline antics may have shed a little light on other issues there. Agree 100 percent about the trolls and all of their excuses for UConn's gift wrapping of the game for us. I don't think any Michigan fan is drunk on blue kool-aid. We're pleased to see the improvement that we knew was coming. I'm sure that they'll be around pointing out how lucky Michigan is for each win this season. Bottom line, they just don't like RR. I think this applies to a few of the local media, as well.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 8:14 p.m.

I'm not ready to declare UM "back", but today was definitely a good start. DR's play was a high point, his decision making was much improved from a year ago. Also not to be overlooked was Molk back on the O-line. I think his absence last year was one of the reasons UM struggled so much on offense. My jury is still out on the D backs, I think the Huskies were overrated. It will be interesting to see what happens when they face a good QB. It could get ugly again. I'll take the win today though. Go Blue!


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 7:27 p.m.

Going into this one, I really thought it would be close and that UM would likely lose. I don't earn a living making predictions. If I did, I'd be starving right now. It is nice to be surprised once in awhile. D Rob was remarkable and the receivers helped him out by hanging onto the ball. There were a couple of near misses with fumbles, but thankfully, Mich recovered. Reasons to be optimistic: Defense produced some good stops. D Rob looks unstoppable when playing. Reasons to be pessimistic: Defense left some receivers wide open and runners reached first downs up the middle. D Rob is a one-man show. If he is off, or out, backups are either unknown or unpredictable.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

Macbre, I don't see UM losing 7 games. I'll stick with my 8-4 prediction with the acid tests coming against the Big 4: Iowa, PSU, Wisconsin, and OSU. How will UM compete against the big boys? Have they truly closed the gap with them, or will they take a beating like they have in the previous two seasons? On the positive side, they've got Iowa and Wisconsin at home, which should help. Those games will provide UM and RR a great opportunity to prove that they have truly arrived, and give a terrific indictation as to whether RR's team can compete in the new B10 playing our new foe Nebraska every season. Time will tell, but if today is any indication, it should be interesting.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

Denard Robinson was the star today and deserves lots of kudos, but he wouldn't have been as successful without great blocking from a much improved offensive line, which opened up holes all day long and provided good pass protection. What impressed me most was the ball control U-M exhibited, which I did not think was possible in a spread offense. My concern is that the very nature of this offense lends itself to a higher chance of the QB getting hurt due to all the QB runs. In fact, it looked like Denard had a close call when he went down late in the 3rd quarter while getting a key first down, which would've been a disaster for the team if the injury had been more serious. I thought the defense played better than expected and made some key plays when they had to, although I wonder why Will Campbell wasn't in there on goal line situations in light of UCONN running the ball so much. Does anyone know whether he is hurt? Bring on the Irish!

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:51 p.m.

I was quite happy with D-Rob's development. He's better than I thought he'd ever be. His arm strength is solid now, and he was accurate. On the downside, he broke Roundtree. Hope he's OK. UConn is a Big East team. They don't play as physical a game in the Big East and still D-Rob took some shots. Even had to burn Gardner's red-shirt after a particularly hard shot to D-Rob's hip. I just don't think D-Rob can hold up to the pounding he'll take in the Big Ten. Forcier couldn't last year, either. The Big Ten is simply more physical than the Big East. The offensive line looked decent. UConn's front seven is its strength, and the linemen get a lot of credit for putting up nearly 500 yards in offense. It's not a particularly deep line, but the starters look solid. The defensive line was good. Van Bergen struggled a bit, but Martin had a nice game. On the whole, they had a positive game. When rushing more than three, they put consistent pressure on the quarterback. The linebackers were hit and miss. Mouton looked good at times, but still has positioning issues. I kept seeing his number around the ball, though. He may be off to a terrific senior year. I wonder if the Moundros experiment will continue. Ezeh had a couple of plays. It could have been a lot worse. The secondary really wasn't tested. The UConn quarterback had a bad game. What we saw of the secondary wasn't good at all. And we may have lost the freshman Carvin Johnson. The special teams didn't have a good day. The red-shirt freshman kicker looked awful. Kick returners were making bad decisions and fumbling. The coaching staff had a good game. Nice play-calling. I think the defense had some issues with the 3-3-5, but did recognize that they have to blitz when they run it in passing situations. Or hopefully made that recognition. Overall, it was a good result. They got all the breaks, but they also had many positives. UConn is not a pushover and that was a clear win. I hate to be a nay-sayer, though. What I don't see is how this team can be competitive in the Big Ten. D-Rob will get banged up. Forcier is having a pity party. Gardner hopefully will get comfortable playing. I'm sticking with my 4-7 prediction for the rest of the way. I hope I'm wrong.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:51 p.m.

I'm not too upset with Tate's attitude. I mean, I hope he keeps his head up because in all likelihood we will really need him at some point this year. I loved what Tate brought to our team, but Denard has just blown me away with how much he's improved. No doubt about it, he is the undisputed quarterback of this team. Tate is a competitor, with all the hype he built up with the Notre Dame and Indiana wins last season, can you really blame him for being upset? He thought for sure he was going to get some snaps at least. But no one could have anticipated the game DR had, not even Rich Rodriguez. Tate needs to keep his head up and keep working hard. I still have confidence that he can lead us to wins should (heaven forbid it) something happen to DR.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:49 p.m.

Go Blue! Denard R looked great. Backs and receivers looked great. The O Line was great AND the D Line looked impressive. What a difference from last year in attitude and intensity. ND next week will give further indication of what Blue might be able to do this year. BIG disappointment in Tate F though. Looked like a kid ready to pick up his marbles and go home because he did not get to play. He sat by himself on a bench. Appears he does not understand the what the meaning of team is all about... yet. Even Matt Millen made comments about him and why is he not up with the other team members. But in the meantime.. GO Blue! A fun win. Now just "a few more" games to go.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:46 p.m.

Denard Robinson exceeded all predictions I could have ever placed. If you told me "Set the highest possible bar that Denard could possibly reach if he is the starter" than I wouldn't have even set it close to what he achieved today. They knew we were running and we still ran it down their throats. This offensive line is going to lead us to a bowl game by itself. I thought for sure our greatest weapon was our wide receiving corps, but they were essentially nonexistent in this one (partially blame the swirling winds?). Where was my man Odoms? Roundtree? Expect D-Rob to throw the ball down the field next week. Speaking of his throwing, WOW! Certainly, most of his throws were short ones, but all of his few throws down field had zip through the wind and were pin point accurate. If Denard keeps this up, hello Heisman? Uh oh, I said it! Going to need more touchdowns for that, but jeez la-weez, what a game by Denard!


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:45 p.m.

By the way, maizenbluedoc, I think it was a little bit of both: UM is improved AND UConn was vastly overrated. Denard appears to be the right QB for this type of offense and he certainly played his best game today. What made me a bit nervous today, though, was the amount of hard hits he took. That will begin to take a toll as the season moves on, especially when UM begins to play the heavy hitters in the B10. Injuries could again take a toll, and there were already a lot of players getting dinged up as the game wore on. We'll see, but I think that early in the year UM will do fine and porbably be 4-0 moving into the B10. Look out for Indiana, though...they are a mirror image of UM with their high scoring offense and less then stellar defense.

Robbie Webb.

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:44 p.m.

No excuses! Michigan's offense will put up ponits no matter who it is, provided we stay healthy with no injuries. I'm nervous about the Notre Dame game. It'll be a much different and likely more closer ball game. That secondary really has to step up and not give guys like Michael Floyd so much room. Tate got what he deserved. He got out worked this offseason. Period. Denard deserved it. And like I pointed out all during the offseason, it was not an offensive issue. Why did they struggle last year? Youth and injuries (See the difference with Molk back).

3 And Out

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:43 p.m.

BorninA2 +1 good insight


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:42 p.m.

Seems just like last year to me. We started out 4-0, but as I watched the games I kept shaking my head thinking: The other team self-destructed and that won't happen against good teams. Several key players, including Robinson, got dinged up (Molk and Roundtree, too) and that's how Forcier degraded last year: He played more and more hurt each game. It seems very likely to me that Robinson will end up hurt if we try to get 200 yards on the ground from him every game. I was glad to see RR keep running the ball since it was working, rather than trying to force his pet plays. Our place kicker stinks. A very nice ball-control drive to start the 3rd. Saw our D panting with hands on hips before halftime, like last year. NOT GOOD. Robinson looks like a better passer this year, but he threw several passes that a better D would have picked. Still too many loose balls on our part. Secondary was a swiss cheese and looked much better than it was because UConn struggled to thow *and* catch. Must suck for Forcier to go from starter to #3. Really can't see him sticking around in that role. Still, he showed poor leadership sitting alone like that. Dumb of RR to put Gardner in for 2-3 plays like that. He could have tossed Forcier a bone and maybe helped his attitude, and kept the option to redshirt Gardner at the same time. Glad to get the W but I'm not anywhere near to blocking out January 1.

3 And Out

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:39 p.m.

UConn's defense was as bad as Delaware State. Give credit to D Rob and our excellent and deep OL which is well coached by Greg Frey for exploiting these weaknesses. However it will be a different story next week and most certainly during Big Ten play. D Rob got hurt today and that will be a concern in the Big Ten vs. speedy and big teams that are well coached and talented. Tate Forcier has gone south and they are going to need to get him back. Michael Floyd will score 3TD at home next week and we will need to outscore them. People like Scooter live for talking trash...but in reality all they have is talk. So let's talk about what really happened on the field.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:33 p.m.

I was just about right on with my point spread for this week, predicting UM to win 45-24 (that's a 21 point spread if your math is deficient). UM won by 20, so I was very close. I should get a job in Vegas predicting games...not. This was a nice win by the Wolverines as Robinson and the offense played a great game. The defense played well enough to win with UM"s offensive production, but UConn's offense helped them look better than they were with 6 dropped passes (including one at the 2) and a turnover inside the 5. That's 14 points left off the board solely on their mistakes or this game would have been much closer. Of course I knew that would happen when I made my prediction. Stay tuned this week for my stellar, sure to be right (on the point spread anyway) prediction on the Notre Dame game.

Robbie Webb.

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:29 p.m.

First of all, I said they scored 38 vs Iowa, and I know I was wrong. I got that scored mixed up with how many they put up against Purdue. But I'm talking about what happened TODAY. TODAY, Michigan looked very focused but still has work to do on special teams and secondary.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:27 p.m.

Facts... Michigan total dominance. UConn not ready for prime-time. Lots of mistakes on their part because they couldn't handle the pressure of the Big House. One game, one victory. Perfect.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:27 p.m.

noBowl4blue, Can you please escort Tate out of town? never liked him at all as our qb. he hurt us in 4 or 5 of those losses last year. Sure he won us a few too. But a qb is supposed win for you, not lose for you.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:24 p.m.

From what I saw, two things were apparent; either UCONN was vastly overrated, or Michigan is vastly improved from last year. I wish to believe the latter. Bring on the Irish.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

Robbie, you can book your tickeis for the National Chapionship game to see.......OSU. UConn gave the game away dropped passes and fumble. Ref's spotting the ball was questionable as well. Denard did look good running the ball and the team can eat some clock so that's going for them. Oh BTW say goodbye to Tate like so many before him he's gone. Next week will be fun.

Bob Needham

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

Folks, can we direct comments to the story and/or the game rather than each other? thanks

Robbie Webb.

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:16 p.m.

Oh, and also 3 and Out, Michigan had ZERO turnovers today and Denard set a Michigan record and was almost impossible to stop. Yes, that offense you call a high school ''Gimmick''. I'm just making sure you watching the same game I was. I don't want to have to let you know what's going on like I had to during the off season. Jaxon 5, Lemansblue, Edward Murrow and Nobowl, that goes for all of you as well.

3 And Out

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:12 p.m.

UConn self Destructed in this game. Dropped ball on 2 yd line. Dropped wide open bomb. Fumble going in. Not to take away from our kids great effort...but our defense was very fortunate. D Rob was great. BTW anyone losing their panties over this win should look at last year... RRs teams do well vs. out of conference teams that have less talent and then lose in the Big Ten. Until something changes, you all need to take a chill pill and spit out the Kool Aid.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:10 p.m.

Loved the game! But what about Tate that was pathetic to not see him cheer on his team. Where was DRob last year when Tate was getting the Snaps? And he wonders why he's not the starter. Go Blue!


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:08 p.m.

good win for michigan! well coached and disciplined team. Still some concerns with secondary and special teams, but this is a great way to start. Offense will be tough to stop. If the Special Teams and Defense can just be average, we can win 8 games this year. The only complaint I have is about cry baby tate. Last year DRob showed him a lot of love and respect. Cry baby tate sat behind the bench and pouted all game long. The best part of that was that no one paid attention to him. The TEAM was focused on winning! Guess RR remembered how to coach this morning. Keep it up fellas. Let the haters stew until next week. Mich 27 Notre Dame 24. And the D will win the game to end the 4th qtr.


Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

How sweet it is... GO BLUE!

Robbie Webb.

Sat, Sep 4, 2010 : 5:58 p.m.

Hey, 3 and Out, Jaxon 5, Lemansblue, Edward Murrow, Nobowl, what now? Yes yes yes, I know it's only game 1, but this was the game ALL of you called an automatic loss. Oh and 3 and Out, that offensive line that you claim is inexperienced and ''Small'' sacks allowed today and Denard was 19/22 I believe in passing and although defense had some errors, they held them off to 10 points. I'm just letting you know what happened because you seem to have a knack for not paying attention (See previous two years). GO BLUE!!!