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Posted on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

Michigan's Denard Robinson, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez have plenty of similarities

By Staff


Quarterbacks Denard Robinson of Michigan, left, and Taylor Martinez of Nebraska have a similar skill set and have had similar college careers to this point.

Robinson: Melanie Maxwell |; Martinez: AP Photo

Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez, two dual-threat Big Ten quarterbacks, have plenty in common. breaks down some of those similarities in a "Stats & Info" blog post today, and suggests that the Michigan vs. Nebraska game on Nov. 19 in Ann Arbor may be the day one of them becomes the leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year.

The blog notes that Robinson (Michigan) and Martinez (Nebraska) were two of five FBS players to pass for more than 1,500 yards and rush for more than 900.

Their careers started similarly, winning respective starting QB jobs from an incumbent, and both are playing for new offensive coordinators this season.

ESPN also notes that both players cooled off after fast starts in 2010:

Martinez suffered a lower-leg injury against the Missouri Tigers on October 30. He was forced to miss two games, and rushed for just 95 yards combined in his final five games. The Cornhuskers finished 2-3 in Martinez’s final five starts after starting the year 7-1. Michigan also struggled down the stretch, finishing 2-6 after a 5-0 start. Robinson saw his touchdown to interception ratio go from 7-1 in the first five games to 11-10 over the last eight.

Robinson and Martinez are two members of a strong quarterback group in the Big Ten this season.

Russel Wilson (Wisconsin), Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois) and Dan Persa (Northwestern) are also known as strong dual-threat quarterbacks while Michigan State's Kirk Cousins doesn't run much, but should be among the league's most effective passers.

All six are on the preseason watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award, which is given to the country's best quarterback.



Thu, Aug 25, 2011 : 4:57 a.m.

Naturally we're all gonna nominate Robinson the best in this comparison. Some here say that he was just good because of the number of cupcake teams Michigan faced last year and that is a point. But what's not included in that kind of assessment is that Robinson is now playing with a much improved team and he himself appears to be ready to step up in the "Real Games." One thing is pretty clear: this year we won't be seeing other teams come in, knowing Michigan's game plan. The past three years showed without doubt that having a one-dimensional offense is suicide. Not to mention what having the worst defense in the Div. 1 category means. This season, we'll be seeing effective running backs - probably at last two. They'll take the load off Robinson and help reduce the chance of his getting injured. And - of course - that provides Michigan what is called "The Real Option" attack plan as opposed to the "I Think I'll have the QB Run Again" attack plan of the previous coach. Michigan defense will improve: it just remains to be seen by how much and if that will be enough to stop some of the better offenses they see this year. I "guess" that having a lot of juniors instead of a lot of underclassmen will help substantially across the board. If the defense somehow shows to be another embarrassment: it won't be because of lack of coaching effort and coaching ability. The last 3 years, we all saw a lot of tentative, avoidance prone players in Michigan uniforms: probably that's some kind of all time high for that kind of playing. I don't think we're going to see many "scare kids" out there on the Michigan bench this year. Bottom line: I'm about convinced that this year will be the year Denard comes into his own and it'll be because his team is coming into its own. Which translates to: Thank you, Coach Hoke! Go Blue!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

The similarity ends with Robinson being completely and totally ineffective against ranked teams. The similarity ends when you realize Robinson racked up the lions share of his amazing stats against non conference opponents..... And Indiana.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

doesn't Indiana qualify as a non-conference opponent? Just asking...


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

They were just following the lead of Michigan down the NCAA violation trail. At least OSU didn't waste their competitive advantage (Yes, on those days they actually won those games) like Michigan did. Michigan broke the rules to gain a competitive advantage, just to post their worst season ever.

Terry Star21

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Good one buddy, I enjoy your posts. Sorry to hear about osu.

Terry Star21

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

The similarity ends with both being a quarterback - Robinson is night and day ahead of him. Robinson also comes from a school that won the 1997 National title by being #1 all year and winning it's bowl game. On the other hand, Martinez comes from a school that was #2 in 1997 and was voted a share of that title after CBS allowed quarterback Scott Frosts air time to promote nebraska as the best team in the nation. I.E. - Michigan earning it, nebraska selling the media for it. MgoBlueForTiM.......earning the mystical crystal, while others talk wannabe shtick.

Terry Star21

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 4:56 a.m.

Thanks aarox - I wanted to go back to the 1901-05 seasons when Michigan out scored opponents 550-0, 626-12, 565-6, 567-2 and 495-2 in consecutive seasons, but thought I might be the only one still around that watched those. So 1997 is like blinking your eyes to the present.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

Going back to 1997 to justify today's news is a pretty long stretch - even for those of us incurably looking through maize colored glasses.

Terry Star21

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Actually I know I'll be asked - When interviewed on national TV right after nebraska's bowl win, Frost chirped "Well, if you watched our game today and you saw Michigan's game and you still think their better - then go ahead and vote them for #1". Probably one of sports worst - I mean saddest cases of reverse psychology one will ever see.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Except one of them is way, way better than the other one. Would anyone seriously take Martinez before Robinson? This is dazzlingly uninsightful.