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Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

New celebration makes it clear: Michigan football team 'starving' for a win against Ohio State

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson shakes the hand of a Nebraska player after the Wolverines' 45-17 win last Saturday. Robinson started a new touchdown celebration several weeks ago that is supposed to symbolize the team's hunger for a successful season.

Jeff Sainlar |

The Michigan football team has dropped seven in a row to its biggest rival and is starving for a win against those Ohio State Buckeyes.

That also happens to be the inspiration for quarterback Denard Robinson's newest touchdown celebration, in which he makes circular motions with his hands in front of his mouth, as though he were eating.

"This program's been starving for a while," Robinson said Monday. "It's time for us to make something happen.

"We've been starving. It's time for us to eat."

Robinson scored four touchdowns in a 45-17 romp against Nebraska last week, providing plenty of opportunities for him to unveil the celebration. It is a not-so-subtle reminder that, although the Wolverines are 9-2 and off to their best 11-game start since 2006, there still is plenty to play for.

As in, a win against the rival Buckeyes.

Robinson said he started it a couple weeks ago, but it's begun to catch on among teammates — and even running backs coach Fred Jackson — as the No. 17 Wolverines (9-2, 5-2) prepare to Ohio State (6-5, 3-4) at noon Saturday on ABC.

Michigan hasn't beaten the Buckeyes since 2003, when Robinson still was in the seventh grade at Deerfield Beach Middle School.

"Oh man, that's crazy!" Robinson said.

The only thing? Coach Brady Hoke said he won't talk to his team about the streak this week.

"We’ve got educated young men who are here, at a great university, and I think me telling them that would probably insult them and their intelligence," Hoke said.

Hoke has put his own touch on this rivalry, starting with his reference to the Buckeyes as, simply, "Ohio." But this year's game has a different feel for other reasons as well, especially with the team playing for a shot at a BCS bid.

And then there's momentum, which Michigan has going into this game for the first time since 2006. It is coming off a 45-17 romp against Nebraska, in which Robinson scored four touchdowns, providing plenty of opportunities for his new celebration.

The Wolverines are 9-2 and have won two of their past three. They opened as a 7.5-point favorite against the Buckeyes, who have lost two in a row.

This will be Michigan's best shot at the Buckeyes since that No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in 2006. And, for the seniors, their last shot as earning a win against their biggest rival.

"The focus has always been on Ohio," senior defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen said. "We know how big this game is. I don't think anyone in our Michigan football building, all the way from staff to the people who let us in the doors — there's no one who does not realize this is the biggest game of the entire year.

"Sixty minutes determines (everything)."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

Denard scored 4 touchdowns? Gallon and Odoms might say differently.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

It's been said that expressing gratitude for a good which has not yet arrived hastens the arrival of that good. Therefore: I'm dedicating my Thanksgiving this year to having a wonderful daughter and to having the Michigan Wolverines reach 10 wins with a victory over Ohio. No one of us can want a victory over Ohio more than these hard working, devoted players on Team 132 and their coaches. When the '97 team held their victory parade up State Street in January of 1998, I held up my sign which read simply: Thank You Blue! So again, I think it's time to give thanks to Michigan and this team. Thank You Blue - for all you've done and all you're about to do.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

Now more so than PRIOR it will be evident that the coaching staff of Michigan is the best in the B1G. This will be an unfair contest of wits in which Ohio is shorthanded, just plain unable. This coaching staff Michigan has will show to any remaining doubters what I've been saying all along. We as Michigan fans are blessed to have such experience and wisdom in the coaching staff of Michigan football. From top to bottom Coach Hoke and Co. are class and exemplary men. The numbers don't lie. Pick a statistic and smile. Go ahead and have a maniacal laugh while you're at it. Muahahahaha. It is time Michigan Seniors. Remove the clouds of doubt. Be there for each other and be the team that restores order in the College Football universe. Return Michigan to it's rightful and EARNED place. Michigan Football team #132 I am so very proud to support you. Go Blue!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Great to hear they are hungary. This season while it has been good and above expectations it is not up to Michigan standards. The mediocre spartys are going to the title game in case you did not notice folks. That alone should drive this team for a great off season. Going to a better bowl than sparty would be a nice little dig on little brother. The last three years have been very UNMichigan like and the records and streaks will be a long time restoring but Hoke is off to a great start. GO BLUE!!!!!


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

So good to see a big smile on Denard's face. Great play calling by Al Borges. Stay away from the drop back passes, the designed runs for Denard, and the 2 quarterback sets and we trounce. "Ohio" as well.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

ANDYS: Clarify something for me. Ann Arbor is the home of legalized marihuana. Why do you refer to the Buckeyes as: o - HI - o ???


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

I prefer O- lie-O.

Terry Star21

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

And this will be one of the biggest differences this year - hungry to win. We have missed one of the traditions of Michigan teams these paste few years, and I am hungry to see that hunger back. This combined with the Michigan crowd, our stellar defense, DRob's new found arm, the emergence of our special teams - and a dozen other things will bring our best prepared team to action this Saturday. I love our chances. MgoBlueForTim..........putting it all together for the win.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

DBMS Junior Buck pride! Go get them Denard

just a voice

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

video of said celebration might be nice


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

Ryan Van Bergen is MEAN this I know!! MEANchigan football again will glow! Denard is ready to steal the show!! Win one for Feilding, RR and Bo!! We'll all win the heisman...says this guy that I know!!! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEANchigan football is ready to shine! For Bo, Denard and Van Bergen the 2012 heisman is in line!!


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Beat o-HI-o!


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Beat OHIO!!!

Matt Patercsak

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

good to know that the players are hungry a win against OSU would absolutely set the tone for a new era of Michigan football where WE run the table. also, if anyone else didnt notice. Mr. Brionte Dunn was in attendance for the Nebraska game and has "alot to think about". Personally, i think he's waiting to see who wins THE GAME to make his decision. he would no doubt find a home at Michigan, playing his freshman year in jumbo/power packages with hopkins. its simple if we shut down herron, and pressure miller we'll be fine. we also need to find running room for fitz and denard. one thing ive noticed, Hopkins has gotten better every week at fullback, and i think he's bloodlusting after his TD was called back, so he'll be looking to open holes for fitz no matter the outcome of the game, Im in disbelief for how this team has played this season, and my hat goes off to them for coming to work every day and buying in to the new program. one hell of a season. let's cap it off with beating Ohio!!!

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

yeah i dont know what that talk was about. since the beginning hoke has emphasized the fullback position, it was Mccolgan at first, but he said in a press conference that Hopkins beat him out for the position simply by out playing him (not because of injury). McColgan is slow and struggles with finishing blocks. Hopkins fires off the ball and delivers a blow at the point of attack and often takes his man out of the play. he can also (as we have now seen) do good things running the ball. he adds a great dimension to the offense and will continue to be a resource. i remember hopkins told reporters in the spring that all the running backs were learning fullback roles too, i just imagine that hopkins, because of his physical gifts, excelled at fullback. and that is why he is now a pure fullback 100%, borges said he has bought into the position. he's a load! and only a sophomore


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

Hopkins was good. Where's he been and what was all the talk about Hoke not having a fullback. The guys 230 lbs. Boom boom boom.