This wasn't supposed to last. It was all supposed to be a mirage, created in the artificial environment of opponents like Massachusetts, UConn and Bowling Green.
The offensive rampage that Michigan QB Denard Robinson has been on was expected to taper off dramatically. Teams were supposed to get wise to the Michigan approach, and design defenses to bottle up the speedster from Florida.
Well, we're one game away from the midway point in the season, and Robinson is accelerating, not slowing down. In the most recent win over Indiana, which pushed the Wolverines to 5-0, Robinson scored the deciding touchdown with 17 seconds left.
Robinson had 494 yards of total offense against the Hoosiers, and his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game. He completed 10-of-16 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson ran 19 times for 217 yards and two more touchdowns.
The 494 total offensive yards are second only to his school record 502-yard effort at Notre Dame (Sept. 11, 2010). Robinson completed 10-of-16 passes for a career-best 277 yards and three touchdowns. In addition, Robinson rushed 19 times for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
That doesn't sound like someone who is being slowed down. Michigan ran Robinson in the middle of the field, even as time was winding down, and Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez said the play made sense, given who was holding the ball.
"We don't consider any run with Denard to be conservative," Rodriguez said. "Denard being Denard, he saw a crease and was able to score."
Denard being Denard is becoming an increasing worry for the folks in the Big Ten. They were supposed to have this all figured out by now, but so far, no one has been able to prevent Robinson from running wild.
--Michigan freshman P Will Hagerup played against his older brother in the Indiana game. Will Hagerup's brother Chris was the starting punter for the Hoosiers.
--With the 42-35 win over Indiana in the Big Ten opener, Michigan has now won eight straight games at Memorial Stadium, and is 16-1 all-time at "The Rock."
--Michigan had just one of its six scoring drives in the win over Indiana last longer than two minutes.
--Michigan's final possession against the Hoosiers saw the Wolverines move 73 yards in five plays, using just 58 seconds to score the go-ahead touchdown.
GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Denard Robinson -- The sensational sophomore just keeps on producing. He had 494 yards of offense in the win over Indiana, passing for 277 and rushing for 217 more. Robinson threw a career-high three touchdown passes.
KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Junior Hemingway -- The junior from South Carolina showed his break-away speed and play-making ability when he snagged a quick slant pass from QB Denard Robinson, shook off a tackle and went 70 yards for a score against Indiana. Robinson needs dangerous outside threats to keep defenses honest, and Hemingway fits that role.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The stats are interesting . . . 35 first downs for them to 15 for us. They ran 98 plays to 45 for us. I don't like seeing that. But the most important one is the win so we'll take that. We still have to know that we have to play a lot better. But we made the plays when we had to and got the win." -- Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez on his team's wild win over Indiana
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
LOOKING GOOD: They are running out of superlatives to attach to Michigan's offense with sophomore QB Denard Robinson at the controls. Robinson's speed and running ability freeze linebackers and safeties, and his much improved passing has allowed Robinson to hit the big play through the air on those occasions he is not running the ball.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The Michigan pass defense had a particularly rough outing against Indiana. The Hoosiers had 480 yards through the air, completing 45 of 64 passes with just one interception. The Wolverines got to Indiana QB Ben Chappell just twice, so all phases of the pass defense are in need of a major upgrade as Michigan works through the Big Ten schedule.
--LB Mike Jones missed the Indiana game with a leg injury.
--RB Michael Shaw missed the Indiana game with a knee injury.
--P Will Hagerup had four punts for a 48.3-yard average in the win over Indiana.
--RB Fitzgerald Toussaint sat out the Indiana game with a shoulder injury.
--S Mike Williams was held out of the Indiana game due to suffering multiple concussions, and his career could be over.
The TSX Files: Michigan post-Indiana
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