The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
November 28, 2011 - 3B
The ichganDail - ichganailyom oveber 8, 011- 3
Robinson paves the way to victory
Kik returns/ Yds
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M I C H I G A N
Player C-A Yds TD Int
Robinson, D. 14-17 167 3 0
Totals 14-17 167 3 0
Player Att Yds Avg .g TO
Hopkins 1 3 3.0 3 0
Shaw 1 3 30 3 0
Hagrp 1 -17 -170 -17 0
Totals 50 277 5.5 46 2
Payer NA. Ys Avg Lg TO
HHeingway 2 41 22 26 1
Koger 4 40 100 26 1
Dileo 2 32 16 28 0
Hd*"rsp 25 15 20 4
Roundtree 1 8 8.0 8 0
Toussaint 1 6 6.0 6 0
Totals 14 167 11.9 46 3
Player No. Yds Avg . T
Py No. A Av g T
Gallon 1 20 20.0 20
Totals 4 7 1.3 25 6
Player No. Yds Avg L.g TD
Totals 0 0 0 0 0
Player Solo Asst Tot
Morgan 3 7 10
Demens 2 6 8
Van Bergen 5 2 7
Floyd 3 3 6
Martin 3 3 6
Kovacs 3 1 4
Gordon T. 3 1 4
Heininger 1 3 4
Ryan 1 2 3
Woolfolk 1 1 2
Gordon C. 1 0 1
Avery 1 0 1
Hawthorne 1 0 1
Hollowell 1 0 1
Black 0 1 1
Totals 29 30 59.
0 H 10 S T A T E
By KEVIN RAFTERY
Daily Sports Editor
When Denard Robinsonsmiles,
chances are, Michigan fans can't
help but smile, too.
But when Robinson smiles the
way he did after a 40-34 victory
over Ohio State - the Wolverines'
first in seven years against the
Buckeyes - well, that's a smile
that Michigan fans have been
waitingto see for what felt like an
"I want to be nowhere else
except with these guys," Robin-
son said after the game.
Then he paused, and flashed
his pearly whites.
"I'm glad I stayed."
After a season in which fans
and critics alike have questioned
Robinson's ability, even going so
far as to say sophomore Devin
Gardner should start at quarter-
back over Robinson, it's safe to
say after Saturday's performance
there are few, if any, Michigan
fans that aren't happy Robinson
Robinson did it all against the
Buckeyes, rackingup 181yards on
26 carries for two touchdowns,
while completing 14-of-17 pass-
es for 167 yards and three more
He climbed the rankings in the
record books as well. After his
first touchdown pass of the day
to fifth-year senior wide receiver
Junior Hemingway - Robinson's
36th of his career - he passed for-
mer quarterback Tom Brady on
the all-time passing touchdowns
list. When it was all said and
done, Robinson was sixth in pass-
ing touchdowns and fifth on the
all-time rushing touchdowns list,
passing former quarterback Rich
Leach after his 35th-career score
in the second quarter against the
"(Robinson) did great," said
senior center David Molk. "It's
apparent how he's matured
throughout the season. We were
always composed, we were always
ready for another drive.
"There was nothing that was
goingto stop us today."
And there truly was little that
could stop Robinson and the
Michigan offense - especially
when the Wolverines needed to
score to keep momentum in their
After Ohio State began the
game with a six-play, 80-yard
touchdown drive, there's Wol-
verine fans already began to see
flashbacks of the previous seven
losses. Michigan had to answer -
and it did. On 2nd-and-4 from the
Ohio State 41-yard line, Robinson
faked the handoff to sophomore
running back Fitzgerald Tous-
saint. Robinson then took one jab
step right, cut back left and was
off to the races.
There aren't many football
players in America that will beat
Robinson in a foot race. And there
certainly were no Buckeyes that
could do it. Robinson took off for
the 41-yard touchdown run, eve-
ning the score at 7-7.
"You got a guy that fast - he
makes plays," Molk said. "Same
with Fitz, those two can hit a hole
and they know where to go, and
they know how to read a defense."
On Michigan's next drive, Rob-
Junior Denard Robinson passed Tom Brady for seventh on Michigan's all-time career passing touchdowns list.
inson showed off his arm - the
same arm that critics have said all
year isn't good enough.
On 2nd-and-7 from the Ohio
State 26, Robinson dropped back
to pass. He looked ... and looked
... and looked. He could've made
lunch, tweeted about how good
his lunch was (on his defunct
Twitter account, even), and called
his mother with the amount of
time he had.
Finally, Robinson fired a strike
across the middle, completing
with Hemingway for the 26-yard
score. Earlier in his career, Robin-
son may have panicked with that
much time to throw - or he may
have just taken off and ran. But
on Saturday, he proved how much
he's matured as a quarterback.
"He's calm, patient with the
ball," Hemingway said. "He didn't
force anything. If it wasn't open,
he ran it. If it was open, he threw
Robinson showed off his arm
again in the third quarter, firinga
bullet across the middle to senior
receiver Martavious Odoms for
the 20-yard score on a critical
But it was Robinson's easiest
pass of the day that was arguably
the most important. With Michi-
gan up by just three and in seri-
ous need of some breathing room
early in the fourth quarter, Robin-
son found senior tight end Kevin
Koger wide open in the endzone
off a play-action fake for a four-
yard touchdown pass - Robin-
son's third of the game.
"It was a great play call," Koger
said. "I was fortunate enough to
slip inside the defensive end, and
ran into the corner and Denard
The play gave Michigan a 37-27
lead with 8:32 to play and proved
to be the game winner.
But Robinsonnever onetotake
credit for himself, credited the
offensive line for his success both
in the air and on the ground.
When asked why Michigan
was so successful in the rushing
game, Robinson didn't have to say
anything. All he did was point to
the big man sitting next to him -
"The big guys up front, they
open holes," he said.
Then he smiled.
And after Saturday, Michigan
fans are smiling, too.
Player C-A Yds
Miller 14-25 235
Totals 14-25 235
Player Aft Yds Avg
P4sey 3 58 16
Mlbler 1 200 26
Hrron 15 23 2.5
Senior defensivetackle Mike Martin tallied six tackles against the Buckeyes on Saturday.
Senior tight end Kevin Koger had a game-high four receptions and a touchdown against Ohio State.
Four years later, Koger spurns OSU again
Plain No. Yds Avg Lg
Player No. Yds Avg Lg
Hallan 3 06 2. 3 1
Tas 3 6 5 3
e NSolo Asst To
ESabino 6 2 8
shazier 4 4 8
Smn 2 5 7
Johnson 3 .3 6
Kli 0 4 4
Domicone 2 1 3
Hankins 1 2 3
Hale 1 0 1
Rice 1 0 1
Bennett 1 0 1
Ebner 0 1 1
JOIN T H E
FOL LOW US ON
TWIT TE R
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
As a kid,senior tight end Kevin
Koger never missed The Game.
On that crisp weekend every
November, he would join his
father and N
brother in the NOTEBOOK
living room in
Toledo, Ohio to watch the Michi-
gan and Ohio State football teams
But he was never a Buckeye
fan. Koger's father was raised in
Detroit, and his passion for Mich-
igan rubbed off on his sons.
When Kogerwas beingrecruit-
ed as a four-startight end, he held
scholarship offers from four Big
Ten schools, but it was always
between Michigan and Ohio
State. The Wolverines won out.
Thenthe Buckeyes beathimthree
"I never second guessed my
decision," Koger said last Monday.
Even when Ohio State was
going to national title games?
When he lined up alongside
redshirt sophomore offensive
tackle Taylor Lewan at the four-
yard line midway through the
fourth quarter on Saturday in
Michigan's 40-34 victory, Koger
had his chance at redemption.
He didn't miss it.
On 3rd-and-1, Koger ran five
steps forward, angled to the cor-
ner of the endzone and turned
back toward the line of scrim-
mage. Junior quarterback Denard
Robinson was coming out of a
play-action fake and spied Koger
running free in the flat.
Robinson lofted a pass over two
defenders and into Koger's hands
to give Michigan a 37-27 lead. The
touchdown turned out to be the
Surrounded by 114,132 hys-
terical fans at Michigan Stadium,
Koger was right at home.
"I've always said my dream
has always been to catch a touch-
down in the Michigan-Ohio State
game," Koger said, beaming in
the postgame press conference. "I
finally did that, so it means a lot to
me and my family."
This time, his family wasn't sit-
ting in the living room in Toledo,
they were there to see it live atthe
Koger finished as Robinson's
favoritetarget, rackingup a game-
high four catches.
After being named a captain
in August, Koger grew into the
spotlight and earned a more
prominent role in the offense.
Teammates tabbed him with the
nickname "Hypeman 86" early
in the season to match his ener-
getic personality, and that charm
hasn't left the senior.
For his entire senior season,
Koger and Michigan said, "Beat
Ohio" after every team meeting.
Countdown clocks were installed
in Schembechler Hall. Koger
couldn't forget about Ohio State if
he wanted to.
And finally, for the first and
last time in his career, Hypeman
86 faced the Buckeyes and walked
away a victor.
1K CLUB: One thousand yards.
It's a number that won't put
either Robinson or redshirt soph-
omore Fitzgerald Toussaint into
Heisman contention this season,
but it's a big reason the Wolver-
ines are sitting at 10-2 and on the
brink of a BCS-bowl berth.
h banner days against the igan coach Brady Hoke when told
'es, both Robinson and of the two rushers on his team.
int eclipsed the 1,000- "That's good."
rushing on the season. Hoke attributed the success to
on's 170 yards boosted his three factors.
total to 1,163. Toussaint "The ability of the guys up
120 yards for 1,011 total. front and what they've done,"
Hoke said. "I think the offensive
staff and what Denard has done
in this kind of makeshift, kind of
Y dquasi-offense that we have.
S sbeen "And then I think Fitz (and)
Y Dthe growth and maturity that
c tch (that) he's shown."
catc tat CATCHA GRENADE: After
)uchdown." Robinson took a knee to drain
the clock and end the ballgame
at 40-34, he decided to goahead
and do it.
When the team rushed off the
last time Michigan had home sideline and gathered at
000-yard rushers in the midfield, Robinson tossed the ball
eason was 1975, when Gor- straight up in there air, and when
ell and Rob Lytle rushed the ball fell to the ground, the
0 and 1,030 yards, respec- entire team mimicked a grenade
explosion and fell backward onto
dn't know that," said Mich- the turf.
The antics certainly drew a few
laughs around the stadium, but it
wasn't a first-time stunt.
"That's something that we've
done every Friday," senior cap-
tain David Molk said. "We have a
little short practice, and atthe end
of the practice we ... take a knee,
we all get together and Denard
throws the ball up toward the
ceiling and once it hits..."
Molk threw his hands apart to
mimic an explosion.
"Like a bomb blowing up and
we all fall," Molk finished.
Not everyone was so pleased
with the celebration, though.
"I lost so much respect for
Michigan after they won (and)
threw the ball in the air acting
like it was a grenade," Ohio State
fullback Zach Boren wrote on
Twitter. "This is a great rivalry
and to take it to that level of dis-
respect is just so uncalled for. Act
like you have won before (and)
treat this rivalry like it should be."
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