Al Borges defends playcalling: 'I would not have run Denard Robinson any more than we did'
The Wolverines' electric quarterback, who holds the NCAA record for rushing yards in a season at his position, received just two carries in a decisive first half against Alabama. He finished with 10 carries for 37 yards.
He averaged 17.0 carries and 90.5 rushing yards per game last year.
But Borges said Tuesday that his usage of Robinson followed his game plan -- a game plan he wouldn't change, even if he could.
"I would not have run Denard Robinson more than we ran him Saturday -- absolutely not," Borges said. "A lot of people think that (we should have run him more), but no way.
"In certain games, he'll run the ball. Just like last year, you'll see certain games, he'll carry it 25 times, and you'll see games other games where he carries it 10, 15 times. I mean, you could run him 20 times every game. There will be nothing left of him by the end of the season, particularly in when you play opponents like that. That's already been proven."
Borges said the game plan was geared to run the ball if Alabama played a "soft box," and throw if Alabama loaded the box with extra defenders.
"We did neither," Borges said.
The Crimson Tide loaded the box, daring Robinson to pass. He did, 26 times -- but not well.
Robinson finished 11-of-26 passing for one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score.
He didn't pick up his third carry until the third quarter and his team already trailing 31-7.
"They weren't going to let you run him," Borges said. "Look at their numbers, guys. They've never allowed a quarterback to run the football. I mean, not with any significance. They play a defense that forces the quarterback to throw the ball. You can run here and there, but if you think you're going out of there with 150 yards, it's not going to happen.
"Very little would I change -- very little. Almost none. But that's probably hard to grasp, because we didn't execute, and the game plan didn't look very effective."
Borges said the Wolverines ran 12 times against a light box, but gained at least 4 yards only three times. They took 10 shots down the field in the passing game, but converted only twice.
The playcalls were sound, Borges said. The way to combat Alabama is to be more efficient.
And that will be the key against Air Force.
"Maybe later in the season, if we were a little more well-oiled, we'd probably play a little better," Borges said. "It just didn't work this game."