Denard Robinson accounts for 101 percent of Michigan's offense against Air Force
ANN ARBOR -- Denard Robinson is used to outrunning opponents -- and now, he has outrun his own team.
The electric quarterback finished with 426 yards in Michigan's 31-25 win Saturday against Air Force. The Wolverines (1-1) finished with 422 yards as a team.
That means Robinson actually accounted for 101 percent of his team's overall production.
"When he sticks his foot in the ground, he's got an ability," coach Brady Hoke said.
Robinson wasted little time putting a dismal debut behind him, as he turned Michigan's second offensive play into a breathtaking 79-yard touchdown run. That was only 1 yard short of doubling his rushing total from his previous two games combined.
The senior began the second half on a similar note, sprinting for a 58-yard touchdown on the Wolverines' first play out of the break. He even lost his shoe about 5 yards from the line of scrimmage, although that could not slow him.
Nor could Air Force defenders.
“Not to be cocky or anything,” Robinson said, “but once I get in front of everybody and I see the end zone, I don’t think I’m being caught from behind.”
Robinson finished with 20 carries for 218 yards and two touchdowns, snapping him out of a two-game funk on the ground. He had rushed for a combined 40 yards on 23 carries against Alabama and Virginia Tech, good for an average of 1.7 yards per carry.
He averaged 11.4 against Air Force.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges was panned for rushing Robinson only twice in the first half against Alabama, and 10 times for the game. He had just 27 yards on the ground.
Robinson, though, says he doesn't mind whether he's carrying the ball, or the tailbacks, as long as the Wolverines are winning. And against the Falcons, they did.
"I think whatever's working," Robinson said. "I mean, if the running back’s running the ball 27 times, I wouldn’t mind. If I’m running the ball 27 times I wouldn’t mind. If we’re throwing the ball 27 times, it don’t matter. Whatever it takes to win, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Robinson was strong through the air as well, connecting on nine of his first 12 passes. He finished 14-of-25 through the air for 208 yards, two touchdowns and a pick that first went through the hands of his tailback, Vincent Smith.
"I feel like the misconception is that Denard can't throw the football, and he can," said receiver Devin Gardner, who finished with a team-high five catches for 63 yards and one touchdown.
"Everybody batters him about certain passes, and it's not that big of a deal. I feel like he's doing well and he's getting better every day."
Robinson became the first FBS quarterback ever to have three games with both at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing.
His big day helped to make up for the meager returns from starting tailback Fitz Toussaint, who was making his season debut after serving a one-game suspension. He began 2012 with an eight-carry, 7-yard performance.
Robinson more than made up for him.
And everyone else, too.