The Paul Bunyan Trophy will be on the line when Michigan hosts Michigan State in the Big House this Saturday afternoon for the 105th meeting between the hated in-state rivals. The Spartans have won the past four meetings, but Denard Robinson will look to lead the Wolverines to victory this time around. When Denard is on, so is Michigan. And on Saturday, he will leave it all on the field to beat State in his last opportunity before graduating.
In 2010, Robinson's first year as the starting quarterback for Michigan, he played one of his worst games of the season against the Spartans. He threw one touchdown and three picks as Michigan State held him to only four yards per run.
Last year, Robinson cut down on the interceptions but only completed 37 percent of his passes and averaged 2.3 yards per run.
He ran into the end zone once in each game, but in both meetings, he was held in check by the Spartan defense.
This year will be different.
Last week, Michigan State suffered a heartbreaking loss at home to Iowa in double overtime. The Spartans allowed 116 yards and a touchdown to Mark Weisman, Iowa's big running back. Denard Robinson should be licking his chops looking at those numbers.
Since being shut down in South Bend, Robinson's running attack has gotten better in each of the past two weeks. Against Purdue, the senior ran the ball 24 times for 235 yards. Last week he ran for 128 yards, averaged 11.6 per carry and scored two touchdowns.
Robinson has also looked better throwing the ball since his four-interception performance against Notre Dame. In the past two weeks, he has thrown three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Total it all up and in the past two weeks Robinson has accounted for 627 yards of offense, five touchdowns and no turnovers.
That should scare Sparty very much, especially considering the performance of their defense in their last game on the road. Despite beating Indiana, the Michigan State defense allowed the Hoosiers' sophomore quarterback, Cameron Coffman, to put on the best performance of his young career (289 yards, three touchdowns).
The table is set for Denard Robinson to pick apart the Spartans on Saturday afternoon. And this time, in his last chance, he will feast.
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