Michigan Football: Ranking Denard Robinson's 10 Greatest Games at the Big House

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IINovember 15, 2012

Michigan Football: Ranking Denard Robinson's 10 Greatest Games at the Big House

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    The Michigan Wolverines will celebrate senior day prior to their game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Big House this Saturday, and although no one player is above the team senior quarterback Denard Robinson has been a standout during his four years in Ann Arbor.

    Robinson will leave Michigan with numerous NCAA records and will be regarded as one of the greatest athletes ever to wear the winged helmet.

    Shoelace has accumulated over 10,000 yards of total offense and has scored 90 touchdowns in his college career, which is something Michigan fans will applaud him for as he runs out of the tunnel one last time at Michigan Stadium.

    Click ahead for a look back at Robinson's 10 greatest home games!

10. September 25, 2010 vs. Bowling Green State Falcons

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    Despite the fact Denard Robinson did not even make it through the entire first quarter, the Deefield Beach, Fla. native managed to rack up 189 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in the Michigan Wolverines' 65-21 rout of the Bowling Green State Falcons at the Big House. 

    Robinson completed all four of his pass attempts for 60 yards and rushed for 129 yards on five carries. Both of Robinson's touchdowns came on the ground, including a 47-yarder just over five minutes into the game.

    The 6'0", 197-pounder left the game after being driven out of bounds on a 46-yard rush and landing awkwardly on his knee.

    It turns out the Wolverines did not need Robinson to blowout the Falcons, though, and finished the game with over 700 total yards.

9. October 20, 2012 vs. Michigan State Spartans

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    Denard Robinson did not have one of his best statistical days against the Michigan State Spartans this season, but the senior dual-threat quarterback helped the Michigan Wolverines defeat their in-state rival for the first time since 2007 by completing some crucial passes in the fourth quarter.

    It appeared as though Michigan State's fake punt call would live in infamy among Michigan fans until Robinson hit junior wide receiver Drew Dileo for a 20-yard completion to set up Brendan Gibbons' game-winning 38-yard field goal.

    The Wolverines topped the Spartans 12-10 with four field goals and 259 total yards from Robinson, who only turned the ball over once on a meaningless interception at the end of the first half. 

    The importance of this victory for both Robinson and the Wolverines is why it lands on the list, and more than makes up for the lack of statistical output.

8. September 15, 2012 vs. UMass Minutemen

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    The Michigan Wolverines were easily able to earn their second victory of the 2012 season with a 63-13 rout of the UMass Minutemen thanks to a 397-yard and four-touchdown performance from Denard Robinson.

    Robinson completed 16-of-24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 10 carries, 106 yards and another touchdown on the ground, including two runs of 20-plus yards.

    The only mistake Robinson made all afternoon came early in the second quarter when the explosive signal-caller under-threw his intended receiver, which allowed Christian Birt to jump the route with ease, pick the pass off and return in 32 yards for a touchdown.

    This game has to be taken with a grain of salt, though, since the Minutemen have been one of the worst teams in the country this year.

7. November 20, 2010 vs. Wisconsin Badgers

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    This game is hardly ever remembered by the Maize and Blue faithful mainly because the Michigan Wolverines were beaten badly by the nationally-ranked Wisconsin Badgers, but Denard Robinson still turned in an impressive statistical performance in the 48-28 loss. 

    Robinson carried the ball 22 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns in addition to another 239 yards and two scores through the air. Roy Roundtree and Darryl Stonum had big days receiving-wise for the Wolverines with 11 combined catches for 213 yards and both of Robinson's touchdown passes.

    This performance should not be undervalued either considering that only the Michigan State Spartans scored more points against Wisconsin's defense that season.

    It is hard to remember the greatest losing performances of Robinson's career, and there are not many of them against ranked opponents, but this one certainly deserves to be recognized as one of his best games at Michigan Stadium.

6. November 6, 2010 vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Denard Robinson recorded over 350 total yards and three touchdowns in the highest scoring game in the history of the Big House and helped the Michigan Wolverines top the Illinois Fighting Illini 67-65 in three overtimes.

    With those kind of numbers, it is hard to believe that Robinson left the game due to injury after the third quarter, which leaves Michigan fans with an interesting question. How many yards would Robinson have accrued if he had finished the game?

    By the time he left, Robinson had already completed 10-of-20 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were precise throws to wide open receivers. 

    Robinson did not have his finest effort running the football, but still managed to rush for 62 yards on 19 carries.

    This game would certainly have been higher on the list had it not been for the injury that forced Robinson to remain on the sideline, while former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier led the Wolverines to a victory over the Fighting Illini that earned the Maize and Blue their first bowl bid in three seasons under head coach Rich Rodriguez.

5. November 19, 2011 vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    The Michigan Wolverines were in need of a victory over a marquee opponent to validate their 8-2 start to head coach Brady Hoke's first season in Ann Arbor, and Denard Robinson delivered with an efficient effort through the air and kept the Nebraska Cornhuskers defense off-balance in a 45-17 blowout at the Big House.

    Fitzgerald Toussaint and Michigan's special teams stole the show in the impressive win, while Robinson quietly rushed for 83 yards on 23 carries, completed 11-of-18 passes for 180 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns.

    Robinson led the Wolverines offense on three scoring drives of 70-yards or more that helped Michigan blow out the Cornhuskers in the first meeting between the two teams as Big Ten Conference members.

    The stats do not reflect how well Robinson played against Nebraska given that Michigan had been largely unproven against nationally-ranked opponents during the 2011 season.

4. September 4, 2010 vs. Connecticut Huskies

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    In his first game as the Michigan Wolverines' starting quarterback, Denard Robinson did not fail to impress and showed Maize and Blue fans why the undersized dual-threat known as "Shoelace" was a better fit than previous starter Tate Forcier for Rich Rodriguez's spread-option offense.

    Robinson's debut was one of his most impressive and efficient games during his three-year career as Michigan's starter.

    Robinson completed 19-of-22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown to go along with 197 yards and another score on 29 carries as the Wolverines celebrated a 30-10 victory over the Connecticut Huskies.

    Robinson's first start also coincided with the rededication of Michigan Stadium and the unveiling of the newly-built luxury suites on both sides of the stadium.

3. September 8, 2012 vs. Air Force Falcons

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    The Air Force Falcons could not solve Denard Robinson, who single-handedly carried the Michigan Wolverines to a 31-25 victory at the Big House in their second game of the 2012 campaign.

    Robinson accounted for over 100-percent of Michigan's total yards, which is possible considering the Wolverines' signal-caller finished with 426 total yards, while the rest of the team finished with an inept minus-four yards from scrimmage.

    Shoelace racked up 200 yards rushing and passing in a single game for the second time in his career and scored all four of Michigan's touchdowns as the Wolverines narrowly got past Air Force at home.

    The two longest plays of the game both belonged to Robinson as well, as the Deerfield Beach High School product broke off runs of 58 and 79 yards.

2. September 10, 2011 vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    An NCAA record of over 114,000 fans saw Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines come back from the dead against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the fourth quarter of the first night game in the history of Michigan Stadium.

    Robinson and the Wolverines struggled early on offensively, but went to work in the final quarter of the game.

    Shoelace picked up a Stephen Hopkins fumble for a one-yard touchdown run just six seconds into the fourth quarter and followed that up with three touchdown passes to help the Wolverines defeat Notre Dame for a third straight season.

    Two of Robinson's fourth-quarter touchdown passes came in the final one minute and 41 seconds, including the game-winner to Roy Roundtree with two seconds left in regulation.

    Overall, Robinson's three interceptions were overshadowed by his 446 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.

1. November 26, 2011 vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    The 2011 edition of the Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes rivalry takes the top spot among all of Denard Robinson's outstanding efforts at the Big House given how important it was for the Maize and Blue to end a seven-game losing streak against the team they hate more than any other.

    Robinson looked like a polished passer against the Buckeyes and completed 14-of-17 pass attempts for 167 yards and three touchdowns, becoming just the fourth quarterback in program history to throw for three scores against Ohio State.

    In addition to his efforts through the air, Shoelace carried the ball 26 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns in Michigan's 40-34 victory over the Buckeyes.

    Robinson's rushing total in the win over Ohio State ranked third all-time behind only Jamie Morris' 210-yard performance in 1986 and Tim Biakabutuka's 313-yard effort in 1995.