Michigan QB Denard Robinson just hasn’t been himself under Brady Hoke
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 23, 2012 8:00PM
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson hasn’t been able to show his versatility much this season, and he was apologetic about it. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty images
Updated: October 25, 2012 6:18AM
Denard Robinson has shown an escapability not seen by many college quarterbacks over the last four years.
The one escape he didn’t make, and should be regretting, was leaving the Michigan program when Brady Hoke took over as coach before the 2011 season.
Each week it becomes more apparent that Hoke doesn’t know how to coach a quarterback of Robinson’s athletic ability. He’s turning one of the most dynamic weapons in the Big Ten into nothing more than another prospect for the Arena Football League.
“I want to say sorry to everybody who watches football, who watches Michigan football and whoever follows Michigan football,’’ Robinson said after he threw four interceptions in the loss to Notre Dame on Saturday. “I want to say sorry and it won’t happen no more. I’m going to be accountable for the rest of the season, I’ll tell you that much.”
The only apology should have been from Hoke to his quarterback for not understanding how to use him.
In his sophomore season in Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense, Robinson threw for 2,570 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 picks. He also ran for 1,702 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Last season under Hoke, and with a much improved defense to get him the ball more, it wasn’t until mid-October that Robinson was allowed to be himself, throwing for 337 yards and rushing for 117 against Northwestern.
This year? Forget about it. Hoke looks like a coach trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
◆ The Legends and Leaders? Really? Is it still too late to rethink that. The Big Ten is more punch line than a conference.
◆ Contenders: Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Florida State. Pretenders: Kansas State, Notre Dame, Florida, Ohio State.
◆ Quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Irish on Saturday? Somewhere Allen Pinkett is smiling.
Players of the week
QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State: Manuel still has a lot to prove to get into the Heisman Trophy argument that many are throwing him in, but 482 yards of offense against Clemson was a good start.
DE Sam Montgomery, LSU: It was ugly, it was LSU football and Montgomery was huge in it. He gave the Tigers their first points in the 12-10 escape at Auburn with a safety and later picked up a sack.
1,093The total combined yards for Florida State and Clemson in the Seminoles’ 49-37 win Saturday. That’s a season for most Big Ten teams.
Key games Saturday
Ohio State at Michigan State, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 7: Someone has to show a heartbeat in the Big Ten, right? Too bad the likely winner of this game is ineligible for the conference title game anyway.
Baylor at West Virginia, 11 a.m., FX: Bet the over, then sit back and watch leading Heisman Trophy candidate Geno Smith put up video-game numbers.
Oregon at Washington State, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2: Not that Oregon is in trouble facing a Mike Leach-led team, but it’s always nice to check on what uniform the Ducks are sporting each week.