Found November 19, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan fans and players don't know if Denard Robinson will start at quarterback Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
More important for the Wolverines, neither does anybody at Ohio State.
In his weekly news conference, Brady Hoke continued to play coy about his injured quarterback. Robinson played a "superback" role in Saturday's 42-17 win over Iowa, lining up at quarterback, running back and slot receiver. He never threw a pass.
Hoke acknowledged that Robinson isn't completely healed from the nerve damage sustained in his throwing elbow last month, but said he's able to do what he needs.
"Denard's getting better and better every day," Hoke said. "He's able to throw, and if we wanted him to start, he could do it right now."
So does that mean he'll start?
"That's still up in the air," Hoke said with a chuckle.
No matter where Robinson and Devin Gardner line up on the first play, the Buckeyes know they're going to see both of them at quarterback at times, and at other places on the field at other times.
Against Iowa, Robinson rushed for a team-high 97 yards, but it was Gardner who accounted for all six touchdowns -- three through the air and three on the ground. He didn't think that was a coincidence.
"The only thing better for us than Denard having the ball is when Denard doesn't have the ball," Gardner said. "Everyone on the defense is watching him, no matter where he is on the field, and that opens up a lot of things for the rest of us."
Indeed, two of Gardner's touchdown passes went to wide-open receivers behind a confused Iowa defense, and his rushing touchdowns were aided by fake handoffs.
"Right now, play-action and our running game are my best friends," Gardner said. "When the defense knows that we can run the ball, especially when Denard is out there, that makes everything else easier."
Although Gardner raved about his teammates on Monday, he was a bit embarrassed by the attention given to his six touchdowns -- something no Michigan quarterback had done since Steve Smith in the 1980s.
"Guys were making great catches out there, and I wish people would stop making a big deal about my touchdown runs," he said. "The longest one was three yards.
"Guys like Thomas Rawls and Vince Smith were doing all the hard work on the ground, getting us down to the goal line, and then I happened to get the last carry."
Rawls and Smith are why Gardner isn't worried about production from the tailback position, despite Fitzgerald Toussaint's season-ending leg injury.
"Thomas is ready, and people forget about Vince but he's ready as well," Gardner said. "We all hated to see Fitz go down. He's a brother and it is hard to see one of your own hurting like that, but Thomas and Vince are going to be there on Saturday."
Hoke refused to disclose Toussaint's actual injury -- replays showed his left shin buckling in a grotesque manner as he was hit by two Iowa defenders -- but did say that he had come through Saturday's surgery in good shape.
"I talked to him on Sunday and he was taking it like a football player," Hoke said. "His spirits are good and he is supposed to be getting out of the hospital today. I expect him to be ready for the start of next season."
Hoke said that Toussaint's injury doesn't change plans for Robinson, but the coach also isn't giving any hints about what those plans might be.
"We want to have our best 11 offensive players on the field as often as possible, and Denard is a big part of that," Hoke said. "It doesn't matter if he's at quarterback, slot receiver or somewhere else."
It might not matter to Hoke. It's going to matter a lot to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Following Michigan’s 42-17 win over Iowa on Senior Day, Brady Hoke spoke to the media about Denard, the new offense, and the upcoming battle with Ohio State.
Brady Hoke speaks to the media after the Iowa game (Justin Potts, M&GB)
“It was a good game, a good football win. The seniors got to go up the tunnel senior victors for the last time in this game and...
It was a beat down. Not only was it a beat down in the Big House last Saturday, it was a beat down that was long, long, over due.
Iowa had beaten the Wolverines for three straight years. While that is an anomaly, it occurred. Once again, there are certain things that championship teams simply do not do.
Allowing teams to beat you consistently is one of those things. The Wolverines...
Rutgers and Maryland?
To paraphrase Brady Hoke, this is definitely not your father's Big Ten.
The old Western Conference is now moving into New York and Baltimore, with plans for a league office on the East Coast. And they probably aren't done.
Remember, during the height of conference realignment craziness, pundits predicting we're headed for four 16-team super-conferences...
Big Tentacles - The SWRT look at the Big Ten, and its sway over the
college football landscape.
Welcome to the planet.
Andrew Coppens defends Maryland and Rutger's admission into the Big Ten. (Delany's Dozen)
That Don't Impress Me Much.
Jeff Seidel isn't too overwhelmed about Maryland and Rutgers joining the Big Ten. (The Detroit Free Press)
Urban Meyer has been away from the rivalry dubbed ''The Game'' for a long, long time.
He's glad to be back.
Now he's embracing his first Michigan-Ohio State game as a head coach.
Meyer, like Michigan's Brady Hoke, grew up in Ohio. Both were steeped in the legends and lore of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, of playing for bragging rights in November...
This 60 Minutes special that was on tonight was quite intriguing and a must-watch. Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon, Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban were key features in this segment and provided interesting insight into the business side of college football.There is also an interesting 60 Minutes behind the scenes of Michigan football from their website.
Despite the season ending injury to junior running back Fitz Toussaint, the Michigan offense is fully utilizing play action to open up the passing game. With a dangerous Denard Robinson in the backfield, more could be on the way.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Devin Gardner has flourished in three straight starts at quarterback for Michigan.
Denard Robinson is healthy enough to play, but can't seem to do more than lightly lob a short pass.
So, is there any chance Robinson will go back to being the team's QB on Saturday at Ohio State?
"I guess he could," Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said with a straight...
Last week against Iowa, the Michigan coaching staff revealed a twist to the offense which had never been seen before in the capacity that it was used: Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner on the field at the same time, with Gardner under center instead of Denard. Last year, Gardner did get some playing time at quarterback while Denard ran some plays at wide receiver or running back...
Michigan scored touchdowns on its first six drives and Devin Gardner had a career day as Michigan routed an Iowa team that had beaten it the past three seasons. Denard Robinson played his last game ever in the Big House, and boy was it a good one.
Michigan 42 – Iowa 17
Net Rushing Yards...
GoBlueWolverine's Tom Beaver and Kyle Bogenschutz as well as former Michigan football player Stan Edwards discuss the Wolverine's 42-17 win over Iowa including thoughts on the use of Denard Robinson, the play of Devin Gardner and look ahead to the season ending match-up at Ohio State.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Big Ten added Rutgers and Maryland this week.
Michigan doesn't care.
Ohio State has a perfect season going.
Michigan doesn't care.
With the Buckeyes on probation, they can't play in a postseason game.
Michigan doesn't care.
The school in Columbus prefers to be called "THE Ohio State University."
Michigan really doesn't...
No. 19 Michigan at Ohio State
Saturday, 12:00 p.m., ABC
Line: Ohio State -3.5
The Big Game may not be quite up to the magnitude of 2006's historic No. 1 vs. No. 2, but any time Michigan and Ohio State get together it is worth paying attention to. This year's edition of the storied Big Ten rivalry brings a unique twist to the series, with Ohio State looking to cap...