Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/8/11

The #11 Michigan Wolverines took to the road for the first time this season tonight. And in their trip to Northwestern‘s Ryan Field, UM quickly found themselves trailing for just the second time this season in the second half. (The first time was the Notre Dame “Under the Lights” game).

Denard Robinson, 14-23-290 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT made some really ugly throws in the first half, and Michigan trailed Northwestern 24-14 at the break. (Largely because of those Denard picks).

But then scored 28 unanswered to send a resounding message, in defeating NU 42-24.

Denard made some big plays on some deep routes, but they were essentially just jump balls where his very big, very tall, very athletic receivers made some plays for him. Or just blown coverages (like in the Fighting Irish game). When it comes time to make a challenging throw, Denard didn’t really progress as a passer in this one.

Robinson did finish with 117 yards rushing and two TDs on the ground though. Receiver Junior Hemingway had 5 catches for 124 yards, Jeremy Gallon had 5 for 73, and Roy Roundtree, the most accomplished of the Michigan play-makers who’s seen himself have a reduced role lately, came back strong with a 3-83 performance.

It’s very rare that you see a football player lose his helmet, and that player keeps going. By rule, one cannot. The play is legally dead once the helmet comes off. Northwestern faced a 4th and 5 in UM territory, in a 4th quarter situation that pretty much mandated going for it, NU QB Dan Persa had his hat ripped off by Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs.

“Yeah I guess it was a penalty, otherwise how would my helmet come off,” Persa said, before later somewhat contradicting himself.  “But I guess it’s not penalty, because it didn’t get called.”

Kovacs described the play from his vantage point.

“We had a blitz called, I was coming off the edge, and the d line did a good job of opening up the gap, I guess you could say I came in and made the play, I didn’t know that was a rule but we’ll take it,” he said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He’s appeared on live radio all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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