Posted November 16, 2012 on
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Michigan's football program has 23 seniors who will go out as winners, a far cry from their first season.
''I wish I had been under this coaching staff for four years,'' Wolverines defensive tackle Will Campbell said.
Campbell came to campus during the Rich Rodriguez era and is finishing up under Brady Hoke. He and the other fourth-year players were one game under .500 during their first two seasons, but have gone a combined 18-5 this year and last.
The 23rd-ranked Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) hope to send the seniors out with a win against Iowa (4-6, 2-4) in their home finale Saturday.
Denard Robinson might not be on the field for a snap. The senior quarterback hasn't played for two-plus games because of nerve damage in his right elbow.
Hoke said he won't jeopardize his health just to let him play in his Big House finale.
''It won't have anything to do with it,'' Hoke said.
In relief of Robinson, junior Devin Gardner has played well. Gardner has thrown for 520 yards with four passing touchdowns and has three scores on the ground in two starts.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said his team has had to get ready for both Robinson and Gardner.
''It's two different preparations,'' he said. ''And, both of them are tough preparations.''
Robinson hasn't been available for interviews for weeks, but his teammates say he has stayed upbeat despite being stuck on the sideline toward the end of his spectacular career.
''He's a source of encouragement,'' guard Patrick Omahmeh said. ''Whatever he can do for the team, it is what he's going to do. Everybody wants to go out the way they dream when you came to Michigan, but we can't always get that.''
Michigan's fifth-year seniors saw a school-record nine losses up close in 2008 during Rodriguez's debut season. They have benefited from a coaching change that has worked out well for college football's winningest program. The Wolverines won 11 games last year and have a chance to win 10 games this year.
''We always knew we had good athletes and a lot of credit for that goes to coach Rod,'' senior safety Jordan Kovacs said. ''But coach Hoke has taken advantage of our talent and has run with it.''
Michigan, though, is desperately seeking the end to an eight-year drought without a Big Ten title.
To get into the conference championship game, the Wolverines need to beat Iowa and rival Ohio State and then hope Nebraska loses at home to Minnesota on Saturday or at Iowa next week.
Iowa has another scenario in mind.
After losing four straight for the first time since 2007 - the last time the Hawkeyes didn't end a season in a bowl game - they need to close the season with upsets against the Wolverines and Cornhuskers to be eligible for the postseason.
''I know our players are probably more disappointed and frustrated than anybody,'' Ferentz said.
Ferentz, though, said he's not fearing the possibility of ending the season with a six-game losing streak or worrying about the lasting impact this year has had on his proud program.
''I'll think about that stuff after the season,'' he said. ''Right now, we're just trying to beat Michigan.''
Lately, the Hawkeyes have been pretty good at that. They've won three straight for the first time in 100-plus year history of the series and five of the last eight games against the Wolverines.
Ferentz doesn't sound concerned about Michigan's motivation to send its seniors out with a win in their last game at the Big House.
''I'm sure it's a special thing, just like it will be here the week after,'' he said. ''But I think that wears off pretty quickly once the game gets going.''
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Michigan beat Iowa 42-17 and Denard Robinson, in his last game in Michigan Stadium saw snaps at quarterback, running back, and receiver. He started the game at running back in his first game since his injury suffered at Nebraska and amassed 122 total yards (98 rushing, 24 receiving). He spoke to the media afterwards and got a little bit choked up at times.
Denard speaks to the media...
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is still dealing with an right elbow injury that kept him out of the Wolverines' overtime win over Northwestern last Saturday. His availability for the Wolverines' senior day game against Iowa this Saturday is still up in the air. Michigan head football coach isn't ruling out Robinson making at least a brief appearance in the game...
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Denard Robinson was back in the starting lineup for Michigan on Saturday -- at tailback.
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1: a person older than another
2 a:a person with higher standing or rank
b: a student in the year preceding graduation from a school of secondary or higher level
This definition can be applied to the following men for Team 133: Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, J.T. Floyd, Jack Kennedy, Steve Wilson, Roy Roundtree, Floyd Simmons, Kenny Demens, Paul Gyarmati,...
Michigan has put Denard Robinson back in the starting lineup.
The senior lined up at running back in his final home game and gained 3 yard on a toss sweep the first time the 23rd-ranked Wolverines were on offense Saturday against Iowa.
Devin Gardner made his third straight start at quarterback in place of Robinson, who has been out with nerve damage in his right elbow.
I came across something this week I thought y'all would like to see and felt it needed to be posted. Also a list of visitors for this week contest against Iowa and a few more reactions from last week's NW game.
Above: Hoke and complany (Morris, Tuley-Tillman, Kugler. And you thought I was talking about the assitants... Image via here
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The University of Michigan football program will be featured in a 13-minute segment aired on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday, Nov. 18, at approximately 7:30 p.m. EST, following the networks NFL doubleheader. The feature hosted by Armen Keteyian looks at the business of college football.
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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.
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Net Rushing Yards...
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