by | Sep 13, 2010 | Detroit Free Press, Sports | 0 comments

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – One day soon, this is going to bite them. One day soon, some team will figure this kid out and hang a stinging loss on a very incomplete Wolverines team. One day soon. But in the meantime …

In the meantime, give this kid the game ball. Give him ALL the game balls. Denard Robinson redefined the term “offensive weapon” on Saturday against Notre Dame. The second-year player not only broke his record for one-man offense at Michigan (set a whole week ago), he not only had one blistering TD run of 87 yards, he not only had had 258 yards on the ground and 244 yards passing, he not only pooch kicked the ball and even picked up his own fumble once and got rid of it for positive yardage, but he did something in his second start at quarterback that countless college players before him have been unable to do.

He led a comeback against the Irish in Notre Dame Stadium.

And he did it in the final seconds.

“He is a superstar!” declared the NBC announcers when this game was over and Michigan had survived, 28-24, to improve to 2-0 on the season.

I’m not much for hyperbole. But I think I can say that in Saturday’s case, “superstar” was actually a modest assessment.

“One Man Army” comes to mind. No words can explain

“I’m speechless right now,” Robinson said after the game. “I really don’t know what to say right now.”

Allow me. Gosh. Jeez. Holy %^^%#$#$#.

When someone asked Robinson if he knew his numbers, he said “No, I do not … I’m a team player.”

Well, this may be his greatest team feat of all: He splashed the best sauce you’ve ever tasted on some very average spaghetti. The Wolverines scored 24 points, all of which were directly related to Robinson’s efforts. But they did this despite too many dumb penalties – late hits and holding calls. They missed way too many tackles. They gave up way too many big plays. They didn’t convert third downs (3-of-16). They missed both their field goal attempts.

Let’s face it. A laundry list of sins like that had is enough to lose you most games. And Michigan came within a few yards of losing this one. The fact is, at the end of the first half, Notre Dame was on the 3-yard line and didn’t score, and at the end of the game, Notre Dame was on U-M’s 27-yard line and threw the ball out of the end zone. Either of those plays convert, and we’re likely painting a different picture here.

“I’m proud of our young guys,” Rich Rodriguez said. “They hung in there…”

As for his quarterback?

“Needles to say our quarterback is pretty special.”

Yeah. And ice cream is fattening. Such crazy numbers

Pretty special? What Robinson has done in two weeks is what many decent players do in a season. Let me add up his total yardage the first two weeks. This plus this equals … a gazillion!

That’s close enough. Nobody hangs the rushing AND passing numbers that Robinsons has hung. Pure running backs don’t gain that much. Pure quarterbacks don’t throw that effectively. Remember, on Saturday he didn’t have a single interception and didn’t lose a yard! For a scrambling quarterback, that’s amazing.

“We played as a team,” Robinson said, “The defense had our back all game … we had to have their backs (at the end).”

They sure did. Remember this was a game that saw Notre Dame down to its third-string quarterback 11 minutes into the game. The Wolverines should have taken better advantage of that. But all that counts is the final score. And, if you can count them with Denard, the final numbers. His most impressive may have been that last drive: Six passes, five completions, five rushes, 72 yards of offense, touchdown. His numbers are simply remarkable.

“He’ll get a few ice bags on him today, sleep on the bus, and rest up for the next one,” Rodriguez said.

Maybe the next one, it catches up to him. For now, one word comes to mind. Wow.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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