Top 5 moments: Robinson sets record

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
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This week, WolverineNation will look at the five most critical moments of Michigan's 2012 football season (bowl excluded). These aren't necessarily positive or negative moments, but the five moments that most impacted this football season.

No. 5 -- Countess injured

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It came at the end of a blowout, with Michigan’s win against Purdue already guaranteed. And the quarterback who consistently pushed individual accolades aside for team success would have another record all to himself.

[+] EnlargeDenard Robinson
Michael Hickey/Getty ImagesMichigan's QB Denard Robinson had a memorable day against Purdue.
On Oct. 6, Denard Robinson passed former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El to become the Big Ten’s career quarterback rushing leader, also moving him to fourth in FBS history -- the No. 4 most critical moment of Michigan’s season.

“I don’t even think about it,” Robinson told reporters three days after he broke the mark. “I just go out and play football and have fun with the team and try to enjoy this year.”

Robinson’s season ended up being not as enjoyable as he probably hoped -- more on that later this week -- but the Big Ten quarterback rushing record is one of the bigger records Robinson set in his career.

With one game to go in his college career, Robinson has gained 4,395 yards, annihilating Randle El’s mark of 3,895 yards. He still has a shot at Pat White’s FBS quarterback rushing record of 4,480 yards, needing 86 yards to pass White for the record.

He likely would have passed White already -- and had potential shots at more Big Ten and Michigan records -- but an injury to his throwing elbow cost him two-and-a-half games during Big Ten season and turned him into somewhat of a part-time player in the final two games of the regular season.

In many ways, Robinson holding this record in the Big Ten is fitting. His first play from scrimmage in college was an electrifying touchdown run. His most memorable plays -- save for a game-winning touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree to beat Notre Dame in 2011 -- have always been with his feet.

After all, how many quarterbacks would have a nickname -- Shoelace -- based off of his feet and his decision to never tie his shoes instead of his arm. He has rushed for over 200 yards five times in his career, including 235 yards in the record-setting Purdue game, and thrown for over 250 yards just six times in his career.

Robinson’s moment, though, came not on a cutting, juking, shoe-losing run which made him almost guaranteed stuff of lore in the future. Nah, his record-breaking run was a simple one, up the middle, gaining a few yards in a blowout.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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