Michigan Wolverines: Mass-Mich-091512

Michigan goes injury-free Saturday

September, 15, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As Michigan walked off the field Saturday after a dominant 63-13 win over UMass, the Wolverines had another victory, one they hadn’t seen this season.

They emerged from a game healthy for the first time this season. Kind of.

Michigan had no major injuries during the game, unlike the previous two weeks, when the Wolverines lost cornerback Blake Countess (ACL) for the season, tight end Brandon Moore (knee) for several weeks and defensive end Brennen Beyer (knee) for an unknown period of time.

“I don’t know if we had any boo-boos today,” Hoke said. “But we’ve had one of those years where we have had a lot of guys dinged up.”

However, the week itself wasn’t as kind.

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Michigan gets running game on track

September, 15, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan had 294 rushing yards on Saturday in a 63-13 victory over UMass and as you would expect, Denard Robinson contributed most of those yards with 106. The Wolverines, however, had six total rushing touchdowns and two of those scores came from senior running back Vincent Smith.

[+] EnlargeVincent Smith
Rick Osentoski/US PresswireMichigan senior Vincent Smith rushed for two touchdowns Saturday against Massachusetts.
His numbers won't stick out on paper as he only had 20 yards rushing on three attempts and one reception for 19 yards, but he typically finds a way to produce.

Smith's second touchdown came in the second quarter to put Michigan up 21-3 after a 6-yard run, and the game really seemed to break open after that drive. Despite the inferior opponent, it was good for Michigan's backs to find some success going into a week in which they face rival Notre Dame.

The Wolverines technically had six rushing touchdowns as offensive lineman Taylor Lewan accounted for one of those scores after jumping on a Denard Robinson fumble in the end zone. Receiver Drew Dileo said he believed it was actually lineman Elliott Mealer who was first to grab the ball for the score, but the official credit goes to Lewan.

Outside of Robinson's numbers, the main positive for Michigan's run game was getting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint involved and worked back into the offense. Toussaint was suspended for the opener against Alabama and seemed to struggle getting anything going in the second game against Air Force.

Toussaint averaged 5.7 yards per carry on Saturday against UMass with 85 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Those aren't the ideal numbers for Michigan's starting running back, but he showed flashes of his form from last season. He made quick cuts, hit holes and made people miss.

Denard Robinson approaching records

September, 15, 2012
As if Denard Robinson hasn't done enough at Michigan, he entrenched himself deeper into Michigan's history on Saturday as the Wolverines beat UMass 63-13. Robinson accounted for 397 total yards against the Minutemen, which puts him at No. 2 all time in total yards at Michigan with 9,210.

Robinson only trails former quarterback Chad Henne (9,300 yards) on the all-time list.

[+] EnlargeDenard Robinson
Rick Osentoski/US PresswireOnly Chad Henne has more total yards in his Michigan career than Denard Robinson, and he's creeping up the schools all-time passing lists as well.
The Wolverines racked up 585 yards on Saturday, and as usual Robinson was responsible for the majority of the offense. Throwing for 291 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and adding another 106 yards rushing, he pushed himself further up the record list.

Robinson says he doesn't think much of records and only wants to see his team win, but it's hard to look past the performances.

"To be honest, the only thing I think about is winning," Robinson said. "And being accountable to my team."

Many analysts and opposing fans don't see Robinson as a true passer, but Robinson also passed Jim Harbaugh at No. 5 in total passing yards with 5,630 in his career. He is now only 228 passing yards behind Todd Collins at No. 4 and 830 yards behind Elvis Grbac at No. 3.

Robinson was already going to be a big part of Michigan's future history books, but these numbers only solidify his mark on this program throughout his career. Robinson would be the first to tell you that he wouldn't be in this conversation without his teammates.

The offensive line, running backs and receivers are just as much of these records as Robinson, and they think highly of being a part of his success.

"I think it's pretty special. Our receiving corps is downfield blocking and catching balls for Denard," Michigan receiver Drew Dileo said. "However many years from now, looking back when people are still talking about Denard Robinson, it's going to be pretty special to tell your kids and grandkids you played with him."
On Saturday, during halftime of the Michigan/U-Mass game, the Michigan Athletic Department announced that former running back Rob Lytle (1974-76) had been selected to Michigan's Athletic Hall of Honor.

Lytle, who passed away in 2010, was a first team All-American and Heisman finalist during his senior season. He finished his career as the Wolverines' leading rusher, though since has dropped out of the top five.

Lytle, along with former swimmer Gustavo Borges and former hockey player Brendan Morrison, will be inducted Feb. 16 when the Crisler Center is rededicated.

"They are deserving of induction into the U-M Athletics Hall of Honor, the highest athletic distinction that our athletic department bestows upon a former student-athlete or coach," Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon said in a press release. "We look forward to celebrating their athletic and professional endeavors later this academic year."

The Hall of Honor was set up in 1978 to "recognize individuals who have made significant contributions as athletes, coaches and administrators to the tradition of Wolverine athletics and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of the University of Michigan," according to a press release.

Michigan did what it was supposed to do Saturday against UMass, flattening the first-year FBS program 63-13 with another big performance from its quarterback.

The Wolverines were able to build some defensive confidence, play a lot of their younger players and establish some sort of running game before next week's matchup against Notre Dame.

It was over when: Denard Robinson cut across the field on a scramble and ran 36 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The touchdown run gave the Wolverines a 35-10 lead and also gave Michigan complete control after Robinson threw an interception that resulted in a UMass touchdown earlier in the quarter. From there, Michigan routed.

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Michigan is doing what most figured the Wolverines would on Saturday, dominating one of the worst teams in the FBS. While there were a couple of moments of uncertainty -- particularly when Denard Robinson threw an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter -- the Wolverines have this in hand at the half.

Stat of the half: Three. That's how many games Michigan wide receiver Devin Gardner has played and started at his new position. It is also how many touchdowns he has this season, having caught a touchdown in each game as a wide receiver.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan senior tight end Brandon Moore will wear the No. 87 Legends jersey in honor of Ron Kramer for the rest of the season.

"When you think of the history and tradition of this program and some of the great players like Ron Kramer, to carry on that legacy, that responsibility, is humbling," Moore said in a statement. "It's an honor to wear No. 87."

Moore, who used to wear No. 89, is injured and will not dress Saturday.

Kramer was a two-time All-American in 1955 and 1956 and a three-time All-Big Ten first-team player from 1954 to 1956. He mostly played tight end and on the defensive line for Michigan, but also saw brief stints at quarterback, running back and returning kicks and punts.

At Michigan, Kramer is eighth all-time in receiving yards among tight ends with 880 from 1954 to 1956.

Besides football, Kramer also played basketball and ran track at Michigan. He averaged 16.9 points a game for the Wolverines from 1954-57 in basketball and scored 1,119 points in his career, 38th all-time. Kramer is also Michigan’s all-time free throw percentage leader at 87.8 percent.

Kramer, who died at age 75 in 2010, was a first round draft pick for Green Bay in 1957 and played in the NFL for 10 seasons. He had 229 catches for 3,272 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.

His jersey has been the third given the “Legends Patch” distinction by Michigan, joining the No. 21 from Desmond Howard last season (currently worn by Roy Roundtree) and the No. 47 from Bennie Oosterbaan (worn by Jake Ryan).


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