Commentary

Denard Robinson should fear Sparty

Michigan State run defense presents biggest challenge for prolific quarterback

Originally Published: October 6, 2010
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesDenard Robinson shredded Indiana, but Michigan State is not Indiana.

I don't know if Michigan State Spartans coach Mark Dantonio is much of a history buff, but if he is, he might do well to tell his team the tale of Union general Ulysses S. Grant's early Civil War confrontation against Confederate colonel Thomas Harris.

Grant was filled with fear as he and his men approached the top of a hill over which they were expecting to see Harris' troops encamped. After reaching the summit and finding the camp empty, Grant had an epiphany. He realized that Harris and his soldiers had left the base because they feared the potential conflict.

Once Grant understood this, it forever changed the way he viewed his opponents. He said, "From that event to the end of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy. I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his."

The reason this lesson is useful is that it might be entirely reasonable to think that the Green and White defenders could have more than a bit of trepidation in facing Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson.

His running skills seem out of this world; he leads the FBS in rushing yards and is second in rushing touchdowns. That would be enough, but "Shoelace" also has the fourth-highest passer rating as well. Put those two together and it may seem like the Spartans are facing someone who is a combination of Oregon Ducks running back LaMichael James and Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Ricky Stanzi.


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