Posted by Tom Fornelli
While the 2010 season ultimately ended up being the year of Cam Newton, for the first month of the season the name that was dominating the college football landscape was Denard Robinson. Michigan had started out its season undefeated, and Robinson was tearing opposing defenses apart. Through the first three games Shoelace had racked up 1,230 yards and 8 touchdowns, including a 502-yard effort in a win against Notre Dame.
While Michigan's season would feature six losses before it was done, the Denard Robinson Show never really came to an end, as he finished the season second in the nation in total offense with 328.6 yards per game, and accounted for 32 of the team's 58 touchdowns.
Now Robinson and the rest of the Wolverines are undergoing a coaching change, which means that a new offensive system is being put in place under Brady Hoke and Al Borges. While Borges says that Robinson will still be the focal point of Michigan's offense, things won't be the same as they were under Rich Rodriguez -- speaking of whom, our own Dennis Dodd had a nice talk with the former Michigan coach this week -- and he'd like to lighten his load a bit by spreading the ball around a bit more.
"To a degree … we're blowing a lot of [the offense] up," Borges told the Detroit News. "In our offense, I don't see Denard rushing for 1,700 yards, and I told him that. But I could see him rushing for 1,000 yards, and I could see him throwing for that 700 or 800 he didn't rush for."
"They were tattooing him. I came at him that way — we can save you a little bit. Everybody knew Denard was the show. He's tough, he's smart and he's athletic, and we have to get the most out of him."
Borges also went on to say that he was pleasantly surprised at Robinson's passing skills, as he came to Michigan thinking Denard was a runner, but after watching more film on the team, he likes what he sees from Robinson in the passing game.
The change in philosophy, while expected, is also pretty logical. The only thing more common than seeing Robinson make some fantastic play with his legs last season was seeing a play end with Robinson getting up slowly, or even leaving the game. Since Robinson is such a unique weapon for the Wolverines, you want to make sure you can keep him on the field as well.