3 Total Updates since September 20, 2011
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges surely hoped to create a more balanced offensive attack through the Wolverines’ first four games. But ultimately, his best play is still to give the ball to Denard Robinson and let him run.
Robinson ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns, leading Michigan to a 28-7 victory over San Diego State on Saturday.
He was shaky yet again in the passing game, completing 8-of-17 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions. Smith was Michigan’s leading receiver with three receptions for 44 yards. That has to be a concern as the Wolverines go into Big Ten play. But as long as opposing defenses can’t stop Robinson on the ground, it would be silly not to utilize him that way.
One encouraging aspect with the offense is that Michigan generated yardage in the running game with players besides Robinson. Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 66 yards on 12 carries, while Vincent Smith added 47 yards on nine rushes. Overall, the Wolverines ran for 319 yards on the day.
After taking a 21-0 halftime lead, Michigan looked ready to give the game right back to San Diego State, committing three turnovers. Robinson threw two interceptions, and tailback Stephen Hopkins fumbled.
Adding to the third quarter frustration was a missed 40-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons. The sophomore is now 1-for-2 this season.
Yet the Aztecs were never able to capitalize on the turnovers. Quarterback Ryan Lindley hit Colin Lockett for a 16-yard touchdown to complete a seven-play drive following Hopkins’ fumble. But overall, Michigan’s defense stood its ground, bending but not breaking.
Considering the Michigan secondary lost cornerbacks Troy Woolfolk and J.T Floyd during the game, the defensive backfield provided decent coverage. Blake Countess and Courtney Avery were picked on constantly, but didn’t give up many big plays.
Lindley threw for 253 yards, but completed less than 50 percent of his passes (23-of-48), missing several throws that could’ve put San Diego State in a better position to score. Ronnie Hillman ran for 109 yards on 21 carries, but also fumbled twice and never made it into the end zone for the Aztecs.
Linebacker Jake Ryan recovered two fumbles on defense for Michigan. Safety Thomas Gordon picked up another. Defensive Craig Roh also had a nice bounce-back game, disrupting the Aztecs’ offense throughout the game. He had two tackles for loss and forced a fumble.
Michigan hosts Minnesota next week to open conference play.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
It’s the Denard Robinson show once again in Ann Arbor, as the Michigan quarterback has run the Wolverines out to a 21-0 halftime lead over San Diego State.
Robinson has 140 yards rushing on 12 carries, while running for three touchdowns to lead the Michigan offensive attack. Vincent Smith has 38 carries on two carries, and Fitzgerald Toussaint has added 28 yards on five carries.
The Wolverines are still struggling a bit in the passing game, with Robinson completing only 5-of-9 passes for 40 yards. But the running game has performed well enough to make up the difference.
For the Aztecs, tailback Ronnie Hillman has run the ball relatively well, compiling 56 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Ryan Lindley has thrown for 75 yards, completing 7-of-15 passes.
Cornerback Troy Woolfolk left the game in the second quarter, appearing to reaggravate a left ankle injury. According to reports, he was doing lateral movement exercises and stretching the ankle with help from trainers. It appeared he was able to walk on the ankle and is expected to return in the second half.
Left guard Ricky Barnum also left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. It appeared a teammate rolled onto his ankle while being blocked on a running play. He returned a few plays later, however.
Michigan has 246 yards of total offense in the first half, compared to San Diego State’s 164. The Aztecs have the advantage in time of possession, but Michigan has been able to score on big plays, thanks in large part to long runs by Robinson. (His second TD run was for 53 yards.)
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) - San Diego State will test its unblemished record in Ann Arbor this weekend, clashing with 22nd-ranked Michigan in a non-conference matchup between two unbeatens.
San Diego State is 3-0 for the first time 30 years, and it pulled the short streak off after beating Washington State 42-24 last weekend. The win snapped a 22-game losing streak against BCS conference schools and broke a 19-game losing streak to teams part of the Pac-12. San Diego State scored the game's final 28 points after trailing 24-14 at halftime to the Cougars.
"There were several turning points in the game. That was a crowd's game. There were ebbs and flows, you're happy one minute and then 10 seconds later you're sad because a guy is running 80 yards for a touchdown," said San Diego State head coach Rocky Long. "It was a great game for the fans and obviously we're happy because we won."
Michigan, meanwhile, is also 3-0. The Wolverines used two defensive touchdowns to beat Western Michigan in a weather-called game, used Denard Robinson's heroics to rally and beat Notre Dame in the first ever night game at the Big House and walloped Eastern Michigan 31-3 behind sound defense and Robinson's 198 yards rushing last weekend.
It's been quite the three weeks for Michigan and new head coach Brady Hoke. San Diego State represents a dangerous last non-conference matchup before Big Ten play commences on October 1st, when Minnesota visits Ann Arbor.
Michigan leads the series 1-0, winning 24-21 over the Aztecs in 2004 in Ann Arbor. Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke coached at San Diego State from 2009-2010 prior to replacing Rich Rodriguez at Michigan.
The Aztecs are led offensively by running back Ronnie Hillman, who has scored 14 touchdowns in his last six games and who played like a bona fide star last week against the Cougars - running for 191 yards and four touchdowns. Hillman has now rushed for 497 yards and eight touchdowns through three games (165.7 yard average) and is second in national rushing to South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore.
Quarterback Ryan Lindley has completed 44-of-82 passes for 622 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception, and his top target is Colin Lockett, who has caught 12 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns through three games.
The Aztec offense, which has outscored opponents 58-20 in the second half, is averaging 428 yards per game and is scoring 38 points per game.
Heading into last weekend's game, San Diego State was facing the highest scoring offense in the land in Washington State, which had posted 61.5 points per game in its first two wins. The unit made adjustments in the second half after the Cougars dropped 17 first half points, allowing just one score in the second half and picking off Washington State quarterback Marshall Lobbestael twice and recovering one of his fumbles late in the fourth quarter.
The Aztec defense is surrendering 383 yards of total offense per game, and has proven to be an aggressive unit in the first three game, registering 20 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
San Diego State will get its toughest test of the young 2011 season in Ann Arbor Saturday when it faces the multi-dimensional Robinson, who had another stellar game last weekend against Eastern Michigan.
With last season's struggles to keep Robinson healthy still fresh in memory, Michigan fans had to be holding their collective breath last week when Robinson rushed 26 times. That produced 198 yards on the ground and one score, and Robinson completed 7-of-18 passes for 95 yards two touchdowns and one interception in the win over the Eagles. Robinson has now rushed 50 times for 352 yards this season, while he has completed 27-of-55 passes for 531 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Michigan has scored 100 points in three games, and is putting up 403.7 yards per game this season. Robinson is the leading rusher, but Vincent Smith and Toussaint Fitzgerald have shown promising flashes at running back, combining for 258 yards and Fitzgerald scoring three times. The leading receiver is Jeremy Gallon. who has caught seven passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.
The Michigan defense struggled at times when Notre Dame came to Ann Arbor two weeks ago, but is still only allowing 14.7 points per game and a modest 342.7 yards of total offense. The squad is +6 in the turnover margin as well, and has played well after recess, outscoring opponents 59-14 in the second half.
Hoke said at a press conference earlier this week that he doesn't think his team will take the Aztec's talent lightly.
"They're undefeated. They're 3-0; beat Washington State last week. SDSU is a very talented team, a team that's going to play with a lot toughness and team that's well coached, so we got our hands full."
Hillman is a game-changer, and he should be able to give the Michigan defense fits. Still, he won't overwhelm the unit like Denard Robinson will overwhelm the Aztec defense. Michigan wants him to settle down more as a passer and establish the aerial game, but his ability to make plays with his feet is undeniable. This game may be similar to the 2004 matchup in that it could be close for two or three quarters. Michigan will own the second half though and win going away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 31, San Diego State 20