The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Robinson, on the other hand, gained 426 total yards (218 on the ground and 208 through the air). That's right. Robinson accounted for more than 100 percent of the Wolverines' offensive production in the game. His dominance over the Falcons started early. Midway through the first quarter, he busted off a 79-yard touchdown scamper to open the scoring. He also scored on plays of 30 yards (a pass to freshman tight end Devin Funchess) and 58 yards (a run on the first play of the second half). He added a seven-yard touchdown pass to Gardner in the third quarter for good measure. And the Wolverines needed every one of Robinson's yards, escaping Air Force and its tricky triple-option offense with a 31-25 victory. Best Single-Game Performance (Non-Denard Robinson) Jeremy Gallon Vs. South Carolina Redshirt junior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon has always been a playmaker — but after Gardner took over for an injured Robinson at quarterback, Gallon became the Wolverines' most consistent and reliable offensive weapon. In Michigan's final five games, Gallon racked up 31 catches for 511 yards and three touchdowns. In the eight previous games, he had tallied 18 catches for 318 yards and one score. But the 5-8 receiver was never better than in the Outback Bowl, where he set career highs in catches (nine), yards (145) and touchdowns (two). Breakout Offensive Player Junior Quarterback Devin Gardner Denard Robinson was the entire Michigan offense — and that is not an exaggeration of what the quarterback meant to the Wolverines. When he was sidelined with a nerve injury in the Nebraska game, the season could have gone downhill fast. But Gardner stepped in to save the day. After compiling 16 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns as a wide receiver in the first half of the season, Gardner proved that he was a quarterback, and that the Wolverines will be in good hands with him under center. Gardner finished the year with 1,219 passing yards on 75-of-126 passing. He threw 11 touchdowns compared to five interceptions. Breakout Defensive Player Sophomore Cornerback Raymon Taylor When sophomore cornerback Blake Countess tore his ACL in the first game of the season, which forced him to take a redshirt year, it was seen as a huge blow. But Taylor proved more than capable as the Wolverines' second cornerback, opposite fifth-year senior cornerback J.T. Floyd. Taylor finished the year with 45 tackles and two interceptions, including the one he returned 63 yards for a touchdown in the Purdue game. ❑

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