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ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines takes the field for warmups prior to playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty ImageDenard Robinson led Michigan to a win over Notre Dame and threw two touchdowns in final 72 seconds.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Denard Robinson led the Michigan Wolverines back to an improbable win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday night.

Michigan was down 24-7 going into the fourth quarter, and one would’ve thought Notre Dame would have this game won. They didn’t and Michigan came back to win thanks to its leader and starting quarterback Robinson.

Here are five reasons Denard Robinson can light up the Big Ten after leading the Wolverines to a big win over Notre Dame:

1. Denard Robinson’s Arm Has Improved.

Denard Robinson looked confident down the stretch throwing in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame. He did throw three interceptions, but it didn’t stop him from going deep again.

Robinson saw the field and hit his receivers for big gains. He saw his receivers open and took shots at his receivers even when they were covered. Robinson stepped back, moved to his sides and threw to the open guy.

Robinson also did a great job in the pocket when it mattered most.

On his touchdown throw to Vincent Smith, Robinson took the ball, went to his right, went back to his left and hit Smith on screen for a touchdown that put Michigan up 28-24 with a 1:12.

Next, he found Jeremy Gallon wide open and then hit him on the money with 23 seconds for a big gain that brought Michigan all the way down to the Notre Dame 16.

Lastly, Roy Roundtree made a big play as he caught a pass over the Notre Dame defender for the game winning touchdown. Robinson found Roundtree in a crowded pocket but used his mobility to connect to him.

Michigan has receivers who can make big plays. Roundtree and Gallon just gave Robinson trust in his arm.

Would Robinson have done that last year? Perhaps he would have taken off and ran with it last year.

Robinson showed patience in the pocket, and didn’t force throws late in the game. His level of poise was high in the pocket in the fourth quarter. When he went out there down 31-28 with 30 seconds left, he looked ready and confident.

Finally, Robinson showed that he can run the hurry up offense effectively.

2. Denard Robinson’s Mobility in the Pocket.
Denard Robinson’s mobility helped him find the open receiver and make his throws that won the game against Notre Dame.Last year, we first noticed Robinson’s mobility when he would run. This year we have noticed it a lot more in the pocket.

Yes, Robinson rushed for 108 yards, but it was ability to stay in the pocket and pass that made the difference. Robinson had his seventh game with at least 100 yards passing and rushing.

In the fourth quarter we saw Robinson able to make plays with his arm thanks to his legs.

Robinson is becoming much more comfortable with throwing and handing off to the running backs. Robinson is ready on every play.

Early in the fourth quarter, he showed just how ready he was when tailback Stephen Hopkins fumbled on the goal line. Robinson then picked it up and ran it in the endzone on the left side for a touchdown.

Later in the quarter when Michigan most needed a play, Robinson didn’t scramble, but stayed in the pocket moving around until he found the open guy or a receiver to throw to.

Just think about it. Robinson could of taken off, but instead, he waited and saw Jeremy Gallon open. Patience. There it is again.

Every week Robinson becomes better.

This game certainly will boost Robinson’s confidence as he will able to trust his arm. His legs will help him give time to find a receiver.

3. Brady Hoke has Renewed Trust in Denard Robinson

With Denard Robinson’s ability to lead the Wolverines to the win against Notre Dame on Saturday, it will give renewed trust for Brady Hoke and Al Borges that the ball is safe in Robinson’s hands late in games.

I thought the game was over with thirty seconds left, and that Robinson might try and just tuck it and run. I am sure it went through the heads of Hoke and Borges head, too, but they didn’t signal for the kicker. They sent Robinson on the field to win the game.

Robinson did not disappoint.

Robinson totally changed that by his ability to spread the ball down field.

Michigan could have just kicked the field goal to tie the game with eight seconds. Hoke’s willingness to let Robinson try for the touchdown is a huge boost for his confidence.

With the heart of the Big Ten schedule approaching, confidence and faith in his starting quarterback to get the job done is just what Hoke needs. Robinson also showed leadership in hurrying the Wolverines up to the line of scrimmage and putting the team on his back.

4. Denard Robinson’s Confidence gets a Boost

Denard Robinson’s confidence has got to be at an all-time high right now. Coming off a big win over rival Notre Dame, and in Michigan’s first ever night game, Robinson has to be thinking that he has the support of coaches, teammates and his fans.

Robinson also has to feel encouraged knowing Hoke trusts him with the ball in his hands late in games.

Robinson’s ability to keep throwing after throwing two interceptions in the first half, and one in the fourth quarter gave him renewed confidence in his arm as well. He could have just decided, “I don’t trust my arm.” Instead, he found his receivers.

His receivers’ ability to catch his passes has to give him the confidence to keep throwing to them as well. Robinson can pass short, to the middle of the field or the side, and know that his receivers will be there.

Roundtree, Hemingway, Gallon and Koger all have got to have an encouragement that Robinson can lead lead this team and get the ball into their hands.

Robinson will know now that he can lead the team victory no matter how much time is on the clock.

5. Denard Robinson’s Decision Making

Denard Robinson’s decision making was great in the fourth quarter, minus his interception. Robinson didn’t fall into the trap of tucking and running with it every single play.

Sometimes that is alright. Not all the time though.

Instead, Robinson let plays develop. He moved around and saw the whole field.

Robinson let his receivers pick him up. His offensive line also did a great job in protecting him, and giving him time to find that open receiver.

Robinson has also learned to give the ball to his running backs. Vincent Smith, Michael Shaw and Fitzgerald Toussaint have done a solid job picking up yardage for the Wolverines.

Robinson needs games like these and it will only make his decision making stronger for when the Big Ten schedule gets tough.

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The NFL has endured quite the ride this week, and it’s only beginning. NFL fans across the country have got to be filled with joy and so much excitement. Well, here’s what happened since my latest blog post. Going into the weekend, some pretty big moves have been made, here’s a recap:

A little bit ago, The Philadelphia Eagles just landed Nnamdi Asomugha. The deal is worth 60 million, and 32 million is guaranteed. The Eagles now have Asomugha, Asante Samuel, and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. Whoa. That’s a heck of a secondary. Not to mention, their offense can put up points as well with Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. That team on paper looks like Super Bowl favorites. The NFC now has three elite teams: the Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons. The Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are second tier.

Yesterday, the big news was the New England Patriots trading for Ocho Cinco, and Albert Haynesworth. They look like risks to me, but I am going to assume the Bill Belichick knows what he is doing. Belichick is a great discipliner, and that is just what those two players need. Ocho Cinco could really benefit from Tom Brady throwing to him.

Chris Johnson announced he is going to hold out for a better deal. Cam Newton agreed to a 22 million deal with the Panthers. Peyton Manning won’t be ready for the start of training camp, and Steelers linebacker James Harrison apologized for what he said about Roger Goodell.

Kevin Kolb was traded to the Cardinals that sent DRC to the Eagles. Larry Fitzgerald has finally found a quarterback since Kurt Warner retired.

The Packers have signed Mason Crosby to a five year deal. Daryn Colledge agreed to a deal with the Cardinals. It also appears Nick Barnett will be released. Green Bay also released Mark Tauscher, and Brandon Chillar. The Jaguars also signed Jason Spitz away from the Packers.

The Falcons signed free agent defensive end Ray Edwards from the Vikings. The Vikings also lost Sidney Rice to the Seattle Seahawks, and re-signed Brandon Mebane. The Panthers traded for Greg Olsen from the Bears, and have Jeremy Shockey as well. I wonder how they will us both those tight ends. The Bears signed wide receiver Roy Williams, who was released by the Cowboys, and defensive lineman Vernon Gholston. The Saints traded Reggie Bush to the Miami Dolphins, and the Saints signed Darren Sproles away from the Chargers.

I will be back on Monday.

Wow. What a week it has been, and it’s only Wednesday. Craziness in sports in America has hit a high moment with the NFL ending its lockout, free agency opening, training camps opening, the MLB trade deadline as division races heat up, college football is almost here, and a video you will want to check out! So keep reading.

First off, the NFL officially ended its lockout Monday and since then, teams are going crazy signing their own free agents, teams trying to woo other teams free agents to their teams, trades going down, rookies signing contracts, teams signing undrafted free agents, and then training camp opening up for teams starting today and through Sunday. What happens in the five month offseason is happening a two week time period. Uh, and I am loving it. I’ve found myself constantly watching ESPN, going to ESPN.com, SI.com, and finding what’s going on through Twitter. (Follow me @samtastad on Twitter.)

Quick recap of what has gone down so far in the NFL: Donovan McNabb was traded to the Minnesota Vikings; quarterback controversy in Minnesota with 1st round draft pick Christian Ponder? Matt Hasselbeck was traded to Tennessee; he will help groom Jake Locker. Tarvaris Jackson went to Seattle, Alex Smith re-signed with San Francisco, and Kyle Orton could be headed to Miami. Santonio Holmes re-signs with the Jets; could Nnamdi Asomugha be next? Plaxico Burress recently out of jail,is going to meet with the Giants, and Steelers. Carolina re-signed defensive end Charles Johnson and running back DeAngelo Smith. So what’s next? Hmm. Stay tuned tomorrow, and I’ll update you again.

For the Packers, they landed the following undrafted free agents:

  • South Carolina WR Tori Gurley
  • Delaware S Anthony Bratton
  • Utah WR Shaky Smithson
  • Ohio State RB Brandon Saine
  • Arizona State WR Kerry Taylor
  • Middle Tennessee OLB Jamari Lattimore
  • South Florida C Sampson Genus
  • Arkansas G Ray Dominguez
  • Youngstown St. CB Brandian Ross
  • Temple LB Eli Joseph
  • Temple NT Peanut Joseph
  • Arkansas State CB M.D. Jennings
  • Minnesota FB Jon Hoese
On to baseball now, my Minnesota Twins were handed a 20-6 drubbiing by the Texas Rangers on Monday, then came back after Carl Pavano gave up eight runs, and won 9-8 on a game-winning double by Joe Mauer last night.
There haven’t been much trade deals done yet. The biggest happened a little while ago with Carlos Beltran being sent to San Francisco from the Mets. Colby Rasmus was traded to the Blue Jays from the Cardinals for starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, and others.
Finally, today, Ervin Santana pitched a no-hitter today against the Indians and it was bittersweet. His first game as a big leaguer was against the Indians and lost to them. Also, today, the Mariners snapped a 17 game losing streak. Lastly, the Pirates and Braves played nineteen innings just after the Red Sox and Rays played eighteen a week ago, and the ending was bad. The umpire clearly got it wrong, check out the link:
College football is heating up. Today, Terrelle Pryor cannot speak to Ohio State for five years, and Butch Davis was fired by North Carolina.
Video of the day is Teach me how to Wambach. I thought it was funny, and brilliant, here it is:
Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow!