12:00 PM ET, September 25, 2010
Michigan Stadium, ANN ARBOR, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For just a few moments, Michigan's season seemed in serious trouble -- Denard Robinson was hurt.
The star quarterback turned out to be fine, and so was Michigan without him, rolling to an easy 65-21 win over Bowling Green that only got better when Robinson said afterward that the team medical staff told him he would be OK.
Michigan QBs All Efficient
Michigan's three quarterbacks combined to complete 23 of 26 passes (88.5 percent), the second-highest completion percentage in school history, minimum 10 attempts.
Highest Completion Pct (Min 10 att)
|1991||vs Notre Dame||90.9|
|Saturday||vs Bowling Green||88.5|
|-- Source: ESPN Stats and Information|
"They said I'm good," Robinson said.
Robinson followed up his first three spectacular games by completing all four of his passes for 60 yards and running five times for 129 yards and two TDs. He went down and stayed on the turf near the sideline after a 47-yard run on the first play of Michigan's third drive.
"I wish he would've stepped out before he got hit," coach Rich Rodriguez said.
Toward the end of the game, Robinson was healthy enough to do a jump-and-bump celebration with freshman Devin Gardner after he ran for the final score.
"Denard seems to be fine, talking to him and the trainers," Rodriguez said. "He tweaked his knee a little bit. If he had to come back in, he could've. He'll get some treatment and get ready to go. We'll be fine for next week. He should be OK."
Michigan (4-0) opens the Big Ten season Saturday at Indiana.
Backup Tate Forcier, who started last season ahead of Robinson, limped off the field in the fourth quarter. He injured his left knee against the Falcons on the opening drive of the second half and later aggravated it.
"I didn't need the doctors to look at it," Forcier said. "I'm OK."
The Wolverines were much more impressive than they were the previous week, barely beating second-tier Massachusetts, with 466 yards rushing -- the most they've had since 1992 against Iowa -- 721 yards of offense and an improved effort on defense.
Michigan had more sacks (three) and half as many interceptions (two) than it did in the first three games.
"It was pretty obvious we were the glaring weakness last week," defensive end Ryan Van Bergen said. "That's not something we want to be."
The Wolverines, though, didn't dominate the Falcons from start to finish.
Bowling Green (1-3) gave up the first 21 points of the game in the first quarter, then got to within a touchdown with 5:07 left in the first half.
"If we tackle better, it's maybe 14-14 at the half and we start the second half with the ball," Falcons coach Dave Clawson said.
Forcier led the Wolverines to a score 42 seconds before halftime -- giving them a 28-14 lead -- and helped turn the game into a rout by setting a school completions record by connecting on all 12 of his passes for 110 yards and a TD.
"A lot of people were saying I'm not staying here, but I'm still here," Forcier said. "I'm not going to leave -- not a chance. I love Coach Rod, I love these fans, I love Michigan football."
Gardner, who was given the first chance to replace Robinson, was 7 for 10 for 85 yards and a score and ran for another TD after Forcier was hurt. Roy Roundtree had nine receptions for 118 yards.
The three QBs led Michigan to its highest-scoring game since a 69-13 win over Illinois in 1986.
"Against Bowling Green, all three quarterbacks were very efficient," Rodriguez said. "Tate has showed he can play. We wouldn't be playing Devin if we didn't think he was ready. Is he as ready as Denard as Tate? Maybe not yet because he's just a first-year player."
"We were limited in what we could do," Clawson said. "It was the wrong week to have to simplify things."
Falcons wide receiver Jordan Hopgood ran for two scores off direct snaps on fourth-down plays, but that wasn't enough to make his coach happy.
"I'm very disappointed that we did not present ourselves better," Clawson said. "I don't think that's a game we should be losing by 44 points."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner held down the ship after Denard Robinson got injured.
Gameball goes to... Robinson, who was important with his presence and absence, scoring 2 TDs in limited action.
Stat of the game... 721. The Wolverines racked up 721 yards of offense while picking up 31 first downs.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-14||10-12|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-2|
|TD||12:10||Denard Robinson 2 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||0||7|
|TD||09:28||Denard Robinson 47 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||0||14|
|TD||04:21||Jeremy Gallon 11 Yd Pass From Devin Gardner (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||0||21|
|TD||08:53||Jordan Hopgood 1 Yd Run (Bryan Wright Kick)||7||21|
|TD||05:07||Tyrone Pronty 71 Yd Pass From Aaron Pankratz (Bryan Wright Kick)||14||21|
|TD||00:42||Michael Shaw 2 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||14||28|
|SF||13:38||Ball Through End Zone||14||30|
|TD||09:04||John McColgan 2 Yd Pass From Tate Forcier (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||14||37|
|TD||07:21||Vincent Smith 8 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||14||44|
|TD||02:28||Jordan Hopgood 1 Yd Run (Bryan Wright Kick)||21||44|
|TD||13:27||Vincent Smith 1 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||21||51|
|TD||07:52||Fitzgerald Toussaint 5 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)||21||58|
|TD||03:11||Devin Gardner 7 Yd Run (Scott Schrimscher Kick)||21||65|
Michigan's 3 QBs combined to complete 23 of 26 passes (88.5 pct), the 2nd-highest completion pct in school history, minimum 10 attempts[+]
Highest Completion Pct (Min 10 att) - Michigan History
Michigan's 65 points scored against Bowling Green is the most since scoring 69 against Illinois in 1986.
Tate Forcier becomes only the 3rd FBS QB since 2004 to complete all his passes in a game with a minimum of 10 pass attempts. He was 12-for-12 on the day.[+]
Don't forget, Michigan started 4-0 last year before finishing 1-7, with the only win a 63-6 thrashing of Delaware State.[+]
4 and Oh No - Michigan Last Season
Michigan on way to 4-0 for 2nd consecutive season. Even before recently falling on rough times, back-to-back 4-0 starts wasn't exactly a common occurrence in Ann Arbor. The last time Michigan started consecutive seasons at 4-0 was 1995-97. Before that it was 1985-86, and then 1976-78 prior to that.
Michigan starts the game with a 9 play, 80-yard drive (8.9 yards per play). It took only 2:50 and they never even faced a third down. Denard Robinson was responsible for 54 of the yards and finished it off with his 5th rush TD of the season.
ESPN Stats & Information