Michigan QB Robinson likely to play vs Purdue

Associated Press
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (16) tries to evade Illinois linebacker Ian Thomas (38) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
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Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has taken a lot of hits this season.

Rich Rodriguez said he's going to bounce back from the latest one.

Robinson was knocked out of Saturday's 67-65 triple-overtime win against Illinois, leaving the game with a headache and dizziness. Rodriguez said Robinson has since passed a series of tests necessary to be cleared to play by team doctors after having symptoms of a concussion.

"He should be fine," Rodriguez said Monday.

The Wolverines (6-3, 2-3 Big Ten) will likely improve their chances of beating Purdue (4-5, 2-3) Saturday on the road if Robinson is healthy enough to play.

Robinson has run for 1,349 yards and is 146 away from breaking the major college record for yards rushing by a QB. Air Force's Beau Morgan had 1,494 yards rushing in 1996.

He is averaging an FBS-best 351.4 yards in total offense, ranks second with nearly 150 yards rushing per game and is 11th in passing efficiency.

Robinson threw for a career-high 305 yards and three touchdowns and had 367 yards of offense despite playing just three quarters against the Illini. His performance ranked sixth in school history after having the top four games in total offense earlier this season.

As spectacular as the player known as Shoelace has been, averaging 20-plus carries a game has taken a toll — putting him out of three games this season.

He injured his left knee against Bowling Green, hurt his right shoulder against Iowa and was shaken by an unidentified hit Saturday.

"I don't think Denard remembered which one," Rodriguez said.

The embattled coach has said he'll have college football's winningest program where he wants it when there are multiple players who could be starters at every position.

Rodriguez acknowledged he has that luxury at QB with this season's starter — Robinson — and last year's — Tate Forcier — on the depth chart.

Forcier filled in for Robinson in the fourth quarter and during the three OTs, making the game-winning, 2-point conversion throw. Forcier was 12 of 19 for 114 yards with two TDs and an interception in the final minute of regulation after leading an 80-yard drive that tied the game.

Rodriguez said he also likes the competition he has with between first- and second-string players at running back and on the offense line, but isn't satisfied with his options on the other side of the ball.

"Nowhere on defense are we there," he said.

Michigan ranks 114th — out of 120 teams — in total defense, 115th against the pass and is tied for 104th in the nation with a 33.9-points against average.

The Wolverines, though, will be in a bowl game, unlike their first two seasons with Rodriguez in charge.

"I really think this is the hump we've been trying to get over for a while," linebacker Craig Roh said. "Now that we've got our sixth win, we know we're going to a bowl. Now, we have to just work on getting to the best bowl we can get to."

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