Michigan Grounds Air Force Behind Robinson's Four TDs
September 9, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more scores, from 79 and 58 yards out, as the University of Michigan football team (No. 19 AP/No. 19 USA Today Coaches) escaped Air Force, 31-25, on Saturday (Sept. 8) at Michigan Stadium. Michigan thwarted Air Force on its final offensive possession late in the fourth quarter to pick up its first win of the season.
With the win, Michigan improves to 2-0 against the Falcons al-time and claims its 110th victory in home openers.
Robinson amassed 208 yards passing and 218 rushing, along with four total scores (two rush, two pass) -- the sixth game he has tallied two or more touchdowns both with his arm and legs.
Freshman tight end Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) led the receiving core with 106 yards, becoming only the ninth freshman in school history to have a 100-yard receiving game, which included a 30-yard touchdown reception.
Michigan's defense was led by junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and freshman linebacker Joe Bolden (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain), who each compiled a career high in tackles with 11 and 10, respectively.
Air Force received the ball to begin the game, using the first 5:33 but missed a field goal attempt from 36 yards out to turn the ball over to the Wolverines. Two plays later, Robinson took a designed draw up the middle and sprinted 79 yards to give the Wolverines a 7-0 lead. The score was the second rushing touchdown of the season for Robinson and the 18th-longest rushing touchdown in Michigan history.
On the ensuing Falcons possession, Air Force drove 71 yards, capping the drive with a 22-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.
With 7:34 left in the first half, Robinson connected with Funchess for a 30-yard touchdown, extending the Michigan lead to 14-3. The score marked the first in Funchess' collegiate career and the second passing touchdown on the season for Robinson.
Capitalizing on a Robinson interception late in the first half, the Falcons marched 55 yards downfield to score their first touchdown of the game. Senior running back Cody Getz took an option pitch and scooted five yards around the left side to bring Air Force within four points heading into the locker room, 14-10.
Repeating his first-half success, Robinson took the first snap of the second half and dashed 58 yards to the end zone to give the Maize and Blue a 21-10 lead.
Getz took a fourth-and-goal sweep and dashed for his second touchdown of the game with 9:50 left in the third quarter, closing the gap between the two teams to 21-17.
Late in the third quarter, Robinson connected with junior receiver Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) for a seven-yard score, the second receiving touchdown of the season for Gardner.
To start the fourth quarter, Getz raced into the end zone for the third time on the day for an eight-yard score. After the addition of a two-point conversion, the Falcons clawed back to within three, 28-25.
Midway through the fourth quarter, senior/junior kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) knocked through a 31-yard field goal -- his first of the season -- to give the Maize and Blue a 31-25 lead.
Michigan stays home next week as Massachusetts visits the Big House (Sept. 15). Game time is slotted for 3:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.