Did Michigan Play to Win with Robinson?

Following Saturday night’s loss to Alabama, UMGoBlog.com ponders a good question:

We also forced the ball to Gardner early in the game, no matter who was covering him. Was Robinson told to go to Gardner? Did Robinson see potential All American Dee Milliner covering Gardner? Either way, these are things that led me to believe we went down to Dallas to try to keep the game close and get out of the game injury free, and neither happened. Luckily for Michigan, this will be the best team we play all year. Also, our goal of a B1G Championship is still in sight. Despite the loss, which many expected, we should still compete for the B1G.

So, did Brady Hoke and Al Borges game plan “to keep the game close and get out of the game injury free?”

I’ll have to admit, as the game was unfolding, the thought did cross my mind.  It was evident early on that Denard Robinson either wasn’t having his number called to run the ball, or wasn’t choosing to (via zone reads, etc.).  I’m also sure that some of how the game unfolded had to do with how Alabama was defending the line of scrimmage and limiting his options to run, but if he’s your best weapon, don’t you have to test that weapon at some point?  When Michigan finally reached the red zone, how did they score?  They let Robinson run the ball.

If this was their strategy, I suppose it was a good one, though Robinson still absorbed quite a beating.  However, not playing to win would certainly be very un-Michigan-like.


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