Air Force Comes Up Just Short Against Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Denard Robinson ran for 218 yards, threw for 208 and scored four times to help No. 19 Michigan hold off Air Force for a 31-25 win Saturday.
Robinson became the first player in major college football since at least 1996 to have at least 200 yards rushing and 200 passing in three games, according to STATS LLC. Former Texas star Vince Young was the only other player to pull off the feat twice.
The Wolverines (1-1) bounced back after a 41-14 loss to Alabama, though they had a tough time beating the Falcons (1-1) in a game they were favored to win by three touchdowns.
Cody Getz ran for 130 yards, with his third rushing TD and a 2-point conversion pulling Air Force within three early in the fourth.
The Falcons had a shot to snap their 19-game losing streak against teams in The Associated Press Top 25, but turned the ball over on downs with 1:28 left at its 35 when Jake Ryan batted down a pass.
Robinson, who played poorly and got beat up by the defending champion Crimson Tide, was asked to run early and often and did it well.
He ran for a 79-yard TD on his second snap of the game and scored on a 58-yard run on the first play of the second half. Robinson had his fourth game with at least 200 yards rushing and trails only Mike Hart’s school record by one.
Robinson also showed he could make plays through the air.
He was 14 of 25 for 208 yards with two TDs, connecting with freshman tight end Devin Funchess on a 30-yard pass in the second quarter and former quarterback Devin Gardner on a 7-yard toss to put Michigan ahead 28-17 in the third quarter.
The Wolverines responded just well enough to prevent a collapse after Getz made it 28-25 and silenced most of the 112,522 fans at the Big House.
Michigan kicked a field goal and stopped Getz’s fourth-down run on the next two possessions, but Robinson threw short of Gardner on a third down — a play that was ruled a catch before video review overturned it. The Wolverines defense didn’t let Air Force drive for the go-ahead TD after having a lot of problems with its option attack, especially on pitches to the outside.
Michigan reinstated starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint after coach Brady Hoke made him miss the opener because he pleaded guilty to drunken driving. Toussaint struggled, running for just 8 yards on seven carries.
Gardner caught five passes for 63 yards and a TD. Funchess, playing for the injured Brandon Moore, had 106 yards receiving and a score on four receptions.
Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz was 10 of 19 for 127 yards and ran for 61 of his team’s 290 yards rushing.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)