Denard Robinson may not have started his final game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoon against the Hawkeyes, but he still made an impact. The Wolverines dynamic signal caller was cleared to return to play last week, but on Saturday he wasn't under center on Senior Day. Instead he was Michigan's leading rusher on 13 carries for 98 yards, who also caught 2 passes for 24 yards - and he was a pretty good decoy when he needed to be.
All of this made way for Devin Gardner to become the first Michigan quarterback to account for six TD's in nearly 40 years. But as much as this was about Gardner matching the past, it was also about the future. Brady Hoke had waited 18 months to unveil his vaunted "Deuce Package" featuring Denard and Devin on the field simultaneously in a relentless 'Who's go the ball now' attack.
Without getting too specific, Hoke sighted "Immaturity as the reason fans had to wait so long to realize the full potential of the 'Double D' offense, but against a befuddled Hawkeyes defense, that attack finally paid full dividends as Michigan rolled up 512 total yards and completed 9 of 12 first downs without a single pass thrown by it's Senior QB.
Gardner in the meantime, proved time and time again, with some help from seven different pass catchers, that he could play quarterback for a big time college program in front of more than 110,000 fans. So while Saturday marked the last game for Robinson in Ann Arbor - and more importantly the end of an era for the Michigan football program.
It also provided a ray of hope for the future as Gardner blossomed into the QB many had hoped he always could be - and not a moment too soon. After all, before next season even gets here, there's still one last order of business for the Wolverines to tend to down in Columbus next weekend. And 18 months in the making, the Michigan offense is ready for the challenge.