Despite not matching up to earl expectations, Denard Robinson of Michigan is having another special year, well on course to become the record holder for rushing yards as a quarterback during a college football career, about three games from snatching it away from Pat White.
At the moment, Denard Robinson has 4129 rushing yards through 3 and some seasons playing for Michigan; after 7 games in the 2012 season. He has run for 900 yards so far this year, averaging 7.4 yards per carry, which is his highest season average. He ran for over 200 yards twice this season already – 235 against Purdue and 218 against Air Force.
The only time he’s gone for less than 90 on the ground was, you guessed it, the Alabama game on opening week, stopped at only 27 yards, turning the ball over with two interceptions. Interesting enough, he owns the Michigan school record for interceptions with 39. The coaching staff did limit his throwing after the terrible performance against Notre Dame, but he set a season high for passing attempts in the game against Michigan State.
So how far till he reaches Pat White? Well, Pat White Finished his college career with 4480 yards, 6.5 per attempt. Robinson only needs 351 more yards to reach that mark. Averaging 128.6 this season, it means he’ll be across that mark in the next three games, which see Michigan playing Nebraska, Minnesota and Northwestern; not the best defenses the sport has to offer.
The more impressive thing about Robinson’s impending record is the fact that he has spent a lot less time on the field when compared with White, who took over the starting quarterback position from the moment he entered college. Robinson has played 38, 284, 377, and 195 minutes from 2009-present, respectively. With 667 rushing attempts, this averages out to 4.62 rush yards/minute on the field, and .75 attempts/minute.
In comparison, White, who had 684 rushing attempts, averaged .56 rushing attempts/minute on the field, and 3.67 rushing yards/minute on the field. There’s not much of a difference in the passing attempts numbers as well. It leads to two conclusions – either Michigan rely on Robinson much more than West Virginia did on Pat White, or the Wolverines play at a much higher pace.
Considering White played alongside one of the best running backs in College Football at the time, Steve Slaton, the first answer is probably the right answer.