Now that is the way to do it, Michigan.
In the week leading into the Wolverines’ game against Iowa, most of the attention has been focused on whether Denard Robinson would be able to start, or even play, on Senior Day due to a lingering elbow injury, or if Devin Gardner would again get the start. In fact, the idea of inserting the quarterback for a single play in recognition of what he’s meant to the football program.
As Michigan took the field for its first offensive possession, Gardner was under center for the third straight game… with Robinson lined up as a tailback in UM’s backfield. Robinson carried the ball for three yards on the first play from scrimmage, and caught a four-yard pass on the next.
Robinson has also lined up at quarterback, although he’s yet to attempt a pass.
It appears this won’t be just a gimmick, either, as Robinson was in for the majority of the first possession. Unfortunately, this Gardner/Robinson package, ceremonial gimmick or not, could continue out of necessity as starting running back Fitz Toussaint suffered what appeared to be a very serious leg injury on that first drive.
Toussaint was on the field for several minutes being attended to by medical personnel before being carted off the field with an air cast on his leg.
A win for Michigan would keep the Wolverines alive for the Big Ten Legends division title as they are currently tied with Nebraska, although the Cornhuskers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah