Michigan’s Denard Robinson set the record for career rushing yards by a quarterback thanks to his 100-yard performance against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl…and that’s true even if Robinson only spent part of his time as the team’s signal caller.
You see, nowhere in the 18-page NCAA statistician’s manual does it say a player must be lined up under or behind the center for his rushing yards to be credited to him as a quarterback. In fact, Michigan apparently consulted the NCAA and was told if QB is the player’s primary position, that’s all that matters.
Why do the Wolverines still consider Robinson a quarterback even though Devin Gardner has been handling the bulk of those duties of late? Well, the coaches still list Robinson there, Robinson warms up there, and–in the words of a UM spokesman: “Even after his injury, the majority of his snaps still came at QB…not totally different than in 2011 when he took a few snaps at other positions while in our ‘Deuce Package.'”
So if you’re a Michigan fan, you’re probably going to applaud Denard’s record and credit the school with making a good faith effort to adhere to NCAA protocols. If you’re an Ohio State fan, you might grudgingly acknowledge Denard’s personality, compelling backstory and athleticism. Then you might grumble that the Wolverines exploited a loophole, but you certainly can’t fault them for creating the loophole.
And if you’re a Mountaineers fan? You’re likely a little hacked off right now.
Robinson’s 4,495 yards are 15 better than West Virginia’s Pat White total.