When Michigan announced minutes before kickoff against Minnesota that Denard Robinson was out, and he would be replaced by Devin Gardner, the Wolverines looked like they were in trouble.
Little did we know that Gardner, who was playing receiver for the Wolverines until practice this week, could do such a good Robinson imitation that he could look just as good (better?) than the original has this year.
Gardner's first two years were spent backing up Robinson, but Michigan wanted to get him on the field this season. His first career start came at receiver, in the season opener against Alabama. He caught a 44-yard touchdown.
Gardner was still a receiver as recently as last week. He caught one pass against Nebraska. But in that game, Robinson hurt his elbow, and backup Russell Bellomy struggled in his place. So Gardner moved back to quarterback in practice this week and did enough to earn the start when Robinson couldn't go.
Gardner was great in a 35-13 win at Minnesota. He completed 12-of-18 passes for 234 yards and had a couple of incredible touchdowns. The first came in the second quarter on a scramble in which he started right, looped back to the left and hit Drew Dileo for a 45-yard score. He had another great score on third and goal in the fourth quarter, when he was hemmed up but made a defender miss, then was hit at the 2-yard line but simply wanted it more than the Minnesota defenders and bulled into the end zone.
Although Gardner had a lot of help from his receivers, who played a great game, he deserves a lot of credit for coming up big in an unusual spot. Michigan might have even found Robinson's replacement for next season.
H/T for video to TheNewSportsGuru.com
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