Look, I get the fact that he should not have ran 30 times versus an Alabama defense that was stacked against the run. It would be suicide on many levels. I also get that Alabama has maybe the best defense and best team in the nation. However, I also cannot fathom how a Heisman hopeful only had 2 rushing attempts in the 1st half and was regulated to sitting in the pocket throwing to an unproven and somewhat inexperienced group of WRs/TEs without the services of his top RB. At the very least, roll him out and create the option of him tucking the ball and running to keep the defense honest. The game plan implemented by Al Borges neutered Robinson and the offense and set them up for failure. If you felt you were over matched then why not get creative? Making your best player who runs a 4.3 40-yard dash a sitting duck, forcing him to be the type of player he unquestionably is not, and running a 5'6" tailback into the middle of possibly the best defense in the country is head-scratching. I am not sure I buy the notion that they made the game plan scared with the objective of simply getting Robinson out of there alive, but I will say that it raises the question of "What the #$&% were you thinking?!" To not even try to allow your best player do what he does best and make a play or two is asinine. It's like bringing a knife to a gun fight. There were other ways to utilize his legs other than designed runs. He was handcuffed and neutralized even before the first snap. Even the biggest die hards (I am one of them) have to question the game plan when being honest with themselves.
After watching the Alabama game and hearing Borges' rationale for the game plan (defense stacked against the run, forcing him to pass, etc.) I am nervous as to what lies ahead for the remainder of the season. I know the Wolverines will not face a team nearly as good as the Tide in their remaining games but they will face some pretty good defenses who also are big, fast, agressive, and athletic, most notably Nebraska, Ohio State, and Michigan State. These teams without question will follow Alabama's blueprint against Denard. MSU has already implemented an almost identical scheme against Robinson the last two years and have embarrassed the Wolverines in the process. If Borges will be adamant/stubborn on not being creative and tying to force a square peg in a round hole against such defenses then the offense will be behind the 8-ball and will sputter in those games. Particularly against the Spartans who have one of the best defensive fronts in the B1G and the country and a very good secondary to boot. Good luck going into that game with a similar scheme that was implemented against Saban's group. It's very early to speculate as to what the offense will look like in these games but my point is that they will face a few more teams that will play to stop the run and they will need to be a little more um, DYNAMIC to have any success offensively.
I am also not oblivious to the fact that Robinson was not recruited by the current coaching regime. I am fully aware that Al Borges needs to instill his pro-style West Coast Offense in the program to build for the future. But right now, their starting QB was recruited as a Spread Option QB. He does not have the skill set to efficiently run a precision passing offense. As long as "Shoelace" is under center, Borges must find a way to utilize his strengths while implementing principles of his offense. Last year, when Michigan ran a hybrid offense which had elements of both the Spread and the West Coast offenses, particularly against Nebraska and OSU, they looked incredibly efficient and explosive. That has to be the plan going forward for the remainder of the season. As long as the personnel still has more of a Rich Rod feel to it, Borges has to play to their strengths if they want to have a win total close to last year. At times he has done this very well and the results have been favorable on the field. At times he appears to be stubborn almost to the levels of Rich Rodriguez in 2008 and the offense has been grounded almost to a halt. If the staff wanted a true passer at the helm to completely implement their scheme, they should have told Denard from the start that he will be moved to another position where he would still get plenty of touches and be a difference-maker while finding an adequate game-managing QB to run a more conventional offense until you brought in your future stud (Shane Morris hopefully). Forcing Denard to be a pocket passer is the equivalent of Rodriguez making Steven Threet run the Spread Option. It just doesn't work. At least not against any decent defenses.