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March 11, 2013

By The Numbers: U-M must fill big-play void

In 2012, Michigan produced 21 rushes of 20 yards or more and 41 pass completions of such length, but with Denard Robinson's departure most of U-M's big plays are exiting Ann Arbor.

During the past three seasons, Robinson rushed for 20 yards or more 40 times, including 12 times in 2011 and on 14 occasions in 2012. All other Michigan rushers combined for 25 big plays over the past two years (49.0 percent) while Robinson was also responsible for 60 of 76 pass completions of 20 yards or more (78.9 percent).

The good news for U-M and its fans is that redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner averaged four completions of 20 yards or greater per outing during his five-game stint (Robinson had averaged 2.9 per game during the 2011-12 campaigns), however the Maize and Blue produced just six 20-yard plays on the ground all year in which a No. 16 wasn't toting the football.

With Roy Roundtree's departure also, Michigan returns the principle parties in just 18 total big plays among the 62 (29.0 percent) the Wolverines racked up a year ago. Fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon has built quite a rapport with Gardner, though, catching nine 20-yarders, giving U-M a good head start on replacing the void.

Here is a look at the 18 big plays accomplished by Wolverines set to return in 2013.

Yards
Type
Player(s)
Opponent
63
Rush
Thomas Rawls
Illinois
51
Rec.
Jeremy Gallon from Devin Gardner
Iowa
50
Rush
Fitzgerald Toussaint
Northwestern
47
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
Minnesota
45
Rec.
Drew Dileo from Gardner
Minnesota
42
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
Northwestern
41
Rush
Toussaint
Minnesota
38
Rush
Toussaint
Michigan State
36
Rec.
Gallon from gardner
Ohio State
31
Rush
Toussaint
Notre Dame
31
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
Iowa
31
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
Iowa
30
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
Ohio State
29
Rec.
Devin Funchess from Gardner
Iowa
28
Rec.
Toussaint from Gardner
Northwestern
26
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
South Carolina
24
Rush
Justice Hayes
Illinois
21
Rec.
Gallon from Gardner
South Carolina



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