Hoke decides against trickery at Nebraska

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was not part of coach Brady Hokes trickery packages this week.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was not part of coach Brady Hokes trickery packages this week.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Michigan coach Brady Hoke this week deflected questions as to whether he would continue to use Denard Robinson on kickoff returns.

Robinson was on Michigan’s kickoff return unit during the second half of last week’s 12-10 win over Michigan State at Michigan Stadium, but during the first half of Michigan’s Big Ten game Saturday at Nebraska, Robinson wasn’t in the fray for the No. 20 Wolverines.

Robinson, Michigan’s quarterback, was not on the return team when the Wolverines fielded the opening kickoff, then wasn’t on the return team less than two minutes into the second quarter, after Nebraska took a 7-0 lead on Kenny Bell’s 32-yard touchdown catch. He injured a nerve in his throwing arm.

In other words, there was no trickery. Robinson played solely at quarterback during the first half of Saturday’s Legends Division game, until suffering a cut elbow at the end of the first half.

He finished the first half 6 for 11 passing for 55 yards and led Michigan with 46 yards on 10 carries in the first half, but left the field with 3:51 left in the half after suffering an injury. Robinson didn’t return in the second half.

PACKED HOUSE: Saturday’s announced attendance at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln was 86,160, the second-largest home crowd for Nebraska.

NEBRASKA’S BACKFIELD: A week after suffering the third injury to his left knee, Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead did not play Saturday night against Michigan. Sophomore back Ameer Abdullah, who leads Nebraska with 615 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries, started for the Huskers.

Abdullah had 17 yards on eight carries and one catch for seven yards in the first half. Kenny Bell scored Nebraska’s only touchdown, a 32-yard pass from quarterback Taylor Martinez less than two minutes into the second quarter.

CLARK OUT: Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was not listed for the dress list against the Huskers, reportedly out with a sprained ankle. Freshman Mario Ojemudia filled in for Clark.

NEW FACE: Michigan receiver Jeremy Jackson became an early target for Robinson, catching a pass for eight yards in the second quarter, which helped set up Brendan Gibbons’ 52-yard field goal with 8:21 left in the half. Jackson, a junior, entered the game with two catches for 17 yards in seven games this season.

GLASS CITY CONNECTIONS: Nebraska has three players with direct Toledo ties on its roster: Kevin Williams, a redshirt freshman defensive tackle who graduated from Springfield; LeRoy Alexander, a freshman defensive back who graduated from Whitmer; and Mike Marrow, a junior fullback from Holland who graduated from Central Catholic and transferred from Eastern Michigan.

BOWLING: Representatives from three bowl games were on hand Saturday in Lincoln: the Outback Bowl, the Gator Bowl, and the Capital One Bowl. The Big Ten has berths in the three New Year’s Day games.