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Michigan thrashes Fighting Illini, 45-0, at Michigan Stadium

By Stephen J. Nesbitt, Daily Sports Editor
Published October 13, 2012

Robinson finished 7-for-11 passing for 159 yards and a touchdown, and 11 carries for 128 rushing yards and two rushing scores.

Sophomore running back Thomas Rawls capped the scoring with a 63-yard touchdown run with 6:01 remaining in the fourth quarter.

In the victory, Robinson became the eighth player in Big Ten history to surpass 10,000 yards of total offense, and he posted his 18th 100-yard rushing effort, putting him in a tie for fourth place in Michigan history.

“I just go out there to play football,” Robinson said. “I just go out there to have fun with the team and worry about winning.”

The statistics, though, mean nothing to Michigan’s senior captain. Robinson said the only statistic he pays attention to is turnovers. And that’s where this game stood out.

It was the first time since back-to-back Bowling Green and Indiana games in 2010 that Robinson has gone consecutive weeks without throwing an interception. And the first time since Michigan shut out Minnesota, 58-0, on Oct. 1, 2011 that Robinson hadn’t turned the ball over once.

On the other side of the field, the Michigan defense stood tall for the fourth-consecutive game, after impressive showings against Massachusetts, Notre Dame and Purdue. In the second half, Illinois gained just 13 total yards.

The linebacker corps shone especially bright. Senior middle linebacker Kenny Demens intercepted an O’Toole pass in the third quarter, redshirt sophomore strongside linebacker Jake Ryan wreaked havoc in the Illinois backfield all afternoon — registering two sacks and a fumble forced — and sophomore weakside linebacker Desmond Morgan was honored with the No. 48 Gerald Ford legacy jersey.

Michigan is back in action next Saturday at Michigan Stadium against Michigan State, who lost 19-16 to Iowa earlier on Saturday afternoon.