The Michigan football team’s offense is a perfect 13-for-13 in red-zone conversions through four games this season.

There, the secret’s out.

“Why do you say that?” said Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges, when reminded of the red-zone success. “Doggone it. It’s just like that kiss of death, OK?”

OK then.

The Wolverines, led by junior quarterback Denard Robinson, have scored 12 red-zone touchdowns, tearing up defenses for the nation’s second-leading red-zone touchdown percentage (92.3).

But that success is nothing new. Michigan’s identical 4-0 starts the past three seasons have been due in large part to the offense’s success inside the 20-yard line.

In 2010, Robinson tortured defenses in the opening four games to the tune of 18-for-19 in red-zone conversions with 12 touchdowns.

The Wolverines never got close to those numbers in the previous three seasons under former quarterbacks Chad Henne, Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan and Tate Forcier. The 2007-09 totals through four games were 10, six and 10 touchdowns respectively, for touchdown percentages of 66.7, 60.0 and 62.5.

Clearly, Denard Robinson makes a difference. But he’s not the only factor in the red-zone equation.

“I don’t know if there’s a magical answer,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “I mean, I think part of it is always you have some pretty good luck.”

Even with one of the nation’s most-feared rushers handling the ball at quarterback, Michigan hasn’t favored spreading out the field to open running lanes in enemy territory.

Inside the red zone, Borges has called in what Hoke referred to as “jumbo personnel” — I-back sets and three tight ends stacked up close to the line of scrimmage in a classic goal-line look.

Facing the red-zone offense in practice seems to have helped defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense. The unit has allowed just seven scores on 13 red-zone attempts this season, with just five touchdowns.

The Wolverines have the lowest opponent red-zone conversion percentage (53.9) in the Big Ten and the eighth-lowest in the nation.

“Some offenses you can really get a tendency on,” Mattison said. “And you can just say, in this personnel group they’re going to do this, and in this personnel group they’re going to do this.

“Coach Borges, now, if you’re playing against him, just when you think they may run it, he’s going to throw it. Just when you think that he’s going to be in this, he’s going to spread out and be in that. I think that it’s because he’s so sound in every group, where some teams aren’t.”

The goal-line tenacity is emphasized in practice, where the offense and defense square off inside the red zone everyday.

“One thing I’ll say for this football team — we are not perfect by any means, we are not there — but we’ve got pretty good will,” Borges said. “A lot of times, teams don’t have a great will and you tend to fold. We’ve shown no signs of that. Not yet, anyway.”

Michigan’s 4-0 start will be tested against Minnesota on Saturday. But if you’re going by the numbers, Robinson should have his way with the defense.

When backed into the red zone, the Goldon Gophers have allowed 14 scores on 16 chances. That spells a busy day for Minnesota.

“(The red zone) is a point of emphasis,” Borges said. “There’s nothing more distressing than getting the ball down there and not scoring. And you’re not going to score a touchdown every time, but you’re not coming away with something.”

They’re not perfect in his eyes, but they’ve been perfect in the red zone.

“There you go again,” Borges said, laughing.

NOTES: Gophers coach Jerry Kill, who was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. on Sunday after suffering a seizure earlier in the day, returned to practice Wednesday.

The first-year coach has had a seizure disorder for nearly two decades. It caused him to collapse during a game against New Mexico State earlier this year.

“I ain’t changing,” Kill said after his return from his first seizure. “What the hell am I supposed to do? Stop? I mean, sit in the chair and wait for the next God-dang seizure to come along?”

He hasn’t stopped. Kill was back in practice and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said Tuesday that he expects Kill to coach the Big Ten opener at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

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