Thursday Happy Hour is talking about Denard

Denard Robinson, after torching Notre Dame twice, says this year's challenge is tougher - Do you think Notre Dame is going to be ready for him this time after the last two years?

"You can tell they're more comfortable with the defense," Robinson said. "Everybody is moving faster, and they're a more physical team. You can see the difference. You can see a big difference, from my sophomore year to this year."

QB Oh Noes: The Return (also, illegal man downfield) - Play action in the Michigan offense.

The positive sign from this play, however, is that Borges appears to be learning how to use the threat of Denard's legs as a way to set up easy completions. The one tweak here is the use of Devin Funchess to catch the seam route rather than a slot receiver. One of the concerns with this personnel is that if Funchess can't develop into a reliable run-blocker, defenses will start keying in on him as a receiver and disregard the play action. But that's a worry for another time. Right now, Funchess is a problem for just about every defense and it's nice to see Borges utilizing his skillset.

Mailbag: Redshirts, Bad Burned Ones, QB Oh Noes, Packaged Plays - MGoBlog on a few things, one of them is those "QB Oh Noes".

Correct, not that it's hugely important. But the aspect of the Oh Noes that was so devastating is that it goes directly upfield right away, thus demanding an equally quick response from defenders. Since the QB is going upfield, you usually need to involve a safety as well. The more traditional mesh-point-into-pass play action is obviously not awful, but to date it has not gotten a guy over the top. It's good for those 20 yard seams but does not seem to be quite as good at getting a safety to watch a 70 yard touchdown sail over his head.

Give us some of that old time Denard Robinson religion - Matt Hinton: nailing it.

Denard Robinson against Notre Dame is the ur-Denard from which all other versions of Denard follow and against whom they are all compared. With the possible exception of the Denard who played a nearly perfect game in the process of snapping a seven-year losing streak against Ohio State last November, the others almost always come up short. Denard against Notre Dame is the original formula. The idol to which thousands of No. 16 jerseys pay homage every weekend, hoping for a mere glimpse of what they got in South Bend in 2010, and under the newly installed lights in Michigan Stadium in 2011 – if not necessarily the best version of Denard, as they saw in the former case, then at least the version who abruptly forgot everything he'd ever been coached in the latter and proceeded to turn the fourth quarter into his own personal PlayStation at the Irish's expense. No player in college football in the last decade has inflicted as much emotional damage on a single rival.

QB Everett Golson speeds up Notre Dame, worries U-M's Greg Mattison - Golson provides another dimension to the Notre Dame offense keeping plays alive with his feet.

"The quarterback really impressed me with his ability to throw the football as well as he puts a lot of pressure on you because he takes off scrambling and he can run," U-M defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said Tuesday.

ACC Orange Bowl Deal Involving SEC, Big Ten, And Notre Dame Finalized, According To Report - Remember when the Orange Bowl was irrelevant? That might be changing.

The Orange Bowl will pit the ACC champion against the highest-ranked team of a pool including SEC and Big Ten squads and Notre Dame beginning in 2014, according to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd.

2012 Heisman Horse Race, Week 3: Redemption Time - Robinson features, briefly.

Picture Pages ND: The Unbalanced Line - The Only Colors breaks down Michigan State's unbalanced offensive line play package that has come out against Notre Dame in hte last two years, as well as the way it has been tweaked. File away for future reference.

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