Michigan embarrassed by Mississippi State

Published 3:41 pm Sunday, January 2, 2011

No one knows the fate of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez at this point, but another embarrassing loss will not help his cause. (Daily Star Photo/File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If Rich Rodriguez needed help keeping his University of Michigan football job, Saturday’s Gator Bowl wasn’t it.

After a pair of solid drives in the first quarter, the Wolverines were completely embarrassed by Mississippi State, falling 52-14.

That leaves the embattled Wolverine coach 15-21 overall and 1-10 against ranked teams in three seasons at Michigan.

Athletic director Dave Brandon said that he would make no decisions on the future of Rodriguez until the season was over. He also said that the NCAA violations did not give him cause to terminate his contract, which has another three years.

But since Michigan did not fire him prior to Jan. 1, the buyout clause in that contract drops from $4 million to $2.5 million.

Here are some notes from Saturday’s Gator Bowl:

• Michigan is 19-21 all-time in bowl games after making its 40th bowl appearance today at the 2011 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

• Sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson surpassed 200 passing yards for the seventh time in 13 games this season with 254, his third-highest total this season; Robinson threw for 305 yards against Illinois in triple overtime and 277 yards at Indiana.

• Robinson finished the season with the fourth-best rushing total in school history with 1,702 yards on 256 carries. Tshimanga Biakabutuka (1995) holds the record with 1,818 yards on 303 carries; Anthony Thomas is second (2000 – 1,733 yards, 319 carries) and Jamie Morris is third (1987 – 1,703, 282 carries).

• Robinson gained 313 yards of total offense against Mississippi State, surpassing the 300-yard plateau for the ninth time this season.

• Robinson finished the season with a school-record 4,272 yards of total offense.

• Junior wide receiver Martavious Odoms returned to the lineup after suffering a broken foot against Michigan State on Oct. 9. Odoms returned seven kickoffs for 163 yards and caught one touchdown pass for 27 yards. He caught the 27-yarder in the first quarter, marking his third career receiving score.

• Senior/junior wide receiver Junior Hemingway returned to the lineup after missing the Ohio State game and had four catches for 49 yards, including a long of 31 yards in the first quarter. He also tied a career long with a 34-yard punt return.

•  With nine receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown, junior/sophomore receiver Roy Roundtree surpassed the 100 career catch milestone and now has 104.

• Junior wideout Darryl Stonum surpassed the 1,000 career receiving yard milestone with 59 against Mississippi State. He now has 1,008 career receiving yards.

• The 24 first-quarter points were the most combined by two teams in the opening stanza of a Gator Bowl. It surpassed the 22 points tallied by Florida State and West Virginia in the 2005 game.

• Senior left guard Stephen Schilling finished his Michigan career tied for second all-time on Michigan’s career starts list. Schilling tied Jeff Backus (1997-2000) with his 49th career start along the offensive line and fell one start shy of Jon Jansen’s (1995-98) record of 50 starts.

• Fifth-year seniors Perry Dorrestein and Jonas Mouton joined regular captains Mark Moundros and Stephen Schilling for the coin toss prior to today’s 66th annual Gator Bowl game.

• Redshirt freshman Fitzgerald Toussaint started the game in a two-back set alongside Vincent Smith. It was Toussaint’s first career start on offense. He finished the game with two carries for five yards and had a 28-yard kickoff return.

• Redshirt freshman Cameron Gordon intercepted a desperation heave on the final play of the first half by Mississippi State. It was Gordon’s third interception of the season and fifth turnover gained this year (three interceptions, two fumbles).

Bowl records

• The Wolverines are 1-2 in the Gator Bowl; they previously defeated Mississippi (35-3 in 1991) and lost 17-15 to North Carolina in the 1979 game.

• Rodriguez fell to 1-3 in the Gator Bowl and is 3-4 all-time in bowl games.

• U-M played in its 40th all-time bowl game and made its third appearance in the Gator Bowl.

• Michigan’s eight kickoff returns in the 2011 Gator Bowl tied a school bowl record, matching the eight against Tennessee at the 2002 Citrus Bowl. Its 191 kickoff return yards rank second all-time in bowl games behind the 221 against Texas at the 2005 Rose Bowl.

• Martavious Odoms’ seven kickoff returns rank second all-time in U-M bowl game history behind Todd Howard’s eight against Tennessee at the 2002 Citrus Bowl. Odoms’ 163 kickoff return yards also rank second all-time in U-M bowl history behind Steve Breaston’s 221 against Texas in the 2005 Rose Bowl.

• Denard Robinson’s 41 pass attempts is tied for fourth in U-M bowl history, equaling Chad Henne’s 41 attempts against USC in the 2007 Rose Bowl. His 27 completions are tied for second in U-M bowl history, matching John Navarre’s performance at the 2004 Rose Bowl, also against USC.