Against Irish, the 'Shoelace' fits

Denard "Shoelace" Robinson is a perfect foil for Brian Kelly and Notre Dame, but health is an issue. Getty Images

In the last 21 meetings between Michigan and Notre Dame, the underdog has covered the spread 18 times and won outright 13 times. If that trend is going to continue Saturday in South Bend, it will likely happen because of the right arm and legs of Denard Robinson, starting quarterback for the underdog Wolverines.

A year ago, Michigan was inconsistent at best at the quarterback position. Two freshmen, Tate Forcier and Robinson, earned most of the playing time; Forcier threw for 2,000 yards and engineered some strong fourth-quarter play, but he was inconsistent and appeared to wear down as the season progressed.

Meanwhile, Robinson was a strong rusher (351 yards, 5.0 per carry) but completed just 14 of 31 passes for the season.