UM’s Robbins sets high standards on his punting

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan freshman punter Brad Robbins, who took over the punting at the start of the Big Ten season, said he has plenty of improvement to make.

Robbins, the nation’s top-rated punter coming out of high school, is averaging 40.8 yards a punt and of his 37 punts, 11 have been inside the 20-yard line.

“I know there are high expectations coming in,” Robbins said Tuesday after practice. “Of course I’m filling in Kenny Allen’s shoes. I’ve played decent. I’m not going to ever be satisfied. I want to average 60 yards if I can. I want to become more consistent. I want to help the defense as much as I can.”

Punting at the college level is completely different. First, Robbins said he had never before worked with a special teams coach. And then there is the variety of kicks.

He joked that his high school coach just wanted him to “kick the crap out of the ball.”

“It changed when I got here,” Robbins said, adding he can pooch punt and go directional.

Robbins has a long of 57 yards this season and said once, in perfect conditions and with the wind at his back, punted one 70 yards in the air that rolled to the other goal line.

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Kickers often say they dream of making the winning field goal. But what do punters dream of? Robbins had some fun rattling off the things he hopes to accomplish.

“Punters dream of that perfect pooch punt where you pin them right down on the 1,” he said. “We can also dream of getting that big hit on the sideline. You don’t ever want to make a tackle as a punter but just dreaming of hitting somebody, just knocking somebody out of bounds or knocking their head off. Another one, bad snap, you run for a touchdown. I did that one in high school, 90 yards. Last game of the season, senior season, first career touchdown.”

No hard feelings

Linebacker Khaleke Hudson set a single-game Big Ten record and tied the NCAA record with eight tackles for loss against Minnesota last Saturday.

He originally was credited with 13 tackles, 6 1/2 for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery, but upon film review, Hudson picked up two tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss. Among the adjustments was a third-quarter sack that originally was credited to Chase Winovich but was actually Hudson’s.

Winovich has 11 tackles for loss and a team-leading seven sacks this season, while Hudson has 14 TFLs and 5 1/2 sacks.

“I’m sure coach (Greg) Mattison will give me crap for saying this … but if you look throughout the season I feel like I’ve had more sacks taken away from me than most people in the country have sacks,” Winovich said Tuesday, drawing laughs. “Every game I’ll get TFLs and sacks and I wake up the next day and I find it’s cut in half.”

Chase as Chase

Several Michigan players revealed Monday that defensive end Chase Winovich dressed as himself, in football uniform, for Halloween. Winovich explained Tuesday why he made that decision.

“My mom always told me growing up, she said the worst thing you can be in life is someone else, so I figured what better thing to be on Halloween than myself,” Winovich said. “It was a perfect outfit.”

He also dressed as Thor, taking advantage of his long, bleached blond hair

Multiple Harbaughs on the sideline?

The last time Michigan played at Maryland, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was joined not only by his son, Jay, now the Wolverines’ running backs coach, but also his older brother, John, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens do not have a game on Sunday, so it’s possible John Harbaugh will make a return appearance on the Michigan sideline. But that remains up in the air.

“He came the last time we played Maryland,” Harbaugh said on the Big Ten call Tuesday. “I haven’t talked to him about that this week.”

Pick the color

Winovich hopes to raise money for a charity by having fans enter a raffle, with the winner getting to pick what color he dyes his hair.

“Coach Harbaugh suggested I wait until the end of the season, maybe for the last game, and we’ll do it up bigger,” he said. “This way, he didn’t say this, but it’s better for my hair. From my perspective, it would absolutely destroy it if I dyed it a different color every week. It will be more special and less of a distraction.”