By Larry Large/The Associated Press
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson would be much happier if no one knew who he was, allowing him to live under the radar.
"I'm not on Twitter or Facebook because I just don't like the attention," Robinson said in an interview this week before traveling to Florida to be with his family. "My teammates are always on me to get on Twitter or Facebook, but that's just not how I get down."
The player known as "Shoelace" — because he doesn't lace up his cleats or shoes — attracts eyes and ears anyway. This year, Robinson set an NCAA record for yards rushing by a quarterback with 1,643, and he became the first to both run and throw for 1,500 yards.
He will break the school's single-season record if he runs for 175 yards — for the fifth time — against No. 21 Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day.
The Bulldogs have other plans.
Mississippi State held Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton to just 70 yards rushing on 18 carries and limited him to just 136 yards passing in a 19-11 loss to Auburn.
Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said Robinson is quicker, faster and a little more elusive than Newton, adding he timed Robinson run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds at a camp for recruits. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said there's nothing Mississippi State can do to prepare for Robinson's speed and way Rich Rodriguez uses it.
"They run him a lot more than Auburn runs Cam Newton," Diaz said. "So, there's no question who the head of the snake is."
Robinson started every game this season for Michigan (7-5) and averaged 20-plus carries. He also got knocked out of games with concussion-like symptoms, a bruised left knee and banged-up right shoulder.
Perhaps more than any Wolverine, Robinson benefited from having five weeks to heal between playing Ohio State and the Bulldogs.
"It helped Denard's legs a lot and probably mentally helped him as well," Rodriguez said after Robinson starred in an on-campus scrimmage. "He had the ball a lot, so he needed the break."
Robinson said he feels fresh.
"I'm moving around better than I was in the O-State game," he said. "It feels like everything is coming back for me like it was early in the season."
Robinson produced video game-type numbers when the Wolverines won their first five games, averaging 202 yards passing with seven touchdowns and one interception along with 181 yards rushing per victory with eight scores.
In Michigan's five losses, he threw as many TDs (five) as interceptions and averaged 60 fewer yards rushing than he did during his sensational start — though he did run for six scores.
"I knew there would be some bumps in the road," Robinson said. "I'm going to learn from that."
Robinson's body of work, though, was hard to ignore for postseason awards.
He ranked third in the nation in total offense (329.9 yards per game), fourth in rushing (136.9) and 20th in passing efficiency (152.9 rating) in his first year as a starter after backing up Tate Forcier when both were freshman last season. Robinson finished sixth in voting for the Heisman, and he was named the Big Ten's offensive player of the year and its MVP.
The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native said he expects a lot of people from his hometown to make the 5-hour drive up the coast to watch him play in the Gator Bowl.
"I'm excited because my whole city is trying to get there," Robinson said.
AP Sports Writer David Brandt in Starkville, Miss., contributed to this report.