First, I am a Denard "True Believer". I must confess that last season I was an enthusiastic Tate fan and I believed that once a suitable back up arrived Denard would be an ideal slot receiver. Denard has shown that he is ideally suited to play QB in this offense and moving him would limit its effectiveness.
Here's why I suggest we might want to start Tate:
1 - To protect Denard - Since we are counting on him to lead us through the Big Ten season we may want to limit his wear and tear when we can.
2 - To prepare Tate - clearly Tate worked his way into the dog house over the summer, however it looks like this week he "embraced" his role on the team. Giving him some substantial playing time would better prepare him if Denard misses any time.
3 - To temper expectations for Denard - Denard has become the hottest thing in college football. Every week fans and foes are going to want to know what he's done. As Six Zero pointed out in another post, this puts a lot of pressure on Denard and a lot of people will root for him to fail. Postponing his next start won't eliminate the expectations but it will temper the hype a little.
4 - Demonstrate the effectiveness of the offense - It is being suggested that this offense is basic and only works because we caught "lightning in a bottle" with Denard. By showing the offense still dominates with Tate, recruits and fans will realize that this success won't go away when Denard does.
Obviously, Coach Rodriguez will do what he thinks is best. I just wondered what you all thought this suggestion.
Let the debate begin.
|Div. I Ranking||Offense||Defense|
|Rushing||287.5 (7th)||146.0 (65th)|
|Passing||215.0 (56th)||293.0 (94th)|
I feel good, in a different way than I expected with a win over ND that puts us at 2-0. I feel good, like it's all good. Last year it was more desperate, being at 2-0, it was a climb to acceptance that needed to be done, struggle and win or else. This year it feels like the climb is done. I've decided it's because of the team. Yesterday the men played like a team, that the parts had finally come together as one. I don't think the program has been this unified since the '08 Citrus Bowl win against Florida, but even that was different because it was Coach Carr's last game on a senior led team. The transition is complete, and it was most evident yesterday in the hallowed grounds of Notre Dame stadium, a place where the leprechauns and ghosts of legends past had risen up to bite us in the arse so many times before. A place where Brady, Henne and other fine Wolverine QB's led teams that were full of promise into that stadium only to leave defeated. Yesterday's game was a big challenge, make no mistake about it, but the team rose up like brothers, unified in their cause and beliefs, to win the day. I think yesterday a team was born, a roster of Michigan men coached by a Michigan man defeated the Fighting Irish in South bend and now move on to bigger things. I'm feeling good...
The hype train is in full swing. On College Football Final Mark May made that statement, which was qualified by "with the ball in his hands..." Then the guys made the now standard references to how he's running too much and will have to reduce that in the B10 season, etc etc. That is already a tired critique, although IME there is truth to it. "Best football player in America?" While simply amazing after two games, I wouldn't yet make that statement myself, would you?
We'll know more about our chances to start the season 6-0 next week after MSU plays ND; and we'll have a stronger indication about where we may stand in the B10.
How many think Sparty beats a down ND next week and how many think Our Lady puts the hurt on little brother?
I can see MSU has a running game; their field goal kicking is solid. But I respect ND after yesterday, see them playing opponents tough all season. What do you-all think? Anyone out there following MSU closely?
It is great to win this game but we could have open up the game when Crist was out in the first half. But give credit to ND's special team. Their punts were terrific (most within 20 yard line, a couple within 10 yard line) and made a tough start point for our offense. Of course another reason for lacking of points in 2nd Q is way too many drive-killing penalties.
This special team is really getting me worried. RS frosh and true frosh serving kicking and punting could really be a big problem when we are in another close game.