...so I don't like that you've put this out there...even if we're all thinking it. If he sucks tomorrow it's your fault.
This isn't the Quarton Bear way!
I'm Scared of Gardner on the Road
|Road Gardner has been rough Gardner. [Fuller]|
I'm putting this here because it's been brought up a few times on the board and the discussion was getting too long for dear diary. Gardner's (admittedly limited) stats in road games are not great:
We're really just going on three starts plus spot duty. But later today and tomorrow you'll see some Penn State preview posts that claim the depleted Lions are more like their basketball and hockey squads than the typical PSU outfit, so let me be on record that Michigan in that stadium is not a great matchup given Gardner's season so far and his history in away games. In fact I've got a UFR database open right now so let's show that by yards per play on called passes (includes scrambles/sacks):
|2010-'11||9.85 (BG, Minn, Pur)||6.75 (Ill, MSU, NW)|
|2012||9.78 (Iowa, NW)||7.35 (Minn, OSU)|
|2013||9.34 (CMU, ND, Akron, Minn)||4.06 (UConn)|
Before you say "why is his sophomore year…?" there aren't very many attempts there so the weight is mostly on the 10 starts this and last season. That seems pretty stark. The UFR charting bears this out.
Devin in Blue Chart:
Devin in White Chart:
Forever in Blue Jeans Chart:
|Money||talks||sing, dance, walk|
|Honey||is sweet||compare to baby's treat.|
UConn was an all-time low in YPP but part of a trend. The short history of Devin road games read:
- Pre-2012: 3 inaccurate balls, 2 CA+ for 20-yard gains, a PA hitch for 2 yards against MSU and the Yakety sax, and a 4-yd scramble on a Denard Jet.
- Minnesota 2012: Took most of 1st half to warm up, got bailed out a lot by WRs
- OSU 2012: Sacked a few times and lots of late IN's from unset throws out of the pocket.
- UConn 2013: Terrible horrible no good very bad day.
It's a small sample size with little good to recommend it. PSU's defensive backs, meanwhile, are kind of like Michigan in 2010 in that they have one safety-corner hybrid they trust and three they don't. However they've been pretty game so far; the two offenses that torched them were Indiana's Air Raid-like thing that is pretty respectable, and getting Bortles'd. Including their five sacks they're giving up just 5.81 YPA. They're about 40th in every category; 29th in passer rating. That doesn't seem so hard until you consider Gardner's opponents to date are 62nd (ND), 63rd (UConn), 93rd (Minnesota), 108th (CMU), and 117th (Akron). You can save discussion until Brian gets to this part of the preview but count me as nervous here.
...so I don't like that you've put this out there...even if we're all thinking it. If he sucks tomorrow it's your fault.
Wouldn't this count as a reverse-jinx and require that his performance tomorrow be great? I'm not familiar with the rules of football magic, so forgive me if I'm off-base here.
Feels like my corn flakes were just pissed in... again.
is whether Gardner is a maturing quarterback who can put the jitters that contributed to those stats behind him, and whether past team struggles that also contributed will be sufficiently mitigated on Saturday to bring a win.
Lot of favorable signs, as well, not least the steps forward taken last weekend and PSU's own thinness at many positions. He doesn't need to be Superman this week, either.
EDIT: Agree with the first two posters; not sure why you felt compelled to plop this on the front page. An irruption of angst more than full-fledged analysis.
The "Superman-ness" of Devin Gardner.
All the physical tools are there,
and when he happens to get in a groove throwing & running . . . lookout!
But he can't always worry about putting the team on his shoulders everytime we loose a lead or have a turnover in a game, particularly during away games. When he tries to force that Superman-ness, VERY bad things happen. Trust your team & your coaches.
Maturity, reps, game experience, all those things take time. I expect more mistakes from Devin this season, but I trust the tragectory he's on that come Nov. 30, the Devin we see on the field will bear no resemblance to the Devin that threw that horrible endzone pick during the ND game.
you need a do over...a nu start to your day!
(+1 to me for the Arrested Development reference)
There also seems to be the Jim Miller/Billy Volek effect a bit--average to below average QBs who (in the pros) threw for 400+ yards and looked like world beaters the first few games they played when replacing injured QBs with very different tendencies. That might make NW-Iowa-Minny 2012 stats better before Ohio had time to prepare.* So maybe the real sample (Devin vs D-Coordinators who could prepare for tendencies) is even smaller.
My conclusion is that we know even less about home/away splits because the sample of usable games is smaller.
Hopefully Devin learns and grows from his past experiences and handles it better in Happy Valley.
* Obvs there is nothing magic about three games, although that is the number blubbering NFL announcers say it takes for opposing pro D-Coordinators to figure out tendencies.
Now there's a name you haven't heard in a while. He and Drew Bennett put up some big ol' numbers for me back in 2004 en route to a fantasy football championship.
I personally just don't see the point if this post. It's just way to small a sample with huge variance in Gardner's experience, and opponents. Seems like you're nervous, and trying to find a way to justify it.
is nervous because this is a road game in what will be an environment that Gardner has played in only once, last year at Ohio State. I expect this will be the most difficult atmosphere that we will play in all year including East Lansing. Does Gardner's performance at UConn give me pause, a resounding yes.
I have always thought that Gardner is jumpy on the road. He badly needs to get off to a good start in this one. I hope Al dials up some early interception proof guarantee completions just so Devin can see some good or even nuetral things happen right from go. I know Penn State is not a world beater but this is going to be a major league test for him.
Gardner has shown the ability to regain confidence quickly after a rough mistake (a la Notre Dame 2012), but how about we not get there in the first place.
but nobody seemed to mind the small sample size when posters were predicting a hiesman like season and an early departure to the NFL based on Gardners experience last season.
Guys, this is a blog and Seth is a writer on it. This is his take going into the game and is every bit as valid as anyone elses. Just because he might differ from other's opinions doesn't mean it isn't worth sharing. Give the guy a break.
In all honesty, I appreciate the post because it brought me back down to reality a bit. After Ace's post I was beginning to feel this one was in the bag, when most of us know that any game in Happy Valley is going to be a dog fight.
I noticed last night that M was only a 3 point favorite (or 2.5 or whatever it's moved to now). I was wondering why we weren't a bigge favorite. This points to a potential reason why, given Gardner's recent performance.
Big game for him, I think he plays well.
I'm not saying Seth shouldn't have posted it, and he's certainly allowed to express an opinion, especially one with data however limited it might be.
But I still don't get the post. I mean I'm nervous about Gardner as well. But it's not because Gardner is on the road. It's because Gardner is Devin Gardner. Just throw up his TOs and the TOs that have directly lead to opponent points, and there you go. I don't think going back to the '11 MSU game provides any more insight than just looking at all his games, home or away. Gardner turns the ball over.
Sorry about that as I wasn't really targeting my rant at you. There were a lot of negative posts up the thread and my response to you was more about the small sample size than about getting on Seth for his post. Again, sorry for the confusion.
It was pulled out of Dear Diary, was the reason for the extra post. I think Gardner looks more distracted in away games and his decision-making suffers for it. Remember that MSU performance was completely counter to everything we heard about him up to that point in practice.
I guess I don't really remember what was said about Gardner from practice buzz in the '11 season. I'll trust you on that. But Gardner the week after that MSU game, at home was 1 for 2 with a terrible arm punt INT against terrible Purdue. I think the TO issue is just a huge problem irregardless of home/away. I suppose Gardner scores more TDs at home, but my impression is that the offense is just plain better all in all at home than away, even when Denard was QBing. Haven't bothered to look up those stats, but that's my 'feelings-ball' take. Either way, I agree that Gardner makes me nervous for this PSU game.
Exactly. We all saw what happened after all mgobloggers thumped their chests prior to Akron & Uconn. Seth is just taking one for the team (with a justifiable concern, no less) by ensuring there is balance for karma's sake.
If only for the tremendous Neil Diamond CHART!
...gonna have that song in my head for the rest of the day now.
Still so much better than "Sweet Caroline".
Yep, definately a great chart.
The sample size is just so small that you can't discriminate between location and team quality. If anything, you can say he's worse against the Big 10 than out of conference cupcakes.
He's got 2 (3 with South Carolina?) games below 70% DSR since that awful night in Nebraska. One was at home against Akron and one was away against OSU. Everything else is basically fine.
My only concern is his fundamentals. If he plays within the game and picks his spots to run, Penn State is in deep trouble. If not, we're in trouble.
He may have been over 70% against UConn, but... uh...
"It doesn't count when many of those completions are to the guys wearing the wrong jerseys..."
I thought he played well against Ohio last year. Didn't seem jittery at all. Didn't make every play or every throw, but not because the environment was too big for him.
Illinois was clutch - he made the throw he needed to make to ice the game
Agreed. His production sank in the second half when he was dealt a series of 2nd/3rd and longs because of bad game planning. Was he bad, or just put in bad situations against a good team?
And I was just having a perfectly good morning, eating lox and bagels from New York Bagel and Bialy, which isn't bad for a bagel place not in New York. When it comes to Michigan football, I prefer the fingers-in-your-ears method of dealing with fear and anxiety.
can stop Michigan's Minnesota-game offense with a few added wrinkles?
I'm not sure why people are so down on this post. Are commenters really so sensitive that they can't handle a "our very inconsistent QB hasn't looked very good on the road, maybe it's worth mentioning before visiting a notoriously hostile environment?"
Gardner's play has obviously been very up and down. His decision making has not exactly been stellar, even when he's "on" (that TD bomb to Dileo against Minn last season was reminiscent of his Yakety Sax against MSU - it just worked the second time). Playing PSU at PSU is a rough situation, Gardner's ability to not get rattled is going to be huge.
Speaking of jinxes, a guy named Phil who disc golfs a lot needs to buy Verlander a hundred beers for last night. Killed the perfect game and then did it again with the no-no.
We're gonna be alright
The main page authors on this blog are killing me, what with their constant over-confidence and sunshine blowing and refusals to acknowledge the flaws with this team, combined with their relentless pessimism and sky-is-falling attitudes.
BE MORE CRITICAL AND LESS NEGATIVE AND MORE REALISTIC AND LESS NAIVE.
You guys could use a little more snark too. But stop being so damn sarcastic all the time!
GIS for the term "snark" pulls this up. Which I can only assume is a fancy chip clip that counts the number of chips remaining in the bag?
I'm scared of Thomas Gordan and court Avery more than gardener. Also I'm super scared of the offensive line. I'm scared of Al Borg too.
I still don't get the Thomas Gordon hate...I understand Avery a little because he gets beat over the top sometimes...but what has Thomas Gordon let past him and not kept in front of him?...Mattison constantly says these safety's are doing there job of inside and in front.
Just because Gordon isn't some super ball-hawk doesn't mean he hasn't been a really solid tackler and safety. It isn't his fault that Avery and Taylor sometimes get beat on man-to-man coverage and that the linebackers don't get enough depth every time...but the safety's primary job in any defense in keep the play in front of you, don't let anyone run by you with the ball in their hands, he and Wilson have done that, remember 4th and 29 at Uconn?
I would much rather say I'm scared of Allen Robinson, because he is scary good....he is to Hackenburg what Braylon was to Henne.
Oh yeah. Now I know what you mean.....aw jeeez.
I think there are some sample size issues here, obviously, and part of the problem is that Devin hasn't started for a single full season yet--just two fractional seasons.
But my worry is not that this is a Gardner issue; my worry is that our coaching staff might not be preparing the team for road games very well.
The flipside of the perfect home record is that Michigan has struggled greatly away from home. And it's not just the results, but the way the team looks when it plays. And I have a nagging worry that this is one part of Lloyd Carr's pattern that Hoke has in fact brought forward.
Of course, most teams have a harder time on the road, that's how football works. But Michigan has often looked terrible, seriously underperforming even by reduced road standards. Most of the games that have caused people to yell "fire Borges" have been, not coincidently, road games where the whole team plays like disoriented hot garbage.
In the late Carr era, Michigan lost an early road game almost every year, and underperformed in the few they won. Bad events just had a way of compounding, and the team frequently melted down.
I just wonder if this staff has the same problem.
This seems like a good analysis, and the trend is significant enough to mitigate the small sample size. That said, I worry about other things (offensively and defensively) quite a bit more. Devin should be okay, if (and it's a reasonably big if) Borges puts him in a position to succeed. The time is over to use games to "work on things". Time to use what best helps us win the game.
Is it though? Basically you've got Gardner playing poorly in:
1) The first half of his first start
2) Against an undefeated Buckeye team in the Shoe
3) against UConn
Only the last is particularly concerning, and it came after a fairly lousy HOME performance against Akron. I don't know, man.
What I do know is that Gardner needs to play well for us to beat PSU, and this game will tell far more about our chances the rest of the year than the UConn game.
Minny was his first start. Ohio is Ohio. So it really comes down to was UConn an anomoly or not.
Thanks I was having a good day!
Too bad we dont have any Gardner stats from at Nebraska last year to add into the mix............
I think this analysis would be much stronger if you provided some support for the suggestion that Devin was "bailed out by his recievers a lot" against Minnesota and were consistent in your treatment of each of the three games as a single unit or as two halves.
Gardner's stat line against Minnesota in 2012 is very good;12/18 for 234 with 2 TD and 1 INT. Yet, you divide it into a bad half and a good half. And then dismiss the good half with an unsupported assertion.
If you divided the OSU game into halves, you would get a good half; 5/10 for 95 yards 1 passing TD and one rushing TD no INTs and a bad half. Rather than dismissing the entire game as bad.
then he had a good half and a bad half. But if you just watched the game... then ge had a good half and a bad half.
I think Gardner played promisingly well at Minnesota, revelatory even. But he was still bailed out by receivers on several occasions.
Gardner may have been mediocre on the road. But any team that IU drubs by 20 is probably not very good.