I was pretty bummed after the game on Saturday. But before anything else came to my mind, my first reaction was a feeling of sympathy for Devin Gardner. I can't harken back to a time where a QB has received as much punishment as Gardner did in East Lansing. Yet, despite getting hit on almost every throw he made, he continued to fight through the punishment and try to lead the team. Sometimes it looks like he's the only one out there trying.
The offensive line should be embarrassed for allowing him to get hit as many times as they did. Sure, MSU's defense is one of the best they will ever face in their careers at Michigan, but there has to come a time in a game where they say enough is enough and hold themselves to a higher standard in protecting one of their teammates.. with or without proper coaching. Thank goodness the coaches pulled him at the end of the game. The last thing they needed is for Gardner to take more punishment in a hopeless situation.
I know that Gardner isn't a world-beating QB. But given time to throw, he can be a very good QB. I don't know many QBs that could take the punishment that Gardner has taken and continue to play. Even with the struggles this season, Gardner is the man that gives Michigan a chance to win every game that they have left on the schedule because I know he's going to get back up and play against Nebraska where he'll probably take another beating. Beating Ohio is a long shot... but Gardner gives them a chance.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad Gardner is out there leading the team and I have no doubt he'll keep playing despite the beatings he'll receive. This team needs him.