Rittnenberg post on some post-game presser stuff. Think what you want, as everyone has an opinion. I think there's a fine line between sticking with momentum or going with proven effectiveness you've already seen in similar past-game effectiveness.
"RRod: "That spark was still lit."
Gosh. I'm turn between going with the hot hand, and going with the "proven" commodity. But then I look at the time left on the clock: about 1:30. With Denard's tendency to run, and no time outs left, it's tough to see how he's the better choice for the last drive.
It was clearly a passing situation, and I think you just gotta go with Tate, even if he has having a rough game.
that the time argument is the least valid one. If Denard checks down to Odoms on that last play, we're like 10-15 yards outside of fg range with like 40 seconds left. I'm not sure time was going to be a factor at all.
You state "if Denard checks down to Odoms ..." Well, my response to that is that, if a quarterback is going to be asked to make a read in the passing game, I'd prefer it to be Tate. Now, I'm not saying Tate played flawless (otherwise he would have been out there), but with respect to the particular play we're discussing, I think I would have preferred to have Tate throwing the ball.
if Denard tucks it and runs into what looked like a good bit of open space, we're in basically the same situation.
I'd have to see the play again. But yeah, I suppose that he could have run on that play. He didn't, though.
So perhaps I should retract my argument that it's about clock management, and instead make the general assertion that I think Tate makes better decisions than Denard?
We'll never know what happens in the alternate universe, but I'm having a tough time agreeing with the decision to go with Denard over Tate. That's just my opinion.
Tate should have been in the game. Did he play great? No. Did he play great in the first 3 quarters against MSU? No. But have some confidence in the kid and send him out there. At this point in his life as a Michigan QB, DRob is not going to win you very many games with his arm. Especially when it's a 2 minute drive with no timeouts on the road. He shouldn't have been in that situation. Hopefully everyone grows from the situation and they improve as a team.
That checkdown is open because Iowa is over respecting DRob's running. Iowa is able to blanket that guy more with Tate in there, the way the game had gone.
We were 30 yards away from legit FG range with one minute to go. Time was not a factor. Shoot, three plays of the average gain he'd already had on his plays would get us within the Iowa 40. With first down clock stops and a clock killing spike, we'd still have time for one, maybe two more plays to get us in better range.
Rodriguez wants to have 2 QBs he can win with. Its the team he wants. We should get used to him going to the bullpen. Doing so was the only reason we were even had a chance at the end. Lets not forget that.
We don't know that Tate wouldn't have led that exact same drive that Denard did. And of course we don't know either that he would have had any different result at the end that Denard did. But as a guy that respects probabilities, past stats in similar situations, and odds, I would think you would agree that all of those favor playing Tate in that last drive, given past performances. And I disagree as well that time was not a consideration. a minute to go with no timeouts is always a factor, especially when your QB has not demonstrated much proficiency passing the ball.
Despite the validity of any other arguments pro or con for Tate or Denard, the clock is the bottom line.
Denard gave a hell of a great performance and has a lot to be proud of, but, at this point Forcier has the experience in those situations, is the better passer, and in that situation you need to pass. On that last drive I tend to think Forcier should have been in.
The time issue was concerning me on the first Denard drive. Like it or not, running the football eats more clock than passing the ball does, and putting in your quarterback who runs better than he passes is going to eat a lot of clock. Yeah, we scored, but if we had been able to score about 30 seconds to a minute faster, we're in a better position to win with 1 timeout. Our defense gave us as much time as they could, but 1:30 on the clock and Denard in the game isn't ideal.
We only needed about 40-45 yards, but there was no way we would have been able to do that with the playbook they've given Denard so far this year combined with the amount of clock left. It forced them to put Denard in a position they haven't really put him this year--having to throw more than high-percentage short slants and screens.
Rodriguez would have made that kind of calculation?
Even Herbsreit mentioned it. If he would have gotten Tay, they probably would have been one pass away from fg range. I don't really agree with it, but Tate was not on the same page at all. What I do know, is that if we could have taken away Minor's fumble, and the muffed punt, we would have been ok. Shit happens, Denard didn't have to score a TD, just get in field goal range. Even with him running the ball, they could do it. 4-2 on our way to 5-2, go blue.
I find it amazing that in 4 comments on an ESPN post, not one of them is berating Rodriguez for the decision. On the flip side, it took all of 2 seconds for someone to create one of the 8 threads here on that topic.
And I don't think I have to tell you that the quality of commenting on this site has been slowly degrading. But that's what happens when you're this big.
That point was driven home recently when I saw that someone had gotten posbanged for making a "your mom" joke.
but disagreeing with RR's decision is not in that category. As anything though, the way you do it matters.
Not one? This one could have been posted here:
"When you are looking for a clutch play in any sport, you go with the most qualified and reputable playmaker. Forcier is young. He will make mistakes. However, the kid has performed magically on 3 4th quarter comebacks to lead his team to scores. Michigan needed a field goal not a TD and you put an unproven passer in Robinson in a position where he HAS to throw the ball. Tate is your QB. He is your playmaker. If he makes a mistake you live with it. Unbelievable... Michigan was robbed of a win tonight."
I wouldn't go so far as to say we should have won despite this decision. Iowa's Defense was getting after Tate on throwing downs and he was obviously off. I wouldn't say putting him in guarantees a win, but it does give UM the best chance of winning given bad field position, obvious passing situations and most importantly TIME.
So much for my belief that Tate's throwing hand was injured for being the reason he was on the sideline. Sh_tstorm to commence in 3...2...1...
Take a look around you, Ellen, we're at the threshold of hell!!
One of the ESPN commenters said this... I generally hate copying and pasting but this is so spot on and well-said that I'd be remiss if I didn't re-post here:
[quote]I've been a Michigan fan for as long as I can remember (30 years now)...and that's saying something, considering I grew up in East Lansing. I truly hope Michigan fans can temper their disappointment with this loss. The knee-jerk reaction is to second-guess coaching decisions. One thing stands out though. I can honestly say that in all my years watching Michigan play, even in losing, I have never been more entertained. I hope fans can appreciate what Coach Rod has brought to this program in two short years. I see the spark that he's talking about and the players obviously do too. That's a spark of hope that he can take this program to the next level. I think it would be foolish to discount everything this the coach and team has done to this point. Michigan is still a very young team with a lot of growing and work to do. Please Michigan fans, don't fulfill the stereotypes everyone else lays on you by whining about this loss. Yes it's frustrating to think that they should have won this game, but it's even more encouraging to realize that before the season started we wouldn't have even given them a chance. Sit back and enjoy the ride all...Michigan is playing exciting football.[/quote]
Totally agree. Several of this year's games have ranked among the most exciting Michigan games I've ever watched.
Mind you, I am in the "put in Tate" camp. I believe with all my heart he would have given us a better chance to get down field on that last drive. However, I'm not bashing RichRod for this. I am glad he is our coach. I'm just saying that I disagree with that particular decision.
I cant think of a better home stand in my 30 years of going to games. We saw some amazing stuff.
All off season, I never thought we'd take these road games anyway. I like how they endured everything possible and still almost won each time. I would have taken 4-2 after six games in a heart beat on the morning of September 5.
I've never been closer to going to the hospital for a heart attack as many times as I have been this year, and we're only half way through.
It has been awesome!
Awesome name/avatar combo.
Tate should have been in on the last drive period end of story. think about it he was playing a horrible game last week against state but in the last 4 minutes got us into overtime and no one said a thing about him doing nothing the whole game. We would have gotten into field position if tate was in
A. denard isnt a very good decision maker in the 10% of time hes thrown the ball he has thrown 4 ints
B. Not accurate period
C. 3 people were WIDE open on the last play of the game minor streaking down the field, odoms open down under, hemingway or stonum on the other side and he throws it way over everybody's head into double coverage hmmmmmmmmmmmm
D. Duhhh its tate time and he would have gotten the ball to the open rerciever that what he does not forced the ball
end of story tate should have been in the game
I agree totally. Also, if Denard was in there in the same vein as the "Belien benching Manny" mode, then I don't sgree with it. It took away a shot at winning the game and was not fair to the rest of the players on that team that busted their asses to try and win the game.
Thats a bullshit take by rittenberg...leaving Denard in there wasnt a "glaring" reason why they lost the game...rittenberg is just another nerdy talking head who doesnt know shit.
but if Rich benched Tate in the "Belein benching Manny" way. I honestly do think it was the right move. This kid is already a legend, but he hasn't performed to his 100% yet.
Can't wait to see him there though!
I agree that the clock was the key. The Minor time out was costly, I know that Tate wasn't going to get the play off, but really it would have only cost us 1/2 yard penalty. There were certainly a lot of reasons we lost the game, number one being turnovers. But, DRob shouldn't have been in on the last drive because of the time on the clock, decision making, and his passing ability. I don't know what happened with Tate and RR to get him benched and there might very well be a very good reason behind it. I mean if he was changing plays or not doing what he was told to do etc. If there was 4 minutes remaining I would likley feel differently about the decision. I had no confidence that we were going to get into field goal range in time with Denard. The pick was almost a foregone consclusion based on the situation.
Denard had played much better in his one drive than Tate, and he was able to execute the plays he needed to in order to get them in FG range. Either decision would be second guessed if it didn't work, and its not like we haven't seen Tate throw that pass before. Personally, I agree with the decision, Tate didn't look sharp all game, I'm not sure why, and Denard was effective throwing underneath.
Disagree. We've seen Denard come in and out of games all year. If Tate was in the last drive and failed, I don't think you'd see more than 5 people on this site criticizing RR.
well that's interesting, knowing now that Rich benched Tate, and injury was not a factor.
That's gutsy on Rich's part. There are reasonable arguments on both sides of the "who should lead the last drive". Were I in that position, I put in the guy who's been in the situation several times this year. But in fairness to D-Rob, he's the only reason we had a chance... and I like the idea of rewarding him with the chance to finish what he started.
Not that it matters now, but there's definitely a compelling argument for taking DRob out on that final drive. When Denard came in, Iowa was totally unprepared for him, and couldn't catch up to him. It was a perfect change of pace at the time. Plus, it gave Tate a chance to collect himself. Needing only a FG to win the game, I think Tate has an excellent chance to manage the situation and set us up for the win, regardless of how ineffective he had been to that point.
I do think, though, that there's no point second-guessing Rich at this point. Either way, it's a tough situation, and the silver lining now is that, say Tate gets injured at some point in a close game, we don't have to feel terrible about Denard coming in to work a comeback drive. The experience DROb got tonight is invaluable for his development.
If RR puts Tate in the game and there's no miracle comeback (or he throws the pick -- entirely possible) he's called a buffoon for not leaving DRob in. Instead, he went with the guy who was providing the spark he needed. Tate wasn't getting it done. Might he have put it together (finally)? Sure, but its pure speculation.
Watching the game live, my gut reaction was "it's Tate time." you know the argument...no timeouts left, tate is superhuman, etc. moreover, with Tate, the offense just frankly has more of the playbook available. With that said, after a (unrestful) night of sleep, I'm OK with leaving D-Rob in. I actually wasn't happy to see him come in during the 4th quarter (freshman kid from Florida....30 degrees....been sitting cold for 3+ hours, etc), but he was a spark that got us back into the game. He EARNED the right to try and lead the team on that last drive. I don't think letting Tate sit was a way to punish Tate, but rather rewarding the guy with the hot hand.
Bottom line...this is a lose/lose decision for Rich. If Tate goes back in and doesn't get it done, people would question why not let D-Rob go back in. He did right by D-Rob by giving him an opportunity to succeed. While painful today, hopefully the events of last night go a long way in helping to develop both guys.
"...he was a spark that got us back into the game. He EARNED the right to try and lead the team on that last drive.'
That I agree with. Given Tate hadn't really performed in the second half - though he'd been given some tough field position, to be fair - once Denard came in and was able to put together a drive, he both earned the shot on the next one and was also able to gain valuable experience. Second guessing is just that - guessing. Tate made some terrible decisions on his last series that looked a heck of a lot like the throw Denard made to end our chances. Why does Tate get the benefit of the doubt but Denard gets criticized? Because he has the magical extra 'experience'? Well, guess what? Denard's getting some of his own and I think it's going to be great for the team later this season to have two come-back kids available in our backfield.
If RR thought Tate was ready to come back in for the last drive, I would have expected it. I sort of did expect it, but I was happy to see him give Denard the keys. He had earned the chance.
criticized?" Because Tate has saved our asses more than once. He has proved himself and Denard has not. Now I'm NOT critical of Denard at all, no way. But I do criticize the coach's decision. And people who say "if Tate would have gone in and lost RR would be just as criticized" have not been paying attention IMO. Denard has come in and out after success and failure alike all year. No one would criticize RR for going with the proven commodity had he chosen to do so.
but I think if you've watched the two quarterbacks all season, you know who should have been in the game in that must-pass situation. I agree with everything else, invaluable experience etc. etc.
Yet, because Rod has his players in the system now, and because he has done a great job getting the players to go "all in for Michigan" and because the team seems to be very very competitive both mentally and physically, this game was a big one. I didn't expect to compete for the big ten championship this year, but that's what last night was all about. We were fortunate that M still had the chance to play for it after 3 quarters at State, but they did.
Last night Rich decided the "spark" could get it done with no timouts, 50 yards to go, and no timeouts with a quarterback who has shown no ability to pass the ball downfield in any game situation this year.
That was frustrating to many of us, and rightfully so.
Tate's attitude. I don't think we'll ever know, because I sincerely doubt RR would ever talk about it. But the "X factor" in last night's decision to put DRob in may well have been the little verbal tussle between Tate and his coach that was caught on camera.
Bo's philosophy on such matters was pretty simple: You cross me, I don't care who you are, you don't play. No player, no matter how good or what the game situation, is allowed to be insubordinate.
RR promised Denard a fair shot at playing QB at Michigan this year, and gave it to him.
While I myself would have liked to see Tate out there, RR going with the best player for the situation (his mantra of competition on every play/ drive) is consistent with his whole ideology.
You can't pick and choose certain parts of a system and expect it to be successful.
I can't say I came away from that game last night too disappointed. Sure, had we managed the turnover situation we would have had the game in the bag. And even though it was DRob leading the team at the end and not Tate, we were still in it. DRob made the wrong read, simple as that. Maybe Tate would have too, maybe he wouldn't have. Either way, we're 5-2 after next week with Penn State at home the following. I feel surprisingly upbeat about that game. We've had one poor road performance and one decent road performance. Think of how much this team is going to dominate next year.
I cannot say enough about the direction this team is heading. The defense played a pretty stand-up game and I really think they're starting to gel. With the return of Molk for the Penn State game (HOPEFULLY!), we have a great shot at them at home.
... I know a coaches job is to win ball games, but it's safe to say this team is one or two years away from being really good, and the decisions we make this year should be to strengthen that position for the future. I think the decision was the right one long term -- invaluable lesson for DRob, humbling experience for Tate. Both of these guys needed that. Hopefully, they both come out the other side better for it. Tate to focus a little. DRob to learn the ropes.
Sure it sucked, but that was a hell of an effort by our defense, good resilience by our offense, and just a lot of heart all around. Great growing experience, and that's a good thing.
God, I love Michigan football.
God would have put Tate in on that last drive. [/sarcasm]