spoiler alert: i linked this
Say Denard recovers and is 100% by Saturday: who starts?
"May be able to throw" is a far cry from being 100%. At best, Denard will likely only be able to be relied upon to complete short passes. He will probably get more snaps at QB than he did against Iowa, but I really think that the coaching staff would be nuts to remove Gardner as the primary QB given his performance the last few weeks.
One good thing though: OSU will have a tough time coming up with a game plan for this one.
This thread is predicated on the hypothetical proposition that Denard will be 100%. That's what makes the question interesting.
I completely agree with everything you've said here as a practical matter, but the premise of the thread was what to do with "100%" Denard. If he's 100%, I think he should start at QB.
Even with Denard at a 100%, the offense is not very good with him at QB. Remember, we didn't score a TD for 10 straight quarters, if I recall correctly. I love Denard to death, but Devin has shown much better decision making ability and much better accuracy than Denard ever has, especially in this offense. Our offense is at it's best with Devin at the helm and Denard at RB.
I'm thinking about how well Denard played in The Game last year, plus the fact that Devin has three career starts. I could very well be wrong, and we'll get some idea of that shortly, but going into this game I feel like I can count on a 100% Denard to come out with the win, and I'm not sure I feel the same way with Devin yet.
I'd agree if Denard would be completely 100%. Problem is he won't be...not for at least a few months according to everything I've heard about the injury.
The question I answered wasn't, "What offense do you think M will run on Saturday?", the question was, "If Denard is 100%, do you start Denard or Devin?". I don't think we'll start only Denard or go back to the pre-Iowa offense, and I recognize how well Gardner has played in his three starts. I just happen to think if both are at 100% I'd start Robinson on Saturday, for the reasons I gave above.
Also, like I said above, I could easily be wrong. Either way, the question is predicated on both players being 100%, and didn't ask what offense we thought we would see in Columbus.
I would've agreed almost 100% with what you're saying. The biggest difference that I see is our Oline. It's not even close to being as effective as it was last year. I just don't know if we'll get the push we'd need to replicate last year's performance w/ Denard.
For reference; I've been smacking people down for a month now as they kept blathering about how Denard should play RB and Devin QB. I'm starting to second guess myself.
I hate how I agree with your last sentence.
Braxton Miller, definitely.
Devin Gardner, definitely.
Who cares who starts, as long as one of the two of them play well. If Denard starts and is off, then Devin comes in and owns. Or vice versa.
I think Devin Gardner should start, it is
Gardner at QB, Denard at RB.
with Fitz out. We need a credible RB in the backfield, Denard gives that and so much more. Let's see what crazy plays Al can dream up this weekend!
Our best chance to win is to have Devin at QB and Denard sharing the backfield as an RB/Slot. If he is able to throw then it's an added bonus, maybe he can catch them by surprise a few times.
I hope he gets to throw a few passes but I find it verrrrrrry hard to argue against the fact that Gardner gives us the best chance to win at QB.
I want to see Denard use the step up throw that ruined Notre Dame in 2010.
dream on... not happening with this coaching staff
I hate this scenario, but I think Gardner starts at QB, Denard at RB. Frankly it seems to be the most effective way to get both athletes on the field at the same time.
it lets both utilize their strengths - Devin's throwing and pocket presence and Denard's running.
I was debating with someone about this BEFORE the iowa game. Before the Iowa game I would've said Denard, but I think you have to go with Devin now. You can always switch it up if things aren't working.
OR, maybe you start Denard to mind-fuck ohio. I don't really know. That's why I'm not Brady Hoke.
Both. The Devin Denard packaged worked well when Denard couldn't throw, and could be even more dangerous if Denard has a passing option. You could always swing Gardner out as an WR on plays and put Denard under center.
At qb, denard has struggled throwing the ball before injury, we couldn't get into the endzone. Devin has been better, play denard like we did last week, it is what is best for the team.
It's all about DENARD.
It's funny how people were crucified on this site for having an opinion just a week ago, now those opinions have become reality. What a difference one game makes.
I change--what do you do sir?"
/obscure economist reference
Not obscure. At leat by economist standards, he's pretty much as well known as any.
There's often an uderlying "mob mentality" within this forum. Once a critical mass of popular members adopt an opinion it becomes the norm and everyone who disagrees gets crucified.
Why do people act like mgoblog is the only place this happens? It happens on pretty much every website on the internet and really in real life too.
But I think the reason people have a problem with it here more than other places is because the people on this board fancy this place to be somewhere that rational thought and open discourse prevails. Often it is but in instances where that turns out not to be the case it smacks of hypocrisy and that's I think what irritates people.
*awaits crucifixion* :P
This is very true and what kinda bothers me about this board is that this kind of "board orthodoxy" gets enforced in the moderation.
For example a couple weeks ago there was a thread saying Gardner should be the starter even if Denard was healthy.
That thread was locked.
I did not agree with that opinion and still don't. I wouldn't have participated in the discussion had the thread remained unlocked, but why shouldn't other people have been allowed to discuss it if they want to?
Yes, yes, this is a privately owned site, I get that, but, the modding here is downright draconian at times when there are relevant topcs that aren't even allowed to be on the table for discussion.
It is easy, Gardner. The offense is better with him at QB.
He's played too well to not let him start at QB. Denard should play the role that he played last week-- if he can throw, it makes him that much harder to defend. I think this is especially true with Fitz being out.
As in starts- the first guy under center? That will be Denard. But I see it being like last week the rest of the game. I think Denard can throw - but probably not 40yds with accuracy.
I think the Fitz injury may make this question irrelvent... Devin at QB, Denard at TB
The offense has proven it does not need the big 6'4" WR, so Devin isn't needed there. Get both on the field at the same time = Denard at TB is more needed than Devin at WR.
my first reaction was like..
but then im like...
echo everyone's thoughts. It'd be nice to run that option play but instead of a pitch, a forward pass deep... that or a QB Oh Noes. I wish Hoke was more tight lipped about Denard this week.
Denard can do that.
Personally I think you put them both on the field, but preferably have the guy with a 190+ QB rating throwing the ball off play action, and keeping Ohio's safeties honest.
Ohio has a fine team right now and probably comes in a big favorite.
But this November has been kind of weird. I think Michigan pulls off a big upset.
Our offense the way it is now with Gardner at QB and Robinson being moved around has proved effective and hard to stop. Keep it that way and keep Ohio guessing. Gardner's arm against their devensive backfield is an advantage we have to take. Theres no fucking around THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM, we need this one.
I'm very glad that it's a legitimate question at this point.
Before Iowa, I would have said Denard at QB, same offense we were running before Nebraska. After the last game, things are looking a little different.
First of all, Denard hasn't had much time practicing at QB of late. He was almost completely out of practice for two weeks, and his practice last week was limited, at least as far as passing is concerned. This would make it harder for him to step in and pilot the offense as he has in the past.
Second, Devin has really impressed me with his accuracy lately. Competion caveats are warrented, but he's looked really good.
And lastly, the offense they cooked up last week with Devin and Denard lining up all over the field was absolutly tantalising. If I knew that both QBs were 100% going into The Game, and for some reason I was in charge of dictating Michigan's offensive game plan (let's all hope this never happens), I'd base the offense around what we saw against Iowa, with more time for Denard at QB, even throwing some passes.
Denard at 100% or the same as he was last week changes nothing for me. I think he's technically the "starter" but I hope/expect that Devin gets the most reps at QB with Denard mixed in liberally wherever/whenever possible.
Basically the same thing I've felt should at least be given a real chance for the last two seasons.
I'm in with "Both." I think you go for broke, have both of them in the backfield, and between Denard running, Devin running, Devin passing, and even Denard passing, Devin receiving and Denard receiving, you drive the Ohio defense crazy. At this point, winning in Columbus makes it worth the risk. If they're next to each other, it makes it that much harder for the defense to know what to do.
I do think that even if Denard is at 100%, he isn't the passer that Devin is. I don't know what kind of runner Devin is, because we really haven't seen anything but scrambles.
I like Devin starting at QB and Denard doing his QB/RB/WR thing. Get the best out of the Devin passing offense with the Denard run game.
Mandatory Denard pick.
Just so long as we see some sort of triple-reverse-flea-flicker craziness, I'm game for anything.
there is enough deception/mis-direction with the rest of the scheme to resort to triple reverses.
There isn't a single sportscaster in CFB or NFL that knows the difference between a reverse & a double.
Drives me batty.
stay with the hot hand, Devin has to start at QB
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I believe we will see an offensive game plan similar to last weeks. Now let's hope we can have the same results!
Devin at QB / WR and Denard at QB / RB / Slot.
It doesn't really matter who lines up as QB, as playing both really allows for either to assume that role. Snap to Devin, designed run with an option pitch to Denard who then either runs or pulls up and his a receiver. Pitch to Denard who throws to Devin. Pitch to Devin with a Denard jet sweep. The options are limitless.
I really think that having both of thes guys out there in a 2-qb set is our best shot, especially since our only semi-credible non=QB run threat is down for the year.
The better question for this board:
Assuming that I said above happens, who play at RB? Rawls has seemed ineffective, and will not be able to bulldoze OSU's D-line to move the pile. Hayes and Norfleet are wee little men who don't appear to have the offense down yet or be able to block.
While I have been a harsh critic in the past, I think that the start goes to V. Smith. His blocking and ability to pick-up the blitz will hopefully allow Denard and Devin to work their magic in the backfield. Also, he is decent to good on screen passes and in the slot. Finally, we know that he can throw. With all of the D focussed on our monster athletes at QB, I could see Borges breaking out that play where V. Smith throws (worked well once, the other time not so much).
Just telling a friend last night that I expected to see a lot of Devin/Denard/Smith in the backfield. Smith for the reasons you mention... Blocking and catching out of the backfield. With Devin and Denard back there, I think they have our run needs/threats covered.
I think what you'll see is packages with Denard at QB and Devin at WR and packages with Devin at QB and Denard at RB. That will make it incredibly difficult for them to call defensive plays because both will be in the huddle almost the entire time. I think you'll see both QBs passing with Devin taking about 70% of those snaps. Denard will be used for QB Oh Noes and a HB pass.
Who "starts" won't matter because they'll be splitting time and can only be determined by whatever you say the criteria is for determining a starter (e.g. listed as starter, first snap, most snaps, etc.). I think that Devin will be listed as the starter so that OSU doesn't know what to expect.
It's funny that Iowa is the team to see unconventional looks from our offense two years in a row.
Last year, the gimmicks ultimately cost us the game (or at least killed all offensive momentum). This year, Iowa couldn't stop anything we did.
I just pray that we don't over-gimmick ourselves and take whatever the defense gives us.
It will be a lot harder for Denard to break big runs when he's not under center
Or Denard Gardner.
or Nick Busey?!
If denard isn't quite 100%, do you still give him some "easy" throws early on to keep the D honest?
Denard is needed more at RB than QB at this point. Devin has proved more than capable and we have seen that Devin QB/Denard wildcard is more potent than the Denard-QB and Devin-WR combo.
Denard starts, but Devin gets more snaps at QB. I liked how Borges was mixing things up in the Iowa game.
You know the Buckeyes will be gunnin' for Denard's right arm though.
I realize we were playing Iowa but I think our offense looked great saturday. I think it is going to be really hard for the defense to adjust to the different formations and the offense is less predictable. I love Denard but he hasn't been able to throw the ball for the last three weeks so I think it would be difficult for him to come in and play a whole game at QB. I think the fact that Denard wouldn't even carry the ball in his right hand means it might be a little while before he can constantly make good throws. Just my opinion.
Gardner, all day.
Gardner...or else Borges will call another game like Michigan State.
Interesting how Borges's "bad" playcalling started looking much better when he had a more accurate QB playing.
Denard is an incredibly dangerous runner . . . but not a great passer. To me there's no debate. Gardner at QB and Denard at RB plays to both guys' strengths.
Does anyone know where the Michigan section is for Ticket buying purposes?
I may get negged for this, but if you use your head and not your heart it's a no brainer. Denard is no doubt an incredible football player, but can struggle with throwing technique and reading coverage/decision making. So, he's hit or miss. He's great if the run is working and not so much if it's not. I believe you have to ride the hot hand, and that is Gardner. I know we all love Denard and you can't dismiss what he's done for the program. But, at the same time you cannot bench a QB that has put up the numbers Devin has, especially since Denard's best quality is his legs and you can still use him in other roles.
We have already discovered that Gardner at QB and Robinson at WR/RB is a more dynamic scenario than Robinson at QB and Gardner at WR, and not just because Gardner appears to be a better passer, but also because Robinson is a better WR/RB. It's no different than when Brady took Bledsoe's job. Bledsoe was a great QB, but Brady was playing well and the team was winning, and as a coach you can't take out a guy who's doing that. What kind of message would that send? You can't simply start a guy because he used to be the starter prior to his injury. No one gets an automatic job back when returning from injury and shouldn't no matter who they are. The best player at the best time should always play no matter who they are or what they've done.
I'm pretty sure Hoke will say the best player will play and that he owes that to the team and the seniors. And, I think he believes that means Gardner at QB and Robinson at WR/RB with an a few snaps at QB too, but no the primary QB. I love Robinson and would love nothing more than to see him shine as our QB, but based on what I have seen (granted small sample size) our offense is better with Gardner at QB and Denard at "athlete". And, I think if you use your head and not your heart you will agree.
Exactly how I feel.
why in the world would you go away from the plan that scored six touchdowns in the first six drives? You keep going until they stop it.
It'll be just like the Iowa game plan. Denard will get 6-12 reps at QB with run pass options. Otherwise Devin is the QB and Denard plays slot/rb.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but Devin. He provides the balance our offense so desperately needs. But find ways to get Denard into the game, like Iowa this past week. The guy makes plays, as we all very well know. Regardless, if his arm isn't 100%, this is a moot point.
Additionally, Devin's seems to be hitting his stride, and is building a lot of momentum for himself for next year. It might be foolish to throw a screw into that machine right now.
Fitz out, I'd like to see Gardner start at QB and Denard line up at RB.
Would probably throw their gameplan off slightly.
At any rate, it looks like we've got a few weapons to use against them.
I would start Denard. If we were playing this game at home, then it's a toss-up. However, on the road, against a team that is ranked by the Associated Press in the top 5, you have to go with the player that's been there before.
With that said Devin NOW is clearly a better QB than reciever and Denard isn't quite as good as a RB as he is a QB. Can you imagine a RB that can throw? Talk about a two headed Dragon. So I say roll with Devin at QB and Denard at RB. Bottom line two athletes are better than 1 Braxton Miller. To the Mods thanx for my 5th 0 in a row
The mods don't control the score of your post. Also, complaining about MGoPoints/upvoting gets you negbanged.
Here's an interesting thought though: Denard and Gardner lined up "stacked" in the pistol/shotgun. Either one could take the snap from Mealer, since neither is under center. Or you could have one of them line up in the shotgun, and then the other pre-snap motion in front and take the direct snap. The possibilities are endless.
All I know is if Denard starts (and plays most of the QB snaps), he beat out a legitimate talent to earn that start. That's a lot more than I could say earlier this year, so that's a food thing, right?
Also I hate autocorrect.
Makes me hungry.
all day long.
Trample the bucks
Like donkey kong.
Like a BOSS
They both finish.
You're talking about ONE game - NOT an entire season.
Do what you have to do for this one game. If it was the entire year, that would be a different subject.
Break out that offense that marched the ball 60+ yards on six straight possessions for touchdowns. I like that one.
Devin at QB Denard at RB
DG and Shoelace both start in that case.
at the next level, Denard will most likely be playing the role he is in now- a RB/Wildcat player, and if there is any silver lining to his injury I think the pro scouts are now seeing him in a somewhat different light and it may have raised his draft stock. Given that, and the way Gardner has led the offense the last three weeks, I am in favor of starting Devin and using Denard in an even more expanded offensive scheme. Can you imagine Denard throwing an Oh Noes in the middle of all this?
Even if he's fully healthy, he will be rusty passing. And with the emergence of Devin being able to pass the ball actually pretty well, there's no need to have to rely solely on Denard in the passing attack.
IN other words, both guys will play QB. Devin likely gets most passing attempts but I think Denard will surprise OSU with a few passes as well. Should be entertaining to watch!
Brian talked about this in the Iowa post game but can you imagine an inverted veer with Devin at QB and Denard at RB but with Denard having the option to pass when coming around the edge? I am just hoping that Denard's arm is good enough for some worst waldo opportunities.
It finally seems like with this combo we can really put pressure on their safeties to either A) committ to the run and be vulnerable on a worst waldo type play or B) respect the pass and be vulernable against Denard in space with the ball in his hands.
Could go either way.
If you run the IV with Robinson at QB, you get a player reading the DE who's been practicing that play for a couple years. It's obvious that it's our best play.
But if you run the IV with Gardner at QB, then you get an additional advantage of having the bigger guy diving up the middle, whereas the faster/more elusive guy is running toward the edge.
Either way, you can't go wrong.
I don't care who starts. I think it's clear that this game plan needs to incorporate the strengths of this team right now: Devin's passing, Denard's legs, and Gallon/Roundtree/Funchess/Dileo.
I do think that if Denard CAN throw, it will open up an additional element that will totally fuck with OSU.
Honestly, I think Vince Smith is going to have a monster game, both rushing, receiving and protecting the QB. With Denard being the primary focus on the ground, OSU can't really hope to guard against every threat. Look for our darkhorse threats to rise up and have opportunities to win this game.
That said, it begins with Denard being able to make plays and Devin continuing to grow in the pass game. If we get off to fast start, there's no good adjustment for fickell to make.
RE: being too gimmicky... This year we're going be riding a fine line with the gimmicks. If we were to line up and try to run Rawls and VSmith up the gut and try obvious play action, I think sooner rather than later, OSU overwhelms that and forces Gardner into some bad decisions. That's not sustainable in this game with our O lines inability to block for a non-QB rusher. The Denard jet will work, but the key is getting big plays off of that where Denard is a decoy. OSU knows that on any given play, Denard could house it if they don't pay attention to him. Having to also account for Devin's scrambling and deep balls, they are in a bind anytime Denard is on the field. I'm very intrigued to see how this plays out. I don't really see either defense being all that effective in this game, and I think it may take 40+ to win this one.
Be prepared for this now, because I've seen it in a number of OSU games: They will have wide open tight ends on busted coverage and I will predict that they get 2 tds and several big gainers by getting those tight ends lost in our zones.
This is not the kind of team our D is really built to shut down, and it's going to be a long game. More than ever, just 1 or 2 opportunities to get a takeaway could really save us.
In a game worthy of the Big 12, I think we win this 41-35 in a game that might remind you of the last time we played a high-powered Urban Meyer team. . .
Devin has an up & down game, alternating big plays with 2 bad turnovers. M starts fast, falls behind at half 28-17, before turning it on late to win.
Gardner: 15-29, 275 yards, 2 TDS passing, 1 rushing. 2 interceptions. Denard throws a TD pass on the opening drive and runs for a TD later. surpasses 100 yards.Vincent Smith has 75+ total yards and a receiving TD.
1000 points to you sir
Brady Hoke loves the fact that this is probably a conversation occurring in the Ohio coaches room right now. And because of that, Michigan gains a huge competitive advantage.
You have two tremendous athletes that have both proven they are dangerous and proficient, both of whom can attack at three or four separate positions in different combinations. The largest criticism of the Michigan offense this year has been the fact that it is predictable. I'd love to argue with anyone who thinks that notion at this point in the season.
If anything, I think this argument is serving one purpose and one purpose only for Saturday and that is to keep the Ohio defense honest about the pass and rush threat that Michigan now has.
Both Devin and Denard will run. Both Devin and Denard will attempt to throw. Hell, both will probably catch a pass. And you probably won't be able to tell before they snap the ball.
but on a couple maybe Denard gets a quick pitch and throws the ball IF he can put any zip on it.
Devin needs to be in a rhythm to be successful in a game like this. Switching QBs evry few plays makes it hard for the Oline and the QBs and receivers to develop a rhythm.
Denard is definitely the better athlete, but Devin at QB and Denard all over the field makes them both better.
Gardner at QB. Robinson at RB. Play action has been lethal these past few weeks. Combine that with Denard getting yards in space, and that's a pretty potent offense.
I'm wondering if Robinson will throw a couple times (assuming he can) just to keep the OSU offense on their toes. Or maybe a throw across the field back to Gardner type of play. Ehh who knows?
where is fritz crisler when you need him...
Based on last Saturday's gameplan, I think Borges can do a decent Crisler impersonation.
If Denard can throw then let him throw and take them by surprise on the plays where he lines up as QB and everyone thinks he's running.
Which way works better? Denard - QB + Gardner WR or DG QB + Denard RB/WR/QB?
Clear answer at this point: DG QB, Denard gets 20+ touches at RB/WR/QB = Good chance to beat OSU.
I'll second Brady Hoke's pick. He has a habit of doing the right thing.
Zone read with Devin (QB) and Denard (RB)... who then might just chuck it (up for grabs)
How typical. I start a thread talking about exactly what we saw against Iowa, and are likely to see against Ohio, and I get docked, chastized, and torn apart. Now, after it is clear that Denard is likely not going to heal enough to throw, and Devin has emerged in a big way, board members show no sign of contrition towards others who saw this coming, and are jumping on the bandwagon as if they were supporters all along.
Interestingly, is the fact that Borges said that he had been working on this for 18 months. Obviously, circumstances and depth issues kept the Denard Hybrid offense from becoming a reality -- until the injury that is.
This is what I was talking about when I said, "this could be a blessing in disguise." We're seeing that blessing unfold right before our eyes. Denard is getting to do what he does best, and is forcing the opposition to account for one of the best runners in CFB history. Devin has emerged as an accurate and efficient passer, and a capable runner.
I know I won't get back to my previous point level, but I think that whomever docked me should at least appologize because I was 100% correct!
Go Blue, Beat Ohio!
For me it does not realy matter who starts, however who plays the majority of snaps at QB who can be effective! That said I have faith that DG has more potential to move our offense on scoring drives that will control the clock and keep BM off of the field to a greater degree. Also my opinion is such that DR may see some time in packages and possibly even throw but will ultimately effect this game with his legs from a TB/slot standpoint! DG is our future and DR's future in the NFL is an Antwan Randle-El/Hines ward type guy making millions. When the NFL scouts/execs see him in the backfield and spread out and moving in formations they will see what they want (DR will have a great Combine/Workout) and he will go high in the draft. With that he will reep millions in contract and incentives clauses and because he is DR and complete awesomeness he will then return to Michigan to be a big donor and continue his love of A2 community. Which can only HELP The Team, The Team, The Team in the future! Here is to a healthy DR with good legs under him, DG with a lots of Qb reps and a game day of game day efforts/execution, a 'gorgeous' offensive scheme & finally an excellent 'D' flying around and containing BM! Beat O - hi - O!