Submitted by michgoblue on October 27th, 2012 at 11:54 PM

I see that there is already a "Devin for QB" thread and a vent thread.  Figured I would create one for general thoughts (although I expect many will be of the  Devin for QB or Vent variety).  My thoughts:

1.  The defense was solid tonight.  Dominant (save for one series) through three quarters.  As for the 4th, when a defense is on the field for the entire half, at some point, they will start to give up plays.  Happens to even the best defense.  Also, after making stop after stop and having you offense turn it back over on the next play, any defense will start to wear down.

2.  Craig Roh deserves special mention - kid has gotten better and better every game this season.  We will miss him next year.

3.  Norfleet - I know he is a bit of a cult hero around here, and I see the potential, but dude, can you please run somewhere other than into the pile on kick returns.  That said, he has jets.  If he could only figure out which way to point those jets, he would be a threat to take every kick to the house.

4.  Offense with Denard - yeah, losing him ans watching bellamy do his best Nick SHeridan impression made me appreciate Denard, but its not like we were scoring with him in the game - With Denard, we hadn't scored in 5.5 quarters.  That is pathetic.  I don't put all of this on Denard - the WRs are the worst Wr group I have ever seen at Michigan, from a talent standpoint, and we lack even a credible running back threat.  What worries me is that while Hoke has recruited well, he isn't exactly stockpiling top level Wrs and RBs.  Fitz has been terrible, V. Smith blocks like s TE, but is just not a running threat.  And Rawls is obviously doing something in practice that the coches don't like.

5.  Bellamy - cut him a break - he is a redshirt freshman.  That said, holy hell he was terrible.  AT some point, in a close game, you just have to give Gardner a try.  Its not like he is doing anything productive at WR lately.  To me,when your QB goe 0-12, he gets pulled for any other option. At least Devin is a run threat. 

I have more, but I am too numb to keep going.  This loss hurt.



October 28th, 2012 at 1:13 AM ^

I'm starting to wonder too but players also gotta make plays.  I don't think Borges planned on Denard fumbling inside the ND 10 yd line.  I don't think Borges planned on Denard completely under throwing Funchess on the lob.  I don't think Borgess thought Denard would miss a wide open Gallon in the endzone.  How many dropped pass were there tonight?  And most of those were easy, easy catches.


October 28th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

that's why you have to run run run with denard.  borges actually had some decent misdirection plays early with gallon.  that's a good wrinkle that can keep defenders home.

we were significantly outgaining and outpossessing Neb when denard got hurt.  and we were on the verge of finally getting a TD.  10 pts and nearly 200 yds isn't terrible. and this team struggles when denard's # passes approach or exceed his # of runs.

i actually even liked zone read play action passes he did early.  another good wrinkle.  guys were open.  receivers just dropped the ball.

his playcalling when bellamy came in was terrible.  do they really practice bellomy running the zone read and option plays?  i would think he would be practicing "pro style" when he gets his reps.  he should have max-protected for bellomy immediately, knowing Neb would blitz the hell out of the kid.  but no.

i would love for hoke to bring loeffler back home despite his struggles with his current team.

snarling wolverine

October 28th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

I don't disagree that there has been a dropoff, but to say that we had the #2 offense in the country in 2010 is cherry-picking.  In terms of scoring offense, we were not that highly ranked - we were in the 20's.   We scored slightly more points per game in 2011 than in '10.

Anyhow, we need to let this year play out before we jump off the ledge.  Last year at this time our offense went through midseason troubles as well.




October 28th, 2012 at 12:37 AM ^

Maybe it's the loss of the best center on the land, a big play WR, a veteran tight end that can block and catch (as opposed to two tight ends that seem to only be able to do one of those), another SR OL, and a great 4 yr starting WR.

Maybe you could say the coaches should be able to elevate the replacements, but the fact is that while some of them are serviceable and have their moments, this offense is just not as talanted.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Even 0-8 Southern Miss put up 20 points on Nebraska.  We weren't on pace for that, even with Denard.  My snowflake: look at Borges' history.  His offenses have regressed at every stop, and he has never sustained success anywhere.  He was unemployed for a year, and landed in the Mountain West after being in the SEC.  There's a reason why he isn't highly pursued, versus Mattison, for example.  And considering Meyer's success at each stop and the fact that his team (in his first year) hung 60 on Nebraska, I am very concerned if the Brandon/Hoke long-term plan is to win 12-10 slugfests (with a slow motion two-minute drill) as a matter of course.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:22 AM ^

be obvious by now our receiving corp is just not very good or dangerous and are pretty easy to defend.  They run so so routes at best.  The fact that Chesson and Darboh haven't broken into this lineup is a little troubling.


But does Borges even have a hot route when the D is blitzing? 


October 28th, 2012 at 12:45 AM ^

Roy Roundtree put up over 1,300 yards and 10 TD in his first 1.5 or so seasons here at Michigan.  In the 1.5 or so seasons since then he's put up 530 yards and 3 TD (and it isn't like he's lost yardage to other guys who are being more productive).  Denard Robinson was a 60+% passer back then as well and threw interceptions at a much lower rate.

Somehow those two got much easier to defend the last two seasons. 


October 28th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

I won't bother to pull all the numbers like I have in the past, but Borges' QBs have more often than not failed to achieve 60%.  It somewhat feels like Hollywood, where even though a director's movies have done poorly for the most part, the fact that others have hired him allows him to keep getting hired.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:24 AM ^

I don't really think anyone can blame the coaching staff for what happened tonight.  Bellomy just isn't good and it showed big time.  You could argue that Gardner should've been put in, but he probably hasn't taken enough QB reps in practice.  Remember that the coaches have already stated that Bellomy is the qb for emergency situations, but they would "re-evaluate" the qbs if they knew Denard wouldn't be able to play.


  I thought we were moving the ball extremely well with Denard.  It just makes it hurt even more, because I think we win this game with ease if we had Denard.  


October 28th, 2012 at 12:27 AM ^

Bellamy - cut him a break - he is a redshirt freshman. 

I agree ... he's a redshirt freshman, he was thrust into a tough situation, and his receivers did nothing to help him build confidence early.

He was clearly rattled ... the look in his eyes indicated he was enduring his own personal internal hell during much of that.  Yes, he gets some of the blame for that.  But not all of it.


October 28th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

but that's why he should been pulled immediately when he airmailed the simplest pass play in the book.  whether it was nerves or just like of ability, a coach has to see that and get him the hell out of there.  then look to gardner or even kennedy for a prayer.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:28 AM ^

I think we'll probably lose to Ohio pretty badly, and might get nipped by Northwestern. Our offense has completely fallen off the map. With or without Denard, we are bad on offense. Too much stuff going on pre-snap and too much stuff going East & West.

Magnum P.I.

October 28th, 2012 at 12:32 AM ^

I mean this for honest conversation. Has anyone ever seen a worse performance by a Division I quarterback than what Bellomy did tonight? The numbers are there, sure: 3/16 with three interceptions. But his arm strength looked so pathetic, that it seemed impossible for a pass to make its mark. Ive never seen a Michigan quarterback's ball flutter and arc like that. He lacked poise.

Has anyone ever seen a worse QB performance at the Division I level?

I cannot imagine a scenario in which Bellomy is a capable QB for this team. There hasn't even been a glimmer to this point. I felt so bad for this kid. He shouldn't have been out there.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:40 AM ^

If I accept your premise, then it's a damning indictment of this coaching staff for recruiting him in the first place.

I've got a hunch the kid has more to his game than we saw tonight.  I think he was just badly rattled.  The coaches probably have him on supervised watch tonight to make sure he doesn't cycle into complete despair.

Magnum P.I.

October 28th, 2012 at 12:45 AM ^

You can only lose so much confidence until you're in papa grande territory psychologically: the point of no return. That man is mentally incapable of pitching another game for the Tigers. I can't imagine how Bellomy could have the necessary confidence to perform at the level expected at Michigan after that.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:39 AM ^

That's not how it works. At all.

Soldiers lose battles and fight again. Atheletes lose and play again. People get dumped and love again. People get over these things because that's life. Most people go through the fire and get stronger. Everyone else just gets along. It takes someone incredibly fragile to break like your describing. Otherwise, how could Denard ever play again after that god awful game against ND?



October 28th, 2012 at 2:17 AM ^

I don't really know what "most people" do in response to adversity. "Life" doesn't work in any way. It's different for everyone.

The OP had an especially doomsday prediction for RB, but it could be true. To brush it aside b/c "life doesn't work like that" is as meaningful as brushing it aside b/c "I said so."


October 28th, 2012 at 2:34 AM ^

No, not really. That's not philosophy: that's pretty much fact. How many athletes do you see retire because their confidence is shot after they lose a game? Not many.

You may argue with how I made my point, but the point is pretty much a fundamental basis of human nature. You try something, youi're not very good at it, you keep doing it, you get better at it. That's literally the nature of "learning." It's pretty much the building blocks of human experience.

I'm not saying Bellomy is going to be a legend, if that's your problem. But if you take a kid just out of lawschool and put him front of the Supreme Court, he's probably going to be humiliated. That's nt because he's worthless, he's just in over his head.

The basic point is, indicting Bellomy because he couldn't step up to a situation like this is laughable. I'm not going to argue the point any more. It's pretty simple.

Magnum P.I.

October 28th, 2012 at 11:49 AM ^

I'll rely on the psychology canon rather than your assertion of "how it works." People's self-efficacy is mainly a function of "mastery experiences" or performing a task successfully. Failing to adequately deal with a task weakens self-efficacy. Bellomy has yet to experience any success in a college game. It's damaging to a guy's self-confidence to only experience failure, which is all he's done on the field this year. You need some successful experiences to prove to yourself that you can do it. Poor Bellomy just doesn't have that.

snarling wolverine

October 28th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

I can't imagine how Bellomy could have the necessary confidence to perform at the level expected at Michigan after that.

Whoa there . . . I think you are overlooking that 1) Lincoln is a difficult place to play under any circumstances, and particularly at night and 2) he was thrust in there mid game - our gameplan was not designed around him. If you want to see a comparable performance, watch the Illinois game again and see how O'Toole did replacing Scheelhaas - and O'Toole has much more experience than Bellomy does. (And yes, there have been Michigan QBs who had awful debuts. John Navarre was absolutely brutal in the 2000 UCLA game, and he had a good running game (A-Train) to help him out, whereas our ground game got absolutely nothing without Denard yesterday.)


October 28th, 2012 at 12:51 AM ^

He's also not a guy with the kind of recruiting pedigree where you can totally expect him to be good, even as an upperclassman.

To me the indictment is watching him play/practice and then just looking at Devin Gardner in pads and deciding there could ever be a situation where playing the former instead of the latter would be a good idea.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:27 AM ^

Short answer? Yes.

Do you watch football? When an NFL second-string QB has to go in, it's almost never pretty. The same goes for most college second-string QBs against real opposition.

Bellomy has never seen a meaningful snap against real opposition, and you're ready to brand him the worst QB ever? He has RBs who haven't amde meaningful gains all year and WRs who drop balls like they butter their gloves and it's the freshman's fault?

I knew we lost when Denard didn't come back. Ease of the kid, that's all I ask.

Magnum P.I.

October 28th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

Relax, dude. I asked if anyone had ever seen a D-I QB put out as poor a showing as Bellomy did last night. I don't watch a ton of football outside of Michigan, but I've never seen a QB look so bad before. Backup (sometimes true freshman) QBs at lesser schools usually seem somewhat competent.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:48 AM ^

This is a grass is always greener situation.  If Devin had come in and bombed the board would be screaming for Bellamy and why didnt the coaches evaluate that Bellamy is better than Devin.  It's why backup QBs who dont play are the most popular player in sports.  

DG showed little but the ability to scramble in his 2 years of mop up time.  His passes were erratic and obviously he hasnt  shown the coaches enough to be a backup QB.  If so you dont move that player to another position no matter the situation at that position. QB is the most valuable asset in team sports.  

I have read an hour worth of these threads and I see a lot of revisionist attitude towards Gardners play the past 2 years.  In limited action he showed little other than running ability.  That said I would have taken that tonight over the sh** show that was Bellamy - at least he could improvise with the run with his athleticism.  But it doesnt seem like the coaches believe he is a long term answer or he wouldnt be running post routes for a living.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:17 AM ^

The coaches brought Gardner into multiple games last year at QB, regularly removing Denard from the lineup entirely or shifting him to WR.  They talked up his ability to throw it downfield and even brought him in early in the ND game to throw a pass on a trick play.  If he hadn't shown the coaches enough to even be the back-up QB then everything they did with that QB switcheroo shit last year was batshit crazy. 

I would honestly love to know when Bellomy has ever looked like a player who could physically play the QB position to this coaching staff.  Gardner is a super athlete, has had success at the QB position in games (Illinois last year), and Bellomy was completely eating his balls out there.  We got the ball down 7 in the 4th quarter.  At that point, Bellomy had led the offense to ONE!!! yard of total offense in 6 possessions.  We ran him back out there, Borges decided it was time to unleash the dragon, and the kid lobbed a pick down the sideline into a crowded defensive backfield.

This isn't a case of the grass appearing greener.  This is a case where a pile of wet dog shit spread all over the lawn would have amounted to an improvement and we didn't even let our big Rottweiler into the yard to try and squeeze one out.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:47 AM ^

and near side safety (I believe) on the stop & go, and the far-side safety was desperately trying to come over to cover.

Bellomy missed where the ball should have been placed by about 10 yards.  At least.  You go look up "Couldn't hit the broad side of the barn" in the dictionary, and you'll see that throw. Not only was it horribly underthrown, it also wasn't placed outside where the converging safety couldn't get to it.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:31 AM ^

We have a makeshift O-Line now...along with Indiana level skill players. Rich Rod didn't leave the cubbards stocked, I hate to tell you this.

People want to believe this is worse than it is. A freshman backup seeing his first real challenge is never going to win a game like this. It's sickening to be on the kid's case.


October 28th, 2012 at 2:45 AM ^

I agree that it doesn't do any good to rip on the kid, or pose questions like "is Bellomy the worst QB ever at Michigan?"

However, I think there is a legitimate question as to whether Bellomy can play football at the B1G level.  He is not particularly big or fast and has shown poor arm strength, abominable inaccuracy, and questionable decision-making.  Yes he is a freshman, but he is a redshirt freshman--meaning he has been in the program as long as a sophomore.