Minnesota Highlights

Submitted by Ace on November 3rd, 2012 at 5:31 PM

HD highlights of today's game, courtesy of parkinggod:

I think he got them up so fast because he skipped all the first-quarter offensive fireworks.



November 3rd, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

Yes, he looked fairly good today.

I am soooo happy Michigan won this game.

But ... it was against a Minnesota defense.  Not horrible, but not elite.  He threw some passes that would have -- I suspect -- been picked off by better defenses.

That said, I am fairly encouraged by the arm strength, leg mobility, and field presence.  I think with more actual game-time experience and coaching, he could be what Michigan has lacked these last several years -- a true dual threat, both running and passing.

Shane Morris has every bit the cannon of an arm Gardner has.  Perhaps not quite the legs.  But with an improved O-Line the combination of Gardner next year and Morris thereafter ... whoo boy, watch out.


November 3rd, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

How much more can be said about Jake Ryan? He seemed to be in on every other highlight. I honestly cannot remember Michigan having a linebacker who seemed to make plays with this level of consistency, including Crable.


November 3rd, 2012 at 6:10 PM ^

Three things...

1. Jake Ryan on that end-around. He's been called unorthodox, but a playmaker. If that wasn't textbook, that book needs to be rewritten.

2. Gardner threw pretty well. He may have got lucky a few times between Minnesota ineptness and outstanding effort from the wide receivers. Deep touch pass to Gallon on the out and up was pretty. 

3. This was one game, so I don't want to read too much into this performance by Gardner. But if there seemed to be one constant throughout the game, it was his pocket presence. Not so much decision making (though that was good today) but just feeling the players around him and knowing when to get out. Very nice. 

Jack Daniels

November 3rd, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

I wasn't able to watch the game, but I counted about 4 Jake Ryan TFL's in this video.  We may have a future 1st-rounder on our hands, gentlemen (Minnesota caveat in mind).  The play where he baited the running back to bounce outside and then shoved the QB to snatch the RB for a loss was pretty damn impressive.


November 3rd, 2012 at 6:36 PM ^

Gardner played well today.  He bounced back from a bad early pick and made good decisions after that.  He's a true dual threat quarterback with the arm and legs.  He showed it today.  I've always thought he would be good or even great once he got a decent shot to prove himself.  Remember this was his FIRST start.  It was idiotic to have Bellomy rather than Gardner as the #2 behind Robinson and it cost them a game.

I hope Gardner gets a good shot at starting next year and gets a redshirt as he deserves.


November 3rd, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

I'm not sure it was all of "idiotic." It was a calculated decision with known risks... that turned out to burn us last week. But who knows how some of the other games turn out if we don't have Gardner at WR. I'm not saying he was a world-beater, but he's contributed.


And you can't have your cake and eat it too. Gardner can either focus on being a good WR or a good QB, but I don't think he can do both. So I agreed with the call last week to put Bellomy in when Denard went out.


November 3rd, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

But after 0-10 start for Bellomy, or the int's why not see what a rusty DG could do? Felt like the coaches conceded the game by sticking with the deer in the headlights. No offense to Bellomy, nice kid, going to get better...


November 4th, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

Gardner didn't practice at QB the week of the Nebraska game.  That's it in a nutshell.  Almost no football coach will play a guy who didn't practice - especially at QB.

Also, there's something to be said for showing patience with your quarterback.  Gardner's first quarter yesterday wasn't a whole lot better than Bellomy's third quarter against Nebraska - we gained zero first downs in three drives.  As with Bellomy (and Denard against ND), they gave him a chance to work through the mistakes and keep going.  In general, I think that's a better approach than the strategy some coaches have (Brian Kelly and Danny Hope come to mind) of having a quick hook and leaving their QBs constantly looking over their shoulder.



November 3rd, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

How about Lewan on the yakety-sax-to-Dileo-TOUCHDOWN!! play? He stays home and then lays a nice block on someone while Gardner is coming around. 1) Good discipline staying home. 2) Staying alert to what's going on with his QB. 3) Nice hit. At 1:30 in the highlights.


November 3rd, 2012 at 7:02 PM ^


Let me start by saying that I am a regular reader but i don't post a lot. With that out of the way I absolutely hate some of the comments in the live feed thread. Some of the comments there are the dumbest most hatred filled comments i have ever read. I was ashamed to read them and how little faith some the fans have in the players and coaches. I am really frustrated and i could go on all day about this and I'm sure a lot of people agree.


November 3rd, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Knowing what the coaches know now would they put dg at wr or Denard at wr hybrid at the beginning of the year? Dumb hypothetical but I have been asking myself that whenever Denard is hurt or makes a bad throw. Also Jake Ryan is man ball on defense.


November 3rd, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

I just can't see the PR nightmare of pulling Robinson as QB.  Robinson = QB ... find a role for Gardner.  To me, WR seemed apt.  Hence the decision in 2012 to move Gardner to that role.

The mistake -- to the extent there was one -- was not keeping Gardner fresh for backing up QB.  I have no gripes against Bellomy -- I think he can be good -- but it seems to me the coaching staff has recognize the error and shifted back to Gardner as QB backup.


November 5th, 2012 at 12:27 AM ^

I've seen DR play at being a QB for the best part of three years, but very little of it suggested to me he was anything more than a RB pressed into service because there was little better alternative.

You can mock Gardner's performance by rationalizing it as just against Minnesota, but he performed as a QB in charge of the offense, not a QB that was the offense.  Previous to Saturday, the last time I saw a Michigan QB perform as the on field conductor of the Michigan offense was January 1, 2008.

Double Nickel BG

November 5th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

a  game last year. There was one against a team called Ohio State. I think I'll take a QB that completes 14/17 for 170 and 3 TDs with 160 rushing and 2 more TDs in the biggest game on our schedule last year. 

Look, I get Denard hasn't been superman this year. He got knocked around by Alabama, had his worst game of his carrer at ND, got stiffled by MSU (though he made plays he needed to in crunch time), and got hurt against Nebraska. He has had a disappointing season so far. But so had the whole offense.

We have a bitch of a road schedule this year, with a downgrade at several positions on the OL, no ground game outside of Denard, and few consistent playmakers. We also haven't caused near the same ammount of turnovers this year as last, so not being set up for easy scores.


I really do believe Devin can be a big time player next year, he seems to fit abit better in what Borges sees as his offense. But Denard has 3 years of experience and playing in big games and can pick up big gash plays when our offense has stalled. He gives us the best chance to win our remaining games.

Sometimes I think people play down Denard for the simple fact that he isnt on one of our perenial star ladden teams. I just hope everyone sits back and enjoys these last few months, because im not sure we'll ever see anything like Denard at Michigan again.





November 3rd, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

I hear the pr lash back thing but I would hope a coach would always pick the best player no matter what the press thinks. As I think back to the spring game and ifthat is an accurate indication of the entire spring Denard was the better qb. I think I recall an interview with Denard done by urban last year when he mentioned recruiting Denard to fl to be is x player. Denard will go done as my all time " what if" player.


November 3rd, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  That is the only possible explanation.  I just can't believe that coaching staff knew he had these chops and then relegated him to the receiving corps.  It's almost like they were setting their own team up for failure.

Since I don't believe Hoke and Borges would purposely sabotage the team, I can only conclude DG experienced an epiphany in his sleep.

Of course some (most?) will pooh pooh Gardner's performance as merely occuring against Minnesota.  Fine, but how does that explain his ability to throw strikes when he was under pressure?  How does that explain his ability to keep his head and either throw a strike into the EZ or throw the ball out of bounds, or bring down the ball and run for yardage as the situation dictated?  And last but not least, hitting the deep receiver in stride.  With Gardner it looke like the expected standard rather than an accident of execution.


November 3rd, 2012 at 8:02 PM ^

I was consoling myself after a first quarter with no signs of life, considering life with maybe one more win total this season. I was very impressed to see DG not get rattled, and the team pull together for each other. They had gut check, and passed IMO, seemed like everyone blocked harder, ran harder than usual...Proud of our Michigan Men today! In the community...

snarling wolverine

November 3rd, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

I don't think they believed Bellomy was better, but rather, that Gardner could help the team more at receiver, where we needed someone to replace Stonum, than he would serving as injury insurance at QB (which would mean sitting on the bench most of the season).  They never said that it would be a permanent position switch.


November 4th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

Devin asked the coaching staff to be placed at WR because he wanted to see the field this year.  As was mentioned before he hadn't taken any reps at QB during the Nebraska week so they didn't feel comfortable putting him in.  That's the point which is a valid argument.  Stick with a very struggling Bellomy or throw Devin in who hadn't practiced.  I think they should have thrown him in the Nebraska game.


November 4th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

Look, I love Denard and all, but when we have a QB who consistently goes through his progressions and makes quicker decisions (which I think Gardner is capable of doing), I think we'll be surprised at how much better the playcalling will suddenly look.  And if the Minnesota game is any indication, Gardner may be better at throwing the deep ball, which would punish defenses for cheating up their safeties to stop the run.  

Denard is the starter for this year if he's healthy - the experience he has is invaluable.  But Gardner could well be a better fit for what Borges wants to run.

snarling wolverine

November 4th, 2012 at 6:01 PM ^

This.  The thing about Denard that is frustrating is that he will go to the predetermined pre-snap read almost without exception.  And he will frequently stare that guy down the whole way.   It's not just "RPS" luck that his deep balls are usually thrown into double coverage.  The safeties read his eyes and go to the intended receiver - often leaving another receiver completely uncovered in the process.

Gardner showed an improvisational ability on Saturday that Denard seldom has.  Yes, sometimes that leads to him holding onto the ball too long and taking bad sacks, but it can also put huge pressure on a defense to keep covering downfield.  The throw to Dileo was a classic example.  A broken play, sure, but he has the ability to keep plays alive while still looking downfield (and he threw an absolutely perfect pass there).  



November 4th, 2012 at 6:32 PM ^

I also noticed with Devin in the pocket (apply all caveats about sample size and it just being Minnesota) the WRs would keep running their deep patterns.  With Denard when he starts scrambling odds are he isn't going to be throwing a nice deep strike.  He tends to either run or toss up a QB OHNO if he tries a deep ball.  Whereas I felt Devin had a lot of success being elusive, but then getting setup to send up a deep ball.  The highlight being Dileo sitting in the endzone basically going "What's up guys?  Have you heard about Devin's arm strength?".  

When Denard starts running, teams have begun to figure out you can halve the field.  Every so often he'll make you pay with a deep one, but most of the time once Denard goes in motion you don't have to worry about anything deeper than ~20 yards.  

At the end of the day though I think with our passing game, when Denard starts running the WRs start blocking.  Which is great in that Denard is an excellent runner but it also tells the defense what is going on.  Denard isn't dual threat because he can't pass to someone who is busy blocking a safety.  Denard is just an amazing RB at that point.  Devin looked a lot better in the passing game because he managed to keep his dual threat status alive longer in a lot of plays.  


November 3rd, 2012 at 8:43 PM ^

*Love, love, love the tackle by Jake Ryan at 4:42.

*Gardner's pass to Gallon at 5:24 was perfection.

*Roy Roundtree continues his tradition of one incredible catch, one good catch and then we don't see him the rest of the game. 


November 3rd, 2012 at 9:15 PM ^

I know that terrible announcers seem to be the norm nowadays, but Dear Lord, Chris Martin has got to be the worst color guy that I've ever heard. I was doing double takes the whole game. My favorite line was when he was talking about one of our defensive players...
"He's truly made himself into the player he's become."
Well... yeah.