Denard and Tate in the backfield at the same time...

Submitted by Goblue89 on September 28th, 2009 at 6:58 PM

I just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on putting both Denard and Tate in the backfield at the same time. You could then do a variety of things:

-Run the zone read with Tate at QB and DR at running back. This would be very similar to DR just running his usuall draw.

-Snap the ball to DR and have him run directly either into the line or sweep outside. Again very similar to what he does already.

-Have two receivers to one side with two TE's in for max protect. Motion DR out to the opposite side and have him run a go route.

I just think he is such a special talent that are ways to put both him and Tate on the field at the same time. I know we tried motioning him towards Tate and handing it off against Western for no luck but you would think if we did some creative things with the two of them it would open up a lot of options.



September 28th, 2009 at 7:01 PM ^

No. If one of them got injured this early in the season for that, that wouldn't be good. Denard is a QB for 2 years. We could do this against Ohio State or in a bowl game but not now.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:47 PM ^

Not until the OSU game. But I would love to see about five reverses to DR out of the slot position followed by a sixth one where he threw the ball to a wide open Matthews for a TD because everyone on D was expecting another run and bit on it.


September 28th, 2009 at 9:41 PM ^

If you put both in, the enemy D would expect a designed DR play. Depending on frequency of having both in (which should be rare), you put DR in as a decoy. But a play where one QB made a lateral to the other QB, only to have the receiving QB bomb one downfield would be sick.


September 28th, 2009 at 9:44 PM ^

is a qb for all his years. Unless UM gets another stud QB outside of Gardner, you have to keep him there, and even if you do, you keep him there from experience probably. I can see, though, him being a qb for 4 years, than an NFL team drafting him in the later rounds for another position. The man does have skills!

Big Boutros

September 28th, 2009 at 7:06 PM ^

Or you could put Tate in the slot and snap the ball to Denard. You think Denard will throw a screen behind the line to Tate, who is then eligible to throw a pass, but this is not what takes place. Instead, Tate wheels into the backfield and BLOCKS the EVERLOVING SHIT out of the strongside defensive end. As Tate stands victoriously over the ragged corpse of the defender whilst admiring his Moundrosesque blocking, Denard fires a perfect spiral 70 yards downfield.

Now you think I'm going to say that Denard catches the pass in the back of the end zone because he's SO FAST that he CATCHES HIS OWN PASSES. You are WRONG. WRONGER THAN A POPSICLE IN RIYADH. The pass is caught for a tremendous touchdown by none other than converted tight end and professional badass DAVID EXTREME CORN NUTS CONER CONEBONE CONE.



September 28th, 2009 at 7:12 PM ^

No, in special circumstances or in future years this could happen when we have viable backups. With Denard by himself as QB in the backfield it allows for an extra blocker for him to run and pass. Putting Tate back there with him wouldn't make much sense unless we are going to run some sort of trick play or we are changing Denard to a RB or slot receiver.

That being said, we did have Tate line up wide on a couple of plays earlier this year with Denard as QB.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:24 PM ^

It would be nice to have the flexibility to move Denard around a little, but for now it seems clear that he will be used strictly as a second quarterback, regardless of how well he might play in a "hybrid" role.

Until recently, my line of thinking was "what would maximize our resources?" The answer to that is, like you suggested, to get Denard on the field in multiple capacities - as a QB and as a RB/WR, also.

Then, when Tate got dinged up, I realized that we don't really have the depth to use Denard as anything but a second quarterback. So, until we get another QB in there (Devin Gardner), I think Denard can't be unnecessarily exposed to injury.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:30 PM ^

I can't help but think the likelihood of this, and other cool formations/plays, will increase as the season goes on. We are yet to see ANY real offensive trickery this year, and you have to think RR has a lot of it in his back pocket given our offensive personnel. I thought he would pull some against ND, but not so much. Maybe this weekend.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:04 PM ^

Tate needs to work on his speed so that he and Denard can do a dual-QB draw. They'll both run into the end zone at the same time, both holding half the ball, with the opposing defense's corpses strewn forty yards back. Between clearing off the casualties and the official reviews for deciding who's touchdown it is, the defense will have enough time to rest. Since this will only take one play per drive, of course.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:12 PM ^

We need both healthy to play QB. Both on the field at the same time increases the chance 1 gets hurt which moves us ever closer to having Nick Sheridan receiving PT which is....well...bad.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:47 PM ^

Brown and Minor in the backfield, Mathews and Stonum, or perhaps Koger wide. Brown motions away from Tate, Denard reads the backside DE to Minor's side, pulls it out and now has options to throw to Tate who can run or throw, throw to Koger up the front side seam to take a corner and freeze the safety, cross Brown underneath to the vacated front side, get a deep cross to Mathews or backside wheel route to Minor or outlet back to Denard.

Defend that, Sparty.

Just thinkin'.

The FannMan

September 28th, 2009 at 10:43 PM ^

What I think we could see is this: Both QBs start in the backfield with Denard motioning wide. Tate throws it to Denard who with another reciever who blocks. (The pass has to go backwards so Denard needs to stand in the right spot and catch the ball.) Denard shows run and Sparty goes after him. Then, as Dantonio screams like a girl, Denard throws the ball back to Tate on the other side of the field who has the whole offensive line in front of him. Since every Spartan is now on the wrong side of the field admiring Denard's dreds, Tate walks into the endzone.

Vintage Lloyd used to do this. Woodson threw one to Greise that ended on the one, and Navarre actually scored on this play. (Can't remember who threw it. I think both were against Wisconsin?) If John "moves like my couch" Navarre could score I have to think Tate could. It is also an easy read for Denard who can just take off if someone reads the play and goes to cover Tate.


September 29th, 2009 at 6:08 AM ^

Robinson is at QB for a series of plays. Tate comes in to relieve him, and Robinson jogs off towards the MI sideline - only he doesn't actually leave the field, he just stands near the sideline talking with the coaches who are congratulating him on a nice series.

Receivers to far side of field and motion to far side. Tate takes the snap and makes a step to the wide side, while Kevin Grady picks up the block on the backside. Tate spins around and hits Robinson on the weakside screen right on the sideline.

Robinson holds the ball above his head and starts walking to the endzone - then he starts prancing a little as the entire Sparty team starts their futile pursuit - and just about the time they reach him he turns on the afterburners, only he's running backwards. Robinson gets penalized after the TD for taunting. Worth it? Absolutely.

Blue in Yarmouth

September 29th, 2009 at 9:07 AM ^

Is our offense performing that badly that we need to use all this trickery....really? I think our offense is doing just fine at the moment. Maybe we should all be thinking about how we can improve our defense, because you know.....the coaches always take what we say on here and implement it in their gameplans, right.....Honestly, lets just leave the coaching to the coaches and the sarcastic one liners to we (the mgocommunity) who sling them best.