Denard Scrambling

Submitted by Marley Nowell on September 18th, 2011 at 1:40 AM

I didn't get to see the game (only highlights) so correct me if I'm wrong but it looked like 4-5 of Denard's runs came on pass plays were he saw nothing was open and took off.  If Denard can consistently do this he would become even more dangerous than he already is.





September 18th, 2011 at 1:50 AM ^

There were designed run plays for Denard, but he had some scrambles as well. I agree though, that when he gets the hang of making good decisions about when to run as opposed to when to pass, he's going to be even more of a headache for the defenses of the world . . . .

Nacho Mama

September 18th, 2011 at 8:51 AM ^

Watching the head fake, two plays come to mind.  the first was Barry Sanders' head fake on Rod Woodson which caused Woodson to tear his ACL.  The second was a bounce pass fake by Jalen Rose against UD-Mercy. It doesn't need to be stated, but Denard's pure athleticism is amazing. 

Blue in Seattle

September 18th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^ that they are referring to one scramble where Denard was sprinting to the edge and twice stutter stepped to trick the would be tackler to alter their good angle, to their chagrin.  They were pretty quick stutter steps, such that it may have looked like he was just moving his head.



September 18th, 2011 at 8:53 AM ^

If Denard can consistently throw accurately to his receivers he would become more dangerous than he already is.

I love loved that they finally threw back in the Denard fake run to drop back pass play that destroyed teams last year one of the greatest ways to either make a defense stay honest or catch them cheating up and throw for big yardage.

I haven't heard much on mgoblog (though I could have missed it) talk about Denard's running style changing this year on many plays in that he will now often follow a blocker tentatively moving laterally before trying to burst through a hole. This play has often resulted in 3 yard gains and sometimes in a TFL.

This works against Denard's strengths which are his speed and shiftiness and allows the defense to stack up against him. It's a bit disheartening when Borges calls that play and then when last year's RR plays go in that's what ends up getting the big gainers.


September 18th, 2011 at 9:12 AM ^

It seems like we do the same thing every game...have the intention with running with the backs and throwing the ball, until it doesn't work, then revert back to just letting Denard create.  Denard is such a good runner and creator.  It just makes me nervous when I see him in the pocket.  He consistently makes bad reads, throws into coverage, and pre-determines where he's going with the ball before reading the defense.  It's great that he can create, run, and scramble.  But, man I'm nervous when we face a dominant front 4/7 that forces him to throw.  I hope I'm wrong and that he devlops as a passer.  But, IMO he still makes the same mistakes and mis-reads that he's always made, which leads me to believe he "is what he is" and won't develop much in this area.  Love the kid, amazing athlete, but can't see him as a great QB.


September 18th, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

His passing definitely was off, and in the post-game pressers neither Hoke nor Denard gave an adequate answer, despite being asked several times - each - about it.


September 18th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

both answered the best they could, but the reporters were looking for something more. My hat goes off to Denard for handling 10 minutes of reporters asking why his passing sucks so bad. He answers every one with a smile saying he just has to go to work and get better.

I do think that it"s crazy to expect the RB's to have any sort of consistancy when they get 4 carries one week and 2 the next week. Smith, Shaw , and Fitz combined thru 3 games don't even have 50 carries. And WR's? 27 combined receptions thru 3 games. Part of me is hoping the coaching staff is looking to win these non conference games being "vanilla" as possible and then pulling out the playbook for the Big ten games. Because if we go into bigten play as unbalanced as we are now it could get ugly real quick.


September 18th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

Fellas UM will continue to be unbalanced until Denard can start consistently making throws. He has a cannon for an arm but lately he has no idea where the ball is going when he throws it. Makes u wonder about that 70% passing during practice.

On the flip side, those things are all correctable and hopefully he gets it down this week or at least by the Conf opener




September 18th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

Denard's scrambling is different this year.  I can't count how many times last year he'd be sitting int he pocket for way too long on a pass play and I'm yelling at the TV, "Run! RUNNNN!!! You have rockets for legs, the first down is right there, and the field is WIDE OPEN!"

But either he'd been coached to run only on designed run plays or he'd determined that for himself (Tate certainly had no problems scrambling).  So the result would either be a sack or a forced throw into coverage, often picked off.  It was really frustrating.

This year is different.  He sees green and nothing open, he takes off.  This does make him more dangerous, and I think it cuts down on our turnovers too.  Makes the difference between TO or sack and first down.  That's HUGE.