October 31st, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

the best shot at winning.  His skillset allows Borgess to keep the offense closer to "normal", whatever that is since I see different game plans every week, while Denard rests/ rehabs.  If we can keep Denard on "ice" until NU next weekend, I feel good about our chances of going 3-0 until OSU week.  At that point, a healthy Denard and some continuity of getting him back in the rotation for the final 2 games makes me feel better about stealing one in Cbus.  By the way... GO GREEN, Beat Brasky!


October 30th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Exactly. DG taking reps tells us little, because he's not taking reps away from Bellomy, him and Bellomy are splitting the reps that Denard isn't taking. Who actually gets back up snaps in a game is still TBD.


October 30th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

Just because Bellomy was bad doesn't mean that Gardner will necessarily be worse. Gardner was 11/23 last year, mostly in trash time, and didn't complete more than 1-2 good passes per game. The rest looked about as good as Bellomy's passes from this past game. On top of that, a lot of being a QB is reading the defense. If Gardner is throwing picks left and right in practice (I'm not talking about the receivers giving them away to the defenders) then we will probably sill see Bellomy spell Denard in the case of an injury.

I think that Devin will only come in at QB if Bellomy doesn't look good and we need the offensive production.

Blue in Yarmouth

October 31st, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

I'm not saying he would be better or worse in the passing game (but I think he owuld have fared better), but the added threat of DG's legs may have been all we needed to pull something off in that game. I mean, we were first and goal when Denard went out. With DG in the game you have both he and a RB in the backfield to try and get it in. We score there and it is a totally different ball game.

I think it is highly unlikely that DG could have done any worse in the passing game and it is highly likely he could have added something to the running game whether he had been taking regular snaps or not.


October 31st, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

We simply don''t have the tools necessary on offense to roll with Bellomy and believe he can move the ball with this offense.  The only reason why this offense has not been an outright disaster instead of a mere debacle is because we have mobile quarterback that can keep a defense honest both in how they depoly their safties and their blitzes.  We don't have wide receivers that can stretch the field vertically (at least experienced ones) and our offensive line has proven unable to generate any push or open up running lanes out of a conventional running set.  If Denard's injury lingers and the teams needs an extended fix, Bellomy and Gardner will at least platoon back there.  Gardner's mobility could salvage something, while I think riding Bellomy could spell doom for this team with its current makeup.  I think Devin will be getting plenty of reps this week, like a crash course, and I would not be surprised if his time at wide receiver is reduced against Minnesota in favor of one of the youngins.


October 30th, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

Runs by a quarterback don't count.  That's not "real" quarterbacking.  "Real" quarterbacking is passing, and only passing.  Whenever you make a comparison of QBs you should ignore running ability entirely.

That's why Denard needs to be moved to WR in place of a pro-style passer like Devin Gardner (who is tall and therefore a better 'fit') or Bellomy (who does not run as well as Denard and is taller, therefore a better 'fit').



October 30th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

Bellomy  is still the number 2.  Gardner is taking reps to back up Bellomy.

Devin will start at WR. 

Take it to the bank.

Don't shoot the messenger. 


October 30th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

I agree with you, and I think that's the way it should be.

Everyone wants DG at QB because he didn't suck at QB last weekend. But I bet he would have. I bet he would have played no better than Bellomy did. When have we seen DG play well at QB for us? Even in the spring game he couldn't hardly hit anyone.

A lot of people have been saying, "yeah, but at least DG can run." Can he? We know he can run up and down the field, but of the times he has run as a QB, 75% or more went for almost no yardage. It takes more than speed to be a running QB. And Bellomy's no slow poke either, his 10-ish yard scramble against Nebraska was one of his best plays, not to mention the speed he showed running down the guy who picked him off.

Point is, if DG was a really good back up option at QB, and he's the guy the coaches wanted at QB next fall, I doubt he'd be playing WR right now.


October 30th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

You honestly think DG would do no better than 3/16 with 3 ints? What? I mean, I thought he was a relatively bad backup and that Bellomy should be backup... until I actually saw Bellomy in a game. I guarentee Devin could break 0 in QBR, he's at least proven that. In games he's seen time in, DG has shown good arm strength, ok (but not great) accuracy, ok (but not great) decision making, the ability to scramble, and the ability to look past his first read. Bellomy has shown none of that.


October 30th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

say what you want..but right now Bellomy does not posses the arm or legs to run an offense in the B1G. .Devin Gardner does have is that simple. OK you weren't impressed with Gardner last year I get it, but no amount of reps is going to make Bellomy an option at qb this year. Devin can absolutely be a qb and he did play better against MSU on the road last year (which was a tougher environment and defense) than Bellomy did against NU. He also had some clutch passes against Northwestern and a few other games.  I don't know what your beef with Gardner is but youre wrong about his ability. He will be the starting qb next year I guarantee it.


October 30th, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

I've got no beef with Gardner, at all.  I'm just not going to convince myself that he's a good enough QB to come in and win that game for us.  He hasn't shown any ability yet to do that.  He's a decent QB and a great athlete, which is why I'm glad he's seeing time at WR, because it bothered me last year having such a great athlete on the sidelines all season. 

I think a lot of people are looking at Bellomy's performance and saying that DG would have been way better, and we don't know that.  He didn't look any better than Bellomy in the spring game.  This is not me being a DG hater, this is me being a Bellomy hater hater.


October 31st, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

To acknowledge the reality that the kid played very very VERY poorly in this game.

DG doesn't have to be an all-conference caliber QB to give us a far better shot of winning the game.  No one knows if he would have been enough , but it's a safe bet that [relative to Bellomy] it a) couldn't have been worse and b) probably would have been better.

You're swimming upstream here, asserting that there's little to no difference between Bellomy and Gardner, to get to your real points which seem to boil down to a)Bellomy isn't garbage and b)Gardner isn't as good as Denard.  I think most reasonable people will agree with that.


October 30th, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

Devin was a much higher ranked recruit.

Devin is older and more experienced.

Devin beat out Bellomy the last 2 years for backup QB duties.

Devin can run, which means he's a better fit for the plays this team has been practicing the last 2 years and beyond.

So, while it's not automatic, it's extremely reasonable to assert that Devin could/would have done better. (particularly if he was actually practicing at his position)

And yeah - having a better arm helps too.


October 30th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

I don't know how much water your thirs point holds since the last 2 years Bellomy was either in high school or a true frosh. 

I'm still not buying the "Devin can run" argument because I've never really seen it.  He usually just runs around in the backfield, sometimes for positive gain, sometimes for negative gain.  Last season he rushed 7 times for 21 yards.  That's not enough for me to say that Devin can run. 

I'lll give you the experience factor, and the recruit part means little 3 years after the fact.  Marvin Robinson was a higher rated recruit than either of our starting safeties, Brandon Moore higher rated than Kwiatkowski, Williams and Funchess, these things happen. 

Look - could Devin have done a little bit better?  It's possible.  Do we have any reason to believe he would have done enough better to make it look any different?  No.  I don't see Devin stepping up against those blitzes and delivering the ball downfield.  I don't see Devin taking off and getting yardage on the ground on a regular basis.  My guess is had Devin gone in instead of Bellomy, everyone would be just as pissed and they'd be begging for Bellomy and permanent WR move for DG.


October 30th, 2012 at 6:54 PM ^

Your point about Bellomy's inexperience is well taken, but it holds for 2012 too.  Yes RS Freshman>True Frosh, but Bellomy is going to be a whole lot better as a 3rd year player than he is now.

As for Devin running - come on.  The guy is an excellent athlete, obviously.  As a recruitnik, you saw what he did in high school.  The small sample of stuff we've seen in games doesn't reflect his capabilities, just like Bellomy's poor performance last week doesn't mean he can't be a good QB.  Particularly when much of Devin's play was against MSU.  The 7 for 21 thing was 2010, not 2011.  His 2011 stats aren't much better, but that's garbage time and MSU.  Nebraska's D ain't MSU.

I'll also agree that the recruiting rankings mean less now, but you're willing to give Bellomy a lot of leeway for being a 2nd year player - Gardner's only a year older, but has played a good deal more (much of that at WR, granted - but that's still going to help him in the composure department.)

We have MANY reasons to think Gardner could have done better in that spot.  It's a matter of opinion of course, but just because you don't 'see it' doesn't mean it's not there.

As for your last sentance -- well, yeah.  People seem to get pissed about just about anything.  My thing is - if Gardner had stayed at QB, he would have been FAR better equipped to handle Nebraska.  Would that have been enough to win - I dunno, but I feel very confident speculating that it would have turned out a heck of a lot better than 3 passes to our team and 3 passes to theirs.


October 30th, 2012 at 7:05 PM ^

OK, you're right that I looked at his rushing numbers for 2010.  In 2011, he had 25 rushes for 53 yards.  His longest was 17, his next longest was 7 (they were against Minny and EMU, respectively).  So no, it wasn't just against MSU's D, only 6 of his 25 rushes were against MSU and he had rushes in 6 different games.  Just because he's an athlete and can run fast does not make him a good runner. 

Had DG stayed at QB, I don't think we would have done much better against Nebraska.  He still can't throw, at least not that I've ever seen.  Maybe one or two of those INTs are incompletions instead, but all that means is that we're punting instead of throwing a pick into the endzone.  Maybe we get a chance to kick a long FG once, but that's about it.  And remember, DG wouldn't have our best (only?) deep threat (himself), so Nebraska could really cheat up.   


October 30th, 2012 at 7:31 PM ^

certainly helps.

He ran for 1,401 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior in 2008.  I'm too lazy to dig up his senior year stats but they're probably not too far off.

Bellomy isn't a bad runner either, but in comparison, he ran for 438 his junior year.

We can logically conclude one of these guys is a legit run threat.  It seems extremely obstinate to say that he isn't at least a good threat to run.  I'm not saying he's Denard, but if you pulled a random sample of a quarter of garbage time here and a quarter of MSU from Denard's stat sheet you might end up making the same type of argument.  Sample size, man.

Yeah - he's not a great thrower.  He ran a spread in high school and he's run a lot of spread or pseudo-spread (fusion cuisine) in college.  And he's been practicing at WR....but he's 18 for 33 in his career while Bellomy is 4 of 21.  Does that mean he's a better passer -- of course not.  But if you're going to grab stats based on small sample sizes it needs to go both ways.

So not only is he a better runner, but he's also probably a better passer.  Plus, he's going to be more composed and probably instill a lot more confidence from his teammate.  I don't think there's any question he's got strong leadership qualities and the respect of his teammates (from the bits I've gleaned from player comments.)

Finally, Devin isn't our best deep threat at all.  He's caught 2 long passes this year but dropped many more.  He hasn't caught a long pass since UMass.  Roundtree ain't tall but he doesn't pull himself out of position at least.  Funchess is the other guy I'd target beyond Devin.  I'm sure the WRs will be OK replacing the 1 or 2 balls Gardner is going to catch a game.

You're entitled to your opinion of course, but Denard was moving the ball against Nebraska and Devin's the next closest thing we have to Denard.  AND - the coaches have said all along - Gardner is the 2nd best QB we have. 

The margin between Gardner and Bellomy is disputable (was it enough to win or not), but it almost certainly would have been better.  And there's a lot of evidence to indicate Gardner is significantly better.  If you don't want to buy into the circumstantial stuff, or high school, or the coaches words there is this:

Gardner Career YPA: 8

Bellomy Career YPA: 2

Even a against a defense that was MUCH better than Nebraska, Gardner managed to throw for 6 YPA.

Bellomy is going to be a fine QB for Michigan, but he isn't close to being ready to play meaningful snaps.  Gardner is.



October 30th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

You're obviously convinced that Devin is so much better than Bellomy, and are going back to his high school stats(!) to prove it.  Don't mention that DG was a kid who couldn't throw well and played against inferior competition whereas Bellomy played in Dallas, TX and threw the ball all over the field.  Maybe that has something to do with their rushing stats being lopsided. 

Anyway, my point wasn't that Bellomy is better than DG, just that they aren't different enough to argue about.  You want circumstantial evidence?  Our coaches moved DG to receiver.  My guess is that if they felt he was that much better of a back up QB, they would have kept him there, or at minimum practiced him there enough to put him in.  Twice this year, Denard has goen out and both times Bellomy has come in.  That tells me that the coaches, who see these guys a lot more than we do, think Bellomy is as good (or at least pretty close to as good) as Devin, or they would have made a move. 

Devin's move to WR was partly because he was good at WR, and partly because he wasn't adding value at QB, meaning he wasn't enough better than his back up (Bellomy) to keep him there. 

Had the coaches felt "man this Bellomy kid is just not ready but Gardner totally is" they wouldn't have moved him.


October 30th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

The college stats indicate it, and the high school stats support it.  But mostly the high school stats are relevant because you're "not convinced" that our QB turned WR is a run threat...

Yes, our coaches moved him to WR to get him on the field.  That tells me HE's a special talent.  (Plus the coaches saying so.)

Now that Denard is hurt, they immediately moved him back.  That should tell you something about their comfort with Bellomy (if the Nebraska game isn't enough evidence)...


Devin is NOT very good at WR.  He was added there with the HOPE that he would be, but he's playing less now that he's shown he doesn't have WR skills - he's more raw than a freshman, since he never played the position, even in high school. He takes himself out of position, he drops balls he shouldn't, and he doesn't block well.  It was an experiment, but one with marginal returns.  The passes that have been thrown his way and dropped don't show up in his stats but they hurt the team.

It's true he didn't add value at QB, but that's because of how good he is compared to Denard, not compared to Bellomy.  On the Denard-Russel continuom, Devin could be 90% toward Denard and the logic wouldn't change, because a healthy Denard is still going to take the snaps.  He could also be 10% toward Denard (your argument), but their decision doesn't shed light on that at all.



October 30th, 2012 at 8:04 PM ^

I am convinced that Garnder is a much better QB than Bellomy.  There are small samples of evidence, outsider opinions, insider opinions, recruiting rankings, and coaches statements to weigh.  Every bit of evidence available says he is.  No evidence is available for the counter-argument.  Mostly though, we have an abscense of evidence, so it's mostly opinion. But, reasonable conjecture can be made.


Sten Carlson

October 30th, 2012 at 8:18 PM ^

No evidence is available for the counter-argument.

Actually, there is plenty of evidence that Bellomy is as good, if not better than DG, and it is persuasive evidence at that. The evidence is that Hoke & Co. have decided that that Bellomy is the backup QB, and DG was moved from QB to WR. The coaching staff had a situation in which they had a 6 one way, half dozen another with regards to the backup QB, i.e., they were pretty much equal in their eyes. As such, and given the relative weakness of the WR corp, and DG's athleticism, they made a change in the HOPE (as you aptly pointed out) that DG would contribute at WR. If he didn't, the team was no worse off as he was going to be on the sidelines most of the time anyway -- it was a smart risk/reward play on their part. If DG was a better QB, they wouldn't have moved him to WR and risked putting an inferior QB in Bellomy on the field if Denard went down.


October 31st, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

a) Gardner is an athlete they want on the field

b) they need help at WR


c) that they have faith in Bellomy


None of those things mean Bellomy > Gardner.

The coaches MAY view Bellomy and Gardner as relative equals, they may not.  We don't know.  But the evidence we have of their opinions (stated) is that Gardner > Bellomy by some amount.  It may be small, it may be large - we don't know.

As for if it was a smart move or not - that's a matter of conjecture.  My opinion is it was a pretty stupid move to make.  I didn't like it at the time, and now, with the benefit of hindsight, I hate it.

"If DG was a better QB, they wouldn't have moved him to WR and risked putting an inferior QB in Bellomy on the field if Denard went down."

I don't think think this is right at all.  I think this is EXACTLY what happened and I think they know it.  It was a calculated risk they were willing to take.  Now that Devin has proved to be meh at WR and Bellomy has proved less-than-meh at QB they are moving Devin back to QB.  They have realized their mistake and are addressing it.



October 30th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

Yoyo - don't confuse "guy who can run fast" and "guy who is a good runner with the ball in his hands."

Devin has proven he can run front point A to point B quickly, no doubt.  That doesn't mean he can run the ball well from behind the line of scrimmage.  Denard is a great runner not just because he has break away speed, but because he has great vision, patience, and agility.  I'm not convinced DG has any of thos qualities. 

As a downfield threat, being big and fast is often enough (great jumping and catching ability help as well).  However, to be a good runner either at QB or RB, there is a very different skill set involved, one which DG has not yet proven he has. 


October 30th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

He can dodge would-be sacks as well. 

And, playing WR is about a lot more than "running fast in a line".

You're right in the sense of track not being football...but Devin is a football player - he's just not a WR.  Devin is fast, but he THAT fast.  He's a  good overall athlete and a good overall football player.  The position he is best at is QB.

Comparing him to Denard, comparing ANYONE to Denard, as a runner is unfair.

He doesn't have to be Denard to be a good QB.  After that first spring game where there was an open competition Borges (or was it another coach) said that Gardner was a better thrower than Denard, but Denard was a better runner.  Denard has improved, and maybe Devin hasn't but we're not talking about a bad player here...



October 30th, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

He never said Gardner "must be a good running QB".  He pointed out that he's playing a WR.  WRs are usually good athletes.  Good running QBs are usually good athletes. There's a venn diagram here that I'm sure we all agree with, even if we don't necessirly agree on Devin's proper placement within it. 



October 30th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

Yoyo quoted me saying that I wasn't conviced DG was a good running QB.  He responded to that by saying "He's been moved to WR!"  To me, he was asserting that since DG is fast enough to play WR, he must be a good running QB.  If I am reading this wrong, please let me know, but that's certainly what it seems he's suggesting.

I agree that most good running QBs are good athletes, but not the other way around.  Yoyo suggested that because DG was a good athlete, he must be a good running QB. 

This is like saying most good basketball players are tall, so since you're a tall person, you must be a good basketball player.  It just doesn't work in reverse, as yoyo had asserted. 


October 30th, 2012 at 8:27 PM ^

Correction, Devin lost the back up job to a true freshman Bellomy at the end of the year last year.   Bellomy got the reps as the 2nd string QB at the end of the year up until the bowl game and was flat out, the number 2 QB behind Denard leading up to the spring game until he had concussion like symptoms and had to sit out a little.