Gardner playing time next couple of weeks

Submitted by funkywolve on September 13th, 2010 at 5:05 PM

I'm pretty sure RR commented before the season started that Gardner's red shirt wasn't going to be burned by Gardner getting a couple of plays/game.  At this point though, that's what it's turning out to be.  So does RR make a concerted effort the next couple of weeks to get Gardner in the game during the first half?  I'd like to think he'll be getting into the game during the 4th quarters in mop up duty.

Robinson's been out of the world so there's been no reason to take him out in the first two games.  However, to burn Garnder's redshirt by putting him in for one or two plays is frustrating.  Once the big ten season rolls around there might not be to many games where Gardner can get meaningful snaps if Robinson doesn't get dinged and have to come out. 



September 13th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

I'm thinking put Forcier in (1 qtr?) to get him some time, keep him happy, run up the score a bit, then put Devin in for the rest of the game to get lots of game time. Keep Denard out for the next 2-3 weeks to let him heal and make sure he doesnt get injured.


September 13th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^


i don't see how giving tate garbage time in these games "keeps him happy". I have no idea what's up with him, nor do I care, but it doesn't really seem like mop-up duty was what he's been training for since birth.

i'm in full support of getting Devin as much playing time as reasonably possible, since the Redshirt's already in the fire. Get him ready to contribute.

(not saying I'm supporting that year of eligibility getting away, but it's gone, so let's see what he's got)


September 13th, 2010 at 5:51 PM ^

I'm talking about 2-3 starts. I don't want to see Denard at least this week and probably not next week either. It's not mop-up duty if he is the one creating the blood bath. Devin would be the one getting mop-up duty.

My thought is that giving him these starts tells him he is #2 and it gets him ready for when Denard gets injured. 


September 13th, 2010 at 6:51 PM ^

Denard probably won't run nearly as much in this game... the RBs carry the bulk of the workload (presuming, the read allows denard to hand it off.)  Either way, I think Denard still needs to work on his deep ball (if possible.)  There's no way you bench him until you're up by at least three scores.


September 14th, 2010 at 1:08 AM ^

UMass is almost as good as ASU was, and Michigan is not a top-5 team. Even if they shouldn't have been then, they did have Hart, Henne, Long, Manningham, Arrington. . .I know Michigan's got Denard, but let's not assume that his presence means this can never happen again.


September 13th, 2010 at 6:10 PM ^

that's true, and maybe I've misread Tate and he's fine in the 2nd fiddle role, but even if he started against UMASS and BG, he's still only going to be "that guy that comes in when the actual QB can't play". maybe that's ok with him, and more power to him if that's the case, but the odds of him reclaiming the starting job as long as the others 2 are around seem slim-to-none. 

and given Devin's role as the QB of the future, it wouldn't make sense to give your 3rd teamer starts just to keep him happy when you're trying to build an OSU-destroying monster with your 2nd stringer.

it's all convoluted, but it seems like Rich is banking on Denard and Devin to drive this team, and thus, should act according to that plan. If he really had doubts about Devin's ability to play, Tate would've been out of that doghouse long ago. As long as he sticks around, Tate is simply a luxury item stuffed into the emergency kit.


September 13th, 2010 at 6:28 PM ^

Here's my logic:

- Devin hasn't shown any ability to perform under pressure.

- Denard needs a rest or he will get injured, if not in these games, some time in the Big10 schedule.

- Tate has shown he can win. He has better players around him now.

- Our defense shouldn't have any serious struggles with these teams. If they do, our season is already damned.

Therefore, sit Denard, let Tate work up the lead by 2-3 scores, and get Devin in as soon as possible. After Devin shows that he can run the offense at game speed, then let him take over in a pressured situation.


September 13th, 2010 at 7:59 PM ^

Denard will start and play until the game is in hand.  Denard will primarily throw the ball and handoff to the RB's.   Denard is the clear cut starter and there is no need to upset team chemistry by changing that now.    Plus, Denard is just a second year player.   As great as he has played, he could still use the work.  

According to the depth chart next up will be Devin.   After that will be Tate.   The coaches have clearly shown that by:  a) the depth chart released today, and b) by the substitution pattern in previous games that they are serious about Devin being # 2.     

Any notion about Tate starting or getting snaps ahead of Devin simply flies in the face of facts as we know them today.  


September 13th, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

Denard is a true sophomore.  Let's not forget that.  He needs the reps.  And honestly . . . he's a football player, not a Fabergé egg.  His job is to go out there and play.  How is he supposed to get ready for the Big Ten season if he's on the sidelines for two weeks straight? 

Prepare for this game like it's a normal game (which it is - it counts in the totals just as much as UConn or ND).  If we pull away, then you can pull Denard.  But don't go into the game acting like it's a joke. 


September 13th, 2010 at 6:36 PM ^

Couldn't the same have been said about Forcier in the DSU game last year? He threw two passes before getting pulled. If that's how they handle this game with Denard, then I am fine with that, but he does no good to us if he has a season-ending or nagging injury throughout the season. And if Denard takes the only meaningful snaps in these games, then we have no backups with meaningful playing time this season when he does get injured.

I think all of this boils down to "hope for the best, prepare for the worst".


September 13th, 2010 at 8:52 PM ^

Yes Tate was pulled but IIRC that was the week after his shoulder injury against Indiana?  I wouldn't have even put him out there.

Considering what RR did last year during the DSU game, we'll probably see Denard for a quarter at most, then Devin.   If Tate is out of the doghouse maybe he'll see some time too.


[EDIT:   Damn my brain, I almost never "IIRC" correctly.   DSU game was after MSU and Iowa. I still wouldn't have even played Tate, would have let his shoulder rest.]


September 13th, 2010 at 5:15 PM ^

Getting reps last fall certainly helped Robinson, so I won't second guess RRs decision to put Devin out there. I think he'll get some drives in each of the next two, if not three, weeks.


September 13th, 2010 at 5:18 PM ^

We have the blueprint from last season's game against Delaware State for best-case.  Tate played 2 series, Denard came in for the rest of the first half, and we were comfortably ahead and Sheridan played the 3rd quarter and even Coner got in for some snaps.

If things went that well, I'd guess Denard plays a couple series, and then in no particular order, Tate plays a few series, and then Devin plays the bulk of the game.

If this game is at all close, Denard plays the whole game again.   


September 13th, 2010 at 5:19 PM ^

RR bought himself a future headache when Devin is still not starting in year 3.  But since the redshirt is already gone, we might as well play him when we can.


September 13th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

The problem with this line of reasoning is that it assumes that 1) Gardner would have happily committed here even if a redshirt was obligatory and 2) that Gardner would have stayed five years, no question.  And related to #1, if you pull the ol' bait-and-switch and redshirt a kid after you've promised to play him, you could suffer much greater repercussions (like a transfer or other recruits being alienated) down the road.


September 13th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

I think Denard needs some time to work on the deep ball.  He was a little out of sync with the WRs on soem of those deep passes.  So I'd imagine we focus on getting a nice lead and then spend some time letting Denard work on passing and trying to pound our backs.  Then we cycle in Gardner to get him reps since he is clearly the #2 on the chart right now.  Tate or Kennedy will serve as the human victory cigar.

I'm kind of wondering if we're going to see Denard spending some time as kind of a pocket QB while he works on those throws.  Plays where we just go max protect and have him toss a deep one.


September 13th, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

I'd say if we're up by 21 at halftime give Forcier the whole second half.  First of all I still think he's better right now than DG and should be the guy if Robinson get's injured and needs to be ready for that.  Second of all, if he is doing the right things in practice, he needs some time just to keep his self-esteem up.  And make him not transfer.


September 13th, 2010 at 7:01 PM ^

How can you think DG is better than Tate when you haven't seen more than 3 handoffs from DG this year??  Logical people can assume that RR wouldn't burn DG's redshirt for some mindgame with hence, if he's better than Tate, why aren't we all excited to see what he can do???  I like Tate too but if he's the 3rd best, than he needs to play 3rd!


September 13th, 2010 at 5:43 PM ^

I would like to see Denard work on his passing some and let the running backs pound it and try and get some yardage.  I would hope that all three can get some playing and work out any issues they have before MSU.


September 13th, 2010 at 6:46 PM ^

While UMass is much, much better then Baby Seal U, I still expect the quarterback rotation to be similar to the way it was last season against DSU.  I think Denard comes for the first quarter or quarter and a half and then steps aside for Devin and Tate to get the rest of the reps.  Hopefully Denard doesn't have to play too long because if he's playing into the second half it means that things are a lot closer then they need to be.


September 13th, 2010 at 7:03 PM ^

I just hope that RR looks the team in the eye (especially the Oline and Defense) and says that they'd better go out from the first snap and play their asses off. '

If they do that, Denard can be in for 2-3 series, and we'll be up by 14-21 points.

At that point we can give Gardner and/or Tate a series and see where it goes from there.

If those guys can't perform and it gets back to a 10 or less point deficit, than we have to bring Denard back in. 

Bottom line though is that if this game is close, Denard will play the whole thing and will probably have 20+ carries.

I REALLY REALLY don't want that to happen. But every game is a "must win" type scenario for RR and this team. So if DRob get hurt against UMass it will really suck, but if that's what it takes to get that 3rd be it. 

Bo Lytle

September 14th, 2010 at 12:44 AM ^

Denard will play until they are up by 28.  Rich Rod is like John Krease from Cobra Kai.  Strike Hard Strike First.  I'm guessing 28 by the half and then Coach will ice his horse.  Need to see Devin get some meaningful snaps.  Tate needs a chance to get the rust out because he has the ability to win games himself.  We need all of our horses to get some snaps.  But since Devin's redshirt is dusted we must get some production from him now.  We will need someone to give Denard a breather in Big Ten play.  Devin needs these two weeks to figure out how to play football on Saturdays.  Hope Denard can get some big numbers and keep his momentum going.