So after reading the board the past couple of days, I have a faint sense that people are unhappy with the loss to State and believe that something (in this case, Denard's passing arm and/or illicit love triangle with both Tacopants and Taquittoshorts) should be blamed. And while I understand the sense of anger with losing to the Spartans for the 4th straight time, I don't understand this patholigical desire to blame a TEAM's failure to win on a single player and, even worse, propose some half-cocked remedies like replacing Denard with Devin Gardner.
I get that it sucks to lose to a rival, especially one as mind-boggling annoying as MSU, and the way the team lost (with all of the personal fouls and rough tactics by the MSU defense) certainly didn't help. But sometimes teams just lose because the other team beat them, because players struggled or failed to perform, and it isn't because one player "cost" them the game. Yes, Denard struggled throwing the ball, but the whole offense failed to perform up to task. The offensive line was unable to open up consistent running lanes or provide a suitable pocket for Denard to work out of, and the RBs were never able to generate consistent positive yardage (a problem we have seen all year). The WRs, while certainly open at times, also dropped a couple of very catchable balls that would have extended drives (the Roundtree one jumps to mind, and I believe Koger also dropped a close one, amongst others). The defensive line was unable to create much of a pass rush against a mediocre State line, and the LBs failed to stop up cutback lanes and tackle MSU's running backs before they could get going. The defensive backfield, while solid at times, were also guilty of poor tackling that allowed MSU WRs to score near the goalline as well as extend drives. And the coaches made a number of questionable decisions on both sides of the ball, sometimes leaving players in positions where they could not succeed.
My point here is that the TEAM lost that game, and that's okay. It happens. Denard is a part of that team, but to lump the blame on his shoulder after what he has done these past two years is offensive. He had a bad game; so did Fitz, Smith, Hemingway, Martin, Demens, Borges, Hoke, etc. The TEAM lost, and hopefully the rest of the year the TEAM will win. But I don't hear people calling for Rawls to get more carries, for Schofield to replace Lewan, or for Campbell to replace Heininger full-time. I want this TEAM to win because it is a fun bunch and they have been through so much these past 4 years. But as a fanbase we need to accept that losses happen sometimes not because a single player "failed", but because the TEAM just didn't perform. And that's okay as long as they get better.