OT: Gardner & Gallon connect in Japan (Game 1)

Submitted by Carcajou on August 30th, 2016 at 5:45 AM

Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon, playing for the Nojima Rise, lost their opener in X-League Division 1 action on Sunday 14-13 to the Obic Seagulls in Kawasaki, Japan.

The ex-Michigan Wolverine teammates connected 10 times for 87 yards in the game including the first touchdown, which came on a quick slant late in the first half. On the play previous, Gardner was penalized 5 yards for throwing from beyond the LOS; he'd rolled out from the 4, and as he eluded DE Kevin Jackson and was met by other Seagull defenders, he lobbed the ball over their head to Gallon waiting 5 yards deep in the end zone. Obviously disappointed, Gardner could be heard protesting, "No. No! No! No!" loudly to no avail, as there is no instant reply in Japanese American football, and at such times Japanese officials are disinclined to remember whatever English they may have learned. Nojima went into halftime leading 7-0.

Midway through the drizzly 4th quarter on a QB draw Gardner leapt and tretched out, was spun 270 degrees, yet scored the TD to take 13-7 lead. However the extra point was missed.

Obic's Jerry Neuheisal (yes, of THAT Neuheisal lineage), brought the Seagulls back to score and made it 14-13 with 3:26 left.

One eery reminder of things past occured on Nojima's next and last possession: on 2nd & long with Gardner running for his life, as he was being taken down, he tossed the ball to the side and slightly backwards. Obic was not able to recover the ball however. Gardner was hurt on the next play as he tried to scramble for the first down but was stopped a three yards short. His replacement also tried to run for the first down and was also stopped short.

Gardner finished the day 21-37-1-1 and 290 yards passing and 25 yards rushing, including the first 1st down of the game. Neuheisal was 13-19 and 172 yards passing with two TDs and no interceptions for Obic.



August 30th, 2016 at 6:02 AM ^

I will always respect Devin Gardner for what he went through here.   It was a damn shame to see how beat up, physically and mentally, he was in 2014.   Watch highlights from 2012, looks like a totally different person.

What Hoke did to him was criminal and he should be on death row for these heinous acts.  


August 30th, 2016 at 8:19 AM ^

People skewered Hoke for putting Gardner at WR. After Denard graduated we would be starting true freshman Morris backed up by Bellomy if Gardner stuck at WR. Nevermind Gardner adamantly believed he was a QB and probably would have transferred.

Of all the coaching malpractice Hoke was guilty of, not giving Devin a shot at WR wasn't one of them.


August 30th, 2016 at 8:30 AM ^

I'd tend to agree, but there are two greater football crimes lurking here.

1) the fact that there was really no other QB on roster. Bellomy doesn't count. Gardner may have been the best QB we had at the time.

2) Hoke, Borges, and company weren't any kinder to WRs in their game plans than QBs. I swear to the Almighty Sarlacc that it almost looked like they had said to each other,

"So, whatcha wanna do?",
"I don't know, get Funchess killed?",
"Only if we can get our QB killed too"
"Sounds good"


August 30th, 2016 at 3:43 PM ^

Yeah sure... but we are talking about Hoke's "crimes" or mistakes.   Bellomy was a transitional class guy and Morris had a lot of hype but ended up missing his senior year due to mono.  In this day of attrition and transfers you need to recruit at least one QB a year.   I cringe to think that without Harbaugh last seasons QB depth chart may have read 1. Morris  2. Bellomy 3. Speight


August 30th, 2016 at 8:36 AM ^

Here's a hot take: I bet Borges would be a good NFL OC. OLs are better trained, he wouldn't be allowed to train a QB, and he wouldn't have to do anything except game day tactics.

When Borges' tinkering worked, he looked like a mad scientist. A successful mad scientist. Take him out of the roster and development aspects of a football team, pair him with a head coach who says "I want to score points" instead of "I want to run it up the middle 30 times a game with the best athlete you will ever see" and Borges could shine.



August 30th, 2016 at 10:19 AM ^

Borges has an unquestionable ability to draw up plays that confound defenses.  He can get a hodge-podge squad to run 40 up on the board against a defense they have no business scoring against.  We'll just let that fact sit for the record, because we saw it done.

His inability to ID or develop talent is only half the problem.  The other problem is that he was so caught up in his own head games -- as in, the games he played out in his head -- that he'd completely ignore what was happening on the field.  This play-action waggle is designed to delay the linebackers' reaction to get the intermediate routes open.  Never mind that it's 3rd and 18.  And even after his plays have been sniffed out, he keeps running them because he's convinced they should work.  He also has no sense of constraint theory; he had too many plays where they ran out of a single formation or personnel group.  Norfleet trotting onto the field meant the next play was an end-around.

Borges' ego issues aren't as much of a problem against lower competition that can't afford staff to go over 300 hours of tape, but in the NFL you can spend as much money as you want on locking up interns in an AV room, and the players get way more prep time.  He'd get destroyed.


August 30th, 2016 at 9:28 AM ^

Honestly (ducks) DG was most like TPeezy in comparison ..not as fast as Kap at Nevada and with longer strides ....though none of the lying, cheating, tattooing and drugs of course.

Yes, regret for what might have been ...but nothing like the enthusiasm for what's to come!!!


August 30th, 2016 at 7:07 AM ^

Yes, I was there. I am writing about it.

There was a contingent of Michigan fans representing, present taking pictures, etc.

At the top levels Japanese football is really quite good- they are nearly always in the top 4 internationally (along with Canada and Mexico).

The last few years they have brought in more American players (notably at QB and DL) to be more competetive. The players all have regular jobs, but they practice several days a week most of the year long.

The Japanese receiver that scored the first TD for Obic in the game is very fast, and was on the Falcons practice squad a few years ago. He was destined to play for the New York UFL team, but the league never got off the ground. They had quite a few players and some coaches in NFL-Europe.


August 30th, 2016 at 6:47 AM ^

Well, it certainly makes for a situation where you almost NEVER want to jump the snap and go early, unless of course you are into thhat sort of thing, then you probably want neutral zone infractions on every single play. Either way, it's a very messy game and the MVP is usually the guy on the sideline with the wetwipes and towels. 


August 30th, 2016 at 9:18 AM ^

Yet again, this reply makes me chuckle harder than it probably should. 

However, if you do wish to complain about the general tenor of the modding, I am sure there are people to whom you can complain around here. Who knows? The day I finally ragequit, which is the inevitable end for most forum moderators, you might be next in line.