Mitch Cumstein

October 16th, 2011 at 7:45 PM ^

In my opinion a fair assessment.  Many posters are about to flip their shit, so be ready for it.  The use of "Big Blue", the claim that "RR didn't take the game seriously" and the whole "Denard isn't a QB" thing are hot button issues around here.  Outside of those controversial (at least for mgoblog) topics, the guy gave a balanced, outside perspective that was at least interesting to read.


October 16th, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

"I expect Hoke and his new staff to start taking this game much more seriously in the coming years than was the standard in the forgettable Rich Rod era."

Yes, that is a hot-button issue. I was tempted to stop reading there, because it's consistently among the top two/three most ridiculous things said about the Rodriguez era.

No issues with the other points in the article ...


October 16th, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

"They should also hope they did not awaken the sleeping giant that has been the Michigan football program over the past few years….they may regret this one for years to come at the new Thug U."

This is the sentence that follows yours, I hope there is truth to it.  MSU took Mike Hart's words to the bank.  I think Gholston's dirtiness has given Michigan all they need to be fired up.


October 16th, 2011 at 7:47 PM ^

Very fair assesment... and yes, we do need to also make this game a priority and take control of the rivalry again.  I did think we would lose to them this year (hoped to be wrong), but they are at their pinnacle and we are just starting back on the way up.


I was disgusted by the MSU players and the way Dantonio carries himself.  Even my MSU buddy did not reply when I texted him that their school was the dirtiest around.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

Of course your friend wouldn't respond when you insult his school. Let's be intelligent.

I don't think UM responded in a particularly classy manner. MSU played dirty and took it too far several times, but UM responded with plays such as holding a players helmet in the ground, shoving/punching back (see Edwin Baker's touchdown run, a UM player throws a 'high one-handed shove' that could be viewed as a punch), and refusing to shake hands after the game.

Disappointing display from both schools. However, as this doesn't show to be a recurring theme from either, I'll chalk it up to being an intense game between in-state rivals.


October 16th, 2011 at 7:51 PM ^

First and foremost, Devin Gardner is perhaps closer to the QB that would ultimately fit into the offense that Borges would like to have in time, and that's fine, but he needs many, many more reps before he is up to the task of actually starting the game. Clearly, he is not yet fully comfortable reading coverage such as what will be thrown at him in his career  for the most part. 

Second, Denard Robinson is statistically more or less where he was last year, if not slightly better in some regards. The glaring problems come from sacks and interceptions, as he is on track to exceed last year's totals in these areas. Question - do you switch QBs or do you work with the lines to give him the extra time he needs to get comfortable in this scheme? It isn't just Denard Robinson - it is the personnel on  offense in  general, and really, the coaching staff is doing the best they can with what they have. 

In the MSU game, as I have said before, we are one more second or two steps away from big plays, and if all had gone well, Robinson looks like platinum in this game, or at least more like platinum than another word people have used. 

This article, for the most part, is another one that lays the blame on the most visible person on the team. I feel so sorry for Seth Broekhuizen in that regard. 

On the other hand, I agree entirely with the "Thug U" assessment - I think this hurts State in the long run, this reputation. 


October 16th, 2011 at 7:54 PM ^

I have to disagree about Gardner.  He made some pretty terrible mistakes – missing a wide-open man in the middle of the field, throwing the ball while he was three yards over the line of scrimmage, whatever the hell that desperate BS was at the end.  He is not nearly the QB Denard is.  He will get there, but he is making very rookie mistakes and, by rookie, I mean freshman year of high school.  He may be more accurate and more comfortable in the pocket but those sorts of mistakes are drive killing and unforgivable.  Denard is our best option and he was not put in a position to succeed.  The OLine had some pretty awful holding calls at the end of the game and we weren't adjusting our play to punish the blitzes.  Also, we completely abandoned the ground game, it seemed, and we were doing no favors to Denard's rhythm by taking him in and out all game.  I still have a ton of faith in Denard.  He'll get there, but he will no doubt be frustrating at times.


October 16th, 2011 at 8:06 PM ^

I agree with most of this.  Devin's mistakes were indicative of a guy that doesn't have near the awareness you need your field general to have. 

Denard was not put in a position to succeed.  I had a guy tell me after yesterday's game that Denard is just not a passer.  While he's not doing well, no quarterback could have done well yesterday because he was that pressured. 

Gotta stick with Denard and put him in a position to make a read or two before he's being tackled or running.

Blue since birth

October 16th, 2011 at 11:43 PM ^

The implication was that the "desperate bs" was Devin's actions on that play.

I seen a kid showing a great deal of heart (throwing spartans to the ground with one arm and running all over the field) trying to make something out of nothing. I've watched the play several times and while you couldn't tell if any receivers got open downfield that he may have missed (though sparty was clearly defending the pass on 4th and 22) I seen nothing which could be considered a knock on Devin in that particular play.

He also had receivers drop at least 2 well thrown balls that I recall. He could have easily been 5/7. Even when he makes bad decisions on where to throw at least he throws it well.

Sure he's still green and made mistakes accordingly... But all things considered I thought his performance was one of the few positives from the game. Flashes of brilliance with what should be easily correctable mental mistakes (with more experience and practice reps).


October 16th, 2011 at 8:19 PM ^

As others have commented, not buying the "RRod no respect for rivalries" thing.


But otherwise makes sense.


Bottom line: if the 2011 Wolverines starting roster could have beaten Sparty under Hoke, then the 2010 Wolverines probably could have done the same thing under RRod in the first place (and we would never have had the coach change).


If there's a silver lining, it's that after this defeat, there will be LESS pressure on the coaching staff to keep the undefeated season alive at all costs, even at the expense of (temporarily) abandoning Manball.

MSU simply demonstrated that the same recipe for defeating RRod Wolverines works with the Hoke Wolverines as long as the gameplan revolves around DRob.


And who could fault Hoke and Co. from revolving the gameplan around DRob, when they were 6-0?


But now we're 6-1. Again.

And we've demonstrated we lack the horses needed to beat PHYSICAL B1G rivals.  Again.


And we all know what Einstein said about the definition of insanity.


Migrating away from DRob isn't a panic move at this point.  It's a logical time for a transition to what we expected to get from Hoke in the first place.


October 16th, 2011 at 8:35 PM ^

First, nice to see others pointing out the trashy play of MSU.

Second, I wonder if we could have a poll taken here to find out what percentage of us on this site would like to see or consider using Devin as the QB and Denard as a RB/Slot receiever, etc.  Just curious.  I'm up in the air, but I think a lot of folks are scared to say what they really feel so they don't get negged.  This would be a good way to determine the feel fo the MGOBLOG nation on this issue with a little privacy thrown in.

I don't think there is any argument about Denard being an amazing kid, athlete, electrifying player, but I have a feeling there is more support out there for Devin than just the few that have brought it up so far.  


October 16th, 2011 at 10:31 PM ^

"First, nice to see others pointing out the trashy play of MSU."

Others?  If you don't know he's a UM fan, then I can't help you.  The "others," in reality around the nation haven't spent one word feeling sorry for the bruised egos at UM.  Link one artical outside of the Detroit area that rips MSU for being thugs and dirty. 

Here's an article at the NYTimes,…

Here'a a quote..."

“I thought maybe I shouldn’t have did it (showing DR the ball on his pick),” Lewis said later. “I was hoping they didn’t throw a flag on it. I didn’t mean anything bad. I was just celebrating.”

The officials overlooked the taunt, but not much else. They flagged Michigan State 13 times for 124 yards. Six of the penalties were for personal fouls, unnecessary roughness or roughing the quarterback. On Michigan’s final, frantic possession, Spartans defensive end Marcus Rush threw Robinson to the ground and drew the last of the flags.

Robinson struggled to rise from the field and did not return to the game. Asked if he thought the Spartans had played dirty, Robinson said: “They were playing football. It’s a dirty game.”

There you go.  It's a dirty game, but at the end of it all, your jersies were clean.  Next time, send the men to play.


October 16th, 2011 at 9:05 PM ^

I said this during the liveblog and I'll say it again - people falling in love with Devin Gardner's potential is like the cry for the backup QB/goalie you see in sports.  Everyone figures the guy on the bench HAS to be better than the guy on the field, even though we have precious little evidence that he is.  People just want change after a loss, and that's probably why coaches ignore fans when they complain - it is more reaction than logic.

As for Denard not being a QB, a guy can have a bad game and still be a good QB.  Yes, he is never going to be a great pocket passer, but that doesn't mean he isn't a QB.  QBs are not just tall guys who sit in the pocket and fling the ball around.  The immortal Kirk Cousins completed barely over 50% of his passes, and that was with a consistent running game behind him.  My guess is that UM could have run the ball with any consistent Rb besides Robinson, that pass rush would have slowed down, the DBs would have played in, and some of those "easy" passes would have been completed.  And oh yeah, if the offensive line could have blocked a 4-man rush to save their lives, maybe he could have made plays.  I doesn't change the fact that Denard struggled yesterday, but to call for his removal as the QB because the TEAM failed to perform on offense is ludicrous. 


October 16th, 2011 at 9:46 PM ^

the early season wins covered up a lot of horrible mechanics and decision making.

I don't think he should be removed either, the best case scenario for Michigan is that Denard starts to get the concepts and the coaching sinks in and he becomes a capable passer.

I would still like to see some more packages with Devin at QB and Denard split out, and Devin being allowed to play whole drives instead of being yanked every other play.


October 16th, 2011 at 11:40 PM ^

Thank you for the considered and rational response. DG is OK given he has only seen spot action but he is not a superb passer, yet. He is tall enough and strong enough that if he develops good mechanics he could be great passer especially on long throws. DG is not now however a great QB yet - and the system of plays with multiple receiver options at different depths and position on the field is still hard for him.

DR is an amazing player and a fantastic open field runner. Obviously he is not a ideal pure passer who calmly check downs the tree of possible receivers like a seasoned NFL QB. His passing success must be set up by effective running (ideally by someone other than DR).

Still, this loss was far better than last year's defeat and if it was a possible to find a positive it was actually a game that with a few breaks could have gone the Wolverine's way.




October 16th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

themselves (and they probably had, even prior to yesterday) is, "Is Denard our best option at QB next year?"  If the answer is no, then the issue becomes "When do we make the switch to Devin?"  Do we do it now?  Do we wait until the off season?  Do we start mixing him in more and more each game?"  I think that timing is the issue.  There are pros & cons either way.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

Fairly refreshing to finally see someone, anyone recognize the crap MSU was pulling yesterday, and to realize that it went well beyond football. I have read too much crap about how Dantonio is a man of character and intergrity, JUST SINCE YESTERDAY. It  is shocking to see.

Bravo to this author for seeing through the smoke and mirrors.