Rivals Monday "Conference Call": Biggest Disappointment- Denard?

Submitted by readyourguard on September 5th, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Rivals is running a new feature this year titled "Conference Call" which is a review of the biggest surprises and disappointments from the previous weekend, conference by conference.

Their biggest disappointment (player) from the Big 10 is..........Denard?


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT, PLAYER: Michigan QB Denard Robinson. The Wolverines won, which is all that really matters. But Robinson had pedestrian numbers against a mediocre MAC defense, throwing for 98 yards and no touchdowns and rushing eight times for 46 yards. True, the game was called with 1:27 left in the third quarter because of bad weather, cutting into his playing time. Still, his numbers weren't close to being on track with last season, when he averaged 130.9 yards rushing and 197.7 yards passing per game en route to being Big Ten MVP.

On a poisitve note, their biggest surprise (team) was Michigan's defense.  So we have that going for us......which is nice.

Read more here: http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1260638



September 5th, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

I hate that "experts" will be going after denard for not having the numbers he had last years, they only got through what I believe was four or five drives, the game was cut over a quarter remaining and teh first quarter was dominated by two montster drives by both teams, and hopefully Al didn't go much into the playbook and was pretty bland with his palycalling. 

James Burrill Angell

September 5th, 2011 at 9:59 AM ^

Ignore these boobs. It strikes me that Hoke and Borges both said multiple times that they intend to lessen the number of times Denard gets hit. So if you're able to soundly beat an inferior non-conference opponent, with 11 games still on the schedule, why would you bother risking Denard by running him too much.

The Baughz

September 5th, 2011 at 12:15 PM ^

I dont feel like sifting through 90+ comments, so excuse me if I sound redundant. How the fuck do these so called "experts" get a job? This is a whole new offense. Michigan only had what four or five offensive possessions? The defense scored twice, keeping the offense off the field, and Denard still had over 100 total yards and led two scoring drives. How the fuck is that disappointing. Oh, not to mention they did not play AN ENTIRE QUARTER!!! Are these guys serious? There is no way they watched the game or else they would have praised Denard. Sure he did not repeat what he did in last years opener, but this was a totally different circumstance. He was efficient, he ran for first downs, made some nice throws, and he made some bad ones. None of which warrants a "disappointing performance." Fuck these guys. Im pissed. Im sorry for the rant, but they need to hire people who actually know football and underdstand the game. It's not like they lost either.

Nacho Mama

September 5th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

Denard was getting yardage at will.  While this offense isn't as explosive (or exciting thus far), Denard did a nice job of moving a balanced offense down the field.  


September 5th, 2011 at 9:24 AM ^

Yes, it's times like these when you realize they just didn't watch the games.

It would have been far more disappointing if the offense would have had to rely on Denard to put up eye-popping numbers to win.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

Doesn't anybody from the media realize that defensive scores=loss of oppurtunity for offense to score and therefore not as good statistics?

Oh and also the lack of a fourth quarter.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

Two factors

1) He won't put up as big of numbers as last season because hopefully we'll have RB's that can produce effectively and will get more carries.  Even RR wanted a situation where we didn't have to rely on QB sweeps all day, but we just didn't have a RB that could be effective last year.

2) There were only 5 (I believe?) complete offensive drives, not counting the one that was in progress when the game was cancelled.  On three of those drives, we got touchdowns.  The ball control of both teams ran a lot of the clock out; this means fewer possessions and opportunities for Denard's stat line.

Look Up_See Blue

September 5th, 2011 at 9:24 AM ^

I don't put much stock into these types of analysts.  The TEAM, The TEAM, The TEAM.  The best thing about it is that Denard doesn't care either.  All he cares about is winning football games.



September 5th, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

Denard was neither spectacular or bad - which makes that disappointing based on last years numbers. I think most Michigan fans expected this....outsiders, of course, don't. You're numbers are going to be very different when you go from 4 minute drives to 8 minute drives. Hey, if it produces W's - I'll take it every week!


September 5th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

The article is authored by that famous word meister "Staff."  That way Rivals can dispute claims that the author didn't actually watched the game.

That review has the feel and depth of something I might read on Sparty24months-to-7years. 


September 5th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

Or the fact that we've publicly been saying that we're moving away from a run based offense to a hybrid that will likely need Denard to be much more of a passer than last year. His completion percentage was up from last year significantly (62%/69%) and Borges wasn't letting Denard run wild against WMU like RR let him do in OOC last year.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:36 AM ^

Denard will not put up last season's numbers. Period. Last year we ran an up-tempo, no huddle offense. Add to that a Defense that was liable to give up big plays and the number of possessions per game for the Offense went up considerably. He simply will not approach those statistics again. 

So long as we are winning games and Denard is healthy, I am totally ok with this. The great thing about Denard is, he is ok with it too.


September 5th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

But can he be a Heisman contender without something approximately last years numbers?  Does that matter?  I'm trying to decide.  

It would be great to get him the kind of production that wins a Heisman.  Better passing stats with 1 or 2 eye opening runs a game (vs 5-6 last year) would be great and might do it.  Hopefully we don't lose any more full QTRs b/c of weather. 


September 5th, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

Fitz ripped a 43 yard run and averaged 7.9 yards per carry.

Shaw blew past everyone for a 44 yard TD run and averaged 13.5 yards per carry.

Michigan had 181 yards rushing through just a little under three quarters and didn't have to rely on Denard's legs as he only carried the ball 8 times.

Just stupid.

swan flu

September 5th, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

They clearly did not watch the game.


no turnovers, putting the ball where only his receivers could catch it, and finding 6 different receivers.


Using his legs to scramble brilliantly when needed, and relying on Toussaint and Shaw to do their jobs...


Denard looked brilliant to me.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:40 AM ^

We ONLY had 39 offensive plays vs Western's 56. We avereged 7.4 yards per play. I will take that all seson long. Denard leaves the game healthy, and ready for ND. How is that "dissapointing?"


September 5th, 2011 at 10:53 AM ^


Any talk of Denard having a "pedestrian" day is pure derp from people who derp derp.

Denard had 6.857 yards per play. That was Kirk Cousins territory last year -- not necessarily up to typical Denard Standards but within the ballpark. Here's Denard's YPP last year:

Date Opp Rush Yds Pass Yds Plays YPP
9/4/2010 UConn 197 186 51 6.02
9/11/2010 @Notre Dame 258 244 68 7.38
9/18/2010 UMass 104 241 31 6.02
9/25/2010 Bowling Green 129 60 9 7.66
10/2/2010 @Indiana 217 277 35 7.62
10/9/2010 Michigan State 86 215 50 7.51
10/16/2010 Iowa 105 96 36 5.67
10/30/2010 @Penn State 191 190 50 9.41
11/6/2010 Illinois 62 305 39 5.58
11/13/2010 @Purdue 68 176 43 5.33
11/20/2010 Wisconsin 121 239 47 14.11
11/27/2010 @Ohio State 105 87 36 11.13
1/1/2011 Miss St 59 254 52 21.00
9/3/2011 W. Michigan 46 98 21 6.86

Also of note, here's last year's QB leaders in Yards Per Play:

Name Team Yds Att TPP
KELLEN MOORE Boise St. 3813 402 9.49
ANDREW LUCK Stanford 3791 427 8.88
RYAN LINDLEY San Diego St. 3799 440 8.63
RYAN MALLETT Arkansas 3795 455 8.34
SCOTT TOLZIEN Wisconsin 2429 296 8.21
ANDY DALTON TCU 3292 402 8.19
BRYANT MONIZ Hawaii 5142 636 8.08
GREG MCELROY Alabama 2975 373 7.98
BRANDON WEEDEN Oklahoma St. 4209 528 7.97
CAM NEWTON Auburn 4327 544 7.95

Denard was 13th with 7.81, but see Lindley there right between two future NFL starters? Be like dang.


September 5th, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

I think Misopogon entered in the YPP data backwards, with the early-season and late-season game averages reversed.  It looks like the game where Denard averaged 21 YPP was Bowling Green and not Miss State, for instance.

Red is Blue

September 5th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

I'm not on board with the "He only played 3 quarters" meme.  I seriously doubt he would have played much in the 4th.  And, if he did it would not have been him running/throwing much anyway so a 4th quarter would not have made much difference.  That being said, I'm fine that his individual stats are down.  He did well in the opportunities he had and hopefully he'll be much less banged up in mid and late season.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

Except that their knocks were not reaching 100 yards passing or a TD through the air and having only 46 rushing yards. If he got to play the last minute of the third, it's safe to say he could have rushed for an additional four yards (well below his YPC) and thrown for two yards and a TD. That definitely takes their talking points away for this ridiculous list.

Red is Blue

September 5th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

If in their minds 101 yds in the air and 50 yds on the ground >> 96 and 46, respectively then they are truly ridiculous.  We'll never know, but I suspect that even if he does what you suggest and incrementally improves his stats, they make the same claim.  My point was he was not going to "explode" in the 4th and all of a sudden get to over 300 yds passing and running.


September 5th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

Rivals has an article from Karsch regarding what he observed on the sidelines on Saturday.

Can anybody who is a member possibly give us non-members a quick summary of what the article said?