Submitted by Firstbase on October 9th, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I actually thought Tate would come into the game for a few downs after Denard's 2nd red zone pick. I really did. State had effectively boxed up the run game and it was time to start throwing mid-range passes -- Tate's forté.

I think it may have settled Denard a bit and may have made a difference had he come back in later.

I also caught myself thinking that we would have been up by 7 or 14 at half had Tate thrown those passes. 

Oh well. What the hell do I know.


McFarlin 2.0

October 9th, 2010 at 8:59 PM ^

Just goes to show Tate is a better passer then Denard. He is too good to be kept on the sideline IMHO. Rich Rod pulled Tate when he struggled last year, why not do the same to Denard?


October 9th, 2010 at 10:12 PM ^

I was with you until you said "he didn't play bad at all".  I'm not sure he deserved to be pulled, but he did not have a good game today.  Not that the rest of the offense really did, either, but he made some glaring mistakes.

Mitch Cumstein

October 9th, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

Denard is a heisman trophy candidate who has single handedly kept our team from being like last year

To this point we've beaten the same teams in similar fashion and lost to the same teams (just MSU so far) worse. I'm not sold yet that we're better than last year. Hopefully the good guys prove me wrong this coming weekend.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:37 PM ^

Didn't really play "bad" but was simply not what we had built him up to be.  I truly believe this was a case of B10 nerves and hype.  His passes were dropped cause he was throwing bullets out there.  And the overthrow on the first series was him getting excited that Stonum was sooo wide open.  I think from here on we see a poised controlled DR and get ready for some big numbers in the coming weeks.  This was not his 1st B10 start but in this environment and the pressure of wanting to bring home this victory, he played with a little too much emotion.  I think you'll see a better, matured dilithium DR in the future.  


October 9th, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

Denard will throw interceptions.  Mallett threw 3 INT's as well in a comeback attempt vs. Alabama, but you don't pull him out.  At the end of the day, we needed points, and points fast.  Denard is our biggest home-run threat. Period. You can't put Denard on the sidelines.  He's too good.  This will prove to be a moment of personal and professional growth for him.  Remember, he is only a true sophomore and has a lot of time left in his career.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:22 PM ^

     Talk about a bandwagon!!  You want to pull one of the most explosive players in all of college football at the first hint of trouble.  This is an athlete who may lead us back to the level we all expect.  He needs a chance to learn to play from behind (ND was one drive.)  I like Tate but there is no way he should have replaced DR today.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:04 PM ^

It would be better if he never had to play from behind ever again...

but, yeah.  I agree.  I never felt like he was playing so poorly that he should have been pulled.  I don't think any quarterback we would have put in would have changed the outcome.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:55 PM ^

To answer your questions.... Yes, Yes, Too many, and probably more than you think..... come from behind against ND, beat an average Indiana team with a couple big plays along the way, late touchdown against MSU, just to name a few. You're trying to compare two quarterbacks whose only comparison should be wins and losses... I don't care who plays as long as Mich wins. Tate may have given us a better chance to come back with Denard struggling and the little time that was left on the clock. That's all I am saying.


October 10th, 2010 at 6:36 PM ^

Lost his rhythm..... you mean by throwing bad passes, getting intercepted, and not establishing a consistent running game like he did against State? Plus, they were ahead the entire game except for one drive against ND, not close to the entire game as with State. I don't really think he lost his rhythm THAT much against ND, but did stall out a couple of drives so I will give you that. To answer your question... no, he definitely should not have been pulled against ND, you are correct.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:00 PM ^

Tate played his heart out for us behind a terrible line last year and kept it up after he was injured, which includes both the Iowa and OSU games. He performed very well for a true freshman.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:03 PM ^

We needed to move the ball and move it quickly and DRob just wasn't making the throws. I have full confidence in him, but if we went to Tate, I think state would have been put on their heels a little bit.

Magnum P.I.

October 9th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

Given what Denard has accomplished so far this season, he absolutely deserves the right to an opportunity to pull a game like this out. You don't take him out.

Kilgore Trout

October 9th, 2010 at 10:44 PM ^

Off the top of my head, the four most egregious drops were Roundtree for the obvious touchdown, then the sequence of three before the Grady catch and subsequent Robinson TD run.  So, while annoying and bad for the rhythm of the game, I don't think the drops had that much of an effect on Denard's day.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:09 PM ^

With Denard in MSU still has to defend the run, or else Denard can pick up 15 yards on the ground at a time. With Tate in, we take out half of our offensive potential for (maybe) a slight improvement in passing.  Maybe we should leave in the Heisman candidate instead, huh?


October 9th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

Nope. You don't pull the starter unless he's injured or the coaches can see that his head isn't completely in the game. You just don't. Denard gives our offense the best chance to move the ball.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:27 PM ^

We didn't have a solid starter the last two years. While not entirely analogous, you don't see the Patriots pulling out Tom Brady after three picks do you? It's because he gives them the best chance to score and to win.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:32 PM ^

RichRod talks about having three QBs that he can win with. Last year we also talked about the change of pace that Tate/Denard bring.

Frankly I think that Denard earned a long leash, but I think it's pretty short now. Obviously I don't see what happens in practice, but I have to imaging that Tate/Devin get a chance to show their stuff if Denard struggles again next week. Tate's no slouch, and Devin is apparently our 2nd string QB, so maybe he should get some snaps too.

Trader Jack

October 10th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

With the way Denard played the first 5 games, he doesn't and shouldn't have a "short leash." He's young, an inexperienced starter, and having one game where he doesn't play that great doesn't mean RR should be rotating his quarterbacks. Give the guy a break. He's a leading Heisman candidate that single-handedly brought us to a 5-0 start.

Kilgore Trout

October 9th, 2010 at 10:39 PM ^

I'll give you no one ever was really established in '08.  In '09, Forcier was clearly the unquestioned starter and best option when healthy.  It wasn't even close.  Yet, he was pulled in almost every game and in tight spots where his track record suggested he was the best option (Iowa).  

Here's what I think is a better analogy.  If in that first Super Bowl the Pats won, if Brady had gone out and thrown three picks, would you have considered putting Drew Bledsoe in?  


October 9th, 2010 at 10:46 PM ^

Yeah, that's fair and a great point. And yes, if Brady had come in and thrown three picks I'd have wanted someone else as well.

I think part of it might be what the coaches are seeing in practice. Total guess, but I think maybe Denard played a lot better in practice last year than he did in games, being a true freshman and all.

As far as the other response goes, yeah, I'd agree that he's on a much shorter leash now, and there's not much point in having three QBs we can win with unless we're willing to play them.

Kilgore Trout

October 9th, 2010 at 10:52 PM ^

I think I generally agree with you.  In real time,  honestly it never occurred to me for Tate to come in.  Thinking back on it, maybe after the third pick and UM got the ball back down 17, maybe you give it a shot, but you're probably toast at that point no matter what you do.  

In theory, I'd like to see Tate every once in a while as a change of pace (like fourth or fifth drive of the game), but with the way Denard has been rolling, it makes sense why they haven't done that.


October 9th, 2010 at 10:54 PM ^

Part of the problem with putting Tate in might be that we're not getting any production from our RBs. Because we're not getting anything out of our RBs, it may be necessary to keep Denard back there.

Also, I'm affraid that the coaches might be too addicted to Denard's long run potential. Even if Denard sucks for 3 drives, there's still a chance he breaks loose on the 4th. That's not true of most other QBs - if they're off, then they're off.

In short, though, I really want to see some QB rotation if Denard struggles again. Not saying he should be permanently benched, just asking for some rotation. I'd like to know what Tate (and Devin, to an extent) can do. Maybe they suck anyways.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:12 PM ^

was still responsible for close to 300 yards, and imagine what that would be if a few of those dropped balls were caught. He made a couple bad decisions on the throws, but he has absolutely deserved to attempt to bring this team back today.

Gustavo Fring

October 9th, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

Would those mid-range passes have been there if Tate was in?  msu would know they didnt have as big of a threat on the ground and would have adjusted accordingly.

McFarlin 2.0

October 9th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

Can we cool it with the Heisman talk? This game clearly showed me that Denard is not Mr. Heisman just yet. This game showed us reality. He is a 6 game starter and it showed today. Tate lead to 4-0 last year and look how that turned out. Denard should of been pulled because I feel Tate wouldn't of threw those picks. The receivers were open but Denard just didn't make the throws. Denard was put in for Tate last year against Iowa after all that Tate accomplished.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:25 PM ^

Yeah, becasue he didn't throw any picks the last time he started either did he?  Look, I am not bashing him with that comment at all.  Kids (yes they are kids in case you forgot)  make mistakes.  He will learn from them.  Like everyone else has stated.  Denard gives us the best opportunity to move the ball down the field.  We shot ourselves in the foot and got a loss.  Quit trying to over-analyze it.

[email protected]

October 10th, 2010 at 11:43 AM ^

I agree, quit, trying to overanalyze any football game is ridiculous. Let's look at this game and realize that the best team won Saturday. The M & Blue still need some skill players at both offense & defense to be a contender in the Big 10 ...... will it ever happen? Sure, if we are patient. That said, is South Carolina a better team than Alabama? No way, SC was a better team than the Crimson Tide yesterday just as the Sparty men were better than the ones in maize & blue.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

Would you have pulled Brian Griese at halftime of the '97 Iowa game?  At that point he'd thrown three picks and we were down 21-7.


October 9th, 2010 at 9:19 PM ^

So Tate would have made the receivers hold onto the ball? Denard was throwing perfectly placed balls on a lot of plays but the guys just couldn't bring them in.