I was disappointed that Denard did not play more. I understand that the coaching staff did not want to risk injury to a player who is one injury away from being the starting QB. I also understand that we wanted to develop some of our younger, less experienced players.
But Denard's arm may be the number one thing that needs to be developed on our young team. The knock on the kid has been that he can't throw the ball. And it's not just a knock, it has largely been a reality. Prior to yesterday's game, Denard threw an interception on 20 percent of his passes.
Yesterday, he went three of four with a dropped catch by redshirt freshman Roy Roundtree, but Coaches Smith and Rodriguez acknowledged after the game that he was late on his two TD passes. He got the job done, but there was certainly room for improvement.
The DSU game was the perfect time for Denard to get some experience throwing the ball. And by some, I mean a lot more than four passes, especially when your third and fourth stringers get 12 throws. Apparently, I wasn't alone in my belief.
A whopping 86 percent of voters in the fan poll thought Denard should have played at least two quarters with 49 percent saying he should have played at least three quarters.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I think there is a disconnect between Rodriguez's public pronouncements that Denard is a starting QB and that he can make all the throws, and the fact that he has not thrown the ball well. There is no doubt Rodriguez trusts Denard.
There is no better proof than the fact that Rodriguez called on Denard to deliver under the pressure of the two-minute drill against a top 15 team on the road.
Despite the tremendous ability that Denard has on the ground (although I'm not excited about the fumbles), I still don't see what the coaching staff sees in him in the air. I support Denard and hope he becomes an excellent QB at Michigan. I just don't think the coaching staff is giving him the opportunities he needs to develop the skills necessary to master the position. I thought the DSU game was the perfect opportunity.
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