Michigan vs. Iowa: Denard’s NFL Tryout

First off, thank you to all of the Seniors for the last 4-5 years.  They went through a lot and these guys deserve a lot of credit for bringing this program back.  Also, in case you missed it, here is the 60 minutes special.

It was glorious to be able to see Denard Robinson play one last game in the Big House.  I was concerned that I would never get to watch him play in person again, and he has easily become one of my favorite Michigan football players of all-time.  He is arguably the most electric player that has suited up for Michigan since Steve Breaston, if not longer than that.

The fact that he was able to play was enough for me.  At first I assumed the two plays were ceremonial plays and that would be the end of it.  But Al Borges let his creative juices flow and did an absolutely fantastic job with the game plan.  We got to see vintage Denard Robinson plays when he turned around and ran backwards for 10 yards and then cut across the entire length of the field and turn a sure loss into a nice gain.  I don’t care what anyone tries to say, I will miss him dearly.

Also, this was most definitely his NFL Tryout.  He showcased that he can catch the ball with two receptions for 24 yards and then had 13 carries for 98 yards.  I was sad he didn’t get in the end zone, but he showed that he can play other positions other than quarterback.  This is film that teams will be watching and seeing other ways that they can utilize him.  I hope that he does a little more of this at the Senior Bowl, and I would love to see what he can do returning kicks.  He’s an explosive playmaker and he can make plays with the ball in his hands, not to state the obvious or anything.

Meanwhile, Devin Gardner continues his rampage.  He is an absolute beast and he has the hot hand right now.  Which is why I fully expect for him to stay at quarterback, and for Denard to stay at a runningback-esque position; at least if Denard isn’t 100% healthy.  Especially since Fitzgerald Toussaint had that absolutely horrific injury, hopefully he will be ready to go for next year.

Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon continued their dominant performances.  Roundtree has been an absolute stud since Gardner was moved to quarterback and the game against Iowa was no exception.  I was also excited to see Devin Funchess get back into the end zone, with what will probably be the easiest touchdown catch of his career.

I’m not happy that the whole interior offensive line is graduating, especially when we have so much inexperience behind them on the depth chart, and the fact that Taylor Lewan will probably leave early.  But that being said, they have been playing very poorly the past couple weeks, especially in the run game.  They have a great deal of trouble pull-blocking on run plays, and opening holes for the run game in the middle of the field.  I’m hoping that having Denard back in the run game will be able to pump some life into the run game.  Thomas Rawls has been a decent runner but his elusiveness is shall we say, lacking.

Defensively I loved James Ross.  Sure he missed on some plays, but he led the team in tackling for the game as a true frosh, sign me up.  He’s a good player and is going to be a force in the future.  Jake Ryan had his typical production and Kenny Demens had a decent follow up game after a huge game against Northwestern.  Our linebacking core has a very bright future coming up.

The defensive line was strong throughout, no one stood out as that great other than Craig Roh, but I was pleased.  Frank Clark and Quinton Washington have been very reliable lately and I thought that big Will Campbell has played his way into possibly getting drafted.  He has really improved the last half of this season and I like what I’ve seen out of him, especially when you consider how he started off the year.

The secondary was pretty decent and obviously led by Jordan Kovacs.  J.T. Floyd has exceeded expectations this year, and when you’re ranked #1 in the country on pass defense, you’re doing something right.

I mean the bottom line is that it’s tough to have a bad game when you’re playing against Iowa.  They are an utterly pathetic program and I have no idea how Kirk Ferentz still has a job there.  It’s absolutely embarrassing.  I’m still a bit upset about the game they played against Nebraska.  They had a chance to be helpful and give Michigan a shot at playing in the Big Ten Championship game but instead they decided to be worthless donkeys that add nothing to the Big Ten.  I can’t stand the entire state of Iowa or the University of Iowa, perhaps we should kick them out of the Big Ten.  That seems like fair punishment for their performance against Nebraska.  Realistically though, I’d just rather they get more aggressive with their playcalling, I mean you’re 4-7, this is your bowl game, pull out all the stops and do whatever you can to win.

Videos via: mgoblog.com

GIF via: diehardsport.com

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