Originally written on Maize & Blue Nation  |  Last updated 11/13/14
The topic of Michigan's quarterback situation is a catch-22 for sportswriters and bloggers. If you don't call it a "quarterback controversy", which it isn't, then what do you call it? We desperately want to label things. If you label it as anything else, like a "situation" or an "issue", does that make it less interesting? Because I find it very interesting no matter what it's called. ***************** On one hand, you have Denard Robinson, who with all of his faults is still one of the most dynamic players to ever wear the winged-helmet. He will very likely go down as the most unique player to play the quarterback position at Michigan. Who doesn't love Denard?! And on the other hand, you have Devin Gardner – the career backup, turned receiver, who's been all of the sudden thrust into the starting gig while Denard recovers from a freak nerve injury. Over the course of his 3 seasons, Michigan fans have watched Devin shine in spring games, only get small glimpses of playing time in the regular season when Denard would get a "bo-bo". In those small glimpses, Devin has shown he can be serviceable, but has never really taken that next step where you'd think he could really be a leader on this team. But he's never had to – this is the first time Denard has ever had a prolonged injury. That all changed two weeks ago in Minneapolis. Devin, who'd been playing mostly receiver for much of the season (out of necessity), made the switch back to QB after Russell Bellomy's struggles against Nebraska. He's been brilliant in his last 2 starts. He's looked poised and confident. His passes have been crisp and on the mark. Despite a non-existent running game and shoddy blocking at times, Michigan's offense has been clicking with Devin at the helm. You could argue Gardner has been the spark that Michigan's flailing offense desperately needed. Against Michigan State and Nebraska, Michigan failed to score a touchdown. Granted those two defenses are no slouch, but since moving Gardner to QB, Michigan has found the endzone 10 times in the last two games. In the first 8 games of the season, Michigan averaged 171.5 yds/gm passing (If you take out the 291 yards passing against UMass, that average drops to 154.4). In the last 2, they've averaged 260 through the air. All the while the running game has stayed relatively on track with it's tepid output from before Gardner's move. So with the 2012 season coming into it's final two weeks, and with a presumably healing Denard Robinson on the mend, the question of who starts is one that's being asked by everyone. Do you give the senior the starting nod in his finale at home and/or on the road...simply because he's your senior captain and he got you this far? Or do you stick with the hot hand? While not a "quarterback controversy", it could very well become one. The reason its not really so much of a controversy, at least yet, is because we're not exactly sure how healthy Denard really is. What I saw on Saturday during pregame was just Denard taking some snaps from under center, while trainers and staff watched closely. He looked ok to me, which is to say he could grip the ball, but looks can be deceiving. I would have to think that if he were able to start, he would. And since he isn't, we can only assume that this nerve issue is bigger than first presumed. There's been a slow realization that I've had the last week or so that continues to fester – Denard Robinson may have played his last game as a Michigan Wolverine. I think the odds of Shoelace playing this Saturday against Iowa are slim. And I would doubt that Brady Hoke would toss Denard back into the starting role against Ohio State, on the road, when he's been out of the lineup for the better part of a month. Is Michigan better off with Devin in there, with a better passing attack but less of a more potent dual-threat? Or do you take your chances with Denard and hope he can keep the ball out of the other team's hands? Which is tougher for Ohio State to prepare for? And should that be a deciding factor? You like that entire paragraph full of questions? Of course, the one caveat I have is that I really don't know anything. For all I know, we very well might see Denard back in the game this week, or next week, and maybe not even at quarterback...which is an very intriguing prospect for obvious reasons. If he can't throw the ball, but his legs still work...why not? I'm liking that idea more I consider it. Show NFL scouts what they've been dying to see all along – Denard at halfback or slot receiver. Gameplan for that Buckeyes. window.dctile = Number(window.dctile) + 1 || 1; window.dc_ord = Number(window.dc_ord) || Math.floor(Math.random() * 1E10); if (dctile==1) {var vdcopt = 'ist';} else {vdcopt = '';} if (17>dctile) document.write('\n');
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.