Enter 2nd string QB, and possible 2013 starter, Russell Bellomy...a redshirt freshman...in Lincoln Nebraska...under the lights...in a crucial divisional matchup.
In a situation like this as a fan you take a big gulp and know disaster lies ahead. Bellomy's final numbers were of Armageddon proportions:
- PASSING ACCURACY - 3/16
- PASSING YARDS - 38
- INT - 3
- TD - 0
- RUSHING YARDS - 0 (Multiple sacks nullified the yardage he gained on 5 carries)
There is always doom and gloom after a Wolverine loss but this week was a little different.
"Russell Bellomy is a terrible QB!"
"We're screwed next year because we have no QB!"
"Shane Morris is going to have to start as a true freshman!"
"Fire Al Borges!"
"FIRE BRADY HOKE! (Yes, I did indeed see this on Twitter)
Look, I was just as angry and frustrated as anyone and entertained some doom and gloom myself...FOR THIS SEASON.
Once I had the opportunity to cheer myself up by watching some Seinfeld and think logically, I was able to put things in the proper perspective. Bellomy is a redshirt freshman with minimal game experience who was thrown into a snake pit and asked to win a crucial game with very little help. I am not sure what everyone was expecting. I would think that nine out of ten QBs would struggle in that scenario. Give the kid a break.
Was I a little shocked that he wasn't a little more game ready?
Do I think some of it falls on Al Borges and the offensive coaches to ensure that they have a QB ready to go in and at least be serviceable?
Since they have a running QB who gets pounded every game and has a history of getting banged up you're darn tootin' I do.
But let's get things straight, this was a kid thrown into a situation where the odds were severely against him. His future career at U-M should not be judged or speculated upon based off of one underwhelming performance in which he was asked to do the unthinkable. People who think his career will be defined by what happened on Saturday need to scale back on the caffeine and/or narcotics a smidge.
Once the season is finished his mindset, as well as the mindset of the coaches, will completely change. He will be preparing, mentally and physically, to be the starting QB at the University of Michigan. Not the backup. He will be prepared by the coaching staff, mentally and physically, to be the starting QB at the University of Michigan, or at least compete for the spot. Not to be the backup. The offense will shift from the spread to more of a pro-style, Al Borges' preference, to adhere to his skill set. He will be more equipped to be a serviceable, and who knows, maybe even a pretty good starting signal-caller for the Wolverines.
I don't have a crystal ball but I am pretty certain that given the reps and the opportunity next season, he will prove that he is not nearly as bad as he appeared in Lincoln. He would not have been recruited by the coaching staff if he was and there is a reason he is #2 on the depth chart. They are the same coaches that get praised daily for their recruiting prowess so I think we can safely say Bellomy was not brought in by throwing darts at a dartboard. Chill out people.
Also, those of you who think Shane Morris is going to come in as an 18-year old freshman and take the starting spot are nuts. I can't put it any other way. You saw what happens on Saturday when you put a kid in at QB before he's ready...disaster. As talented as Morris may be he will still be a freshman.
You don't start a frosh at QB unless you absolutely have to. And if that is indeed the case you'd be extremely naive and borderline crazy to think Morris will come in and be lights out and lead Team 134 to a B1G title. This ain't the MAC or Conference USA. It's the B1G and you don't ask a kid to lead a big time program into places like East Lansing and Iowa City. At least at Michigan you don't. Chad Henne was the exception not the rule. He also had Braylon Edwards, Steve Breaston, and Jason Avant to throw to and Mike Hart in the backfield. Enough with the Shane Morris talk people. At least until 2014.
If you want to worry about what might happen this season if Denard Robinson can't stay healthy then fine. Believe me, I'm right there with you. But when it comes to next season let's all just relax and trust the coaches to have the starting QB, presumably Russell Bellomy, ready to run the offense smoothly. Give a very good staff the benefit of the doubt and step away from the ledge.
Team 133 is in the middle of a battle for a division title. They are undoubtedly focused on just that and not next season. I suggest the fans follow suit.