Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Anti-Carr team - Starting QB

Brian of Mgoblog started this wonderful feature, before unfortunately discontinuing it, however he did leave this awesome post about the d-line:

I'm just gonna cut to the chase and start with what is in my mind the most obvious member of the Anti-Carr team, and that man is of course John Navarre 2001.

John Navarre burst onto the scene in 2000. His first games playing as a rs frosh for the injured Drew Henson were spectacular. In his first game he was 15-19 for 265 yards with 4 tds (Michigan passing record for tds in a game) with no picks. Nice debut kid.

His next game was a solid effort with 3 tds and no picks. Just one problem, this games were against Bowling Green and Rice.

Navrre's first game against a BCS team was just a disaster, an 8-28 performance, in a horrid loss to UCLA.

Unfortunately for Navarre, I think he lost a lot of fan's good will with this game. The next game didn't help his case, he started out terrible against Illinois, luckily for M fans Drew Henson stepped in and lead to team to victory.

And Michigan fans would not have to worry about Navarre until 2002, as Henson would finish out 2000 and return for a glorious senior campaign in 2001.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. Henson bolted for baseball, and Navarre was the default guy in 2001. But hey whats the worst that could happen right?

The 2001 Painful Numbers

Navarre had 4 games of 50% or less passes completed. That is just horrible. Included in this was a game with 58 passing yards. 58 yards passing, a paltry amount of completions, 5.3 yards per completion (yes completion not attempt0 what is this the Ken O'Keefe offense?

The numbers alone do not describe how bad 2001 Navarre is. All that needs to be discribed is the 2001 OSU game.

Really all I should say here is that Navarre was yanked for Jermaine Gonzalez. Who promptly came in, lined up in the shotgun, watched the ball zip past him for an OSU safety. Well that it for Jermaine Gonzalez, he was yanked after the half. I have to mention though, that those 2 free points came with about 30 seconds left in the half. Navarre was sucking so bad that Lloyd tried to have Jermaine Gonzalez do something with 30 seconds left in the half.

Navarre didn't suck as bad in the second half, but it didn't matter as his incredible suckitude put Michigan in such a deep hole that they were playing catchup the whole time.

Navrre's numbers: 21-47 with 4 picks. Oh and 15 of those completions were to Marquis Walker.

This loss at home, to a very mediocre OSU team, was just awful. Michigan as bad as they had been at times in the 2001 season still was leading the Big Ten and only needed to beat OSU to go to the BCS. Unfortunately, this debacle happened and in Tressel's debut at the Big House he gained the upper hand on the rivalry, and he has not let up.

John Navarre 2001, the Starting Anti-Carr team QB.

(All worked out pretty well for Navarre, he improved over his next two seasons, won a bowl game, and beat OSU.)


Vin said...

The coaching staff deserves the lion's share of the blame for Navarre's 2001 season. The fact that they hadn't recruited or properly developed a quarterback to back up Henson at that point is inexcusable. What would have happened if Henson was out for all of 2000 with that broken foot and Navarre had to play the entire season as a redshirt freshman? I don't even want to think about it.
Scot Loeffler deserves A LOT of credit for returning to campus in 2002 and turning Navarre into a decent QB that year (at least starting with the Penn State win in OT at home) and a 1st team All-Big Ten performer in 2003.

Jim Harbaugh Scramble said...

Good comment.

A big problem was that (from what I've heard) Lloyd and co. Guaranteed to Henson that they would not recruit another QB for 2 years if he came.

Another problem was the run game. After the A-Train left - there was no one who was ready to be a feature back. Which lead to the Perry/Askew tandem which was alright but was not dominant in 2001.

If 2001 Navarre had a stud running back, everything would have been a lot different.

The staff did a great job in transforming Navarre and Perry from very meh into an all big ten preformer and a Heisman candidate, respectfully.

James said...

The promise made to Henson actually was that we wouldn't recruit any other QB in the class above him (1997) or in his year (1998). The year after him, we recruited two - Navarre and Mignery (who later switched to TE).

But anyway, as bad as Navarre was, I think the sophomore-year (1995) Griese was even worse. Compare the talent Griese had around him to what Navarre had. It wasn't even close. In 1995 we had a national-championship roster everywhere except QB. In 2001 we had probably our least-talented offense ever under Carr. And while sophomore Navarre could at least throw a pretty good deep ball, sophomore Griese really couldn't do anything well.

James said...

Incidentally, let's not forget that if a wide-open Marquise Walker had held on a perfect pass from Navarre, we just might be talking about 2001 OSU as one of the best comebacks in school history (we ended up losing by six). Navarre played an absolutely putrid first half, but in the second he made some plays. That dropped pass (which, I believe, was followed by a missed field goal) was just an absolute killer.