The Michigan Wolverines took the field at Michigan Stadium on Saturday for their annual spring game. 25,000 faithful fans of the Maize and Blue braved the bleak weather forecast to get a glimpse of their beloved team. Springs game are usually pretty vanilla and this year’s edition fell into that category. The coaching staff doesn’t want to give away any secrets and the team itself is still a work in progress.
Here are some quick hitter thoughts from the game:
- Denard Robinson played out the first series of downs and wasn’t seen again, aside from being a decoy receiver late in the scrimmage. The electric senior QB completed 2 of 3 passes for 13 yards.
- Fitz Toussaint (RS Jr) looked to be in mid-season form with 39 yards on 5 carries.
- Devin Gardner struggled with his passing and threw an interception when Blake Countess jumped the receivers route. Gardner was just as unremarkable running the ball and didn’t break for longer yardage until late in the game.
- Running back Thomas Rawls (So) lived up to the hype that had surrounded his name throughout spring practice. He ground some yardage and broke loose for a long run on the 2nd team’s first series of downs for the games first touchdown.
- Kicking game is still going to give coaching staff high blood pressure throughout the season. Matt Wile and Brendan Gibbons made their respective extra points but Gibbons missed on a mid-length field goal later in the second half. Wile did drill a 43 yard field goal. The punters had a difficult time getting kicks to ‘turnover’ in the steady breeze in pregame. Will Hagerup punted 8 times for a 46.5 yard average, his long was a 66 yarder.
- Backup QB Russell Bellomy (RS Fr) played a fine game. He looked sharp on his passes throughout the game and directed the second team offense to a TD on their first possession. Bellomy finished the day completing 6 of his 9 passes for 40 yards.
- They are getting bigger! Lots of new players that make this years squad look a lot different than the previous 3 years.
- All 3 of Michigan’s early enrollees played. Jarrod Wilson, Kaleb Ringer and Joe Bolden look like players that will help this defense in the years to come.
- Lack of big plays. Rawls’ TD run was about the only play that went for over 30 yards. That’s fine for the defense but offensively it was very telling with Denard not in the lineup.
- The surprise of the day was seeing walk-on Joey Burzynski (RS So) get the starting nod at left guard. Many projected Elliott Mealer to start there.
There weren’t any earth shattering revelations in the game and that is exactly the way Brady Hoke and his staff wanted it to play out. Make no mistake about it, these Wolverines are going to be very good in 2012. Denard Robinson will be a much improved passer and that will make his lethal running ability even more deadly for opposing defenses. The main area of concern is the depth on the O-line, with just 7 scholarship players in spring camp, you were bound to see a Joey Burzynski type development. There is a standout crop of freshmen offensive linemen coming in for fall camp.
Michigan will kick-off the 2012 season on September 1st when they tangle with the defending national champions, Alabama, at Cowboys Stadium.