Sunday, April 22, 2012
Spring Game Recap
Spring Game Final Score: Blue 17 - White 0
As I expected, we wouldn't see much from Denard. No real need to since he's the clear cut starting quarterback. The couple of bobbled snaps worried me a little bit, but let's all remember that Barnum is making the transition to Center and he is replacing the best center in the country from a year ago in David Molk. Let's not freak out just yet, as there is still the rest of spring and summer for them to get things right. Fitz Toussaint had 39 yards on just 5 carries and Thomas Rawls had 42 yards on 10 carries and also had 2 touchdowns. Broke some tackles and looked great between the tackles. Which was good and bad because as Coach Hoke said in his press conference, they weren't that strong up the middle defensively.
I think the most intriguing thing offensively is the backup quarterback job. Devin Gardner didn't look as good as I thought he would. Maybe the best choice is to move him to wide receiver and put Russell Bellomy in the backup position. Gardner is a very good athlete, on top of the fact that he's tall which is always a good thing at WR. Bellamy went 6 for 9 for 40 yards and looked very good on some of his throws. I definitely think we will be all set on offense this year and Denard is only going to be better this year, as long as he cuts down on the interceptions, which Al Borges has already stated has happened in spring practice.
I'd definitely say we have to improve on the D Line. Guys like Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen leave some pretty big holes to fill. Big Will Campbell should be able to jump right in, and with the improved play of Jibreel Black, I think we are ok, but the offense definitely had a few big plays right up the middle. With this upcoming first game against Alabama (who is absolutely huge on the O Line) we will definitely have to get better up front.
Linebackers looked amazing. Senior Mike Jones had 6 tackles, while Brandon Hawthorne had 5 tackles and a nice interception. Early enrolees Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer looked good also, combining for 5 tackles. Our secondary should be pretty good lead by Jordan Kovacs who is an absolute ball hawker at safety. Blake Countess is turning into that shut down corner and he was lights out as a true freshman so look for him to be even better this season.
Going to be interesting as far as the kicking game goes. Matt Wile and Will Hagerup will battle it out for the punter position. Both had some good kicks in the game, so I'll be curious as to who wins what job this season as both alternated duties last season.
I think we have a legitimate shot at beating Alabama. We have the most exciting player in America in Denard Robinson and if we dont turn the ball over and get some stops on defense, we can definitely be right there. It's Big Ten title or bust this year, as it is every year. With these coaches and this great recruiting class coming in, look for Michigan to do big things again this year. Go Blue!
Photo Credit: USAToday