Sunday, April 17, 2011

Michigan's Spring Game Deep Thoughts

photo by John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

The format of the scrimmage was pretty much what I expected. The coverage and technical problems by the Big Ten Network was far worse then I expected.

The wind was whipping with the cold weather made the play pretty sloppy at times. Neither QB did very well and completions seemed to be far and few in between. The only bad snap was when the center didn't get the ball back on the right count.  I didn't see any injuries which is really good news and Michigan picked up a huge instate commitment from Royce Jenkins-Stone, so Saturday was a successful day.

The Michigan defense I thought played well. They gave up a couple of big plays but pretty much played tough most of the game. I enjoyed watching Big Will with the first team and causing problems for the offensive line.

Denard started the game with a big run but seemed to struggle after. Devin showed flashes but was pretty inconsistent as well.  Thier play might concern some fans but  I could care less about how they played.  These guys have all summer to work with the WR's on timing and of course Michigan didn't want to show any future opponents anything. I thought Devin's best throw was the touchdown to Stokes.  (loved the way Stokes seemed to pick the ball out of the air)

All the running backs played well. Mike Cox found the end zone on a long run (we saw that way too often from the Michigan D last year), Fitz Toussaint ran hard, Smith had a nice run on a short pass and Mike Shaw did well with one hand. I hope one or two of them will really stand out next Fall.

I really enjoyed watching the improvements on defense. I thought the D-line held it's own and the Michigan DB's seemed to play pretty well. I think Courtney Avery is going to be a player. I liked the blitz packages and the pressure the Michigan D was putting on both Devin and Denard. I hope they can continue that type of pressure when the season starts.  Michigan didn't have 4 starters on defense available with JT Floyd, Kenny Demens, RVB, and Woolfolk all out with injuries. 

Michigan's only hope in field goal kicking is incoming freshman Matt Wile. It seems the two current kickers on the roster are not any better and went 0-2 on Saturday.

So we learned a little but not too much.  I saw promise from our defense which seems to be the work of Greg Mattison.  Greg could be the most important hire of Brady Hoke's entire head coaching career.  I also liked how Coach Hoke gathered the entire team at the end and said a few words.   Is it me or does it feel like Brady and staff have been in charge at Michigan for a couple of years?  He just seems like a natural fit for the job. 

Now to the news you have been waiting for, who are my MVP's of the game:

Offense: Where was #21 or #12? They had a pretty quiet day. The offense had a couple good plays but the drives as a whole mostly fizzled out. So my MVP goes to a guy who has been waiting for his chance to play and busted a 60 yard+ run for a touchdown early in the scrimmage. Congratulations Mike Cox, I hope you can work some similar magic during the year.

Defense: I thought there were a number of players I could have picked. The defense seemed to be flying around the field and always near the ball. Carvin Johnson had two interceptions (one was called back) and Big Will was stuffing up the middle. Did anyone happen to see Big Will and Mike Martin drop in coverage a couple of times? Good stuff! My defensive MVP is very clear cut winner in Jake Ryan at LB. He had 1 1/2 sacks a couple QB pressures and a pick 6. It was a no brainer and maybe RR did find a diamond in the rough with Jake. I hope that was just a sneak peak of whats to come.

I would like to thank everyone for entering, we had hundreds of entries and I loved reading your kind words and picks. Some picks included Zack Novak and Ray Vinopal. Those made me laugh!


Many of you seem very high on Cam Gordon and Big Will. They will be an important part of the defense next year. A couple of you picked Carvin Johnson and he was a very good choice as well. Lots of Fitz, Hopkins and Cox.

Nobody hit the daily double of Mike Cox and Jake Ryan. So I had to pick the first entries with Mike and the two guys that picked Jake.

Thanks again for reading and I hope you enjoyed the contest.

*Winners of the Tressel T Shirts:
  1. Evan B. (Cox & Avery)
  2. Scott P (Cox & Big Will)
  3. Cody D (Cox & Gordon)
  4. Kai M (Cox & Black)
  5. Drew Y (Fitz & Ryan)
  6. J Wilson (Fitz & Ryan)

*If you are on this list email me your address and your shirt size again and I will send you the shirt. I will do my best on the sizes. I only have L-XXL (2 each).


Q said...

Who's #21 and #12?

uncle ron said...

Great job Bob!!!!