Monday, April 15, 2019

Michigan Monday: Spring Game Thoughts

Michigan on Saturday held a practice/scrimmage at the Big House.  It wasn't really a game and more of a scrimmage but it was more entertaining then I expected.   I wasn't there live but did watch it on BTN to Go while also keeping an eye on the Masters.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

I like it! 

  • Speed in Space is for real and Michigan showed tempo getting to the line of scrimmage.   They are going to catches the defense with too many men on the field or get them tired.   The pace wasn't warp speed but it was much better than what we have seen.   Michigan still has some work to be done, but I like version 1.0.   
  • Rember when OSU had 3+ QB's better than Michigan's starter?  The Wolverines have 3 very good QB's that could play right now.  Shea is clearly #1 but its a nice luxury to have 3 guys competing to be the best.  
  • Tarik Black is healthy and looked pretty good on a couple of throws.  
  • Ross didn't play but the LB's look fast and physical. 
  • Like the depth on the offensive line, that looks like a solid unit 
  • Barrett had a nice pick and looks to be the advertised athlete he was recruited to be
  • The secondary looked good without Hill
  • Ronnie Bell is going to be really good 
  • Michigan has 2 very good kickers
  • McCaffrey is sneaky fast
Going to Need Some Work
  • There are two areas that concern me.  The first is the RB position.  I know about the injuries and the projections about being ready by Fall.   Still, this is an issue and Michigan didn't have a scholarship RB on the field on Saturday (Yes, I know Tru earned one as a walk-on - Ok,  VanSumeren is a scholarship recruited RB but I consider him more of a FB then a TB).  Chris Evans getting his academics cleared up and his suspension lifted is very important for this offense.  
  • The defensive line concerns me.  The first unit is pretty good but it doesn't seem to have any depth.  Michigan needs to hit the transfer portal after Spring Ball to look for a big run stopper.  I think the DE position will be ok with the CMU transfer and Michigan's younger guys.  Ben Mason is a physical guy, but I don't believe is the answer.  Dwumfour was dressed and looked like he has lost some weight.  
  • Injuries - I know Spring injures aren't a huge concern but Michigan is missing a lot of guys that are trying to learn a new offense.  

I had very little expectation on Saturday and thought the Wolverines were pretty open about their play calls and new offense.   Yes, it still needs work and Michigan has pretty much all of its skill positions hurt.   I also thought it was a little funny that the defensive could hit the walk-on running backs but not Tru or VanSumeren.

Michigan also suffered a de-commitment from Columbus, OH WR Kalil Branham.  Kalil committed to Pep Hamilton who is now running an XFL team and the thought is Gattis has some other ideas for WR's in the 2020 class.   Kalil's brother signed to play at EMU in the 2019 class.

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