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Tuesday Morning Brews: The Team, The Team, The Team

Spring game highlights and more from Football, plus we check in on Softball and Baseball in this morning’s Brews

Brandon Peters with Greg Robinson and Donovan Jeter
Dustin Johnson - Maize n Brew Photography, @DJPhotoVideo

Happy Tuesday, folks. Hope you enjoyed last weekend’s festivities. In this morning’s Brews we have a heavy dose of football, with highlights of the Spring Game plus interviews with a couple players and new Passing Game Coordinator Pep Hamilton. We also check in with Softball and Baseball to see how their weekend series went. Without further ado...

Let’s hit the links:

Michigan’s spring game was this past Saturday and if you picked the Maize team over the Blue team, you picked a winner, as Maize prevailed 31-29. The scoring opened with Brandon Peters connecting with Zach Gentry for a 55 yd TD pass. The run game looks to be in good hands, as Ty Isaac notched a 28 yd TD run in the first quarter and Karan Higdon picked his way through the line to score from 10 yds out in the second. Just before halftime, highly touted 2016 kicking recruit Quinn Nordin knocked one through from 48 yds out. In the second half, Peters got off to a rough start by throwing a pick six to likely-starter Brandon Watson - though he redeemed himself early in the fourth quarter by scampering in from 12 yards out. Presumptive starter Wilton Speight struggled on the day, going 9-26 with 2 INTs.

Chris Evans looks to take top billing at the RB spot when Michigan takes the field against Florida on September 2nd; after all, he is the top returning rusher from last year’s roster. During the offseason, Evans says he’s worked on his football IQ and fundamentals - like picking up blitzes. Looking forward to next year, Evans says he wants to fill the big shoes of the soon-to-be-graduate DeVeon Smith. Evans also says he’s been doing his part to bring the RB group together, and to make sure that the position group gels with each other and new RBs coach Jay Harbaugh.

Talking about the departed starters from last year’s defense, Senior Chase Winovich says they left a big impression and moving on without them has been a transition. But despite the loss of talent and leadership, Winovich says the defense has handled the transition well - and guys like himself, Mo Hurst, and Rashan Gary have taken it upon themselves to step up. With the leadership of veteran coach Greg Mattison, Winovich says the defensive line is looking to form a new identity - and perhaps be even better than last year.

New Associate Head Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Pep Hamilton has had to get up to speed quickly, having only joined the program back in January. MGoBlue’s Ed Kengerski says Hamilton has adapted quickly to his new environment. Hamilton says the energy that the players bring to practices and meetings helps him and the other coaches get excited to work with the players and to help them get ready for the rigors of a season. Senior WR Moe Ways says Hamilton and his energy makes the players want to get better, and to be the best that they can be.

Senior QB Wilton Speight says spring practice has been very intense, but that was to be expected based on how Coach Harbaugh has run past spring and fall sessions. Speight says Harbaugh “doesn’t take his foot off the gas” when it comes to practice, regardless of the season - and that’s why the players, old and young alike, bring it in practice each day.

Sophomore DT Rashan Gary says that his goal is to be the best who ever played, and it shows. Since stepping foot on campus, Gary has been a staple in the film room and the weight room - improving his 40 yard dash time from 4.7 seconds to 4.57 seconds. Gary says that he watches the film of his pass rushes and compares them to Taco Charlton’s, who he looked up to last year as a Freshman. Rashan says he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jabrill Peppers, to be a Heisman finalist and one of the best defensive players in the nation. And you know what? He just might get there.

Michigan Softball took two of three last weekend at Maryland. Winning on Friday by a score of 5-1, the Wolverines managed only five hits and one run in a 2-1 loss on Saturday. On Sunday, Michigan found itself in another hard fought game - but this time prevailed, 4-3. Pitcher Megan Betsa improved to 17-6 on the year, and Carol Hutchins’ squad improved to 31-9-1 (11-2) on the year. Up next, softball plays Michigan State this evening at 6 PM on BTN before traveling to Wisconsin for a three game set over the weekend.

Michigan Baseball secured a three game sweep of #18 Oklahoma this weekend, winning in style 5-2, 14-4, and 6-2. The three victories move Michigan to 12-1 over the past 13 games. On the season, the Wolverines are 29-7 (6-3) and find themselves in third place in the B1G standings. Baseball will be back in action this evening against Michigan State, and welcomes Indiana to town this weekend for a three game set. Go Blue.