Hey there! We have football to watch this weekend. That’s exciting! Let’s get further in-depth on what we think will happen during this glorified scrimmage.
Rashan Gary asserts himself as the best player on this team
We have all heard the hype about Rashan Gary. You’ve bought in, I’ve bought in, Michigan’s coaching staff has bought in. It’s time to see what almost second year Rashan Gary can look like. I have a feeling that it is pretty scary. His quickness and strength are going to be better than last year and I have a feeling whoever is playing tackle will be in for a rough day. I expect a couple sacks and TFLs for our boy from Jersey. There are plenty of very good football players on this team, but I look for Gary to stand out so far ahead of the pack that it is not a question of who is the best player on this squad. And he’s still in his freshman year.
Good luck, Big Ten.
Wilton Speight shines
We have discussed ad nauseum about the “quarterback competition” that will happen between RS JR Wilton Speight and RS FR Brandon Peters. While Jim Harbaugh preaches competition, and there will no doubt be competition elements between the two quarterbacks all the way until kickoff against Florida, this is Wilton Speight’s team. He posted a 17:5 TD:INT ratio last year while being very efficient. I know that he struggled down the stretch against Iowa, Ohio State, and Florida State, but for a first-year starter he was pretty damn good. Look for Speight to show even more control of the offense and make some big-time throws.
Young secondary allows some big plays
Michigan’s secondary is very talented but also very young and inexperienced. Add in the dynamic of being split between two teams and the talent at quarterback and one would think some big pass plays will be on the menu for the Maize and Blue teams on Saturday. I love the upside of all the guys currently on campus right now, and think they will all very good, but in their first spring game there might be some hiccups. I think you will see a mixture of flashes of brilliance and Aha! moments and miscommunication that will make the coaches pull their hair out. This group is talented but they need some game experience under their belt. I wouldn’t want to throw their way in November, though, that’s for sure.
We feel 100% better about the offensive line
I think this is going to be a situation for addition by subtraction. Michigan’s offensive line was okay-to-good last year in most games but struggled down the stretch when they needed to get tough yards. With the addition of new tackles and tight ends coach Greg Frey, I have a feeling Michigan isn’t going to struggle to get tough yards for much longer. I think on Saturday you will see Cesar Ruiz, Michael Onwenu, and some of the younger guys do a good job and start to seperate themselves as Big Ten caliber players. We know what we are getting with Mason Cole and know what we should get with Ben Bredeson, so seeing the younger guys do well will have me feeling a whole lot better about the 2017 season.
We buy into the hype 100%
I used to do this every spring under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke: See certain players making plays in the Spring Game and jump on the hype train. “Tate Forcier threw for three touchdowns? First freshman Heisman winner!” I feel doing it now is completely acceptable when Michigan has one of the best football coaches in the world patrolling the sideline. When I watch the hour and a half of football from this game I will come up with some awesome hyperbole about Rashan Gary and anyone else who makes plays on Saturday. And I look forward to that 100%. Because how could we be fans without making some insane suggestions? When in Rome, right?
Happy Spring Game, y’all!