Michigan Football held its annual Spring Game on Saturday afternoon, where the Maize Team defeated the Blue Team by a score of 31-29.
Scores, stats and such do not really matter in these types of games, and the stats stopped being officially kept at halftime, but here are some takeaways from the event on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.
The Quarterback “Controversy”
Okay, maybe it is not a controversy, but it is something to keep in mind. And this is my biggest takeaway from this game.
Brandon Peters and Wilton Speight received the starting nod for the Maize and Blue teams, respectively. Peters was the better of the two with the eyeball test and the statline.
Speight’s offensive line was not giving him a whole lot of time to throw or do much of anything, and he was also up against essentially the first-team defensive line, so there are factors in play here. However, his showing will not do a whole lot to quiet the haters that emerged towards the latter half of the 2016 season. At the time when stats were no longer being kept as the second half started, he was 9-for-23 for 78 yards and an interception.
Peters’ protection was way better and other than an ill-advised pick-sick, he was sharp, he was quick with his legs and he displayed an impressive arm down the field. He missed a few of the shorter throws, but one would expect that would tighten up.
Speight’s experience and performance last season will still likely give him the early edge in training camp. He has slimmed down and does look a bit more athletic when he has to roll out of the pocket and improvise. However, it does not appear he exactly has a stranglehold on the starting job.
Peters was impressive and you saw flashes of what he could be. At the very least, fans should be encouraged that if he was the No. 2 QB and has to come into the game, he is plenty capable of getting the job done.
For those calling for a competition, it seems like it’s warranted.
Khaleke Hudson is a ball player
You want an exciting player at Viper? It looks like Khaleke Hudson is ready to fill the shoes of Jabrill Peppers.
Hudson, a true sophomore, was all over the field on Saturday and looked like an impact player on this defense. Michigan is replacing a lot on that side of the ball, but Hudson appears to be the next in line to be a disruptive presence in the secondary.
True Freshman Wideouts
It’s very rare that freshman are able to hit campus and make an immediate impact at wide receiver, but Michigan has a pair of players that could be the exception to that.
Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black, the latter of which had an outstanding afternoon, are college-ready and look to figure into the picture in a big way. Do not be surprised to see them as the two outside wide receivers this fall.
- Ty Isaac looked the best of the running backs, but Kareem Walker and Karan Higdon also made some plays. Losing De’Veon Smith hurts, but they should be fine back there. Chris Evans was quiet, but we know what he can do.
- Zach Gentry caught a 55-yard TD pass from Brandon Peters and was wide open. With Devin Asiasi transferring, he could be in for an expanded role. He has got wheels for being a tight end.
- It’s tough to get a grasp on the offensive line. There was a lot of good and a lot of bad on both teams with several different combinations. Cesar Ruiz is huge, Mason Cole is back at left tackle.
- Freshman early-enrollee Benjamin St-Juste looks the part of a college corner and made some impressive plays, but was burned a few times by Tarik Black and Eddie McDoom.
- The starting defensive line appears to be Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary at end, with Maurice Hurst and Bryan Mone at the tackle spots.
- This was a spring game, so nothing we saw that we didn’t know already probably means all that much.