The Spring Game was Saturday and while I was not able to attend, I was able to watch it on the BTN in prime time on Saturday night, right after catching the University of Michigan Softball squad defeat Northwestern.
Some immediate observations:
1. Our defense looks A LOT better when we know what plays are coming. (I guess that kind of goes without saying.) On the QB’s:
-Denard Robinson is some kind of freaking fast. Granted, Denard had the luxury of playing the 2nd string D and Tate was up against the 1st string, but I cannot get over how quickly the kid can accelerate. He goes from, “I think I will run,” to like, 5th gear where everyone else is operating with 4. We need to find more ways to work him into the offense – or hopefully his passing improves to the point that he’s the starter over:
-Tate. Tate was Tate, and I mean that in a not so good way. He had the first turnover and first stupid mental mistake when he threw a pass that shouldn’t have even been attempted. I mean, if the kid can’t throw it away when the game doesn’t matter, will he ever figure it out?
-Gardner looks a whole lot better to me now than he did at the State Finals. The only time I’d seen him play was at the state’s where he admittedly did not have a good game. He threw a couple of nice passes and it will be nice knowing he’s on the bench as a redshirt…
2. And the most concerning issue: IF we don’t find or manufacture a kicker between now and September, it’s gonna be a long season.
I really don’t know how much you can take away from a Spring Game, which for all intents and purposes is a glorified practice where they keep some sort of whacky score, that even the announcers couldn’t describe as it wasn’t explained to them. They are fun to watch and you get to see things you don’t normally see. However, as I stated before, familiarity breeds a “knowing” on defense that makes it easy to guess what’s coming and what the other guy is going to do. So, unless you have superior athletes on the offensive side of the ball, you probably won’t see much.
After all that is said…It seems like I saw things offensively that I hadn’t seen before. I actually saw the QB’s taking snaps under center, which I didn’t even think was in the spread offense manifesto. So that was new. I saw some tailback promise, but no one really stood out. Yes, there were some long, broken plays, but still, it gets back to that athlete thing.
And I still think this defense is suspect. There’s going to be pain this year. And it will hurt bad for Michigan fans that consider themselves traditional “Defensive” minded fans. But, how much worse can it really get? Actually, I don’t want to go there, not yet.
And I will also say that somehow, Michigan again finds itself in the extremely unenviable position of NOT HAVING A KICKING GAME! What the hell…I thought at least that part would end with the change to Rich Rod, but to me anyway, it looked worse than ever. We need a golfer or soccer player to try out for the position.
So, I will continue to post on Big 10 expansion - which had some interesting news over the weekend and anything I hear until the Pre-Season Spectacular.