The Maize team (actually white) defeated the Blue team in the annual Spring Game Friday night at Michigan Stadium.
It was a thrilling finish as the Blue team scored a touchdown to make it 14-13 with eight seconds remaining.
Blue team head coach, and new defensive coordinator Don Brown decided to go for two, and the win.
However, the Maize team was ready for the play. After an offside call on the Blue team, quarterback John O’Korn handed it to Henry Poggi from the one-yard line, and was unable to get in, ending the game.
It was a thrilling finish to what you would expect from a Spring Game, a dry game not showing much from both the offense and defense.
If the Spring Game showed us anything it is that the quarterback competition seems to be a two horse race between Wilton Speight and John O’Korn.
Shane Morris split time at both wide receiver and quarterback, and did not really impress at quarterback.
O’Korn did not look bad, and showed his ability to be comfortable in the pocket, step up in the pocket, and that he is not afraid to use his legs to pick up yards.
However, O’Korn did fail to see some wide open receivers. On the final drive of the game, O’Korn missed a wide open Kareem Walker in the flats three times. Throwing an incomplete pass twice, and scrambling another time.
O’Korn finished the game six of 14 passing for 93 yards. He also ran the ball seven times for 28 yards and a touchdown.
On the other side, Wilton Speight finished five for six passing, with 46 yards and a touchdown. Speight also ran the ball twice for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Ty Isaac led the entire team in rushing. Carrying the ball 10 times for 78 yards. De’Veon Smith received no carries, while Kareem Walker carried the ball four times for seven yards, Kingston Davis saw the same amount of carries for eight yards, and Drake Johnson carried it five times for 11 yards.
Ian Bunting had 53 yards receiving, and Drake Harris had 38 yards. Jack Wangler finished with 32 yards, and Grant Perry had 30 yards.
Jake Butt caught the touchdown pass from Speight. A 13 yard reception that was his only patch of the day. Johnson also caught a touchdown pass from Shane Morris on a trick play. Morris lined up at receiver, caught a pass from O’Korn and hit Johnson in the endzone.
The defense did not show much, besides Jabrill Peppers playing in the tackle box, but not necessarily as a linebacker.
Peppers told reporters after the game that in Brown’s new defense, the nickel corner plays in the box, and blitzes more than usual. So while Peppers is playing in the box, he is not quite a linebacker.
Ty Wheatley Jr. proved that Peppers size restricts him from being a true linebacker. On a long run play by Ty Isaac, Peppers was blocked by Wheatley Jr. hard, and taken yards out of the play. Peppers was able to run down Isaac down the field, but Wheatley was able to handle him.
It was no surprise not see much from the defense or offense. I did not expect to see anything spectacular, more of just seeing the same 10 plays or so recycled, which is what seemingly was happening. Harbaugh and Co. surely wouldn’t open the playbook.
Morris continuing to lineup as wide receiver was interesting. Could we use Morris used in a Keith Nichol situation, and turn into a receiver? Possibly, but very unlikely.
It’s interesting because trotting out Morris at wide receiver is not going to work if you don’t actually use him as a receiver. We saw the double pass a few times, but teams will surely key in on that play whenever Morris steps on the field.
Seeing what happens from September 3rd on will be fun, and interesting.