The Defense Steps Up | Michigan Spring Game Recap
Photo by Jacob Hamilton
Written by Brendan Moore (@bmoorecfb)
Everyone knows the story heading into next season for Michigan. David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson leave huge holes to fill on that Michigan defense. The Maize and Blue game took place Saturday afternoon and it helped answer some of the questions on this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
The offense retains a lot of weapons from last season with the only notable players to leave being Hassan Haskins and Andrew Vastardis. Michigan should have no issue at running back as both the speedy Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards performed well in the spring game rushing and receiving. A name to watch is Tavierre Dunlap. He ran for 73 yards on 18 carries.
Cade McNamara will be tested this offseason by JJ McCarthy for that starting quarterback job. McNamara only played four drives on Saturday. McCarthy didn’t play at all due to a shoulder injury. This left the door open for other quarterbacks to shine like Alan Bowman and Davis Warren. Bowman, who transferred in from Texas Tech last year, was inconsistent throughout the game (9 of 19 passing), but he did hit Darrius Clemons for a diving touchdown grab.
Michigan is set at wide receiver. They return Cornelius Johnson, Andrel Anthony, AJ Henning and Roman Wilson. Also, Ronnie Bell will return off of an injury. Early enrollee Darrius Clemons was impressive in the spring game. He should be a guy to keep an eye on this fall. Don’t forget about the tight ends as well. Erick All and Luke Schoonmaker will play a significant role this fall. In fact, All threw a dime to early enrollee Colston Loveland in a tight window on a double pass during the spring game.
The defense is a concern for the Wolverines heading into 2022. They lost their defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to the Ravens and they have to replace Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, Dax Hill, Josh Ross and Vincent Gray. However, the final score of 20-12 seemed to suggest that the defense will be just fine next year.
Junior Colson is a guy that can step up and become a leader at the linebacker position. He will surely be a stud in the fall after racking up 60 tackles last season. Also, at linebacker is Michael Barrett, who had a sack on Saturday. Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins also had a sack for the Wolverine defense.
The defensive backfield looked solid throughout the game. Mike Sainristil had a few big plays including a pass breakup against Andrel Anthony. Sainristil is expected to be a two way player this season. Two early enrollees also saw time at corner: Will Johnson and Myles Pollard. Based on the spring game, this defense should be just fine.
The defensive backfield looked solid throughout the game. Mike Sainristil had a few big plays including a pass breakup against Andrel Anthony. Sainristil is expected to be a two-way player this season. Two early enrollees also saw time at corner: Will Johnson and Myles Pollard. Based on the spring game, this defense should be just fine.
Despite the changeover, Jim Harbaugh has himself a solid squad for this fall. Winning the Big Ten for a second year in a row will be a tall task though.