Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Games Give Us a Peek

Over the past weekend both Western and the Wolverines held their annual inter-squad spring games. Both teams were able to refrain from any major injury and showed the fans a great time and gave some hope to their loyal supporters.

I did not attend these games however I have watched some of the available footage on the internet. My first thought is that the September 5th match up is not going to be as close as some may have thought when the game was announced last December. The footage on Michigan shows a team that is much faster than what was on the field at Waldo Stadium that same afternoon. Of course the footage made available is limited for both teams and they are called highlights for a reason. However, Western is coming back this season without 25 of last years players that left due to graduation. The current roster is loaded with players fighting for there chance at a starting role which has been declared evident through out spring practices. The scrimmage showed a defense that didn’t quit and an offense that was able to hold off a late game surge to preserve the win. The scoring system used is slightly misleading due to it being based on points awarded for on field accomplishments and it favored the offense. Also, keep in mind WMU's offense was missing a key component in last year’s success, in Tim Hiller, who is sidelined with an ACL.

The University of Michigan, on the other hand, had a very successful day especially for the promotions department. The reported attendance was 50,000 and the locker room tours and luxury suite tours were attended by capacity crowds. The game day atmosphere was present. The offense appears to be gaining its tempo and thanks to early enrollment and a pair of contact lenses the true freshman QB Tate Forcier and WR Roy Roundtree were able to have an impressive showing.
Overall, I can’t put too much on these games. The teams are playing against themselves so any success on one side of the ball is the direct effect of a failure on the other. That being said, the Broncos will need to focus on clogging up the fast past offense that RichRod has been oiling up. Michigan has everything to lose in September. The fan base has rallied, the hope has returned and if they suffer a third season opener loss, the tone for the season could be completely changed. WMU will have a chance to be a highlight for the evening Sports Center, which is great for the program and recruiting, but a victory in Ann Arbor on the first Saturday of season has certainly lost its luster…in fact it is becoming the norm

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