In lieu of the spring game, Michigan football practices indoors


ANN ARBOR — There was no spring game this year, but that didn’t stop Michigan from hitting the practice field.

The football team moved things indoors on Saturday afternoon for a closed scrimmage attended only by families of players and coaches, and recruits on weekend visits.

It was a compromise for canceling the annual spring game, typically open to the public, scheduled for Saturday night at Michigan Stadium. The school cited weather concerns for the cancellation, with temperatures in the 40s, wind and rain in the forecast.

“Everyone was hyped up about the spring game, then all of a sudden it was cancelled because of the weather conditions,” tight end Nick Eubanks said.

“That was a big bummer for us, but practice is practice. We got it in – and that’s how we treated it – and got better.”

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Players described the day as a “controlled” scrimmage, one that allowed the coaching staff to dictate the direction and put position groups in different situations.

That meant plenty of 11-on-11 and two-minute drills, though details were scant.

“A lot of situational stuff,” linebacker Josh Uche said. “Referees were out there. We was just competing. It’s really like that every day, honestly.”

The cancellation means no one – not the fans, nor media – will get an early look at the Michigan football team ahead of 2018. This comes after the program held its annual spring game and three open practices in Italy last April.

Which means plenty of questions will go unanswered, and position competitions forge on without independent observation.

“I was really excited for the spring game,” wide receiver Oliver Martin said. “Getting to be in that game atmosphere in the Big House, it’s something that I thought would be pretty exciting. 

“So I was a little bummed about that, but we kind of did a private scrimmage.”

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Chief among the competition battle is quarterback, which features three potential starters in transfer Shea Patterson, returning starter Brandon Peters and redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey. Four-star prospect Joe Milton is on campus and practicing, too.

But little has spilled out about that. And so, we wait.

“We would have saw what we saw today,” defensive end Carlo Kemp said. “Today, across the board, everyone looked really good. Everyone’s making plays, even with their feet or with their arm.

“If the game had been at the stadium, you would have saw the same thing. Everyone played at a high level, and they’re all high-caliber guys.”



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