Michigan Football: 2012 Spring Game Highs and Lows

Adam JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterApril 16, 2012

(photo via annarbor.com)
(photo via annarbor.com)

With Nebraska football washed out for the day, all eyes were on Michigan's spring scrimmage. It wasn't a full game because of depth issues, so the score might as well have been "FOOT to BALL", but there were enough plays run from scrimmage that it was pretty easy to see what kind of shape the Michigan team was in at this point in the offseason.



Michigan's going to be able to move the ball on the ground again this year. Denard Robinson has not morphed into an unathletic slob in the last three months, so go ahead and mark him down for about 1,000 yards on the ground. Do so also for Fitz Toussaint, who continued to show why he's one of the best in the Big Ten with a productive day on Saturday.

And now Michigan has a bona fide change-of-pace back in true sophomore Thomas Rawls, who brings a power aspect to the ground game and should be a legitimate go-to ball-carrier on 3rd-and-short.

Rawls finished with 42 yards on 10 carries, but the highlight of his day was a 21-yard score on 4th-and-1, where Rawls bulldozed a tackler at the point of attack before scooting in. Look for Rawls to be Michigan's second back this year.

Alabama didn't see much. Michigan kept the playbook pretty vanilla on both offense and defense, and there weren't any surprises in terms of personnel except for walk-on Joey Burzynski pushing into the first unit at right guard. Devin Gardner spent all his time at quarterback, for example. That said...



...Devin Gardner can go ahead and move to receiver. It's foolish to read too much into one spring practice and extrapolate it to the whole, so it's not that Gardner's struggles at QB on Saturday mean he's due for a position change. It's that that's the same Gardner we saw all of last year, too.

He's wonderfully athletic and totally unreliable throwing the football. Ostensible third-stringer Russell Bellomy thoroughly outplayed Gardner while guiding the second unit on Saturday, so Michigan won't be losing much by taking Gardner out of the depth chart at QB.

In fact, pretty much anybody can go ahead and move to receiver. We wanted to see something good out of the receivers behind Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon, and that didn't really happen. Jerald Robinson looked decent, but altogether that's not a stellar three-man unit, and the depth behind them is essentially non-existent at this point.