Jaron Dukes

Michigan’s spring game shows offense needs time to come together, and that’s OK

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If there was one thing to take away from Michigan’s spring game, the first with Jim Harbaugh as the head coach, it should be the offense is going to take some time to come together. Michigan’s spring game saw just seven points in a live scrimmage, with the Blue squad taking the 7-0 victory over the Maize, and the offense looked shaky at times. This should be expected as Harbaugh and his staff put together a new offensive philosophy with a questionable quarterback situation. Also, help could be on the way.

Michigan’s true freshman quarterback, Alex Malzone, got the first crack under center with the Maize team getting the ball first. But it was running back De’Veon Smith that got things started with a nice run to the left following some blocks (yes, Michigan’s offensive line blocked well) on the first play of the scrimmage. The first possession ended on a failed fourth down attempt, with a trick play seeing wide receiver Jehu Chesson throw an incomplete pass down field. Shane Morris took the field to lead the Blue team on the ensuing possession. It was a short one, but Jabrill Peppers received a nice round of applause following his first tackle of the game.

It looked destined to be a scoreless first half in the spring game, but Morris connected with Jaron Dukes down the left sideline for a touchdown late in the first half. Morris had some nice throws at times and received little support from his receivers early on at times, so this was a nice way to end the first half. It turns out that was the only score Michigan fans got to see Saturday afternoon. Morris did have some good moments but there was nothing shown Saturday that would suggest the starting job will be his to lose moving forward.

It may have been a coincidence, or maybe it was not, but toward the end of the spring scrimmage Big Ten Network made the call to show some highlights of Iowa’s Jake Rudock. Rudock is expected to be heading to Michigan after graduating from Iowa this spring. With Morris and Malzone lacking in big plays, the Rudock highlights could be a reminder that better days could be coming for Michigan’s passing game.

Michigan’s 2015 season will begin on Thursday, September 3 at Utah. The Wolverines were defeated at home last fall by the Pac-12 South program.

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