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Posted on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Still not enough depth for Michigan football team to have a true spring game

By Kyle Meinke


Coach Brady Hoke talks to the Michigan football team before its 2011 spring game at Michigan Stadium. Hoke said the Wolverines are more physical and playing with better fundamentals heading into the 2012 version at noon Saturday.

Angela J. Cesere |

If Michigan football coach Brady Hoke had his druthers, the Wolverines would play their spring game against another school -- and the public wouldn't see it.

But the NCAA doesn't allow that.

So, he would settle for an intrasquad game.

Except, he can't do that either because of tenuous depth, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.

So, here we are: The Wolverines will close their 15-practice camp Saturday with a spring "game" that kicks off at noon at Michigan Stadium. It will be televised by Big Ten Network.

But it won't be much of a game. Instead, Michigan is expected to do drills and situational work (such as 2-minute drills, red zone reps, etc.). Points will be tallied in some fashion.

The game will be formatted much as it was last year, when the Wolverines were burdened with the same depth issues. Only, they will look a little different now that they're in Year 2 of Hoke's system.

“We really are more physical than we were last year at this time,” he said. “We’re more physical in the standpoint we play a little faster, the effort down the field, that second or third block, the point of attack.

"And we’re playing with better fundamentals than last year at this time."

In other words, Michigan is further along at this point than it was last year. But then Hoke added: "By no means are we where we want to be.”

The spring game is the highlight of the weekend, but it's far from the only act. Hoke said he would hold a meeting Friday night with former players, as he did during last year's "Victors Weekend."

About 350 former players are expected to attend the event, with more than 100 of them playing in Saturday’s alumni flag football game. That kicks off at 10 a.m. at Michigan Stadium.

The spring game follows at noon, then a lacrosse game against Ohio State at 2:30 p.m.

Later that day, Michigan will honor former coach Gary Moeller during "Victors Night," an event that was created seven years ago by former player James Hall.

A full list of this weekend's events, according to

8:30 a.m.: Ice hockey garage sale, Indoor Track Building
9 a.m.: Women's rowing against Oregon State, Belleville Lake
10 a.m.: Alumni flag football game, Michigan Stadium
Noon: Spring football game, Michigan Stadium
Noon: Men's tennis against Nebraska, Varsity Tennis Center
2:30 p.m.: Men's lacrosse against Ohio State, Michigan Stadium

9 a.m.: Big House Big Heart Run, Michigan Stadium
Noon: Men's tennis against Iowa, Varsity Tennis Center
1 p.m.: Softball doubleheader against Michigan State, Wilpon Complex



Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Sounds like people are making excuses for what seems is going to be a poor turnout.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

Just: 80% chance of T-storms tomorrow. They can't be on the field at all if there's lightning anywhere within miles. I'm seriously bummed over this.

Steve McQueen

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

hopefully the gods will be kind and keep the rain away...

Steve McQueen

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 11:13 a.m.

Michigan has not had a full spring game since probably 1995 or so. Lloyd was the first coach to make it in to an organized practice and not a real game. Back in the day, when I was a lil dad and I would go to every spring game. It was always a full game back in those days. It would be great to see Michigan practice vs. another top program in the spring for 2 days. I used this example before, but a Michigan vs. Texas spring weekend would be awesome. It could be capped off by a real spring game open to the public... ESPN would pick up the tab...and it would be a lot of fun and beneficial to both schools.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

Televise the flag football game!! Among others, It would be great to see Lamarr Woodley stalking Tom Brady and Chad Henne, Charles Woodson never leaving the field (playing both ways), and Mario and Amani catching everything but peanuts from the vendors in the stands. (had to use "artistic license" for the last) Lloyd Carr could coach one team; Gary Moeller could coach the other.