With most of the college football spring games now complete, with the exception of one (Oregon), I thought I would take a look at how the spring games of Michigan’s four 2015 non-conference opponents went. I’ll do it in chronological order by when Michigan faces each team on the schedule. This is not a preview of each team, rather, just a relatively quick synopsis of how their spring scrimmages turned out.
As with most spring games, a lot of major players were held out, so of course we’re not seeing everything from a spring scrimmage.
Utah Spring Game – April 25, 2015
The University of Utah Utes played their spring football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the site of what will be Jim Harbaugh’s first game at the University of Michigan. Sort of surprisingly, the coaches seemed to be allowing full contact, and there were a couple of pretty good hits put on over the course of the scrimmage. The game went very similarly to Michigan’s spring game in the sense that one squad was shut out and there was a lot left to be desired from both offenses. Both squads were able to mount decent penetration, but turned the ball over on multiple occasions in the red zone, including two interceptions in the endzone. Cumulatively, four interceptions were thrown by Ute quarterbacks, and the only touchdown of the game came via a pick-six from sophomore defensive back Marcus Williams. Kicker Andy Phillips nailed a 53-yard field goal. The final score was White 12-0 Red.
Highlights/Pac-12 Network postgame analysis video:
Oregon State Spring Game – April 18, 2015
The Oregon State University Beavers played their spring football game in Reser Stadium. The game went pretty much the opposite of Michigan’s spring game, as there were points aplenty for both squads. The Beavers coaches went with some basic but speed-friendly playcalls, featuring a lot of fly sweeps and various types of screen passes. Xavier Hawkins took a fly sweep to the house, and fellow wide receiver Victor Bolden turned on the jets and found the endzone via a well-executed tunnel screen. Freshman QB Seth Collins found the endzone twice through the air, but showed off his athleticism running the football on a couple of occasions. Collins hurdled a defender during one of his scrambles, and was completely upended on another before nearly landing back on his feet. The final score was White 41-31 Orange.
UNLV Spring Game – April 18, 2015
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels played their spring football game at Peter Johann Memorial Field, which is primarily used for their soccer games. The Blake Decker to Devonte Boyd connection worked twice for scores, and Decker and Boyd each totaled three scores accounted for. Anthony Williams hauled in Blake Decker’s only touchdown pass not to Boyd, and Boyd grabbed the only touchdown pass from Kurt Palandech. Keith Whitely also found the endzone on the ground. The scrimmage was not played as a game with split squads, so there is no final score listed for the Rebels’ spring game.
Highlight video and statistics:
BYU Spring Game – March 27, 2015
The Brigham Young University Cougars played their spring football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on a Friday night. In an interesting move, since-graduated quarterback Christian Stewart was invited back to participate in spring drills with the Cougars, and played in the spring scrimmage. He tossed two touchdown passes to Travis Frey and Nate Carter. Carter also found the endzone on the ground. Most of the first team members, including senior quarterback Taysom Hill, did not participate in the scrimmage and instead took part in 7-on-7 drills. There is no final score listed for the Cougars’ spring game.
Highlight video (There isn't a great one out there of BYU's final practice, so I just posted the best one I could find. Music in the background):
B1G now occupies 5 of the top 7 crowds nationally.
- OSU - 99,391
- Nebraska- 76,881
- PSU- 68,000
- Alabama- 65,175
- Auburn- 62,143
- Michigan- 60,000
- MSU- 48,000
Big Ten spring game attendance (with Wisconsin pending) currently sits at 393,313. SEC is second with 304,330 (with Ark and Tenn pending)— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) April 25, 2015
impressive given the climate differences this time of the year. especially since Michigan drew more than 12 other SEC schools on the first Saturday of April in Michigan which is usually extremely cold.
MSU at 2 pm and Wisconsin at 4 pm on BTN
With the recent announcement of night games being added on the road and home night games being rejected for 2015, I figure I'd take another list from my SuperGuide and put up in a Diary.
The history of Michigan Football night games:
|9/23/1944||at Marquette||W 14-0|
|9/23/1972||at #6 UCLA||W 26-9|
|1/1/1976||#3 Oklahoma||L 6-14||Orange Bowl|
|12/28/1979||North Carolina||L 15-17||Gator Bowl|
|12/31/1981||#19 UCLA||W 33-14||Bluebonnet Bowl|
|9/18/1982||at #20 Notre Dame||L 17-23|
|11/12/1983||at Minnesota||W 58-10|
|1/2/1984||#3 Auburn||L 7-9||Sugar Bowl|
|12/28/1984||#1 BYU||L 17-24||Holiday Bowl|
|11/16/1985||at Minnesota||W 48-7|
|10/4/1986||at Wisconsin||W 34-17|
|11/7/1987||at Minnesota||W 30-20|
|9/10/1988||at #13 Notre Dame||L 17-19|
|9/15/1990||at #1 Notre Dame||L 24-28|
|10/25/1991||at Minnesota||W 52-6|
|12/30/1994||#10 Colorado State||W 24-14||Holiday Bowl|
|9/16/1995||at Boston College||W 23-13|
|12/28/1995||#19 Texas A&M||L 20-22||Alamo Bowl|
|10/26/1996||at Minnesota||W 44-10|
|10/17/1998||at Northwestern||W 12-6|
|9/18/1999||at Syracuse||W 18-13|
|1/1/2000||#5 Alabama||W 35-34 OT||Orange Bowl|
|11/9/2002||at Minnesota||W 41-24|
|10/10/2003||at #17 Minnesota||W 38-35|
|10/2/2005||at #21 Northwestern||W 33-17|
|12/28/2005||Nebraska||L 28-32||Alamo Bowl|
|9/29/2006||at Minnesota||W 28-14|
|10/14/2006||at Penn State||W 17-10|
|10/20/2007||at Illinois||W 27-17|
|10/10/2009||at #12 Iowa||L 28-30|
|10/30/2010||at Penn State||L 31-41|
|9/10/2011||vs Notre Dame||W 35-31||Under The Lights|
|1/3/2012||#17 Virginia Tech||W 23-20 OT||Sugar Bowl|
|9/1/2012||#2 Alabama||L 14-41||Cowboys Classic|
|9/22/2012||at #11 Notre Dame||L 6-13|
|10/27/2012||at Nebraska||L 9-23|
|9/7/2013||vs #14 Notre Dame||W 41-30||Under The Lights II|
|9/21/2013||at Connecticut||W 24-21|
|12/28/2013||Kansas State||L 14-31||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl|
|9/6/2014||at #16 Notre Dame||L 0-31|
|10/4/2014||at Rutgers||L 24-26|
|10/11/2014||vs Penn State||W 18-13||Under The Lights III|
Michigan is 25-17 all-time in night games.
- 18-9 in road night games
- 4-8 in neutral site night games
- 3-0 in home night games
Michigan's most common night game opponent is Minnesota. This obviously due to the now-demolished Metrodome. In fact, all but 4 of 13 meetings between the two at the Metrodome were NOT played at night. (sidenote: Michigan never lost once in the Metrodome. 13-0 against the Gophers in that building).
The 1991 and 2003 Michigan-Minnesota games were played on Friday nights due to a Metrodome scheduling conflict with the Minnesota Twins who were in the MLB Playoffs in those years.
Those two Friday night games against Minnesota are Michigan's only two non-Saturday regular season games in the last 98 years. Michigan opens the season on a Thursday night at Utah in their first Thursday regular season game in 110 years.
Here are a few pieces from Michigan's first-ever night game regardless of site, back in 1944 at Marquette when they still fielded a team (via MVictors)