The Wolverine

May 2016 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 33 of 177

BY JOHN BORTON M ichigan fans came out by the tens of thousands to watch a meaningless foot- ball scrimmage in chilling temperatures under the lights at The Big House. They all knew elements of what they'd see will be very meaning- ful five months hence. So they settled in for entertainment, and to make some observations. They weren't looking for schemes because those weren't about to be on display. Individual ability and team togeth- erness were evident, and those in at- tendance soaked it up. From the Blue team's double-pass touchdown to open the scoring to the final defensive stand by the Maize, securing a 14-13 win, football came back for a night. On April 1 — not coincidentally the birthdays of Michigan icons Bo Schem- bechler and Bob Ufer — the Wolver- ines gave a sneak preview of their Sept. 3 opener against Hawaii. "That's how we go about it — work and encourage," said redshirt sopho- more linebacker Jabrill Peppers. "It's all love. We're not competing and hoping another guy does bad. We just want whatever is best for the team. Everybody has accepted that, and ev- erybody has really bought into that." That said, Peppers and his cohorts on the Blue crew would have loved to come away with a steak dinner, rather than the hot dogs they received. They stopped just a few inches shy of getting it done. They'd driven 85 yards behind red- shirt junior quarterback John O'Korn, who scrambled the final six yards for the touchdown to make it 14-13. The Blue wasn't settling for a tie, or over- time, electing to go for two. Redshirt junior fullback Henry Poggi got the call, taking a handoff and barreling into the heart of the Maize defense. A wall of Wolverines barely turned him away, setting off a celebra- tion among a defense that will look to reprise such a turn down over and over in the fall. "It felt good, knowing that we could do that," insisted redshirt junior inside linebacker Mike McCray. "Going into the season, we might have to do that again. Just knowing that we've done it before is going to help us in the fu- ture." Plenty of folks wanted to come out to see Michigan's quarterbacks, including O'Korn, redshirt sophomore Wilton Speight and redshirt junior Shane Mor- ris, the trio head coach Jim Harbaugh said separated itself from the pack. NIGHT MOVES The Wolverines Put On A Show To Wrap Up Spring Practice

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