Wednesday Quick Hits: TV, Time Set for Toledo Game

By · Wednesday, October 1, 2008 · 4:20 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • As expected, the Toledo game on October 11 will kickoff at noon on the Big Ten Network.
  • As it turns out, one-time Michigan signee Marcus Witherspoon will not be eligible for the 2008 season. He won’t be able to play until 2009, meaning that it doesn’t appear that Michigan dropped the ball in this complicated situation. Originally something seemed fishy as Witherspoon wasn’t eligible to play for Michigan but was as soon as he went to Rutgers. Apparently that report about him being eligible at Rutgers was incorrect, meaning that Michigan no longer looks like the bad guy in this situation.
  • Brandon Graham was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week.
  • The Hoover Street Rag has pictures from the Wisconsin game, including a few that feature the navy block “M” in the student section.
  • With players getting healthy, the offensive line is likely going to be changed up a bit again.
  • The Wisconsin game is going to be shown on the Big Ten Network a week from today at noon.
  • UM Hoops has a picture of Michigan’s new home basketball jersey.
  • According to the MySpace profile of 2010 recruit Marvin Robinson, he is about to commit to Michigan.
  • Norman Griffith, a Pahokee High School football player and teammate of Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne (and former teammate of Martavious Odoms), was shot and killed over the weekend.
  • Recruits at the Wisconsin game had a great time.
  • The announcers for Michigan’s game against Illinois this upcoming Saturday are going to be Dave Lamont and David Norrie.
  • Varsity Blue has the stats of Michigan’s commits as of this past week. Take note of what Fitzgerald Toussaint is doing as his stats are straight up ridiculous.
  • If you weren’t at the Wisconsin game and are wondering about the “Save Cody” halftime show, a reader of MGoBlog posted a recap of it.
  • The media picked Michigan to win the CCHA and the coaches picked Notre Dame.
  • Former Michigan hockey player Max Pacioretty scored a goal in regulation and in a shootout to help the Canadiens beat the Red Wings in a preseason game.
  • Michigan picked up another 2010 hockey commit.
  • Michigan’s 2009 softball schedule is out.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown during Monday night’s game against the Ravens.
  • Brent Petway was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Tommy Amaker has come under fire for the way he handled cutting players from Harvard’s team.
  • And finally, the least shocking news of the day: Former Michigan State offensive lineman and notorious NFL bust Tony Mandarich has admitted to using steroids at Michigan State and cheating on a drug test at the 1988 Rose Bowl. Well I am just shocked. I mean, it’s not like we could have seen this coming or anything. Oh, wait…

Monday Quick Hits: Notre Dame Game Observations and Other Things

By · Monday, September 15, 2008 · 2:59 AM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • In case you want to relive the loss to Notre Dame or missed the game entirely, my very, very detailed recap of it can be found here or below this post if you’re on the main page. Just a fair warning, though, I went a little too in depth so it’s quite the long read (3,474 words to be exact). However, if you did miss the game it’ll get you up to speed on everything that happened.
  • Looking back, despite what the final score was Michigan could have won Saturday’s game had it not been for so many turnovers. I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, if Michigan scored more points they would have won.” But hear me out. We can sit here and talk about “what ifs” all day, but my point is that the loss wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Sure, turning the ball over six times is disheartening and something that can’t happen for this team to be any good, but if you take away only two of the fumbles Michigan could have won the game.
  • I know this will come off as sounding like sour grapes, but Michigan really did beat themselves. Yes, Notre Dame made a couple nice plays of their own, but you have to realize that their first two touchdowns came from starting inside Michigan’s 15-yard line because of mistakes Michigan made. Also, their final TD of the game was another direct result of a mistake made by Michigan. Sometimes mistakes are created by the other team, but that certainly wasn’t the case for the three TDs Notre Dame scored off of fumbles.
  • Notre Dame heads to Michigan State on Saturday for what should be a very interesting game to watch. My belief is that ND will go into the game with a false confidence as a result of their win over Michigan and get a reality check. Javon Ringer has been lights out this season and I think that’ll continue against Notre Dame. He should rush for over 200 yards and score at least 2 touchdowns in what I expect will be a fairly comfortable win for the Spartans.
  • If he can stay healthy, there is no reason why Steven Threet shouldn’t be this team’s starting quarterback. His improvement just from the Miami game to Saturday was very noticeable as he did a good job of running the offense. Aside from the fumbled snap that can be attributed to the weather, Threet made very few mistakes. His passes weren’t too high and for the most part were very accurate, especially the ones he threw downfield. Also, he showed that he has some mobility on a third and long play where he took off for a gain of 21 yards.
  • Sam McGuffie has exceeded my expectations by far after what he did against Notre Dame. He was consistently picking up 5-10 yards on plays where he had little to no room to run, and when he did have a hole he broke free for a big gain. Sure, there were still times when he was stuffed for no gain or a loss, but after his performance he deserves nothing but praise. If he can stay healthy (injuries were an issue for him last year), then I think we’ve found our starting running back for the next few seasons.
  • The defense has to get better quickly. They have looked dominant at times, but they have looked clueless as well. The defensive line struggled on Saturday, but it once again was the secondary that disappointed me more than any other unit. The amount of big plays they gave up was inexcusable, and one of them was because of poor tackling by Stevie Brown. He and Morgan Trent were the worst out of anyone by far. Trent was getting thrown at during the first quarter because ND liked the match up against him so much, and Brown just didn’t play well. In fact, he hasn’t all year and if things don’t get better I’d say it’s time to see what his backup can do.
  • To their credit, the defense only really can be fully blamed for giving up two touchdowns as there’s not a whole lot they could do when ND started inside Michigan’s 15-yard line. Also, another TD was scored by ND’s defense.
  • It was good to see Zion Babb make a play. He was on the receiving end of a 45-yard pass thrown by Nick Sheridan in the fourth quarter. Babb made a stellar catch and ran down the field to pick up a good amount of extra yardage. If I remember correctly that was the first catch Babb has made all season and really is the first time I’ve heard his name at all since Rich Rodriguez took over. He has rarely been mentioned in practice reports and many figured he just wasn’t a good fit with the new program. That still may be the case, but even if it is he still made a great play against Notre Dame.
  • Nothing frustrates me more than mistakes on special teams and we saw plenty on kick and punt returns. Boubacar Cissoko let the ball bounce off his chest on the opening kickoff and couldn’t even find it at first. He eventually did pick it up, but only returned the ball to the 9-yard line. On the second kickoff of the game Michael Shaw made an even bigger error. He couldn’t catch the kick, which was shorter than expected, and a Notre Dame player got down the field and recovered it. That set up Notre Dame’s second touchdown. Cissoko also fumbled a kick return in the fourth quarter, but luckily Kevin Grady fell on it.

    Donovan Warren is really the punt returner only because he has experience and should be able to catch the ball. Well, the latter wasn’t the case on a punt return near the start of the second half as the ball bounced right off of him. Troy Woolfolk made a nice play to recover the fumble, but that was near disaster as Notre Dame would have had the ball inside the Michigan 15-yard line similarly to how they started their first two drives of the game.

  • I will give some praise to the K.C. Lopata and Zoltan Mesko as the special teams weren’t all bad. Lopata hit both extra points he kicked and the only field goal he attempted, which is all you can ask for. And Mesko not only punted the ball better, but he looked awesome on the fake punt Michigan ran in the first quarter.

    It was another option play where he could run or punt and he decided to take off. Mesko actually broke a few tackles en route to picking up a first down and a gain of 13 yards. He also started high stepping a little bit after the run. That was pretty funny because he’s a punter and you never usually get a chance to see something like that. Later on in the game Mesko appeared to be running another option play, but he kicked it that time. Actually, it was one of the better punts he’s had this season, so if this continues I’ll have to start to warm up to this rugby style of punting.

  • Tight end Carson Butler was ejected near the end of Saturday’s game after he took a swing at a Notre Dame player. I imagine it was a case of frustrations boiling over, but I really wouldn’t be opposed to him being suspended for a game. I understand that things happen in the heat of the moment, but you can’t ever take a swing at an opposing player and expect to get away with it.
  • Greg Mathews was unable to finish the game due to cramps. Steven Threet had the same problem, which explains why he was being stretched out on the bench during the third quarter. Throughout the second half it appeared that he was in pain at times, so it’s good to know that cramps was the problem and not an injury of some sort.
  • Wide receivers coach Tony Dews apparently shouted at a fan that yelled something at him after the game while he was walking to the team bus.
  • In case you missed this since it happened Friday night, Michigan got a commitment from a 5-star defensive end.
  • Marcus Witherspoon, as expected, is now going to Rutgers. He suddenly was ruled eligible by the NCAA on Friday, so I don’t understand what the hell happened that made him ineligible at Michigan. It seems like this is a type of story where details will only come out from insiders years from now as it is such a weird and possibly sensitive situation. It seems like something happened that caused things with Witherspoon and Michigan to not work out, and I’m not talking about eligibility. That’s only pure speculation on my part, but it just seems like there is more to this.
  • This was expected beforehand, but NBC’s coverage of the game stunk. Their commercial breaks were longer and more frequent, which is something that is always bad when watching football games. For example, when there were only seconds left in the third quarter NBC went to a commercial break. One play was run after the break and the third quarter ended, meaning it was time for more commercials.

    The announcing was also pretty bad. Again, that was expected considering the announcers are going to favor Notre Dame, but the homerism isn’t what annoyed me. Sometimes the announcers just displayed a lack of knowledge about football in general and that really pissed me off more than anything.

  • I agree with Tim from Varsity Blue in regards to how bad the officials were on Saturday. The pass Greg Mathews caught in the end zone that was ruled incomplete totally changed the way the game was going, and the pass interference call on Donovan Warren (the one on the long pass downfield) was ridiculous.

    The one thing I do disagree with Tim on is the Kevin Grady fumble. Tim thought the play should have been blown dead for forward progress. When it first happened I felt the same way. However, after reviewing the tape I noticed an earlier play in the game where Grady was hit and tried to fight for extra yardage before forward progress was called after four or so seconds. Taking that into consideration, Grady fumbled the ball barely three or so seconds after he was first wrapped up, so if the precedent was four seconds then he just missed being called down.

  • Also at Varsity Blue is a video of every pass and run by Shavodrick Beaver from his game on ESPN2 last Thursday.
  • Charlie Weis tore his ACL and MCL near the end of the first half when a Notre Dame player was shoved into him on a punt. Weis was looking at where the ball landed and the player rolled right into Weis’ knee since his back was turned. The injury itself looked pretty bad, but Weis was actually laughing about it after the game, saying that he felt like an athlete for the first time in his life.
  • What’s really coincidental is that Tom Brady suffered the same injury when he tore both his ACL and MCL against the Chiefs a week ago yesterday. Brady and Weis were apparently texting each other last week about Brady’s injury, so now this week it’ll be more of the same except the subject will be Weis’ injury.
  • Despite the injury, Weis will be on Notre Dame’s sideline on Saturday when they play Michigan State. He will not immediately have surgery, either, as he wants to wait until a bye week or after the season.
  • One other thing to add to Weis’ injury is that the first thing I thought of when it happened was this video:

  • Is EA Sports psychic or what?

  • The Patriots signed Matt Gutierrez from their practice squad to the active roster.
  • Michael Phelps hosted Saturday Night Live over the weekend and made reference to Michigan a couple times. The first reference was a promo for SNL that aired before the Notre Dame game started. He said something about how he was hosting the show and was rooting for Michigan. During the show itself he had a Michigan shirt on when he introduced Lil’ Wayne, so that was cool to see. His performance as the host is a different topic of discussion as he probably should just stick to swimming, but either way, I liked that he referenced Michigan.
  • Speaking of Phelps, he and former Michigan swimming coach Bob Bowman will be honored during the Wisconsin game on September 27.
  • Finally, I’d like to thank the humidity for setting off my dorm’s fire alarms multiple times during the game on Saturday. The fire alarms first went off right after McGuffie scored on the 40-yard catch and forced the people in my dorm to scramble to find a place to watch the game. Luckily a few of us found a lounge in another dorm with a TV to tide us over until halftime (we went back to our dorm after), but we ended up missing a couple possessions, although I have since seen them on the recording of the game.

Saturday Quick Hits: You Won’t Have to Listen to Pam Ward

By · Saturday, September 6, 2008 · 2:19 AM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • Despite decommitting yesterday, rumor has it that William Campbell will be at today’s game.
  • Even though Michigan’s game is on ESPN2, Pam Ward thankfully is not going to be the announcer. Instead, Dave Pasche and Andre Ware will handle the announcing duties.
  • The honorary captains for today’s game are going to be Pete Elliott, Ron Simpkins, and Dick Caldarazzo.
  • More on what happened with Marcus Witherspoon is coming out, at least from his point of view, that is. According to Witherspoon, he was in Ann Arbor and everything was going fine until July 28. That is when Michigan informed him that he hadn’t qualified and would have to return home to get qualified.
    “I was there for two months — two months,” Witherspoon said from his Atlantic City home. “Then they tell me out of nowhere that something was wrong. That’s what I don’t understand.”

    I believe Witherspoon was randomly declared ineligible because the NCAA Clearinghouse had only made that ruling then. It is a stupid way to do things, especially once players are already on campus, but my guess is that Michigan couldn’t risk having an ineligible player there, which is why he had to go home to take care of things.

    “It will probably come as a shock, but (head coach Rich Rodriguez) didn’t say anything to me,” Witherspoon said. “The assistant coaches told me.

    “It wasn’t fair with what happened. I was supposed to take some classes, and everything would be good and I could go back. That wasn’t even the case.

    “I was told to do certain things. I did them — everything they asked me to do — and still, at the end, it didn’t go through. It was crazy.”

    Witherspoon took an online class through BYU and according to him, he completed it. Even so, Michigan told him that he couldn’t return to Ann Arbor until the NCAA Clearinghouse declared that he was eligible, which makes sense considering Michigan can’t afford to have an ineligible player around as you don’t want to even take a chance of something being a violation.

    Rather than wait for a ruling and for Michigan to welcome him back, Witherspoon decided to move on, presumably because the coaches allegedly stopped contacting him.

    “When I came home, I didn’t hear from (Rodriguez) or any other coach. I tried calling him. I guess with the season ahead — I don’t know,” Witherspoon said. “Somebody could have called, informed me. I didn’t get any response. They haven’t called me yet. He still hasn’t called me to this day. It’s out, I’m transferring, and he still hasn’t called me.”

    I will say that if it’s true Witherspoon hasn’t been contacted by any coaches then something is up. I don’t know what the deal is, but you have to at least give the guy a call, that is, if you want him back. Maybe the coaches didn’t, which wouldn’t make sense to me considering Witherspoon is a talented player, but I don’t know. The entire situation is strange.

  • The athletic director for Miami (Ohio), Brad Bates, was a walk-on and a graduate coach for Bo Schembechler.
  • John Beilein’s second annual coaching clinic will be held on November 1.
  • Basketball player C.J. Lee is maintaining a blog-like page on MGoBlue.
  • MGoBlog’s defensive UFR for the Utah game is out.

The Sky Is Falling: William Campbell Decommits

By · Friday, September 5, 2008 · 7:00 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 

Aside from Tate Forcier opting to go to Michigan last Sunday, this has been a pretty bad week for the Wolverines. Michigan opened the season with a loss to Utah, Taylor Hill transferred, Marcus Witherspoon officially didn’t qualify, and for the worst news of all, William Campbell has decommitted from Michigan.

Campbell is one of the nation’s top players and is by far the best prospect in the state of Michigan this year. He is a dominating defensive tackle from Cass Tech High School that committed to U-M in June of last year. Although he has said that he will take his five official visits, nobody really thought anything of it as he claimed he just wanted to travel. Well, it turns out that’s not the case now as he has decommitted.

I don’t have the details of why he changed his mind, but we likely will find them out shortly. This is worse news than losing Kevin Newsome and much worse than losing a couple linebackers as Campbell is seen as someone that can make an immediate impact. That is how dominating of a player he is. Losing him really hurts, especially since he had been committed for over a year.

Friday Quick Hits: Preparing for Miami (Ohio)

By · Friday, September 5, 2008 · 1:14 AM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • Going into tomorrow’s game, I expect the offense to play much better than they did against Utah. At the same time, I expect the defense to come out and be dominant from the very start of the game rather than only the second half. The offense still likely won’t look pretty at times, but I do think the coaches will have a better idea of what type of game plan they will run. Instead of focusing on the passing game, I think and hope we’ll see more of a mindset that features the running game. It may take time to get going, but establishing the run will be important.
  • Miami will come ready to play and I think they’ll make it close. I don’t necessarily believe that this will come down to the final minutes of the game, but if Michigan won by more than a couple touchdowns I would be pretty surprised.
  • The fallout from Marcus Witherspoon not qualifying has resulted in a decision that he will never attend Michigan and instead will likely end up at Tennessee or Rutgers. Also, Michigan once again is coming out of a situation looking like the bad guys even though this had to do with the NCAA rather than U-M.
    Looks like Spoon might have got a raw deal. He didn’t find out about his ineligibilty (sic) until July 28 – although it’s not uncommon for the NCAA Clearinghouse to take until mid-August sometimes to determine if a student-athlete can compete.The way Spoon’s father talks, it looks like Michigan dropped the ball and something could have been done a lot sooner.

    Bottom line – The Holy Spirit graduate and 2007 C-P Defensive Player of the Year will not wear the maze and blue of Michigan ever. The family is going to make sure he gets cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse – which it sounds like he will be very soon, according to his dad – and he will enroll somewhere else.

    So it’s Michigan’s fault that the NCAA ruled he wasn’t eligible? I know Witherspoon’s dad is likely upset and is just trying to defend his son, but Witherspoon reportedly had a chance to become eligible when he went home earlier in the summer and wasn’t able to do so. I don’t know if this is a Nick Perry type of situation where he needed a specific credit to become eligible or if he just simply had failed a class needed to go to Michigan, but this is hardly Michigan’s fault.

  • Taylor Hill transferred because he wanted to be closer to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown is around 3 hours and 40 minutes away from Ann Arbor, but is only 1 hour and 14 minutes away from Pittsburgh. Early speculation is that he will end up going to Pittsburgh, which would make sense distance-wise.
  • Michigan is in the running to land one of the nation’s top defensive end recruits.

  • MGoBlog debuts UFR for the 2008 season.
  • Genuinely Sarcastic analyzes Michigan’s run game against Utah.
  • MVictors has audio of Larry Lage’s recent interviews on WTKA and WDFN. Lage is the AP reporter that went behind the scenes of Michigan football in the week leading up to the Utah game and he shared his thoughts on the experience during the interviews.
  • Michigan’s women’s basketball schedule has been released.
  • Three Penn State players have been suspended for their game against Oregon State tomorrow after they were caught with marijuana earlier this week.
  • Beanie Wells won’t play against Ohio tomorrow. This is the smart move as there is absolutely no point to rush him back from an injury. Not only is he Ohio State’s star player, but they’ve got a game against USC in a week and will need Wells, so every day of rest is important.

More Bad News: Marcus Witherspoon Not Coming to Michigan

By · Wednesday, September 3, 2008 · 5:11 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 

One Michigan freshman linebacker has already decided to transfer (Taylor Hill), and another won’t even be coming to Michigan at all. Marcus Witherspoon, a freshman LB out of New Jersey, failed to qualify academically and isn’t coming to Michigan.

Witherspoon left Ann Arbor earlier in the summer to go back to New Jersey to get qualified, and claimed last week that he had done so and would be returning to Ann Arbor shortly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, meaning Michigan’s 2008 recruiting class is down two players, both of whom are linebackers.

Monday Quick Hits: Game Week Has Arrived

By · Monday, August 25, 2008 · 1:59 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Last Thursday was Michigan’s final two-a-day practice. They wrapped up the week on Friday with a scrimmage in Michigan Stadium called the “Beanie Bowl.” The team’s focus now turns fully toward Utah as the first game week has arrived.
  • MGoBlue has a video report on the “Beanie Bowl,” detailing exactly what it was all about. Basically, the coaches treated it like a home game to give the players an idea of what they should expect on game days in Ann Arbor. They took buses to the stadium, went into the locker room, ran out of the tunnel and touched the banner, and then scrimmaged in front of an empty 106,201 seats (note: capacity is reduced until the end of the stadium renovation). Even the band was there to help simulate a game day in the Big House.

    Due to construction, this was actually the first time Michigan players and coaches have even been in Michigan Stadium in quite a while, so it was a good idea to get them acclimated with the environment, even if the crowd was empty.

  • The Ann Arbor News’ John Heuser wrote a great piece on where Rich Rodriguez came from. It’s a long read, but is worth the time as it provides a detailed look at Rodriguez.
  • Also from John Heuser is a 2-deep depth chart for Michigan. I don’t know how accurate it is, but for the most part it seems to be correct. The only inaccuracies I noticed are that Steven Threet is listed as the starting quarterback and Zion Babb is Greg Mathews’ backup at receiver. At this point it seems like Nick Sheridan will be the starting QB and I haven’t heard a single thing about Zion Babb that would indicate he will even see the field at WR. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the official depth chart is released to see how accurate Hueser’s is.
  • Freshman linebacker Marcus Witherspoon claims that he is coming back to Ann Arbor and will be returning to practice. Witherspoon went back home to New Jersey earlier this month after something came up. The general consensus was that the issue had something to do with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Witherspoon is saying that he wasn’t ineligible or anything like that and called the issue a “personal matter.”

    I don’t think anyone ever believed he was ineligible as most people were under the impression that he had to fulfill a class requirement or something of that sort. It’s not that he didn’t pass a class or anything like that, but instead Witherspoon had to make sure that he had enough credits in certain categories to be eligible.

  • The reasoning behind Kevin Newsome’s decision to decommit from Michigan appears to be that he didn’t want to risk being moved to a position other than quarterback. That is what his father told ESPN, and to me it sounds like Newsome got some bad info, meaning Michigan was negatively recruited.

    It sounds like Newsome was afraid that if Shavodrick Beaver beat him out at QB in the future then he would have been moved to another position. In reality, though, nothing could be farther from the truth. Newsome would still have been a QB even if he was beat out by Beaver as Rich Rodriguez wants to have as much depth as possible at that position. In case something happens to the starter, Rodriguez wants to make sure the backup is just as good, which is why Newsome would not have been moved to another position.

    This was either a case of being afraid of competition or being told false things to further the recruitment of other schools. I have a feeling it’s a little bit of both, but the latter probably was the biggest reason Newsome decided to decommit.

  • The Free Press has a recap of how Michigan athletes did at the Olympics, which just came to a close yesterday.
  • Michigan is playing Oakland University in basketball at the Palace of Auburn Hills on December 20. The game will start at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on FSN Detroit. Also, Michigan is not on UCLA’s schedule. This is likely due to the fact that the two teams could play each other in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
  • USC’s Nick Perry, who was at one time strongly considering going to Michigan, still is not qualified. He will have one more shot at passing a test that would make him eligible to play this season.
  • Matt Hinton, formerly of Sunday Morning Quarterback fame, can now be found blogging at Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday.

Monday Quick Hits: Phelps Dominates; Grady Pleads Guilty

By · Monday, August 11, 2008 · 1:59 AM |  Share | 3 Comments 
  • The Summer Olympics are underway in Beijing, and Club Wolverine’s Michael Phelps has done some amazing things in only the first few days of action. He set a world record and took home the gold medal in the 400m Individual Medley on Sunday (Beijing time), and most recently he was part of the United States’ 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay team that just barely edged out France to set a world record and win the gold medal.

    I’m not big into swimming by any means, but that relay race was truly amazing to watch. France and the United States were trading the lead before France got out to a fairly decent advantage during the final 100 meters of the race. Amazingly, the United States’ Jason Lezak came back in the final 50 meters and won the race over France by .08 seconds. What makes the win even sweeter is that one of France’s swimmers was talking some smack before the race about how they were going to “smash” the Americans, and in the end it was the Americans that smashed a world record and beat France in the process.

    With the narrow win over France, Michael Phelps won his second gold medal and his quest to win eight total golds during the Beijing games remains possible.

  • Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay also has done well in Beijing as he came in fourth in the 400m Freestyle and won his heat in the 200m Freestyle semifinals.
  • To keep up on all the latest about Michigan’s athletes in Beijing, check out MGoBlue, and for swimming specifically, MGoSwim.
  • Running back Kevin Grady pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and will face various punishments as a result of his dumb decision to get on the road with a BAC well over the legal limit.
  • Michigan started two-a-days on Saturday, which calls — as the name suggests — for two daily practices. This allows for the team to get as much time on the football field as possible before the season begins on August 30 (less than three weeks to go!).
  • MGoBlue has a list of notes from Friday’s practice, and perhaps the one item worth noting the most is that K.C. Lopata kicked a 56-yard field goal during a scrimmage. Lopata was very accurate last season, but we haven’t really gotten a good look at how far he can kick the ball. However, if he is able to make a kick from 56 yards out, that is great to know for the future.
  • Although most assume Steven Threet will be Michigan’s starting quarterback on August 30, the general feeling right now is that Nick Sheridan could easily fill that role as well. Threet and Sheridan are reportedly getting an equal number of reps in practice, and Sheridan seems like he may be poised to surprise people and become the starter.

    Regardless of who ends up being the starter, it is nice to know that if something like an injury happens, there will be someone ready to step in should he be needed.

  • Freshman linebacker Marcus Witherspoon hasn’t practiced yet because he is still back in New Jersey “doing course work.” Witherspoon was rumored to have some academic issues when he was absent from practice early on last week, and as it turns out they are big enough issues to keep him from even being in Ann Arbor. Rodriguez expects him to be here eventually, but every day that goes by is lots of lost time in practice. If he can’t get here by September I’m thinking he’ll be redshirted for sure barring being a very fast learner.
  • Despite having a cast due to a broken bone in his right hand, running back Avery Horn is practicing.
  • Bill Martin was recently interviewed.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded a few videos that feature memorable Michigan football plays.
  • Varsity Blue uploaded a video of their own that is a comical campaign ad parody featuring Mike Barwis.
  • The father of football commit Fitzgerald Toussaint, who shares his son’s name, was charged with felony assault after allegedly stabbing a man during a scrimmage.
  • After an investigation, the Big Ten came to the conclusion that no games last season were compromised by an official who has a somewhat shady background.
  • West Virginia’s legal bill for recovering $4 million from Rich Rodriguez and the University of Michigan was $442,400.
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