Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh walked out of East Lansing impressed with Wilton Speight's toughness, play vs. Michigan State.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh walked out of East Lansing impressed with Wilton Speight's toughness, play vs. Michigan State.

Wilton Speight's progression as a quarterback took another step up in Michigan's 32-23 win at Michigan State Saturday afternoon.

In the second road start of his college career, Speight completed 16-of-25 passes for 244-yards. Though the numbers might not be eye popping, it was the way Speight went about his business.

Of Michigan's 24 first downs, 11 came on the arm of Speight, several in key third and long situations. Although sacked just twice, Speight saw a number of pressures from the Spartans defense, nearly each time standing tall to deliver a strong completion.

According to Jim Harbaugh, Speight continues to ascend.

"You could make an argument this was his best game," Harbaugh said Monday. "Really, I think we're looking at a budding, really good player. I almost said budding star but it's really close to that. He's doing so many good things and he's been almost flawless really when he has time and space to see things. 

"Now he's making play after play after play with people right in his grill. Knows he's going to get hit, still making the throw over them and then takes the hit and bounces right back up. Throwing accurate passes knowing when he's going to get hit, that is really a courage quality and really playing well."

The one blemish on Speight's box score would be an interception on the opening drive of the second half.

Michigan held a 27-10 advantage and had the early makings of a will killing scoring driving going when Darian Hicks stepped in front of a wheel route, giving the Spartans life.

"The interception, we busted the assignment and turned the defensive end free and then he went to look back to find Karan and had somebody affecting his vision, couldn't really see the defender," Harbaugh said. "But you could make the case that was his best game."

Harbaugh added Speight's demeanor on the field in any situation has improved a ton, also learning from last year's quarterback Jake Rudock.

For the Michigan players, even though they never want to see Speight get hit, the redshirt sophomore quarterback showed real toughness against the Spartans.

"It's great," senior Henry Poggi said. "You get all fired up to see, you know you have a guy that's willing to stand in and take those hits for you. 

"You've got to do your best to protect him and it gives you a little boost to play hard for him."


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