ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It was clearly a two-man race for quarterback reps today, with returning starter Wilton Speight and redshirt freshman Brandon Peters showcasing for Michigan's offense.
Wilton Speight had his ups and downs today to say he least. He passed for 78 yards, completing 9-of-23 (stats last updated at halftime) passing and threw two interceptions. It wasn’t his best day, OK.
Speight completed his first pass to Chris Evans on six yard swing pass to flat. In his second drive, he found a wide-open Sean McKeon for a 16 yard pass-catch, but put little on the pass as McKeon dove forward to barely catch the ball. He also found freshman Tarik Black over the middle for an eight-yard connection.
Speight was under pressure early and often, getting sacked by Khaleke Hudson and Devin Jr, and had to throw the ball away multiple times, starting 3-of-10 for only 30 yards.
In his fourth drive, Speight found McKeon over the middle, followed by his first pass to highly touted freshman Donovan Peoples Jones on an out pattern for the first down. He then connected with DPJ again, finding a rhythm with the five-star freshman for his third straight
Speight’s struggles continued in his sixth drive, throwing floating pass down the field that was intercepted by Benjamin St. Juste.
To start the second half, Speight over threw an open Karan Higdon in the flat. He would later throw an interception to Jordan Glasgow in red-zone, who would take it 101 yards for the touchdown return.
Speight looked the most uncomfortable out of the two primary QB’s today. Maybe it’s because he went against U-M’s No.1 pass rush, which matters. Still, though, he threw two interceptions and had no touchdowns. His longest completion was 16 yards, missed on multiple throws, and never really could get into rhythm. He’s still able to make defenders miss with his feet, but still will need to play better in the fall with a talented backup in Peters lurking in the back ground.
Peters first pass was nearly intercepted by Brandon Watson. He followed that up with 25-yard rope to Zach Gentry, who took it 55 yards for the score.
On his next drive, Peters found Nick Eubanks on 13 yard out pass, further showing off his dynamic arm.
In his third drive, Peters nearly found Eubanks again, dropping a 30-yard fade pass in his hands, but he dropped it.
To open the second half, Brandon Watson sitting back in zone coverage took Peters' pass for a TD. Peters never saw him. He just threw it right to him.
Showing off his athleticism, Peters with no one open down field, steps up in the pocket then scrambles for the 12-yard touchdown run. Like John O'Korn, he can scramble.
With two minutes left in the game, and his best thow of the day, Peters threw a 50-plus yard dime to a diving Nate Shoenle, incredible pass.
Peters looks like the talented hotshot quarterback everyone expected him to be. He was poised, athletic and sharp in his reps on the field. He finished with 82 yards (only recorded up to halftime) on 3-of-6 passing, with two total touchdowns. His first TD pass was one to remember. His interception was one to forget, it’s the only reason he receives an A-minus. But it’s clear the talent is there, and should battle Speight all the way till fall camp.
O’Korn’s reps were limited, but effective.
He found Black for a couple of nice passes, ending with a 10+ yard TD pass Black at the back of the end zone. He let it aired it out deep, too, finding Eddie McDoom for a nice pass-cath at the end of the fourth quarter. He also added couple nice runs.
What you see is what you get with O’Korn. He’s not the No. 1 guy, and Peters should the first QB in case Speight’s hurt or loses the job due to struggle son the field. Still he’s a nice luxury to have on your bench.