Big Ten spring football hype: Michigan has a new offense from Charles Woodson, Wisconsin that's modernizing - New Style Motorsport

Spring practice in college football exists for two main reasons. The main reason is to get a head start in the upcoming season. Coaches use it to implement new players and principles into the playbook so that when training camp begins, everyone has a better idea of ​​what is expected of them.

The other, and some would say the biggest reason, is that fans and the media are overreacting to everything they see in this little glimpse to sustain their college football souls for months to come. Well, I’m not a coach because I haven’t been able to play a new version of NCAA Football in years, but I am a writer. So while I can’t teach you how to play football, I can help you figure out what overreactions to have after spring practice at the Big Ten.

No need to thank me, but I’d appreciate it if you told EA Sports to speed up the new game.

The Illini will have two 1,000-yard rushers.: In 2010, a few years before Bret Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas, both James White and John Clay rushed for more than 1,000 yards in Wisconsin uniforms. A third team running back, Montee Ball, rushed for 996 yards and 18 touchdowns that same season. After watching Illinois’ spring game, you might wonder if we’ll see a repeat of that performance with Bielema in Champaign. Even with new offensive coordinator Barry Lunney calling the plays and a new quarterback on the Syracuse transfer, Tommy DeVito, the Illinois offense was at its best when it turned the ball over to Chase Brown and Josh McCray. Brown (1,005 yards and 5 TDs in 2021) rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries in the game, while McCray (549 yards, 2 TDs) rushed for 86 on 13. The Illini also had carries available for rookie giant Jordan Anderson, and they were without veteran Reggie Love and another freshman in Aidan Laughery. The Illini will not be short of options to fall back on this fall.

Tom Allen calling plays on defense will fix everything: Indiana didn’t have a spring game this year because it wanted to maximize the 15 practices it had to work with. Perhaps he also wanted to give Tom Allen a chance to reacquaint himself with defensive plays, as the Hoosiers coach announced this spring that he would do so in 2022. It’s not hard to understand why Allen felt a change was needed. During Indiana’s surprise streak during the 2020 season, the Hoosiers’ defense allowed just 20.3 points per game, allowing them to rank fourth in the Big Ten. That number soared to 33.3 points per game last year, last in the conference and 109th nationally.

Lukas Van Ness is ready to terrorize the backfields: Iowa didn’t have a traditional spring game, opting instead for an open practice. Those in attendance got a glimpse of Iowa’s next great pass-rusher. Van Ness was impressive during his freshman season in 2021, finishing with seven sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. And he did it before spending a full year in the strength and conditioning program. Van Ness looked bigger, faster and meaner this spring, and he will be the part of many a nightmare in 2022.

This team will score 50 points per game.: The Terps had an entertaining offense last season, but Taulia Tagovailoa and company are ready to take things to another level in 2022. Even with the absence of some key players in skill positions, the Terps offense lit up with big plays in the air. and on the ground. It was a chance for Florida signing Jacob Copeland to shine. Copeland led the Gators in receiving last season, and with Rakim Jarrett, Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus sitting out the game, he was more than happy to soak up Tagovailoa’s targets.

Mike Sainristil is the new Charles Woodson: Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy in 1997 because he was not only an excellent defensive back, but also an excellent receiver and returner for the Wolverines. Now, 25 years later, the tradition is renewed, as Michigan wide receiver Mike Sainristil saw plays in the corner during the spring game. Sainristil caught 22 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns last year, but didn’t catch a pass in the spring game despite playing wide receiver. The closest he came to a catch was when he broke up a deep pass in coverage. Could we have seen early glimpses of Michigan’s response to Shohei Ohtani?

Darius Snow will be an All-Big Ten defender: Like many other teams, Michigan State hosted an open practice that served as its spring game and made safety Darius Snow one of the stars of the day. Snow played safety last year, but he’s been working a lot more with linebackers in the spring, so he might be in line for a hybrid role, but whatever position you want to call him, he was making plays. Snow destroyed tight end Jackson Morse to force a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Later, Snow brought the blizzard back and landed a big hit on Jayden Reed to break up what would have been a first-down pass. linebacker? Safety? Let’s just call it a hammer.

These gophers can cast again: The last time he commanded Minnesota’s offense, Kirk Ciarocca helped lead Tanner Morgan to a season in which he threw for 3,253 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Gophers had two 1,000-yard receivers in Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman that year. After he left, Morgan threw for 3,418 yards and 17 touchdowns over two seasons. Only one Gopher receiver managed 500 yards in a season, and that was Chris Autman-Bell with 506. So you’ll have to forgive the Gopher fans who got emotional watching Morgan drop back and throw passes during the team’s spring game. . While the running game is what Minnesota’s offense will be built on, even a dash of the passing game will help everyone in 2022.

Doooooooooom! We are all screwed!: Honestly, most spring practices end with fans kidding themselves into thinking it’s all going to be wonderful (it’s the basis of this story!), but there weren’t a lot of happy feelings surrounding the Cornhuskers this spring . Perhaps the recent slump has left one of the most ardent and friendly fan bases in the country a little jaded, but the fact that everything hasn’t been perfect has everyone convinced that disaster awaits. Instead of Casey Thompson, Logan Smothers or Chubba Purdy taking the reins and showing off innovative talent, an offense with a lot of fresh faces seemed like a fresh faces offense. There was some good, some bad, and a lot of inconsistency. Fortunately, there are still nearly four months to go before Nebraska faces an opponent, which is plenty of time to figure things out. But don’t tell that to the Nebraska fans.

It’s a two horse race at QB: Northwestern didn’t have a spring game, so we only have quotes from the coaches, but Pat Fitzgerald hinted at the battle at QB. While he mentioned the four players fighting for the job, he also said that Ryan Hilinski and Brendan Sullivan are the two that are “fighting for that No. 1 spot before training camp.” Hilinski transferred to Northwestern from South Carolina last season, and was one of four players to see plays at QB. Sullivan was a three-star recruit in Northwestern’s class of 2021 who hasn’t seen the field yet, so while it’s a good sign he’s mentioned fighting for the job, you have to assume Hilinski’s experience is winning from From now.

CJ Stroud will win the Heisman: Well, these are supposed to be exaggerations, and to say that Stroud will win the Heisman is not crazy. But how not to be excited? While Stroud shared snaps with Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, it’s his show and he’s running one of the most explosive offenses in the country. Even with some key offensive players like TreVeyon Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Emeka Egbuka watching most of the spring game, there are weapons everywhere, and Stroud did an excellent job getting the ball to them. Stroud will put up mind-boggling numbers in 2022.

Christian Veilleux is the backup, Drew Allar will be redshirt before transfer: No question what Penn State fans wanted to see before the spring game. Ever since five-star quarterback Drew Allar committed and signed with Penn State, fans have been counting down the minutes until they got a chance to see him shoot lasers all over the field. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly as Lions fans had hoped in the spring game. Allar did not have a great game. He’s a freshman who’s been on campus for a few months and is probably struggling to remember where his dorm is and when pizza day is in the cafeteria, let alone mastering the playbook. It shouldn’t be a surprise. James Franklin has hinted that Christian Veilleux was the favorite to back up Sean Clifford this season, and the spring game reinforced that. Having QB depth is a good thing!

Tyrone Tracy Jr. is the new Rondale Moore: Rondale Moore was one of Jeff Brohm’s biggest recruiting wins at Purdue, and though he battled injuries during his college career, when he was on the field, Purdue never found a shortage of ways to get him the ball. Iowa transfer Tyrone Tracy Jr. played a similar role in Purdue’s spring game. He was used as a receiver, received the ball on squirt tackles and also lined up in the backfield on some snaps. Tracy already seems to be one of Brohm’s favorites, and a versatile weapon in the hands of an innovative playmaster can make for plenty of fun.

These Knights will go crazy in the Big Ten: Running back Isiah Pacheco led Rutgers in rushing with 647 yards last season but will be in NFL camp this summer after being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s great for him, and not as bad as you might think for the Knights. If there was one thing evident this spring, this team has depth at running back. Despite Aaron Young missing the game due to injury, Kyle Monangai, Jamier Wright-Collins and Al-Shadee Salaam all impressed and showed the ability to run the ball effectively. Considering Rutgers’ problems at QB last year (problems I don’t know if they’ve been resolved), having a solid running game to fall back on will be critical.


We didn’t need Caleb Williams anyway: There was some interesting smoke that former Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams was going to transfer to Wisconsin before going to USC, but it turns out the Badgers didn’t need it. They still have Graham Mertz, and with the arrival of new offensive coordinator Bobby Engram, this won’t be your dad’s Wisconsin offense. Sure, they’re still going to run the ball with Braelon Allen, no longer just 17, behind a giant offensive line, but this is a team ready to spread things out in the passing game. There were hints of multiple sets of receivers by Wisconsin’s offense this spring! And I don’t mean two tight ends and two receivers. This team believes it has the talent at QB and wide receiver to spread things out a bit.

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