April 5, 2014
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Event: Mott Spring Game presented by PNC Bank
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Aug. 30 -- vs. Appalachian State (Michigan Stadium), Time TBA
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football team held its annual Mott Spring Game presented by PNC Bank on Saturday (April 5) in front of nearly 15,000 fans at Michigan Stadium. The spring game served as the concluding event of the Wolverines' 2014 spring practices.
For the fifth consecutive year, the game raised money for U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Since 2010, the event has earned more than $1 million for the hospital.
The team started with positional drills and special teams practice before moving to the full-squad scrimmage. The offense sported the home blue jerseys, and the defense played in Michigan's road white uniforms, while the quarterbacks wore maize non-contact jerseys.
Fifth-year senior Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) and sophomore Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) earned the bulk of the snaps at quarterback; Gardner completed 2-of-10 pass attempts for 53 yards, while Morris completed 5-of-11 for 73 yards. Gardner started and threw the long pass of the day -- a 44-yard completion to freshman wide receiver Freddy Canteen (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) down the left sideline. Morris recorded three passes of 19 yards or greater.
Canteen, an early enrollee, led the receiving corps with his only reception of the scrimmage. Junior/sophomore wide receivers Bo Dever (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) and Jehu Chesson (St. Louis, Mo./Ladue Horton Watkins) registered two catches apiece for 38 yards and 28 yards, respectively.
Four running backs tallied six or more carries on the afternoon, most notably senior/junior Justice Hayes (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc Community), who amassed 33 yards on six attempts, including the scrimmage's long -- a 12-yard run late. Sophomore De'Veon Smith (Warren, Ohio/Howland) recorded a game-high nine carries for 21 yards, while sophomore/freshman Ross Douglas (Avon, Ohio/Avon) posted seven carries for 15 yards and sophomore Derrick Green (Richmond, Va..Hermitage) record six carries for 16 yards.
The Wolverine defense recorded five sacks -- from senior defensive end Frank Clark (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville), junior/sophomore defensive tackle Willie Henry (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville), freshman defensive back Brandon Watson (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), senior defensive back Raymon Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Highland Park) and senior linebacker Brennen Beyer (Canton, Mich./Plymouth). Sophomore cornerback Jourdan Lewis (Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical) headlined the U-M backfield with two interceptions, returning one for 20 yards, while senior/junior cornerback Blake Countess (Owings Mills, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) recorded two pass breakups.
The Big Ten Network aired the spring scrimmage live, featuring commentary from Matt Shepard (play-by-play), former Wolverine defensive back Marcus Ray (analyst) and Lisa Byington (field reporter) as well as in-game and post-scrimmage interviews with head coach Brady Hoke, assistant coaches and players. The event will be rebroadcast on BTN at 8 p.m. this evening and 8:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday, April 6).
Prior to the spring game, more than 90 former Wolverine players participated in the sixth annual alumni flag football game. The Blue team, notably featuring quarterback John Navarre and receiver Aaron Richards, the game's MVP, battled to a 52-38 victory over the Maize squad.
U-M will kick off the 2014 season against Appalachian State on Saturday, August 30, at Michigan Stadium.