Wolverines lock down on ball security heading into Big Ten opener vs. Badgers

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — The glaring area of concern for Michigan through two games has been fumbles.

The Wolverines have had eight fumbles and lost five — last year they had three all season. They did not have a game last Saturday and used the extra time ahead of the Big Ten opener on Saturday at Wisconsin, working on — you guessed it — ball security.

“We made a high emphasis on our scout team punching the ball out, ripping it out when we were 11-on-11,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday at his weekly news conference. “Same as 7-on-7 drills. We made an emphasis of it (last) week.”

Senior left guard Ben Bredeson said they ran plenty of “football security” drills and made this the emphasis.

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the season opener against Middle Tennessee State.

“And had to deal with crowd noise with an away venue,” he said. “Trying to keep those (turnovers) and pre-snap penalties to a minimum.”

Bredeson said having Saturday off gave them more time to work on the new no-huddle hurry-up offense that wasn’t exactly explosive in a 24-21 double-overtime win over Army on Sept. 7.

“It different running this offense in practice when you can script some looks and having to react to thinks live in game,” Bredeson said. “I think we’re seeing that now. The good thing is, when you can make the adjustments in the middle of a play or make a call or change a read or something, we’re seeing how we need to be able to do that.

"We learned a lot from that Army game and having that bye week was huge being able to address those issues right away without having the pressure of a game coming in five days.”


Twitter: @chengelis