Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight throws a touchdown pass during Saturday's 36-14 win over Cincinnati. BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
ANN ARBOR — A Michigan game was played Saturday, which means Wilton Speight took criticism from social media.
The UM quarterback is a popular target for his team’s fan base. There’s interceptions that lead to hair pulling, and then there are at times unrealistic expectations.
Welcome to big-time college football.
On Saturday, Speight completed 17 of 29 pass attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Not a bad stat line, but it certainly didn’t hush the critics. That’s because Speight had two fumbles.
“He’s taking the other hand off the ball,” said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. “He’s trying to do it one handed, and I’ve been telling him it’s a matter of time before the ball slips out of your hand, like it did today. It’s a bad habit. We’ve been working hard to break it. It got us today.”
The harping about his passing cropped up after Speight overthrew multiple receivers, a significant issue during the season-opener against Florida.
“Those are simple fixes,” he said. “We’ll look at the film and get those things fixed.”
Saturday against Air Force is the latest opportunity to quiet a group that routinely pines for the backup. But it could be worse for Speight — he could be J.T. Barrett.