After the most hype opening weekend in college football, we all needed a week off, and
that’s what Week 2 gives us.
The Michigan Wolverines welcomed the Knights of Central Florida to the Big House as
both teams looked to keep the momentum rolling after big wins in Week 1. However, the
momentum ended there for the Knights as Michigan cruised to a 5114 win. Wilton
Speight continued to grow as a QB and the Michigan pass defense was unbreakable.
However, UCF was able to get the run game going.
Michigan struck first as Wilton Speight hit Jake Butt from 3 yards out in the first quarter.
Michigan would go on to score 24 more before UCF got on the scoreboard in the
second with a huge 87 yard touchdown run from Adrian Killins. Michigan would add 13
more until UCF gashed another big touchdown run. This time a 34 yard scamper from
Dontravious Wilson in the third. The Wolverines would add one last score to the game
with a 30 yard touchdown pass from Speight to Amara Darboh to finish with a 5114
Wilton Speight Stays Hot
Wilton Speight continued to impress in his second career start. Speight completed 25 of
his 37 pass attempts for 312 yards. 4 of those 25 completions were touchdowns. With
no interceptions this game, Speight finished with a 92.0 QB rating. The first year starter
hit Amara Darboh and Jake Butt twice each for his 4 touchdowns on the day. Speight
looked much more comfortable against UCF than he did last week against Hawaii. He
was throwing the deep ball with ease as he completed 6 passes of 20 yards or more.
Speight also spread the ball around hitting 9 different receivers. The offensive big 3 of
Darboh, Butt, and Chesson had quite the day. The trio combined for 281 of Speight’s
312 yards on 16 receptions and 4 touchdowns. I think Speight is the perfect QB to lead
this Michigan team to the playoff. He has the composure to sit in the pocket, but can
feel the pressure from the rush to escape and deliver on the run. And he definitely has
the arm strength. Of course the Hawaii and UCF defenses aren’t as good as the teams
Michigan will play later on in the season, but Speight building the confidence for
upcoming defenses is what the offense needs.
Problems with Run Defense
Like last week, the pass defense was stellar. Once again without AllAmerican corner
Jourdan Lewis, the defense allowed only 56 passing yards from the UCF quarterbacks.
Channing Stribling and Jeremy Clark stepped up once again to cover for the injured
Jourdan Lewis. The real problem from this game was stopping the run. Michigan was
missing 2 big names on the front line, Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone. The Wolverine
defense allowed only 81 rushing yards last week against Hawaii. This week against
UCF, the Michigan defense allowed 275 yards on the ground. One problem was
keeping UCF quarterbacks Nick Patti and Justin Holman in the pocket on passing plays.
The Michigan secondary was so good in coverage that that UCF quarterbacks didn’t
have anything to do but scramble and try to pick up yards. The Wolverine rush couldn’t
get to Patti or Holman on every play so the 2 quarterbacks had a lot of room to run. On
the other hand, the running plays from UCF was a problem. It reminded me of 2 games
from last season, Indiana and Ohio State. The Hoosiers and Buckeyes tore up the
Michigan defense on the ground with a hurryup and option looks. When the UCF
runners were able to get the edge, they would go for a first down. And once they found
their tempo on a few drives, the offensive line opened up holes for the running backs to
go for long runs. Both of the UCF touchdowns came on big runs. First, Adrian Killins got
the edge and took it 87 yards to the house. The second touchdown came when the UCF
offensive line opened up a wide gap for running back Dontravious Wilson to take it 34
yards to the end zone. The Wolverines don’t face an offense like this until they get Penn
State at home on September 24th and of course Indiana and Ohio State in the back end
of the season. Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown have some time to fix this problem and I
know for a fact this will be something worked on in practice when those games come.
The Michigan offense looked unstoppable once again and aren’t showing any signs of
slowing down. The passing defense is one of the best in the country and will look deadly
once AllAmerican cornerback Jourdan Lewis comes back. The defensive front line
missed Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone a whole lot with UCF having their way on the
ground. The Wolverines need to patch things up front if they want to win the big games
and make the playoff. If Michigan can do that, watch out because this team is looking
like a powerhouse.