Week 2 Review: #5 Michigan Wolverines 51 – UCF Knights 14
Last week Michigan came out of the gates and dominated against the Hawaii Warriors, this week they impressed well but struggled at times. The starters played majority of the game this week, which wasn’t much of a shock as Michigan was up for the entire game and didn’t get a “safe” lead in Harbaugh’s eyes until late. The thing is, Jim Harbaugh is the head coach at Michigan and he likes to put his foot on the gas to make sure his team can win the game. Weather was supposed to be a factor Saturday with thunderstorms and wind, but today it was sunny out for majority of the game, as the rain game in late in the fourth quarter, so that was a great thing to see. Let’s check out and breakdown what happened!
Wilton Speight had a better showing this week. He did make a few bad throws, but didn’t throw an interception and was able to play majority of a full game. Speight went 25 for 37 for 312 yards and four touchdowns. Speight did get sacked a time or two, but it took a while for him to go down with his frame, he won’t be easy to take down. John O’Korn came in and went 2 for 4 for 16 yards.
The running game this week took a big step back. De’Veon Smith returned this week, but only had 10 carries for 38 yards. Chris Evans, after having a big week one, was quiet with nine carries for 35 yards. Khalid Hill was the most impressive back for Michigan with five carries for nine yards and two touchdowns, as he is becoming a solid fullback for the team. Michigan overall had 41 carries for 119 yards, which is something they need to improve upon next week.
Receiving for Michigan had a better game with the top three threats getting more balls their way as Amara Darboh had five catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns, Jake Butt had seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns and Jehu Chesson had four catches for 84 yards. They all did well and gave the Knights fits on defense.
The offensive line was inconsistent today, not opening many holes on the run game and allowed Speight to get hit a few times. It wasn’t one player that messed up, it was all five players and next week you have to believe they won’t allow these same mistakes.
With Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone out this week, it meant more playing time for Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst Jr returned as well. Gary had six tackles and a sack, Ryan Glasgow had five tackles, and Chase Winovich had five tackles and a forced fumble. Even with the good numbers, they struggled at stopping the run as UCF had 46 carries for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Don Brown will not be happy with that stat and will look to get his guys better at stopping the run next week.
Linebackers for the Wolverines did well again this week. Jabrill Peppers had eight tackles while Mike McCray had six tackles and a forced fumble. Ben Gedeon had three tackles and a sack as well. They did have a weakness and that was allowing the quarterback’s for UCF to escape the pocket and run for major yards instead of staying inside the box and stopping the quarterback.
Pass defense did a great job this week again, even without Jourdan Lewis who missed this game even though he was supposed to play. They did not have any interceptions, but they held the Knights to 56 yards and only complete six passes out of 22. Coverage was on lock down for majority of the game from everyone.
Special Teams had a great day. Chris Wormley blocked two field goal attempts and Dymonte Thomas deflected two punts, coming up just short both times to make it a block. Kenny Allen was 3/3 on field goals, making his longest from 37 yards out. He had three punts as well for 137 yards with one ending inside the 20 yard line. Kenny Allen did bring back some memories for fans though, as he bobbled the snap and fumbled the ball on a punt, luckily he was able to recover it. Jabrill Peppers had two punt returns for 46 yards, one almost returning for a touchdown. Bobby Henderson had the only kick return for 13 yards.
Week 3 Preview and Notes
With Jourdan Lewis, Bryan Mone and Taco Charlton possibly missing another game next week, Michigan should be just fine again on defense. They take on the Colorado Buffaloes who are 2-0, and have dominated their first two games this year. Michigan should have a easy final non-conference game, but they struggled on the run defense today and if they can’t fix that, it could lead to a disaster.