Michigan crushes UCF, 51-14, but shows some flaws

UM vs UCF

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - A week after near-perfect 60-point win, the Michigan football team was something more mortal today.

And still won by 37 points.

It was a decisive victory, running away from Central Florida early in the first half on the way to a 51-14 win at Michigan Stadium.

U-M (2-0) raced out to a 31-0 lead in the first 19 minutes, with quarterback Wilton Speight looking as sharp as the opening win over Hawaii, when he played just over a half.

This time Speight lasted into the fourth quarter and finished with 25-of-37 passing for 312 yards and four touchdowns -- and a number of the incompletions were either drops or throwaways.

He leaned heavily on his veteran targets with Jake Butt (seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns), Amara Darboh (five for 111 and two scores) and Jehu Chesson (four for 84).

The defense rolled early as Central Florida (1-1) couldn’t move the ball, with only 56 yards of offense in that first quarter.

But the way it unfolded thereafter offered some pause.

U-M had issues defending the run – allowing 275 rushing yards to UCF’s spread offense -- and running the ball themselves, with the few double-digit gains coming via De’Veon Smith’s broken tackles.

The bright spot in the backfield was another interesting game from fullback Khalid Hill, who established himself as the short-yardage back with a pair of touchdowns.

Fortunately for the Wolverines, they had the luxury of a monster first half that those issues didn’t threaten Saturday’s outcome.

Detroit Free Press


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