ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Another weekend, another early-season rout for Michigan.
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight threw for three touchdowns in a 51-14 win over Central Florida on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, and Michigan flexed its muscle in all three facets of the game.
While the Wolverines didn’t get the same production from freshman Chris Evans following a 112-yard rushing performance last week against Hawaii, Speight continued to develop consistency with his receivers, finishing with 312 passing yards
Without CB Jourdan Lewis (unspecified injury) for the second straight game, Michigan’s secondary played a tidy game, allowing the Knights only 56 yards passing.
After another lopsided Saturday, No. 5 Michigan hosts Colorado at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
Here are five things we learned about Michigan this afternoon:
1. Quarterback Wilton Speight remains consistent
Sleight wasn’t flashy, but he was definitely productive. In his second start, he continued to click with his receivers, and more than doubled his production from a week ago, when he passed for only 145 yards against Hawaii.
2. Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary provided depth and production on depleted defensive line
Without Bryan Mone (unspecified injury) and Taco Charlton (ankle), the defensive line continues to roll.
Winovich, a converted linebacker, made his first start at defensive end and registered five tackles. Gary, a highly touted freshman, had six tackles and combined with linebacker Ben Gedeon on a statement-type sack on UCF quarterback Justin Holman in the second quarter.
3. Special teams were, in fact, special
From the start of the game, when Tyree Kinnel batted down a punt by UCF that helped Michigan with field position, to Jabrill Peppers’ two punt returns for 46 yards in the first half — including one that set up Jake Butt’s second touchdown — the Wolverines played sound on special teams.
Also, Jordan Glasgow’s fumble recovery on a kickoff less than five minutes into the second half set up Kenny Allen’s third field goal, giving Michigan a 44-7 lead.
4. The fullback has it
Khalid Hill scored a pair of touchdowns, both from short range, but stood out at a position that’s become a trademark in Jim Harbaugh’s and Tim Drevno’s offensive scheme.
Additionally, FB Henry Poggi caught two passes for 10 yards, and Hill and Poggi provide another option in an already potent offense.
5. The Wolverines are seeing red
Michigan went 7-for-8 in the red zone against the Knights, converting all of their scoring chances inside UCF’s 20-yard line, including four touchdowns from inside the 20. Michigan went 6-for-6 in the red zone last week against Hawaii.
Would Michigan’s secondary be effective for a second game without All-American CB Jourdan Lewis? Actually, Michigan’s secondary barely got tested, allowing the Knights just 56 passing yards.
What kind of opponent will Michigan face in Colorado? Colorado has been mired in the basement of the Pac-12 over the past few seasons, but opened with a 44-7 win over rival Colorado State and faced Idaho State Saturday afternoon in Boulder, Colo. Michigan, again, must maintain the intensity it had in routs of Hawaii and UCF.
Statistically speaking: 275
While Michigan dominated on the pass, it needs to stop the run. UCF had 275 yards rushing against the Wolverines, including Adrian Killins’ 87-yard touchdown run. The run became necessary for the Knights after they lost quarterback Justin Holman to injury.
What it means
Michigan has dominated its first two opponents this season, and with Colorado on the schedule next week, they’re likely fine-tuning in preparation for the Big Ten schedule.
Speight has been methodical. The defensive line was workmanlike, and four defensive linemen players were among Michigan’s statistical leaders in tackles. Michigan needs to sustain the same level of play against the Buffaloes.