Wilton Speight and Chris Wormley
Wilton, if you could talk about what you had to do early in kind of a quick-strike offense. They were stacking up and you took it to the air and had a lot of success.
“Yeah, we went into the game knowing that we’d be able to take some shots, especially in the [?] and I was really excited about that. And the defense came out and it was a look we were expecting, so we were able to air it out a little bit.”
Wilton, how much of the struggles to run the football do you think were attributable to how much they were crowding the line and trying to stop that?
“Yeah, they were teeing off and bringing a lot of people, and that was a result of the success in the play action game, so when we would hand the ball off they were coming hot. That was just the defense, and we knew we were going to rely on the play action and deep shots a lot more this week than we were the run game, so it’s really nothing to worry about.”
Chris, a lot of yards rushing against you guys today, a lot of those on scrambles. How much of that is contain and what was the issue?
“Yeah, they had those four big plays which led to almost 300 yards rushing, which is not what you want as a defense, especially as a defensive line. But yeah, it was those rush lanes on the scrambles. Not keeping contain and not staying in rush lanes were the big parts.”
Wilton, you talked about how they were coming hot and thwarted the rushing game, but as far as the passing game, what have you done to develop chemistry with your receivers to have this kind of game today?
“Um, what have we done to develop chemistry? Just throwing routes and working our tails off back since January after the Florida game. No real special recipe or secret, just working hard.”
[After THE JUMP: Rashan Gary jumps in]
How impressed were you with Rashan Gary and what kind of progression have you seen from him just from week one to week two?
“It’s been very good, very outstanding. Tough guy. He’s been—he got a finger dislocated about the first week of practice and they took him in, put him under the x-ray, and the trainer was like, ‘Man, what is that?’ or something to that effect, and Rashan was like, ‘That’s football.’ Taped it up and went back out. Another time he was cramping and I took him out of practice, and then about six plays later saw he was back in there. He’s really good like that. Real football player. Doing a great job. Played the whole game today, looked like, most of it.
“And along those lines I felt the lines really took care of business today. That was something we felt was gonna be necessary and could get accomplished. Wouldn’t call it dominating but it was—took care of business, both the offensive an defensive lines. Did a very good job.”
Just asked Wilton about [how] in week one he didn’t really get hit; barely touched. Today he did get hit a few times, sacked a couple times. Just as a quarterback, what can that do for you? He said it’s not like he wants to get hit all the time, but it kind of gets him in the mode. Curious your thoughts on that.
“I thought, first of all, quarterback throws for four touchdowns and over 300 yards, that’s a great performance. Would not be going out on a limb to say he’s probably going to be our offensive player of the week, of the game. Had some good courage plays where he had to stand in the pocket and either a blitzer or a rusher was coming. Even made an improv play, improvise and adjust, to kick it out to Poggi in the flat. Thought that was a smart play. Hit two post routes. I mean, the hardest routes to hit, in my opinion. I played the position and watched for all my life [and] it’s a hard route to hit, and both Chesson made a great catch and so did Darboh for a touchdown. For the quarterback to hit those, that’s the toughest route, I think.
“And also the backs. I thought the backs--right from the get-go our backs were getting hit. Big hits and really good formed-up tackles by UCF and they hung onto the ball. It was a hard-hitting game all the way through, and also feel like we’re building up a callus with our team. Didn’t come out of this game with any injuries. And we delivered some blows, too. It was a good, real football game.”
How do you balance getting a running back in a rhythm versus keeping him fresh and getting other guys carries?
“Um…by getting him in there every couple. Today we were rotating backs. De’Veon had some unbelievable runs, especially the one drive—I think we ended up getting a field goal out of it—breaking tackles and pickings up the first downs. Two first downs he picked up by extra effort, and running with the ball, getting hit, three, four, five hits on the same play. Always thought it was smart to put a fresh back in when you have a run like that. But I thought he was exceptional. There were definitely drives we don’t get points on the board without the extra effort he was making out there.”
What’s your concern level on the quarterback scrambles, and is that something that’s pretty easy to clean up?
“Yeah, we made the adjustment in the second half. We were getting behind the quarterback. We’ve got to either retrace or spin back into the lane to keep the quarterback from leaving the pocket and getting all those rushing yards that they got. I thought Don and the staff did a nice job of making adjustments in the second half.”
[After THE JUMP: special teams, Speight under pressure (from the opposition), a minor injury update, and the wonder of the MRI from a non-doctor’s perspective]
Tyree Kinnel got his hand on not one, but two punts. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]
I can't sum it up any better than this guy did:
Me: "that was a throw"
— Mike Wint (@gbMWint) September 10, 2016
Tyree Kinnel deflected two UCF punts, Chris Wormley blocked two field goals, and Khaleke Hudson demolished a kick returner who appeared to be going out for a light jog. The Knights took an illegal block penalty on a kickoff touchback, sent out 12 players for a punt return, and muffed a short kickoff for a Jordan Glasgow recovery.
So that covers the special teams.
Wilton Speight took advantage of a UCF defense intent on loading the box against the run with several pinpoint throws downfield, finishing 25-for-37 for 312 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. The usual suspects led the way among the receivers; Jake Butt had two touchdowns among his seven catches, Amara Darboh cross the goal line twice and broke the hundred-yard mark, and Jehu Chesson needed only four receptions to tally 84 yards. That more than made up for the running game, which couldn't get much going agianst eight- and nine-man boxes; even with sacks and a punt gone wrong removed, Michigan averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. Fullback Khalid Hill plunged in for two touchdowns, at least, so it wasn't all bad on the ground.
The defense, meanwhile, limited quarterbacks Justin Holman—who exited the game in the first half with an apparent injury—and Nick Patti to a combined 6-for-22, 56-yard performance. A few errors—one of which may have been on the officials—led to an 87-yard touchdown run for Adrian Killins, and the Knights were able to rack up 275 yards on the ground, with a healthy chunk of that coming when the QBs broke contain.
While many fans were concerned about the line play, one Jim Harbaugh didn't share that worry.
"I thought the lines really took care of business today," said Harbaugh. "Both the offensive and defensive lines did a very good job."
Quarterback contain, he admitted, was an issue, but one that he believed Don Brown made the proper adjustments for in the second half.
Rashan Gary had his first big game as a Wolverine, tearing off the edge for his first career half-sack (Ben Gedeon arrived simultaneously) and had two more tackles for loss. Seven different Michigan defenders tallied tackles in the backfield, and Jabrill Peppers was everywhere—he led the team with eight tackles (two for loss), had two QB hurries, and returned a line-drive punt 35 yards deep into UCF territory to set up Butt's second score.
If there's any indication that Michigan has returned to form, it's that the crowd didn't seem satisfied with a 37-point win. Against an overmatched opponent that couldn't even reliably get a kick in the air untouched, the coaches had no need to utilize much of the playbook, which led to some ugly plays but won't reveal anything to Colorado, next week's opponent and Michigan's first that appears to have a pulse.
Thanks to BOBBY for making us liveblog software.We tried it out last week and learned that people need to be severely punished for asking/answering Rashan Gary's number. Also I got called out by a Trekkie. News for you Trekkie: starships might have photon torpedoes but on a liveblog that would be ridiculous. Liveblogs have PROTON torpedoes. Everybody knows this.
Anyway we are finally out of beta.
Nevermind still in beta.
The yellow/ orange bar is your mana.
Sending messages costs mana.
Messages cost more, the more active chat is.
The red dudes on the side bar are lives remaining.
If you break the Board Rules, you lose a life. Lose three lives and you have to insert a quarter into your monitor. No no keep trying it, it’ll go in. As always, the Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post is The Law.
Enter the liveblog here: http://kibitz.io/#/ucf (will open in new window. Sorry no embed yet. Tuesday.)
— jason (@jaycrey) October 7, 2014
By Bryan MacKenzie
Last week, I predicted a 49-3 win over Hawaii, and Michigan's offense outscored Hawaii's offense exactly 49-3. I just didn't foresee the two defensive scores. My bad. I will do my math more carefully in the future. In the meantime, however, there is reason to worry that this weekend will not see a similar thumping.
For one thing, the weather might give UCF a chance to hang around. Last week was played under perfect conditions. We're expecting rain and wind this afternoon. Michigan's offense struggled against a bad opponent last year in the rain, scoring only 6 points in their first 9 drives against Maryland. A wet surface means mistakes and turnovers, and wet, windy weather makes it harder to throw the ball. UCF wasn't going to able to throw the ball anyway, so this could even things up a bit.
Second, Michigan is already banged up. Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone are expected to miss this week. Ben Braden, Mo Hurst, and Jourdan Lewis all missed the Hawaii game, and even if they return, they may not be 100%. And given the apparent disparity between the teams, Michigan may be tempted to rest anyone who is on the borderline, and to play a deeper rotation than they would against rivals like Michigan State, Ohio State, or Rutgers.
Third, Michigan doesn't have much incentive to go out of their way to demolish UCF. They already got to kick the tires and take their entire roster for a test-drive. They got some real-world experience running their new defense, and blitzing from every-dang-where. They aren't going to tip their hand on anything new schematically on either side of the ball. This is a box to be checked, not a platform to demonstrate greatness.
And finally, Michigan is primed for a let-down. They trained for months with an eye toward September 3rd, and the sexy part of the schedule is still weeks away. Can you imagine that a single Michigan player had September 10th circled on the calendar? Did anyone say "for the honor of my great-grandmother, those UCF bastards must pay for their insolence?" Meanwhile, I bet more than a few UCF players had the Big House on their mind this summer.
But, "what about the opponent?" you ask. Good question, Dear Reader. It is, after all, entirely possible that this week's opponent might be even worse than Hawaii. UCF was 0-12 last year. Their offense was bad. Their defense was bad. They fired their coach mid-season. But it hasn't always been this way. In 2014, UCF was 9-4 and shared the AAC title. In 2013, they were 12-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl after beating Penn State and #8 Louisville in the regular season. UCF may be a bad team, but they aren't a Kansas-level disaster of a program. A significant chunk of their roster remembers a time when they weren't just 'not an embarrassment to an entire region of Florida,' but were in fact pretty good.
UCF still doesn't win this game. Michigan is still too talented, and they are too well led. But there's a good chance Michigan grabs an early multiple-score lead and cruises to an uninspiring victory. Michigan 27, UCF 13.
by Nick RoUMel
Central Florida are the Beverly Hillbillies of the NCAA. For those of you born after black and white TV, this was a show about a backwater family (never specified, perhaps from Kentucky or Tennessee) whose patriarch, Jed Clampett, accidentally discovered oil on his property. This made them multimillionaires, and as the catchy theme song describes, “They loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimming pools, movie stars.”
Central Florida, joining NCAA Division I-A.
Florida Technological University opened in 1968, in the remote forests northeast of Orlando, inspired by the space program, and with the astonishingly clever motto “Reach for the Stars.” Geeks and nerds of all manner flocked to its campus, gawking at rocket launches, their hearts pounding with excitement into their pocket protectors and slide rules. They hung posters of the Citronaut, the school mascot who was a cross between an orange and an astronaut(see: Cook, Brian, “Preview: Central Florida 2016,” http://mgoblog.com/content/preview-central-florida-2016, published 9/9/16), and got mildly aroused at his orange plumpiness and confident mien.
But this wasn’t good enough. Enter Jed Clampett, a.k.a. Dr. Trevor Colbourn, who in 1978 convinced the Florida Legislature to dispense with the limiting “Technological” moniker, as no one was intimidated by facing the “FTU Knights of Pegasus.” Colbourn built a ce-ment pond, in the guise of a massive athletic campus, before even having a football team. That came in 1979, when they spent a lot of their oil money and built a Division III powerhouse in a hurry.
It worked. From their first meeting in the spring of ’79 to talk about forming a team, to their historic season opening thrashing of St. Leo University on September 22, 1979, CFU has gone nowhere but up, just like the rockets in nearby Cape Canaveral. Just four years into starting a program, they convinced the venerable Lou “I’m not Nick, dammit!” Saban into being their head coach. In 1996, with Daunte Culpepper behind center, they entered Division IA. They were the only team in NCAA history to go from Division III, to II, to 1-AA, to 1-A.
In 2004, they hired George O’Leary, the only coach in Notre Dame history to not lose a game. That is because he was fired before ever taking the field, due to resume padding that included calling himself a three-year letterman at New Hampshire (he played one game) and earning a master’s at “NYU-Stonybrook,” a non-existent institution, when he had actually taken one class at Stonybrook.
Undeterred by these transgressions, CFU hired O’Leary who promptly went 0-11 in 2004, but then took them to a bowl game in 2005. He tasted success, culminating in a storybook 2013 season (defeating both Penn State and Louisville on the road) and becoming the largest underdog in NCAA history to win a bowl game, shocking #6 Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. He was rewarded with a four-year contract extension.
Everything came crashing down last year. After opening the season 0-8, O’Leary abruptly resigned. (He promptly updated his resume to claim that he walked on the moon with the Citronaut.) CFU finished the season 0-12.
Enter Scott Frost, like bank president Mr. Drysdale taking over the mansion after foreclosing on the mortgage. Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, has been appropriately lambasted for woofing in 1998 that Nebraska would have beaten Michigan. Why is such lambasting appropriate? Three reasons. (1) Nebraska was only undefeated that year because of the “flea-kicker,” an illegal pass that enabled them to beat Missouri. (2) When Nebraska beat Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, Peyton Manning was so badly hobbled by a knee injury that it was uncertain whether he would even play. (3) Despite his many accomplishments, Manning’s mantelpiece is still entirely devoid of any Heisman trophies, because Charles Woodson was the best player in college football that year, and would have picked off Scotty Frost four times with his teeth.
Frost does have the hillbillies in swampland very excited, because of his up-tempo Oregon-style offense, and new Nike uniforms in white, gold, anthracite and pewter. Inscribed on the neckline is the school’s new catchphrase, “Rise and Conquer,” which is as original and inspiring as “Reach for the Stars.” Perhaps next year they’ll even find some black gold buried beneath the campus, and move to Beverly.
MICHIGAN 48, CENTRAL FLORIDA 17
Notably missing: a sound guy. If you are one, hit us up.
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This time we actually broadcasted live from inside Moe Sport Shops on North University. Don't try to listen to that because we were still learning to use our equipment.
That Went [Hawaii Caveat] Rather Well (0:22)
The football happened. It was good. What can we learn from this? Stribling did better than we thought. This eventually devolves into awful things you can do to UCF.
Inside the Crooked Blue Line, with Steve Lorenz of 247 (26:50)
Takes on decommits are … because nobody really expected some of those guys to stick. Also sometimes people take visits just to visit. Nebraska fans are mad at Steve because of this.
Gimmicky Top Five: 20 Year Old Grudges (55:00)
Things that make us angry even now and which have even more relevance to Saturday than what a Nebraska quarterback and his family members wrote to the Wolverine. Brian tells a Challenger joke.
KNIGHTRO and the Knights of the Golden Atrociousness (1:08)
A mid-major version of last year's Maryland team, complete with ominous weather report and perhaps worse passing?
- Across 110th Street
- "Peel Me a Grape"—Diana Krall
- "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)"—Steve Harley
* [I asked Brian if he lost a bet to a time-traveling 12-year old and he didn't respond so…]