Team 137’s Week Two Preview: Michigan Looks for Payback Against Frost and his Knights

First year UCF head coach Scott Frost and Michigan have history. Frost was the quarterback for the 1997 Nebraska team that split the national champion with the Wolverines. But more than just being the quarterback of the Huskers, he was one of the main players that campaigned to split Michigan’s National Championship. So, while most looked at this game as a cupcake, there’s some funfetti included on top as UM fans have finally got the matchup they’ve been waiting for. 

Last Week

UCF won their first game since 2014 (yes, they really went 0-12 last year) by shutting out South Carolina State 38-0. Check out the game highlights below:

Rushing Offense against UCF

Twin brothers Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin headline a UCF defense that only allowed 85 rushing yards last week. While it was against South Carolina State, that’s still an impressive stat against any team in division one football. UCF also forced two fumbles during the contest.

Michigan is still sorting out its depth chart when it comes to the both the offensive line and running backs. Several offensive lineman and running backs got an opportunity to see playing time and did very well. You better believe that inspired some competitive practices this week, each viable athlete battling for his playing time.

Freshman Chris Evans may have put himself into position to receive more than the 10 carries he got last week. Starting running back De’Veon Smith went out with an injury last week and left Evans and Ty Isaac to pick up the slack. Both did an exceptional job and will be relied on more if Smith is held out of action.

  • Advantage: Michigan

After going for over 300 yards last week, Michigan will be working on fixing the things they did wrong. UCF might not be as weak as Hawaii, but they don’t have the manpower to stop the overpowering Wolverine attack.

Passing Offense against UCF

Apparently UCF defensive back Shaquill Griffin stated that he is ready to come in and silence the 100,000 plus fans in the big house. Griffin had an interception last week and was a major helping hand in holding South Carolina State to 138 passing yards. The team finished with five pass breakups.

The Wolverines got off to a shaky start on their first pass last week but settled down to come away with a respectable all around game.

Wilton Speight is officially the starting quarterback, and all of his eligible receivers will be looking to put their name on the stat sheet. Eleven players caught passes last week, with three of them going for scores.

  • Advantage: Michigan

UCF doesn’t have the amount of athletes needed nor the experience to stick with the Wolverine receivers. I believe UCF will come to play but eventually run out of gas while trying to cover the Michigan attack.

Rushing Defense against UCF

The UCF offensive backfield ran for 201 yards and two touchdowns in their 38-0 route of South Carolina State. Jawon Hamilton led the way taking 14 carries for 53 yards. Quarterback Justin Holman is also a capable runner.

One of the biggest question marks on the Michigan football team was the linebacker position. We all knew Jabrill Peppers would make plays but how would Ben Gedeon do in a starting role? More importantly, how would Mike McCray’s body hold up? The answer to both questions is very well. McCray was named B1G defensive player of the week.

Even with Bryan Mone and Taco Charlton out, the defensive line is the strongest unit on the squad and they’ll do their part to occupy their blockers and complete their assignments. Look for Maurice Hurst, Rashan Gary and, possibly, Michael Onwenu to step up in their absence.

  • Advantage: Michigan

This should be the least of anyone’s worries going into Saturday. The strongest unit on the team will continue to be the muscle on this Wolverine squad.

Passing Defense against UCF

Senior quarterback Justin Holman leads the Knights attack. He’s backed up by former RichRod-era quarterback target, Nick Patti. Holman completed 50% of his passes last week for 193 yards to go along with a pair of scores.

Sophomore receivers Tristan Payton and Tre’Quan Smith were Holman’s favorite targets during the season opener. Equipped with above average size and a little speed, they are capable of making plays.

Pressure, pressure and more pressure. Defensive coordinator Don Brown sent blitz after blitz like everyone thought he would on Saturday. A couple of the pieces to the puzzle were lost to injury along the defensive line, but the depth there is a plus for this team. While waiting for Bryan Mone and Taco Charlton to heal, Michigan has plenty of guys are ready to step in and take game reps.

The Wolverine defense should see the return of All-American cornerback, JD Lewis. He missed last week with an undisclosed injury, and the team anxiously awaits his return.

  • Advantage: Michigan

Experienced and skilled athletes are a huge advantage in college football, and Michigan has some of the best in the country. UCF will make their plays, but it won’t be enough.

Game Prediction: Michigan 48- UCF 13

Michigan’s superior talent, experience and coaching staff should bring in a nice, easy, payback win for the Wolverines over the visiting Knights.

What is your score prediction for Michigan’s second game of the season? Will the Wolverines get payback against Scott Frost? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: UCFKnights.com