Closer Than Expected: 2017 Michigan-Cincinnati Game Recap and Highlights

Welp, that wasn’t what just about every college football fan and analyst expected. The win for Michigan, yes. But the tight scoreline deep into the game, no way in hell. Cincinnati showed up and played pretty well in front of a packed Big House crowd but, to be honest, the most dangerous opponent on the field for Michigan was Michigan.

From the offensive line struggling early on to get to the second level on run plays, Speight’s inconsistencies with his footwork and overthrows to freshmen mistakes happening all over the field and some very questionable calls from the officials, this was easily one of the ugliest games of the Harbaugh era. However, it was a 22-point win that included two pick-six touchdowns from the defense. Truly showing the changing of the guard in terms of how this one ended. During the RichRod-Hoke eras, this could’ve easily been a loss or a full blown nail biter late into the 4th quarter. But that’s the past.

Michigan didn’t play amazing as both the offense and special teams struggled. But the defense continued to prove it is and will be one of the best in the country. Look for Don Brown’s boys to continue leading this team throughout the season until Speight and the rest of the offense get things ironed out.

Three Standouts

  • LB Devin Bush Jr
    • It’s a night and day difference for the defense when he’s out there and when he’s not. He had the wind knocked out of him in the first half during UC’s first scoring drive, which made it much easier for the Bearcats to move the ball. Though he wasn’t as impactful as he was against Florida, this was another very nice performance from the sophomore linebacker.
  • S Tyree Kinnel
    • Though he kinda got ran over at the end of the first half and missed a tackle on a long QB option run, Kinnel had a very nice game. He added a pick six, a sack and several nice pass breakups and added a couple big play saving hits. Being named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week was well deserved.
  • WR Grant Perry
    • He’s the go-to receiver when a big play is needed. Showed it throughout the game, especially in the 3rd quarter when he took a 5 yard slant pass to the house for a 33 yard catch and run touchdown. With Speight struggling a bit, look for Perry to be the guy he leans on most in the passing game.
  • Other Candidates
    • DE Rashan Gary
    • RB Ty Isaac
    • WR Kekoa Crawford
    • CB Lavert Hill

Check out the highlights from Michigan’s 36-14 win over Cincinnati at the Big House (via WolverineDevotee):

Photo Credit: Mark Kolanowski/MGoFish