Finley’s Final Analysis: Michigan vs. UCF

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football
This University of Central Florida pays a visit to the Big House this weekend. Here are some key things to look for on Saturday.

Wolverine nation is on top of the mountain after a huge 63-3 blowout vs. Hawaii! We witnessed some gigantic steps forward and now expectations for this team have risen even higher. Between the non-conference wins last year and the game last week, I drew flashbacks to how Michigan football used to play, and win, when I was growing up. Now it’s time for Michigan vs. UCF! I expect much of the same this weekend.

 

What You Need to Know

No 5 Michigan (1-0) vs UCF (1-0)

Kickoff: Noon

Where to Watch: ABC

Odds: Michigan favored by 35.5

Three Things to Watch for

1. Don Brown vs. Scott Frost.

Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown will bring forth his aggressive blitz packages against a very fast paced offense. UCF head coach Scott Frost is comes in from Oregon and has brought the spread offense with him.  How will Michigan handle the up-tempo spread offense? Will the defensive line tire out? Last week, when Hawaii spread the field, the Rainbow Warriors were able to move the ball bit easier. They entered the red zone a couple of  times and even kicked a field goal. Now, the Wolverines will have to adjust to play against the spread for an entire contest. Adding cornerback Jourdan Lewis to the lineup this week will help the secondary tremendously. Michigan was one of the few teams who had two interceptions returned for touchdowns last week, so another pick six would be great! Coach Brown will bring pressure from all angles so that means the secondary must have good man-to-man coverage. As long as the defensive line doesn’t wear down, we should see quite a few UCF three-and-outs. Knights quarterback Justin Holman is still learning this new system, so he will get rattled when the monsters of the Michigan D-line start coming for him play after play.

2. Productivity from the running back core

Last week the Michigan backs combined for almost 250 yards and four rushing touchdowns. The highlight back was clearly freshman Chris Evans, who recorded two touchdowns and 112 yards. Will he start—or will Coach Harbaugh continue to let the senior De’Veon Smith lead in the backfield? Throw in Ty Issac, Kingston Davis and Karan Higdon, and you’ve got a solid core of options. Determining who gets what carries and when may prove to be a difficult task. A good problem to have, however. I would continue to roll with Smith as a starter and then maybe interchange Evans and Issac. However, if Evans continues to shine, look for him to take over the starting job at some point this season.

3.  Injury Watch

Too many Michigan players went down in week one with, thankfully, only minor injuries. Defensive lineman Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone are hurt, but should both be good to go in time for conference play. De’Veon Smith had a minor rib injury but is expected to play this week. Other guys that are healing up are Jourdan Lewis, Ben Braden, Maurice Hurst Jr. and Drake Johnson. Hopefully zero Wolverines run into injury trouble on Saturday! This is going to be a special year for this team—even more so if they can avoid any season-ending injuries. If it happens, it’s next man up!

Who Will Be in the Big House?

This weekend will not be as star-studded as some game days this season, but Rich Eisen will be in the house!

Also, according to landof10.com, Michigan will host a 2018 visitor.

  • Kalon Gervin, four-star cornerback from Cass Tech Detroit, is one of the top three players in the state. The Wolverines are at the top of his list.

I cant wait to celebrate another Michigan victory this weekend! See you next Friday, Wolverine fans!

Chad Finley
I am entering my second football season as a TBHR writer. I have been a life long Michigan fan and being able to write about what I love is amazing! Follow me on a Twitter @finfive1