Preview: Michigan vs. Central Florida
The Big House Report (TBHR) staff makes game predictions for Michigan vs. Central Florida. There should be no surprise to who we pick to win:
Derek Devine – @DerekWDevine
Michigan 45, Central Florida 13
Michigan thrashed Hawaii—plain and simple. Honestly, I expect much of the same this week. I’ll be back in Ann Arbor, and more than likely, I’ll be just as excited as I was the first weekend. I think we will see plenty of positives from the Wolverines, but in a sick way, I hope they get tested. The Wolverines could benefit from a challenge during a couple of possessions. Maybe UCF drives the length of the field, or strikes gold with a big play for a touchdown. I’m just looking for a situation that gives the Wolverines something to improve on. In all honesty, UCF is actually in good hands with Scott Frost at the helm. The guy understands offense, and most importantly, he understands winning. Frost had opportunities elsewhere over the past couple of seasons, but jumped at the UCF offer. Reminder: UCF won ZERO games last year, yet he still accepted the job. He see’s something with the Knights, heck, I even a little something, but what I don’t see is the Wolverines having any trouble in week two.
Michigan will run away after a couple of possessions and never look back. They shouldn’t even have to play starters past the first half. Jim Harbaugh will keep it simple, because he can. Wilton Speight will throw a couple of nice balls, Chris Evans will continue to impress and De’Veon Smith will look like the running back we all want him to be. As for the defense, things might not be as easy, at least until the unit settles into the game. UCF will spread things out early and often, but once the defense find its grove, the scoring should come to a near halt for the Knights.
Side note: Life is so much better when Michigan Football is back!
Von Lozon – @Von_Lozon
Michigan 42, Central Florida 7
I know I had a low score for last week’s contest against Hawaii, but the intentions were good. This week is a bit different after seeing Wilton Speight and Chris Evans go off last Saturday. The offense did struggle a bit out of the gate, but the Wolverines got the job done against an extremely weak Hawaii team. The defense looked godly and will probably decide most of, if not all, of the games this season.
Now the Wolverines welcome Central Florida to the Big House, and I expect a lot of the same results from last week. UCF scored 38 points last week at home, but it was to South Carolina State. For a team that went 0-12 last season, I’m sure it felt great for them to get a win at home. Those results won’t be the same for them this week, as Michigan is about to steam roll the Knights. Hopefully the first-team guys are done after the first half and UM gets another easy W at home.
Kullen Logsdon – @Kullen_Logsdon
Michigan 55, Central Florida 7
To say Michigan dominated Hawaii in its first game may be an understatement. The Wolverines didn’t just dominate them, they flat out obliterated them. Now, in comes the University of Central Florida. The Golden Knights are coming off a season where they went 0-12. That’s right, 0-12. As of right now Michigan is a 34-point favorite, but I expect them to win by much more. Fans saw how good Wilton Speight could be last week after he settled down and started making some great throws. I think he will be even better this week and throw for four touchdowns as the Wolverines win big, 55-7. I predicted the defense to get a pick-six last week and they came away with two. I think they will get another this week, and I think Jabril Peppers finally scores a touchdown on a punt return. The No. 5 Wolverines aren’t playing around this year and it’s going to be a long game for UCF.
David Mormino – @BookOfMormino
Michigan 56, Central Florida 6
Michigan beats Hawaii by 60, and Mormino doesn’t even call for a shutout against one of the worst teams in college football? Unreal. This guy.
No, you will not see me ever call for a shutout from this football team. Expectations going into a football game shouldn’t be shutouts every single game. It just doesn’t happen as often as people would like. This defense is incredible, highlighted by first round talent on the defensive line. They have incredibly athletic linebackers — one that drops to safety on third down— that came to play last week. A secondary that mirrors past greats. However, all that said, field goals happen. Botched snaps happen. Blown coverages… happen. It’d be borderline malpractice on my part to call for a shutout. I just can’t complain about a team giving up some field goals when they’re up by 30. Just wanted to make that abundantly clear.
ANYWAY. Game on Saturday is going to be a good one, in my opinion, for the offense. Chris Evans has flashed greatness, albeit only on eight carries. Those eight carries resulted in 112 yards, and two touchdowns. Anyone else notice the little ode-to-Tomlinson on his two touchdown runs? Reminded me of when Ladanian Tomlinson would score and tap his helmet, while flipping the ball. Evans certainly showed he’s got the juice to be the feature back of the future, but let’s not forget about De’Veon Smith. Dude still balls, and only played a half last week. If Smith can handle a full workload this week, watch out. Sixty-three points last week against a bad team, without some weapons, this could be a bloodbath. Also for what it’s worth, I think this week is when we see Jabrill Peppers take that, “next step,” at linebacker. Maybe a couple of sacks, or tackles-for-loss. Whatever it is, methinks Jabrill gets his this week. Michigan by a fiftyburger, 56-6.
Kate Elizabeth Queram – @KateElizabethNR
Michigan 42, Central Florida 17
Chad Finley – @FinFive1
Michigan 42, Central Florida 10
Michigan showed huge success in all three areas of the game last week. I look for more of the same this week but I do think UCF finds the end zone. When Hawaii went into a spread formation, they did move down the field a little. UCF’s new coach is from Oregon and runs a fast tempo spread offense that might take the Michigan defense a couple series to figure out. We will get a early look of how the defensive lines cardio. Getting Jourdan Lewis back on the field will bolster the secondary and they will be able to cover man-to-man while the front seven can blitz.
On the offensive side of the ball, I want to see progress with quarterback Wilton Speight. I know he had three touchdowns but I thought he looked shaky at times. Getting him more comfortable throwing deep balls will be a key this year. The Wolverine running back committee should be able to gain close to 200 yards. Exciting freshman Chris Evans could be the feature back again this week. Jabrill Peppers had a couple of fantastic punt returns last week! He can take it to the house any time he touches the ball, look for him to get plenty of opportunities on Saturday.
Look for Michigan to pull ahead again in the third quarter and give the second unit some more game reps in the fourth. I would love to see quarterbacks John O’Korn and Shane Morris get more time because they both looked good last week. Michigan fans, get ready for another blow out and a 2-0 start!
Patrick Connors – @TheRealPConnors
Michigan 48, Central Florida 6
Wow, what a week one win for the Wolverines. Next up on the chopping block, the UCF Knights.
While UCF had the worst season in school history last year, not even able to record a win, the Knights are off to winning start as they pitched a shutout of their own in a 38-0 win over South Carolina State. Yes, not a strong opponent at all, but we saw some teams struggle with FCS teams. (Looking at a team 65 miles away) Also need to consider that UCF didn’t win a game last year, so they’ll be coming into the Big House with some confidence. First year head man Scott Frost comes over from Oregon and was a former Nebraska star back in the 90’s. This team will be fired up and not nearly as tired as Hawaii looked and played. Frost even said that “this is big boy football now.”
The Michigan defense better be ready for a high tempo UCF offense. UCF ran 91 plays on Saturdays win. 91 plays! However UCF started a little slow Saturday. Michigan started the opposite way on Saturday. The way the Michigan D played on Saturday was incredible. The tempo will pose a threat but the tempo can be cancelled out if Michigan can force 3 and outs. UCF had a balanced attack with 265 yards through the air and 201 on the ground. The key on this side of the ball is to get 3 and outs and let the offense control the clock.
The Michigan offense had a few negative plays Saturday but the positives blew away the negatives. Wilton Speight showed he can handle the pressure of the role he was handed. He was able to spread the ball to what seemed like every skill player on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line, while a little inconsistent in the ground game, was very solid in pass protection. And how about the coming out party for Chris Evans. He was very explosive and the Hawaii defense had no answer. The UCF defense seems to pose more of a threat than Hawaii. UCF held South Carolina State to a little over 200 total yards of offense and forced an INT. If Michigan can sustain drives they’ll wear down the UCF defense and the ground game will be there later on.
Michigan coming into the top 5 for the first time since 2007 is a huge sign of progress. The buzz is building exponentially and if they played like they did on Saturday, Michigan will be where we all want them to be. I’m really interested to see who does and doesn’t play with the injuries accumulated from the Hawaii game. I don’t think Michigan needs everyone to beat UCF, but they will be needed soon. UCF hangs around for a quarter, then Michigan blows the game open early in the second quarter and the rout begins. Look for a huge day by Wilton Speight and definitely look for Jake Butt to get more involved. Michigan moves to 2-0 and gets ready for a hungry Colorado team.
Craig Compton – @CraigCompton_
Michigan 38, Central Florida 7
Man, I LOVE MICHIGAN FOOTBALL!!!! It was so great to be in Ann Arbor last weekend. The buzz around that city, and the University is unreal. This weekend Michigan hosts UCF at The Big House. I really don’t see this game going much differently than last weekend’s matchup with Hawaii. UCF is an up-tempo, spread offense under first year head coach, Scott Frost. The excitement for Knights football is also at a high level, as the squad earned their first win in over a year last week, after they defeated South Carolina State 38-0. Historically Michigan has struggled a little with spread offenses. I think with this new philosophy, the talent on both sides of the ball, and how high the Wolverines are riding, they won’t even stub their toe in this contest. I look for another big defensive game for the Wolverines, and I think Wilton Speight gets hot through the air to begin the game, before giving way to reserves in the second half. Im predicting Amara Darboh will have a big game receiving, and Chris Evans will score another touchdown. We will call this one a 38-7 Michigan victory. Go Blue!
Michigan vs. Central Florida. Easy win, right?