Speigt passes No. 5 Michigan past UCF
Speigt passes No. 5 Michigan past UCF
- Speigt passes No. 5 Michigan past UCF
Published On: Fri, Sep 09
Sep 20, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Damion Terry (6) gets tackled by Eastern Michigan Eagles defensive back DaQuan Pace (33) during the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. Spartans beat the Eagles 73-14. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It's not often a team gets outrushed by a more than a two-to-one margin but still wins by almost 40 points, but that was the case for No. 5 Michigan at home against Central Florida on Saturday.
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Thanks to another brilliant performance by junior quarterback Wilton Speight and his receiving unit, the Wolverines weren't threatened during a 51-14 win in front of 109,295 fans at Michigan Stadium.
After a good debut last week against Hawaii, Speight was even better in his second career start, completing 25 of 37 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior tight end Jake Butt and senior wide receiver Amara Darboh each caught two of the four touchdown passes Speight threw.
"There was definitely progression," Speight said. "That's the idea behind every player on the team, to progress every day. I was a huge fan of the game plan and I went out and executed it."
The passing game dominance trumped the sizeable advantage Central Florida had running the football.
The Knights outrushed Michigan by a margin of 275-119 yards, and first-year Central Florida head coach Scott Frost wasn't shy in boasting about that stat after the game.
"Standing on the sideline, there was no doubt about which team was hitting harder," Frost said. "Our guys came in hungry and wanting to do that. It's rare you come into Michigan and rush for 300 yards. They had to run a jet sweep in the fourth quarter to get to 100.
"I give our defense a ton of credit. We need to fix some things in pass defense and we have to find ways to throw the ball on offense to open things up. There's a lot to fix but there is also a lot to really be excited about."
The Wolverines jumped out to a 21-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Speight to Butt with 8:48 remaining in the first quarter, a 2-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Khalid Hill with 3:29 left and a 55-yard touchdown pass from Speight to Darboh with 1:55 to go in the first quarter.
Michigan opened up a 31-0 lead with 11:30 remaining in the second quarter on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Speight to Butt before Central Florida finally got on the board with 11:10 left in the second quarter.
Freshman Adrian Killins got through the line on a jet sweep and outsprinted the defense down the sideline for an 87-yard touchdown.
"When you give up those plays, to us it's unacceptable," Michigan senior defensive lineman Chris Wormley said. "We have to look at the film and clean up our mistakes."
Dontravious Wilson of Central Florida (1-1) scored on a 34-yard touchdown run with 8:03 left in the third quarter to make it 44-14, but Speight hit Darboh for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 10:24 remaining in the game to give the Wolverines a 51-14 lead.
Darboh finished with 111 yards on five receptions for Michigan.
"They brought run blitzes throughout the game and we took advantage of it with the play-action pass," Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said.
"In the first half and the second half, it was repetitious. We just kept going back to the play-action and it worked well."
The notable backdrop to the game was the ire many Michigan fans still have toward Frost, who in the 1997 season was starting quarterback of the Nebraska team that shared the national championship with Michigan.
After a win over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, Frost publicly pleaded with coaches to vote his team as national champion, and they obliged by voting Nebraska No. 1 over Michigan in the coaches poll by a two-vote and four-point margin after Michigan easily was voted No. 1 in the Associated Press poll following a Rose Bowl win over Washington State.
The game was scheduled years ahead of Frost's hiring over the offseason, but that still didn't prevent many Michigan fans from relishing at the opportunity to get back at Frost for what they felt was too much politicking nearly 20 years ago.
Frost said before the game that situation had no bearing on Saturday's game, and left the stadium encouraged despite the lopsided loss.
"That's what I really wanted to see today, to have our guys come up here, accept this challenge and come in swinging," Frost said. "We did that. Now, we can be excited about that but we have to execute in other phases as well."
NOTES: The two touchdown receptions for tight end Jake Butt marked the first time in his career that he had multiple touchdown receptions in a game. ... The 87-yard touchdown run by Adrian Killins not only was the first touchdown allowed by the Michigan defense this season, but it tied a Central Florida record for longest touchdown run in school history. Former NFL running back Kevin Smith also had an 87-yard touchdown run for Central Florida in 2007. ... Michigan's special teams came up with three blocked kicks in the first half. Sophomore Tyree Kinnel blocked a punt on Central Florida's first possession of the game and Chris Wormley blocked a 50-yard goal attempt by Central Florida sophomore kicker Matthew Wright with 6:20 left in the first quarter. Wormley then tipped a 49-yard field goal attempt by Wright with 2:38 to go in the second quarter to force a miss. ... Michigan was a perfect 8-for-8 on red-zone opportunities this year until 14:17 left in the first half, when a drive stalled at the Central Florida 6-yard line and senior kicker Kenny Allen come on and make a 24-yard field goal. It was Allen's first field-goal attempt of the season.
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