Michigan dominated UCF in every phase of the game, cruising to a 51-14 win. Despite having moved the ball a bit early and having some success stopping the run, the Knights were clearly overmatched by the first quarter. Special teams failures plagued the Knights throughout and poor quarterback play ensured there would be no miracles for UCF. Knights Senior Quarterback Justin Holman also suffered an apparent hamstring injury that took him out of the game, making this a game that will hurt the Knights going forward. How much it hurts remains to be seen.
The Good: It's hard to take away many good things after a 37 point pounding. But there are a couple for the Knights. UCF did a far better job stopping the run than most expected. And safety T.J. Mutcherson came up to make some plays (including a great sack on Speight).
There were some reasons to smile on offense. UCF had a handful of explosive plays, headlined by freshman Adrian Killins's tremendous 87 yard run in the second quarter (which got the Knights on the board and made it 31-7). He burned defenders and flashed tremendous speed. It was his only carry on the day.
Despite their mostly horrendous play, both UCF quarterbacks Holman and Patti had some nice runs. Holman had runs of 30 and 36 yards (the last run, he would injury himself). Patti had a 26 yard run himself. All told, UCF had 275 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The Bad: Things were mostly bad. But the quarterback play was remarkably poor. Holman went 3/11 for 37 yards. He also coughed up a fumble on a sack immediately after throwing a pass that should have been picked off. His deep ball was inaccurate. Everything was inaccurate. After his injury on the 36 yard run, Patti came in. He also looked bad, going 3/11 and 19 yards passing, or an abysmal 1.7 yards per pass.
Special teams - which were good last week and one of the few modest bright spots in last year's winless campaign - were beyond atrocious. Both of Matthew Wright's field goals were blocked. Two punts were blocked. There were other gaffes besides. Early in the second, the Knights nearly surrendered a punt return TD to Jabrill Peppers (who was tackled near the five). And on what should have been UCF's first possession in the third half, the Knights fumbled away the kickoff return.
It could have been worse. Early in the second, Tristan Payton nearly took the ball out of the end zone before stepping back and kneeling down. UCF was maybe inches away from a safety (recall that Hayden Jones actually did this in the game against UConn last year).
The Ugly: Poor Justin Holman's injury. Last year, he suffered a hand injury (also in the second game of the season) against Stanford. He was out for weeks, and his play never recovered last year. At the time of this recap, the extent and nature of Holman's injury is unclear, though it looked like a possible hamstring injury. It would be a sad thing if his season were to be derailed by injury for the second year in a row.
The Knights have what should be a tough game next week at home against a better than expected Maryland squad.