News & Analysis

UCF-Michigan grades: Wolverines dominate in trenches, get mistake-free QB play

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 03: on September 3, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Michigan Wolverines 51, UCF Knights 14

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Michigan Wolverines’ 51-14 victory over the UCF Knights:

Michigan Wolverines

Quarterback grades: Wilton Speight, 66.4; John O’Korn, 59.4

Mistake-free Speight leads Wolverines to victory

Michigan QB Wilton Speight seemed to be confident and in control throughout the entire game, as he passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns. He was especially lethal when he was provided a clean pocket, as 303 of his passing yards and all four of his touchdown came on plays when he was not under pressure. The Michigan signal-caller was a very good game manager in the positive sense of the term — while he did not have any big-time throws, he did not come close to turning the ball over, either. Check out his passing chart below:


Top offensive grades:

C Mason Cole, 86.1

OT Erik Magnuson, 77.8

OT Grant Newsome, 77.3

G Kyle Kalis, 74.8

FB Henry Poggi 72.5

Michigan offensive line dominates after rocky start

After some initial struggles in the first quarter, Michigan’s offensive line put together a really dominant performance. Grant Newsome and Erik Magnuson, the two starting tackles, did not allow a single pressure on 89 combined pass-blocking snaps. In addition, with the exception of left guard Ben Braden, all members of the unit were solid in run-blocking, too. Center Mason Cole was the best player on the Michigan offense, as he had only one negatively graded run-blocking snap and had multiple plays where he drove UCF linemen several yards downfield.

Top defensive grades:

DI Ryan Glasgow, 84.3

ED Chris Wormley, 82.4

ED Chase Winovich, 81.9

ED Rashan Gary, 81.2

S Jabrill Peppers, 81.2

Wolverines' front seven proves depth once again

It came against weaker competition, but the Michigan defense once again showed how dominant and deep it is, especially along the front seven. Six different players registered at least two pressures and no Michigan defensive player had a lower grade than 52 (on PFF's 0-100 scale). Chase Winovich led the team in total pressures, as he had one sack, one quarterback hit and an additional two quarterback hurries. However, when it came to run defense, it was Wormley and Glasgow who were unstoppable, as they combined to record seven defensive stops.

UCF Knights

Quarterback grades: Nick Patti, 53.2; Justin Holman, 51.0

UCF quarterbacks fail to provide spark

Both UCF quarterbacks were rattled by the pressure the Michigan defense brought. The two signal-callers combined to throw for 17 yards on the 16 dropbacks they were moved off their spot. While Justin Holman was more dangerous with his legs and scrambled for 65 yards on two plays, he failed to complete any of his five pass attempts that went beyond the line of scrimmage. While Nick Patti was slightly better as a passer after he entered the game, the Michigan pass rush had such an impact on him that he often escaped from clean pockets and ran straight into defenders, which resulted in absolutely avoidable sacks.

Top offensive grades:

RB Dontravious Wilson, 74.6

RB Jawon Hamilton, 66.8

WR Dredrick Snelson, 66.1

WR Taylor Oldham, 65.4

RB Adrian Killins, 64.4

Running backs are lone bright spots on Knights offense

There were not a lot of positives for the UCF offense in this game, as the offensive line was dominated by the Michigan front seven all game long, which had its impact on almost every play the Knights ran. Running back Dontravious Wilson was the one exception, as he frequently managed to turn nothing into something on broken plays. Not only did he score one of the Knights’ two touchdowns, but he also gained 76 of his 81 yards after contact and forced two missed tackles as well. It says a lot about the UCF offense that Adrian Killins earned the fifth-highest grade despite having had only one carry, although that went for an 87-yard touchdown.

Top defensive grades:

CB Nevelle Clarke, 80.0

DI Tony Guerad, 79.2

LB Mark Rucker, 78.3

LB Maurice Russell, 78.1

LB Pat Jasinski, 74.3

Guerad and Clarke stand out from UCF defense

While defensive end Tony Guerad did not record a single pressure on his 19 pass-rushing snaps, he was as good against the run as Michigan’s front seven stars were. Guerad did not earn a single negative grade on run plays and frequently had success against Michigan’s left guards and left tackle Grant Newsome. Cornerback Nevelle Clarke was the other bright spot on the Knights’ defense, as he allowed only one reception for two yards and broke up another pass.

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