Not a lot has gone wrong during Michigan’s soiree with UCF. They lead by 30 as the third quarter winds to a close.
The group leading the way has been special teams - you know, those guys everybody forgets to talk about before the game starts. Any tiny amount of concern Michigan fans might have had over replacing one of the nation’s best special teams coaches in John Baxter is already gone; Michigan has Michigan problems. Michigan just reloads.
“They’re kind of Coach Partridge’s and I’s baby together, I guess,” Jay Harbaugh said before the season, shrugging off the height of the challenge. “There were some things with Coach Baxter that were great and that we’ve carried over and other things that kind of we took from other places and things we’ve done in the past.”
“As with anything, it’s always kind of a hodge-podge of different parts of your experience and you kind of piece together whatever you think is best for your specific team and players, so it’s a little bit of everyone.”
‘A little bit of everyone’ describes how Michigan helped set the tone early against UCF. Tyree Kinnel got things started early, managing to blocked two different punts before Wilton Speight even completed a pass.
Chris Wormley got in the action shortly after, blocking a 50-yard field goal by Matthew Wright. He was in on another blocked field goal later in the second quarter.
The other superstar here is Jabrill Peppers, who’s returned two punts for 46 yards - including a 35-yard beauty that almost scored a touchdown.
Oh, and Kenny Allen has been as solid as a rock: 3/3 on field goals, responsible for 14 points in all.
Michigan’s special teams just keep getting better, and at this point they’ve got to be considered one of the most dominant units in the country.