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Game Balls: Michigan’s standouts from the 51-14 win over UCF

We take a look at standout performances in all three phases of the game in the Wolverine victory.

Dustin Johnston/@DJPhotoVideo

Michigan ran away from its second straight opponent in a 51-14 rout of the visiting UCF Knights. It was not a perfect performance, but there are always standouts in each phase of the game.

Time to hand out some game balls:


Wilton Speight

Speight had a solid debut against Hawaii, but on a day where UCF sold out to stop the Michigan rushing attack, the quarterback stood tall. He finished the day 25-of-37 for 312 yards and four touchdowns.

Speight missed on an early deep ball to Jehu Chesson, but was locked in from that point on. Sixteen of his 25 completions went to Chesson, Amara Darboh and Jake Butt, so he got his playmakers involved early and often.

He took some shots against UCF that Hawaii did not really present, but took them in stride and had an excellent day. That is a good sign moving forward.


Rashan Gary

The true freshman defensive lineman had a solid debut against Hawaii but made a huge impact in the win over UCF. Gary finished the day with six total tackles, his first career sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. He was quicker off the snap and looked like what we saw on his high school tape.

Michigan has the deepest and most talented defensive line in the country and Gary, even as an 18-year-old, has the most upside. He will continue to rotate throughout the year, but his development is going to be fun to watch.

Special Teams

Tyree Kinnel and Chris Wormley

Special teams are an underrated facet of the game, but so many games are won and lost, or at least greatly affected, by what happens there.

That was on display Saturday afternoon as the Wolverines got their hands on the first four kicks of the game. Tyree Kinnel blocked a pair of punts and Chris Wormley blocked two field goals.

Some were worried when John Baxter left for USC after last season, but the special teams unit has not lost a step under Jay Harbaugh and Chris Partridge.

Honorable Mention

Chase Winovich

Winovich has played all over the place since he got to Michigan, but he had his first career start as a Wolverine on Saturday at defensive end. He finished the day with five total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.

Who would you award game balls to? Let us know in the comments below!