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Harbaugh History: Win No. 12 vs. Central Florida (2016)

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No, UCF did not “out hit” Michigan. Not even close.

Central Florida v Michigan Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh has completed five seasons in charge of the Michigan Wolverines with consistent but not exciting results. He has amassed a .723 winning percentage with each year ending between eight and 10 wins. Though the maize and blue faithful may be hoping for something more, this is not the time to dwell on the negatives!

With plenty of time to kill during the offseason, join us as we review each of Harbaugh’s 47 wins as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the losses do exist — and are often more memorable than the victories, unfortunately — they are not very fun to relive so I am skipping them because this is supposed to be a happy exercise!

Setting the stage: 1-0 (0-0 B1G)

The opening week of the season went seamlessly, and just over a year into Harbaugh’s tenure, Michigan cracked the top five in the polls. UCF was unlikely to provide a big challenge, and though head coach Scott Frost liked his team’s effort, this one was also over by halftime. A 51-14 drubbing was far too easy for the No. 5 Wolverines.

Three takeaways

1. It was bizarre to see a team struggle so badly on special teams. Tyree Kinnel got a hand on two punts — in the first quarter! — and Chris Wormley did the same on a pair of field goals. As if that was not bad enough, the Knights muffed a short kickoff that gave Michigan the ball in the red zone and also allowed a Jabrill Peppers punt return to reach the five-yard line. There are not going to be many more lopsided special teams performances than this.

2. UCF somewhat limited the Wolverines on the ground, but that just meant more opportunity through the air. The dynamic pass catching trio, now seniors, all topped 80 yards with Amara Darboh and Jake Butt both scoring on two separate occasions. No other receiver topped more than two catches, but these two along with Jehu Chesson provided all of the offense Michigan would need against a suspect secondary.

3. All sorts of defenders got themselves on the stat sheet, including freshman Rashan Gary, who had 2.5 tackles for loss. Chase Winovich added a forced fumble on a hustle play, and Mike McCray battled down a couple passes. Frost said his team put up the better effort after the game, but there is really nothing on tape or in the stats that even remotely justifies that claim. The Wolverines did allow a couple long scores, but this game was one-sided throughout the afternoon.

Standout performer

Wilton Speight was solid in the opener but was not asked to do too much. Against a Knights defense that was focused on the run, the sophomore made great throw after great throw on his way to 312 yards and four scores without a turnover. What stood out most was his ability to hit deep passes and unleash the weapons in the receiving corps, which burned the UCF defense on multiple occasions.