Fresh off a 38-0 pounding of South Carolina State, first-year University of Central Florida Head Football Coach Scott Frost, breezed into Michigan Stadium with his victorious Knights.
Frost was savoring his first win as a football head man and also his first win of the season, together with his first trip into Michigan Stadium. He and his charges no doubt intended to entertain the 109,295 member stadium crowd, and additionally the TV audience, by filling the afternoon with an Appalachian State style upset of the highly favored Wolverines.
That UCF intention was thought by the Wolverines to be, and it proved to be, an impossible agenda for UFC. The highly favored Wolverines, fresh off their convincing 63-3 demolition of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warrior’s, had no desire to accommodate such a horrendous scenario. They proved it by thoroughly pummeling the Knights.
SCOTT FROST A FAMILIAR ANN ARBOR FOOTBALL NAME: Those of us who recall the 1997 split National Championship will recall that Scott Frost was the QB of the Nebraska eleven that, through luck and politics, split the national title that year with the unbeaten Wolverines. Frost was very vocal in favor of the split as he too politicked. I think the thing that swung the deal, was AD Tom Osborne’s retirement.
A genuine Nebraska coaching legend, then retiring Nebraska AD Tom Osborne shamelessly politicked for a title share, using his retirement as leverage. As he was one of the most successful Coaches in football history, he successfully parlayed his big news retirement as Nebraska AD into a title share. That event is not recalled fondly by Michigan fans old enough to recall the situation. And neither is Frost.
It was the fervent wish of most of the Wolverine fans of the day that the Huskers face the Wolverines in a playoff. It was thought that the previously lucky Huskers would get shucked and shocked.
Saturday, per press reports, the imaginative Scott Frost talked in his press conference about his charges out hitting the Wolverines during this game.
He must not have seen the same game I did. His team sold out to stop the run and indeed they did an effective job of it, holding the Wolverines to 119-yards on 41 carries. Meanwhile the Wolverines produced 312-yards and 4 TDs passing, mostly from play action, and caused another solid victory. While the Knights came to play, and played hard, so did Michigan.
SPECIAL TEAMS SUPREME: The Wolverine special teams were special on this Saturday. Kenny Allen kicked three FGs, but fumbled a punt snap. DE/DT Chris Wormley blocked two field goals, and Tyree Kinnel partially blocked a punt, and recovered a kick off fumble. Tyree also played a part in outstanding KO and punt coverages. All of this assisted in Michigan in starting its offensive series at a 47-yard average. The Wolverines won the special teams battles, and they impacted the game.
The anxiously awaited 2016 Wolverine Football season finally arrived Saturday on a beautiful afternoon, as it has on so many Saturday afternoons. There was a two jet flyover, the usual spectacle of band, cheerleaders, dancers, and luminaries such as Honorary Captain Michael Jordan, and former Michigan greats. The stands brimmed with over 110,000 fans.
But this year it was different. It was too early for the smell of burning autumn leaves, but after the game started there was the faint odor of 17 burning redshirts as 17 freshman committed themselves to using their first year of eligibility. What! Unheard of!
This year expanded fan expectations and a ton of hype roared down the tunnel along with the Wolverines. The Wolverines started the season projected as seventh nationally in the AP poll, but second to Ohio State in the Big Ten East race.
The demolition of the Rainbow Warriors Saturday will not diminish expectations, but maintain and encourage them. Even after careful consideration of the Rainbow Warriors many football shortcomings this year, this was an outstanding opening performance by the Wolverines, by both the youngsters and the old guard. The defense as a unit had ten TFLs, four sacks, two pick sixes, and a forced fumble. Hawaii was 1 for 11 on third downs. LBs Mike McCray, Jabrill Peppers and Ben Gedeon combined for 24 tackles.