Michigan's defense proves its point, smacks Florida in season-opening win

Tuesday, 05 Sep, 2017

That game will air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. With that comes the first edition of our weekly staff predictions article. They go out in the alternate uniforms and win, they'll be the favorite uniforms, right? What's more, the Wolverines drove and saw a tremendous effort from kicker Quinn Nordin, who nailed two field goals from 50-or-more yards. The Gators lost two fumbles in their territory in the third, each leading to MI scores. He consistently banged out four to five yard runs keeping the Wolverines offense on the move.

Michigan's offense simply couldn't keep Nordin off the field.

Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight threw a unsafe, high pass over the middle that his receiver just couldn't haul in.

Florida has had the same identity for roughly ten years now. Multiple other players said they want to forget it.

Yes, Michigan is young and inexperienced, but its talent is undeniable.

UP NEXT: The Gators return home to host Northern Colorado next Saturday in the home opener. That might come as a surprise, given what MI lost to the NFL Draft, but the Wolverines have depth on the defensive line and a returning starter at quarterback.

There was palace intrigue about MI coming into this game. The Wolverines should have a lot more success on the ground than Florida. Zaire's 6.2 yards per attempt fell short of Franks's 8.3, and he was sacked four times in the final 15 minutes, including on the first and last plays of the quarter. I loved the movie and he's the closer. Wilton Speight and Brandon Peters are vying for the position.

The number of suspended players from today's game against MI grew by two Wednesday, raising the total to 10 in all.

MI looks to reload rather than rebuild after having a school-record 11 players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft and will count on a number of highly-touted underclassmen, including defensive end Rashan Gary, who was named to the AP Preseason All-America team, to play prominent roles. The passing game still looks to be a work in progress, but Black proved to be the big play threat.

"People think of the distractions and that type of thing, and yet, it's an opportunity for more guys to go and play and play their tails off", McElwain said.

No. 17 Florida's offense struggled with both Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire at quarterback in a 33-17 loss to the Wolverines.

As for the Gators, Florida is also led by a creative third year coach, offensive mastermind Jim McElwain. For that reason, I will take MI winning this game by about a touchdown or so in what should be a low scoring game.

Since the game is being held at the neutral site in Texas, one of the teams had to take on the role of designated road team although both teams are technically on the road.

The concern for Florida is whether the suspensions will affect the Gators emotionally, which could affect performance. He spread the ball to nine receivers and went 12 for 14 in one stretch in his first start since October 31, 2015. Callaway had 1,399 yards on 89 receptions in his first two years with the Gators. But it's not too early to not be optimistic about Florida's offense.

Entering his third season in charge of college football's winningest program, he's refusing to unveil his roster until three days before No. 11 MI kicks off the season against No. 17 Florida in Texas. Maurice Hurst had 34 tackles and 4.5 sacks.