Florida's offense inept in loss to MI

MI quarterback Wilton Speight finished the game 11 for 25, passing for 181 yards and a touchdown.

Speight's day, however, was anything but easy.

The first quarter came with Florida taking the lead with a 46-yard field goal, yet MI tied it with a six-minute drive that included a 36-yard run from Ty Issac. Speight finished 11 of 25 passing for 181 yards, but the Wolverines dominated a short-handed Gators team for a big nonconference victory.

The answer wasn't terribly different from Jim McElwain's first two season in Gainesville.

The nation's No. 1 kicker in the 2016 recruiting class, Nordin had initially committed to Penn State but signed with the Wolverines after a home visit that included a sleepover by MI coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines never trailed again, but clearly had plenty of opportunities to pile on points. The defense - especially the front seven - somehow looks better under defensive coordinator Don Brown. After connecting with wideout Josh Hammond for a 34-yard gain on his first pass of the game, Franks couldn't do much else. But he couldn't help when MI punctuated the game with a sack in the end zone that was recovered for a touchdown with under two minutes to play. MI then received the ball and marched down the field. MI regrouped on Quinn Nordan's 55-yard-field goal before halftime.

Chris Evans had a relatively quiet day with 22 carries for 78 yards, but the Wolverines have a three-headed monster at the position.

MI looked to be rolling early in the second quarter, after scoring on consecutive drives to go up 10-3 on Florida, and forcing a Gators punt. That's always a good start. Speight was a game manager a year ago and now will be forced into a bigger role. Speight sprinted down the field screaming, just like he did when MI scored just before halftime against Ohio State in the The Game last season.


Wilton Speight played the entire game at quarterback for MI with the exception of John O'Korn entering for two series in the second quarter.

Will Michigan be a force in the Big Ten East and challenge for their first-ever trip to the Big Ten Championship Game?

Then the second quarter from hell came.

On a throw, the ball would be tipped by Kekoa Crawford and would fall right into the hands of Duke Dawson who returned the interception for a touchdown. He was cooled off on the bench in favor of John O'Korn until shortly before halftime.

The Gators did find some scoring punch on defense, with the Gators returning two interceptions for scores in the first half. Speight would miss a few wide open throws that could of sealed the game but the defense would take care of that.

Despite being one of the premier non-conference matchups from opening weekend, mistakes and sloppy play plagued both ranked teams. MI answered a lot of questions with this victory. And this was a good football game for them. No, Harbaugh won't let this team fade out of the playoff picture.


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