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Florida coach Jim McElwain prepared to implement new plan after MI 'whooping'

04 September 2017

Jim Harbaugh will begin his third season on the MI sidelines tomorrow afternoon, but it's the final game of the season that has a former Wolverine talking about a potential hot seat for the highly hyped head coach.

Unfortunately for the Gators, the hype was more successful than their performance in a 33-17 loss to the Wolverines in front of an announced crowd of 75,802 at AT&T Stadium. Despite benching starting quarterback Wilton Speight for a stretch after a pair of interceptions, he returned to help MI rack up 433 yards of offense.

Florida was No. 5 in the SEC in rushing defense last season (144.23 yards per game), but eight starters from that squad departed due to graduation and to enter the NFL Draft.

Yes, those Wolverines that had eight defensive players taken in the National Football League draft earlier this year and also lost two other starters.

MI football also got solid contributions from its young pass catchers. "What his Marines did, and what they sacrificed, age is irrelevant". "So it's a group of guys in a unit or on a team that come together and do their job". For the first time in my lifetime, Michigan has a very good kicker. As the Florida offense sputtered to begin the third quarter, Zaire became the team's primary quarterback after Franks started and played the first half.

With so many young players, it was hard to predict just how good MI football would be in 2017. This could be a letdown game for the Wilverines after beating Florida in a marquee matchup, but that coaching staff should have them ready.

"Once we get rolling, I think our offense will be great".

MI linebacker Noah Furbush (59) and linebacker Mike McCray (9) celebrate a fumble-recovery by Furbush for a touchdown in the end zone in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Enough said. Even the special teams added a bonus Quinn Nordin, who drilled four field goals, including a pair from 50-plus yards. Get the app and get the game. Speight was benched for two series in the first half after serving up back-to-back pick sixes that gave Florida a 17-10 lead, but he came back after halftime and didn't make the same near-fatal mistake again.

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Michigan Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight. "Once we get it rolling, I think nobody will be able to stop us", sophomore wide receiver Josh Hammond told reporters. "Showed a lot of resilience, our team today, and I'm very proud of that".

"It was the craziest thing", Nordin said of his debut, not the sleepover. "And I made sure it went in a positive direction".

MI surrendered just 182 total yards in the game, including 21 on the ground, and eight first downs. He finished 11-of-25 with 181 yards and one long touchdown throw to freshman Tarik Black.

Florida seems to be at a disadvantage as they're now missing wide receiver Antonio Callaway and running back Jordan Scarlett due to suspensions.

In fact, if it wasn't for #Wilton Speight throwing two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns by the Florida defense, MI could have won this game by 20 points or more. He was replaced by Malik Zaire early in the second half, and the senior ended the day with nine completions on 17 attempts for 106 yards.

"I just wanted to try to calm him down a little bit; that was a rough circumstance", Harbaugh said.

MICHIGAN: The Wolverines play their home opener next Saturday in a first-ever meeting against Cincinnati.

But what could detract from the possible distractions is the fact the Gators are starting the strong-armed Franks at quarterback and some gifted true freshmen will be seeing their first playing time, led by Marco Wilson, who is slated to start at cornerback.

Florida coach Jim McElwain prepared to implement new plan after MI 'whooping'