Former UM RB: Harbaugh On Hot Seat If He Doesn't Beat OSU

Rosalie Stanley
September 4, 2017

With the defense remaining stout, including an exclamation-point sack-fumble touchdown, MI was simply too much for the Gators without 10 players available.

The Michigan Wolverines look for a quick 2-0 start after beating Florida, 33-17.

Senior quarterback Wilton Speight fended off a spirited challenge from sophomore Brandon Peters to keep his starting role and should provide a steady hand after throwing for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

Jim Harbaugh has guided the Wolverines to two straight 10-win seasons, while Jim McElwain has led the Gators to back-to-back SEC East Division titles, so this showdown at the home of the Dallas Cowboys should serve as a good litmus test for two programs that harbor hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff. Experts pointed to the loss of defensive starters as a reason to predict a step back for MI in 2017, even going as far as to label them an "inexperienced" defense. Florida vs MI football tv channel is on ABC, live stream is on WatchESPN. Francois says he has done a better job of being able to read opposing defenses quicker and has a better rapport with Nyquan Murray and Auden Tate, who became the two main receivers. For the first time in my lifetime, Michigan has a very good kicker.

MI hit its first big play because of a missed tackle by Florida safety Nick Washington, who was subsequently injured. "If Jim decides to wear the alternate uniform, the team will look great and they will go out and play well like they will play in our more traditional uniforms". The program was shut down after that season, but the school was pressured to restore the sport (both by the public and Conference USA, which was on the verge of booting UAB since it no longer fielded a football team).

"I think we just continue to challenge them", McElwain added. But Speight started the second half and orchestrated a 10-play scoring drive that gave MI the lead, 20-17. That set up a 30-yard field goal by Quinn, who then made a 50-yarder after MI recovered another fumble. McElwain, who spent much of the offseason suggesting the unit was ready to turn a corner, said his staff must make sure "we're doing what we're supposed to be doing in the weight room". MI out-rushed Florida, 215-11, turning a 17-13 halftime deficit to a 16-point victory en route to notching 433 yards. "Showed a lot of resilience, our team today, and I'm very proud of that". Callaway had 1,399 yards on 89 receptions in his first two years with the Gators. Two of the missed throws would have resulted in walk in TDs for the Wolverines if completed.

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Before that, Nordin committed to Penn State with the most epic kicker commitment video of all time.

"There's really good things to learn from it", Harbaugh said. Four plays later, MI scored a touchdown to go up 20-17 and never trailed again. But since the running game was totally inept, it was impossible to get any kind of rhythm and there was only two drives during the whole game that went for more than 30 yards: Franks leading a 46-yard march to a field goal on the first possession of the game and an eight-play, 36-yard drive led by Zaire that ended in a punt. Maize hats flew to the ball and consistently sent extra defenders into the backfield to pressure the quarterback. Aside from the interceptions on consecutive throws, Speight was 11-of-23 passing for 181 yards with the TD to Black.

Florida was down a touchdown in the second quarter, then the Gators weren't. Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire came on after that, and was 9 of 17 for 106 yards.

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

Next up: MI will face the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Big House on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Noon.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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