wnol.info July 23 2018

Wolverines Game 1 recap 2017: MI defense, rushing game dominates Florida

July 23 2018, 05:48 | Irvin Gilbert

Matthew Emmons USA TODAY Sports

Jim Mc Elwain Jim Harbaugh

ARLINGTON, Tex. - Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said he gets "lots of letters".

MI largely won in spite of Speight, as he completed 11 of 25 passes for 181 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns by Florida in the second quarter on back-to-back drives.

This interception returned for a touchdown was upheld after a review. Quarterback Feleipe Franks struggled without his No. 1 receiver and running back. The Gators were 2-of-12 on third down.

"Young don't mean nothing", said sophomore linebacker Devin Bush, who had a team-high seven tackles and two sacks. On back-to-back plays inside his 10, he fumbled, the second of which MI recovered in the end zone for its final touchdown.

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.

The Wolverines appear to have everything else in place again. Florida could only muster up 11 total yards on the ground and 154 overall. Along with the interceptions, he also missed Crawford for what should have been an easy, lung-puncturing touchdown early in the fourth quarter. If a few more balls are caught by receivers, or Speight is even slightly more accurate, this would have been a complete blowout. Florida's Garrett Stephens then blocked the punt.

After the offense went three-and-out, Pineiro had a chance to give the Gators a 10-point lead. Speight finished 11 of 25 passing for 181 yards, but the Wolverines dominated a short-handed Gators team for a big nonconference victory.

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The Wolverines, with Speight starting the second half, had a well-designed 10-play drive to open the second half to regain the lead.

MI quarterback Wilton Speight finished the game 11 for 25, passing for 181 yards and a touchdown. But it was to no avail - MI held the Gators to 2-for-13 on third down and forced five fumbles, including a game-sealing fumble on Zaire on the end zone that turned into a touchdown.

MI got the ball right back when Ambry Thomas forced and recovered a fumble on the kickoff.

On Florida's next possession, Franks scrambled on third down, was hit by Josh Metellus and Lawrence Marshall recovered. MI kept long drives going on offense and kept Florida drives to a minimum on defense. MI took a 26-17 lead.

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. The Gators had 46 total yards to Michigan's 133. He was briefly yanked for John O'Korn in the second quarter after throwing consecutive pick-sixes to Duke Dawson and CJ Henderson.

O'Korn came in on the next series and wasn't able to spark the offense. They settled for tying field goal. That was true regardless of who was in the game at quarterback. It had 19 first downs to the Gators' 9. Ty Isaac and Chris Evans combined for 104 rushing yards, including Isaac's 36-yard run in the first quarter.

The glaring box score line, though - points off turnovers.

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