Michigan vs. Florida: RECAP, score and STATS (9/2/17)
The 11th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, led by coach Jim Harbaugh, met the 17th-ranked Florida Gators on Saturday, September 2, 2017 (9/2/17) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the first game of the season for both teams.
Check the scoreboard above for the final score and click on the stats link for game stats.
Here's the AP recap:
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Quinn Nordin became the first Michigan kicker to make two 50-yard field goals in the same game, one of them in a quick go-ahead spurt after halftime, and the 11th-ranked Wolverines won 33-17 Saturday to hand 17th-ranked Florida its first season-opening loss in nearly three decades.
The Gators had won 27 consecutive season openers, the nation's longest such streak, since a home loss to Mississippi in 1989.
Michigan trailed 17-13 at halftime before scoring three times in the first 6 minutes of the second half.
After Karan Higdon's 3-yard TD run capped a half-opening 75-yard, 10-yard drive, Ambry Thomas forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. That set up a 30-yard field goal by Quinn, who then made a 50-yarder after Michigan recovered another fumble.
Nordin made four field goals, including a 55-yarder in the first half. He missed two attempts wide right in the fourth quarter, one of those from 52 yards.
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 Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Florida's only touchdowns came when Duke Dawson and CJ Henderson returned interceptions for touchdowns. Those came on consecutive throws by Michigan starting quarterback Wilton Speight in the second quarter.
MICHIGAN: While th e defense has been greatly overhauled -- remember, there were eight Michigan defenders drafted off last year's unit -- the Wolverines limited Florida to 192 total yards (only 11 yards rushing). They even scored a touchdown on a sack that resulted in a fumble recovered in the end zone. Aside from the interceptions on consecutive throws, Speight was 11-of-23 passing for 181 yards with a 46-yard TD to Tarik Black.
FLORIDA: It was really hard to judge the Gators with their leading returning receiver Antonio Callaway and top returning rusher Jordan Scarlett among 10 players suspended for the opener. Redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks, in his first start for the Gators, completed 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards and lost a fumble early in the second half. Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire came on after that, and was 9 of 17 for 106 yards.
MICHIGAN: The Wolverines play their home opener next Saturday in a first-ever meeting against Cincinnati.
FLORIDA: The Gators have their final tuneup before SEC play, hosting Northern Colorado for their home opener next Saturday.
Here's what you need to know:
Who: (11) Michigan (0-0) vs. (17) Florida (0-0)
When: Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Line: Michigan -3.5
Harbaugh is playing games.
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 Michigan kicks off the season against No. 17 Florida in Texas.
And he won't say whether returning starter Wilton Speight or seldom-used senior John O'Korn will take the first snap Saturday against the Gators at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
"Have not heard Florida announce who their starting quarterback would be," Harbaugh said Monday. "We'd love to have that information. No, we're not announcing our starting quarterback. People make a lot of a big deal about our roster or not announcing a starting quarterback."
NJ Advance Media, attempting to identify New Jersey natives playing in the Big Ten, submitted a Freedom Of Information Act request to obtain the Wolverines' 2018 roster. The list of players was not published online or printed on paper when the team had spring practice or reported for training camp this summer. The school relented a little, releasing the student-athletes on athletic scholarship on Harbaugh's roster.
Michigan center Mason Cole and his teammates have gotten used to the off-the-field buzz Harbaugh has created since coming back to campus in 2015.
"We don' t think anything of it," Cole said. "We just go out and play. We don't really worry about the rosters."
The public will likely have to wait until Saturday afternoon to find out if Speight is starting as expected or if O'Korn has gone from barely playing last year to becoming the No. 1 QB against Florida.
"The philosophy is meritocracy," Harbaugh said. "There's competition that's healthy, fair and productive. It's been very good. It's been a good camp for our quarterbacks. We feel confident in our guys. We believe in them."
Harbaugh does not believe, though, in tipping his hand or sharing his plan with a team withholding similar information.
"I have not seen the starting quarterback come out of Florida," he said. "Never any mention of that. Interesting. Yes, we'd like to have that information from them and I'm sure they'd like to have it from us. Right now, neith er is giving that information."
Florida has, indeed, kept its starting quarterback under wraps throughout preseason practice.
Gators coach Jim McElwain even hinted last week that three QBs could take a snap against Michigan. Fourth-year junior Luke Del Rio, redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, are the candidates for the job.
McElwain dodged every question about his QBs on Monday and only dropped a tongue-in-cheek hint that receiver Kadarius Toney would take the first snap in the wildcat formation.
"The quarterback situation, we have a plan that's in place," he said. "No, I'm not going to tell you what it is, so there's no reason to ask. But we're excited about that. We'll leave that for them to guess as well."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)Source: Google News