No. 11 Michigan Has Way With No. 17 Florida 33-17, Gators Offense Accounts For 11 Rushing Yards
By Scott Carter, Florida Gators // September 3, 2017
Florida Takes On N. Colorado next week
ABOVE VIDEO: Michigan VS Florida Football Highlights.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS (FloridaGators) – The lead up to Saturday’s much-anticipated opener between Florida (0-1) and Michigan (1-0) in the AdvoCare Classic lasted for more than three years, ever since the schools agreed to the deal in December 2013.
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.
The Gators failed to score an offensive touchdown as they lost to the Wolverines for the second time in 20 months.
THE QUICK SLANT
WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators lost their season opener for the first time since 1989 to Ole Miss. Their streak of 27 consecutive wins to open the season was the longest active streak in the country prior to Saturday’s loss. Ohio State now owns the nation’s longest streak of season-opening wins with 18 in a row.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Feleipe Franks became the first redshirt freshman to start at quarterback for the Gators in 29 years. Franks completed the first pass of his career to Josh Hammond for 34 yards on UF’s opening drive. However, Franks got no help from the running game and was replaced by Malik Zaire late in the third quarter. Franks finished 5 of 9 for 75 yards and was sacked once.
STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators were unable to sustain drives and that allowed the Wolverines’ defense to get off the field quick and their offense get to work. Despite benching starting quarterback Wilton Speight for a stretch after a pair of interceptions, he returned to help Michigan rack up 433 yards of offense. Florida finished with only 192. In a pair of losses to Michigan in a span of 15 games, the Wolverines have accumulated 935 yards of offense.
SUBPLOT: The Gators staged a three-man quarterback battle during preseason camp that resulted in head coach Jim McElwain naming Franks the starter three days before the game. Zaire played Saturday as well, going 9 of 17 for 106 yards and five sacks. Meanwhile, Luke Del Rio, who started six games a year ago, did not play. McElwain declined to say if the competition is once again open entering the second game, so stay tuned. Franks was replaced Saturday primarily to give a different look for Michigan’s defense, not because of his performance.
UP NEXT: The Gators return home to host Northern Colorado next Saturday in the home opener. Florida is celebrating the 25th anniversary since Ben Hill Griffin Stadium became affectionally known as “The Swamp” thanks for former UF head coach and current ambassador Steve Spurrier. Should be a festive opener back in Gainesville.
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