MI defense takes big bite out of Gators

05 September, 2017, 19:46 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Michigan-alternate-uniforms-2012-Sugar-Bowl

However, aside from those two significant mishaps, the rest of the game was all MI. Saturday's performance against MI wasn't just bad; it might be the offensive low point of head coach Jim McElwain's tenure.

When the Wolverines got out of their own way with costly mistakes that put Florida in the game, his pair of top-10 recruiting classes and reputation for player development shined. "Let me be very clear: That sort of criticism is bulls--". "No, I'm not going to tell you what it is, so there's no reason to ask".

"If you're not chasing ideal, you're not getting better".

Not only is this hilarious, it's also great recruiting PR for the MI coach, who gets to keep pounding the message that he'll do whatever it takes. The Gators offered few positives or building blocks during a game much more lopsided than the score would indicate. Instead, for the third time in seven games the Gators failed to score an offensive touchdown.

"We don't think anything of it", Cole said. Harbaugh is an expert at getting his players to overachieve and to play consistently well. "And that was disappointing".

Replacing 18 of 22 starters, staring down the barrel of their own mistakes almost giving the game away, having the world wonder if you're for real or if there will be a painful break-in period, MI more than sent notice to the rest of the conference and even the nation. This included the team's most accomplished receiver, Antonio Callaway, and running back, Jordan Scarlett.

McElwain also boasted this spring and summer that the offensive line was playing with a new energy and aggressiveness thanks to new position coach Brad Davis.

But McElwain hinted the playcalling of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier might have held back the team's playmakers.

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Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, junior Luke Del Rio and Malik Zaire - a graduate transfer from Notre Dame - are all still candidates to open the game.

"They were a big part [of the gameplan, ]" McElwain said.

The Florida Gators are coming from a 9-4 record and they nearly got to where they wanted, but they lost to Alabama in the SEC title game. Offensively, Michigan averaged 40.3 points per game in the 2016 season. After Saturday's game, Nussmeier took a beating on social media. Bettors are favoring the Wolverines with 65% for them to cover the spread and the remaining 35% for the Gators. Against Florida, Speight was only 11-for-25 for 185 yards and a touchdown but it was the two interceptions that allowed the Gators to lead the game at halftime. He also moved into the top five in school history in TD passes and yards rushing.

McElwain said his defense wore down. Florida took a 17-10 lead.

Dawson said the Gators would stick together. "Obviously it hurts, and I will think about it".

"The philosophy is meritocracy", Harbaugh said. "I don't point fingers at anyone. We'll come back and do the right thing and be OK".

Beyond a two-play stretch in the second quarter, the Gators never presented a real threat to breaching the goal line - or the first down line with any regularity for that matter. To me, that's a linchpin game for both teams and for both coaches. Instead of serving as a springboard to bigger things, Saturday's game forced the Gators to face a cold reality. "We have no choice but to get better".

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