The Florida Gators open their 2017 schedule in style on Saturday, facing a very talented Michigan squad in Arlington, Texas. Here is your first look at Michigan.
WHAT WE KNOWWe know that Michigan is pretty good and well coached. Last year the Wolverines finished 10-3 and fell to Florida State 33-32 in the Orange Bowl. What do the experts think about this Michigan team? Massey’s consensus rankings of 50 different ratings and rankings sources put Jim Harbaugh’s team at No. 10 in the nation with the best ranking being No. 4 and the worst No. 50. There are concerns for the Michigan team. They return just four offensive starters and 1 (ONE) defensive starter. The one defensive returning starter is linebacker Mike McCray, a senior who must feel like a grampa. On offense the Wolverines do have quarterback Wilton Speight (2,500 yds, 18 TDS, 7 INT) back along with tight end Ian Bunting. The other two offensive returnees are two offensive linemen, Mason Cole and Ben Bredeson.
INJURIES AND TRANSFERS
Florida faces some tough challenges, including missing numerous players due to injuries and suspensions. Perhaps the biggest loss will be wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who along with seven other players, violated NCAA rules with how they used money intended to offset the true cost of college attendance. LB Marcell Harris is another player the Gators will miss but his reason is injury. With all these injuries and suspensions along with massive graduation on the Michigan side, it’ll probably be a battle of who can handle adversity better.
Saturday’s game starts at 3:30 pm ET. Watch the game on ABC.