The No.11 Michigan Wolverines (1-0) fought their way to a win against the No. 17 Florida Gators (0-1) beating them 33-17 on Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
Wilton Speight threw for 181 yards and a touchdown despite throwing two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
Ty Isaac ran for 114 yards on 11 carries while Chris Evans ran for 78 yards on 22 carries. Meanwhile, true freshman Tarik Black had 83 yards and a touchdown. Grant Perry lead the team with four receptions.
As a unit, Michigan’s offense amassed 433 yards including 215 rushing yards. The Gators, on the other hand, were held to just 192 total yards and a scarce 11 yards rushing.
The two teams exchanged field goals on their first drives of the game. Then after forcing a three and out, the Wolverines scored the first touchdown of the game on a 46-yard pass from Speight to Tarik Black, his first college touchdown catch.
The maize and blue defense, which lost 10 of it’s 11 starters from a year ago, kept holding it’s own in the second quarter, but it was the offense that kept giving away the points.
Midway through the quarter, Wilton Speight threw two straight interceptions that were returned for touchdowns to give the Gators a 17-10 lead. Michigan would later add a 55-yard field goal to make it 17-13 going into the second half.
The Wolverines marched 75 yards to take a 20-17 lead with 11:53 to go. Then added two field goals after Florida fumbled on it’s preceding kickoff return and on the following offensive drive.
The two teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter with the Wolverines missing a few opportunities to put the game away. However, Michigan finally put the icing on the cake when they recovered a fumble in Florida’s end zone to go up for good 33-17.
Florida, who played without 10 players because of suspension, split time at quarterback between redshirt freshman Felipe Franks and graduate transfer Malik Zaire. However, neither of them seemed to be able to solve the puzzle that was the Michigan defense.
Michigan will return home next week to host the Cincinnati Bearcats at Noon EST.