The marquee college football game on Saturday afternoon is a contest between the 17th ranked Florida Gators and the 11th ranked Michigan Wolverines. The Gators will attempt to build off of last season as the Gators went 9-4 including a victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Florida is still a long ways away from being a title contender, but the program is definitely headed in the right direction. Michigan, led by coach Jim Harbaugh, will look to build on last season as the Wolverines went 10-3 last season. However, the season ended with a brutal 33-32 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Both of these teams have a very slim chance to make the college football playoffs but a win against a top 20 team will definitely help.
Florida, led by coach Jim McElwainn, has the ability to put their program back on the map and a victory over Michigan is a good place to start. However, that victory looks less likely as the program had to suspend several players indefinitely including star running back Jordan Scarlett. With Scarlett out, one has to wonder if Florida will still be able to put up enough points to defeat Michigan. To add to the confusion, Florida is going to start freshman Feleipe Franks at quarterback but it is still likely that other quarterbacks like Malik Zaire will see some snaps. However, Florida’s team will succeed this season due to its defense. Florida has a very solid defensive line which can dominate the line of scrimmage and make life difficult for the Michigan offense.
Michigan, led by senior quarterback Wilton Speight, have their work cut out for them in they want to make a title run. Specifically, Michigan’s defense is a huge question mark. Michigan only has one returning starter from a season ago on defense and could be using up to six freshman in the starting lineup. However, Harbaugh is known for being an elite recruiter and one can expect those freshman to play a lot better than most people anticipate. Out of all the losses on defense, the biggest loss has to be safety jabril Peppers. Peppers played a variety of positions, on offense and defense, last season and was a head of that defensive unit. With him gone, one of the new faces will have to step up and make several game changing plays.
As for a prediction, I am going to side with the Wolverines. Both these teams have serious issues which makes this specific game extremely tough to predict. However, when in doubt, go with the better coach. No offense to Jim McElwainn, but Jim Harbaugh is clearly the better football coach. Harbaugh is an expert at getting his players to overachieve and to play consistently well. For that reason, I will take Michigan winning this game by about a touchdown or so in what should be a low scoring game.
Florida vs. Michigan: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Florida vs. Michigan
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017
Start Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
How To Florida vs. Michigan Online & Mobile
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