When coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the offensive line's performance after the game he said, "Really, really played even better than we thought..."
In a nutshell - the defense was dominant, the offense was less so and scarred by a couple critical turnovers, and the kicking game has a real weapon.
During the first quarter of the season opener between No. 11 MI and No. 17 Florida on Saturday, the Wolverines had a touchdown called back. Quarterback Feleipe Franks struggled without his No. 1 receiver and running back.
MICHIGAN: While the defense has been greatly overhauled - remember, there were eight Michigan defenders drafted off last year's unit - the Wolverines limited Florida to 192 total yards (only 11 yards rushing). The Gators were 2-of-12 on third down.
Sophomore linebacker David Reese was a positive standout, leading the team with 11 tackles.
A strip sack by Winovich would turn into a fumble recovery TD by Noah Furbush virtually ending the game with the score 33- 17.
Unfortunately, the lift from those momentum-flipping plays and the 17-10 lead those pick-6s gave Florida didn't last very long. The Wolverines never trailed again, but clearly had plenty of opportunities to pile on points. MI K Quinn Nordin two field goals of at least 50 yards in the same game are a program first. He missed two attempts wide right in the fourth quarter, one of those from 52 yards. MI then received the ball and marched down the field.
Florida's only point on offense came courtesy of a 42-yard field goal from Eddy Pineiro on the first drive of the game.
The Wolverines went three and out. Karan Higdon also showed some shiftiness with 7 carries for 28 yards and a touchdown. Without a ground game to take the burden of Franks and keep UF's defense off the field, MI simply wore down the Gators in the second half.
MI went into halftime down 17-13 thanks to Nordin's 55-yard field goal.
MI got the ball right back when Ambry Thomas forced and recovered a fumble on the kickoff. While these two plays helped, Florida was held to a field goal giving them a 3-0 lead.
On Florida's next possession, Franks scrambled on third down, was hit by Josh Metellus and Lawrence Marshall recovered. Despite claiming the SEC East title in his first two years, something no other SEC coach has done in conference history, the Gators will need to put some offensive pressure on MI to set the tone for the season, especially with first time starter sophomore Feleipe Franks lined up under center come Saturday afternoon. The Gators had 46 total yards to Michigan's 133. Speight threw two straight pick-sixes on consecutive drives. Officials ruled MI had an ineligible player downfield, nullifying Wilton Speight's throw to Kekoa Crawford.
O'Korn came in on the next series and wasn't able to spark the offense. MI had to settle for a field goal. The Florida Gators are not revealing who will play the starting quarterback. It had 19 first downs to the Gators' 9.
Perhaps even better, the running game clicked with the two-back system of Ty Isaac (11 carries, 114 yards) and Chris Evans (22 carries, 78 yards).