Jacksonville Sports Day

GATORS: No Offense for Florida in Season Opening Loss to Michigan

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DALLAS – Despite two stellar interception returns for touchdowns, Florida’s offense sputtered in a 33-17 loss to Michigan in the season opener for both schools.

‘First and foremost, they physically took it to us, give them their due. They beat us every which way they could up front, and we never had an answer,” said Florida Coach Jim McElwain following the loss.

Florida had its streak of 27 consecutive season-opening wins broken, which had been the longest streak in the country.

The Gators’ Duke Dawson had a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown and C.J. Henderson also scored on a 41-yard pick, both in the second quarter. With his 46-yard field goal in the first quarter, Florida’s Eddy Pineiro extended his streak of consecutive made field goals to 13.

Feleipe Franks became the first UF redshirt freshman QB to start a season opener since Kyle Morris in 1988. Franks threw for 75 yards on five-for-nine passing. A freshman QB has started 75 games for the Gators. Florida is 48-26-1 in those games.

“Well, I just thought we needed to, you know, try to shake up the batting order there a little bit. Thought Malik (Zaire) might come in and give us a little change of pace at that point, obviously still in the ball game, and weren’t really able to generate anything,” McElwain said of a QB switch.

In his first appearance at Florida, Zaire threw for 106 yards on nine-of-17 passing.

“It isn’t back to the drawing board. There were some things that were there that didn’t get executed, and yet we’ve got to come back and execute those,” noted McElwain when asked about the Gators’ offensive line.

GATOR NOTES: Garret Stephens’ blocked punt in the second quarter was the first of his career, and the first for Florida since Loucheiz Purifoy against Miami in 2013….Jachai Polite set a career-high with six tackles….Nick Washington set a career-high with nine tackles….The Gators drop their all-time record in season openers to 83-28.

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