Arlington, Texas – Michigan players have been waiting since the disappointing finish to last season – a finish that included dropping three of their final four by five points – to get back on the field.
The Wolverines finally get that chance as the season opens Saturday against Florida at AT&T Stadium.
Some lingering questions from preseason camp will soon be answered.
In pre-game warmups, quarterback Wilton Speight took all the significant snaps, and he did get the start. Speight, the starter last season, had been challenged during camp by John O’Korn and redshirt freshman Brandon Peters. Speight and O’Korn had separated themselves about midway through camp.
The first-string offensive line in warmups and to start the game, left to right, was: Mason Cole, Ben Bredeson, Patrick Kugler, Michael Onwenu and Nolan Ulizio.
Florida enters the game with 10 players suspended. Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will start at quarterback for the Gators.
For the Wolverines, this game, this season, is about proving something. They’ve grown weary of questions about the youth and inexperience on this team; there are just five returning starters.
“No doubt about it,” sophomore defensive lineman Rashan Gary said last week when asked if the team has something to prove. “I feel excited. We have to prove to the nation what Michigan has and what this season will be. I feel like ever since last season ended we had that chip on our shoulder. We’ve been keeping it and attacking.”
James Hudson, who moved from defensive line to the offensive line in camp, revealed on Twitter Saturday morning he did not make the trip because of a concussion “and having to do the protocol but good luck my brothers in Texas …” he wrote.
Freshmen Luiji Vilain and Donovan Jeter also did not make the trip because of injuries.