Florida running back's words fire up Michigan's 'D'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan's Rashan Gary puts some pressure on Florida quarterback Malik Zaire in the fourth quarter.

Arlington, Texas — Florida running back Jordan Scarlett did not play in the season-opener because of a suspension, but he had an enormous effect on Michigan’s defense.

Last week, a video of his comments about the Wolverines’ defensive line surfaced.

“I saw him fervently say what they were going to do,” senior Maurice Hurst said after the Wolverines’ 33-17 victory on Saturday at AT&T Stadium.

Michigan took what Scarlett said as an affront.

“They hold their ground well, but they don’t move well from sideline-to-sideline, so I think we should take advantage of a couple things like that,” Scarlett said.

The Wolverines weren’t thrilled.

“It’s insulting,” Hurst said. “I would never come out and talk badly about another team. You use that as billboard material and move on from there.”

Defensive lineman Chase Winovich said lineman Rashan Gary said words he could not repeat about the sideline-to-sideline comment and used that as motivation before the game.

“I probably shouldn’t comment on this, but I just really didn’t understand why Florida would come out and say all these negative things about us,” Winovich said. “They didn’t respect us last time (we played). Like we beat them pretty bad. Like, you would think they would respect us this time.

“Just after that I got a text saying, ‘Oh, look at Florida’s running back saying you guys don’t run well sideline to sideline.’ It’s kind of sad. I don’t know why they would think that with our front being so athletic and our history of running to the ball. If you look at any tape, our defensive line just ran on every play.”