But what could detract from the possible distractions is the fact the Gators are starting the strong-armed Franks at quarterback and some gifted true freshmen will be seeing their first playing time, led by Marco Wilson, who is slated to start at cornerback.
Getting older has not automatically made the offensive line better. MI proved to be the more dominant team throughout, outgaining its opponent 433-192 on offense and finding it relatively easy to convert third and fourth downs over the course of the game. They have two of their biggest rivals at home this year, a returning starter at the quarterback position and one of the best defensive coordinators in the game in Don Brown. Without the two errant throws, MI emerges from Jerry World with a mediocre quarterback performance, a dominant running game, and a stifling defense.
"They physically took it to us, give them their due", Florida coach Jim McElwain said. "I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do". But left tackle Martez Ivey showed it when asked if he was surprised about No. 17 UF's offensive line getting physically pummeled by MI.
Highlights of the second half includes MI getting back in the groove with a three-yard TD run from Karan Higdon, followed by back-to-back field goals from Nordin, who made a school history with two 50-plus field goals in a single game - including a 50-yard FG in the third. "They played their best, and they played for MI and won for MI today".
MI players had said this season-opening game against Florida would give them an immediate, out-of-the gate gauge of just how much the Wolverines achieved in preseason camp.
There are lots of new starters on the offensive side as well - sophomore Chris Evans (614 yards) figures to be the starting running back - but Harbaugh maintains he isn't concerned. (Kentucky), Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt) and Derrius Guice (LSU) in the first four weeks of SEC play.
For arguably the first time in the Jim Harbaugh era, MI has never had so much uncertainty at positions on both sides of the ball.
MI outgained Florida 433 yards to 192 and had it not been for two interceptions by the Gators which were returned for touchdowns, along with a couple of overthrown TD passes by Wolverines QB Wilton Speight, it could have easily been a five or six touchdown spread when all was said and done.
The lack of playmakers showed on offense for the Gators, as their quarterbacks were unable to sustain drives throughout the game.
ODDS AND ENDS: Only two of the Gators' 14 completions were to a tight end (both to C'yontai Lewis).
Yes, those Wolverines that had eight defensive players taken in the National Football League draft earlier this year and also lost two other starters. Seeing that your team outworked there opponent and had them beat before either team touched the field, should make all MI fans proud.
"That had no impact on the outcome of this game", McElwain said.
David Davis accuses EU Brexit negotiator of 'silly approach'
However, the Brexit Secretary said the United Kingdom would meet its obligations but would not be drawn on a financial figure. The Brexit Secretary dismissed as "nonsense" claims that the United Kingdom would pay a £50 billion fee to exit the EU.
Harbaugh reads letter to inspire freshmen: Harbaugh received a letter from a MI fan, talking about how he and fellow soldiers 20 and under faced pressure in battle, and he said he read the letter to help inspire his freshmen before their first collegiate game. "And yet, it's not time to hit the panic button".
The youngest team in college football has the goods to defend against some growing pains. "We'll come back and do the right thing and be OK".
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Class 5A is only the third-largest in Florida, which is part of why this was a situation where the star quarterback also was the placekicker. It is also worrisome that a position group he spent months bragging on - the offensive line - was manhandled by MI from start to finish.
Mayfield completed 16 straight passes to start the game. Sharpe was talented, but he didn't block SEC defensive lines all by himself. The Wolverines won the last meeting 41-7 in the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2016.
It is completely reasonable to criticize McElwain for Saturday's performance and adjust season expectations.
Florida made its share of opening day mistakes too, notably fumbling twice to even up the turnover battle in the third quarter. They lost three fumbles, one recovered in the end zone for a MI touchdown. They finished with six sacks. What is most surprising is that Franks did not get to throw almost as many passes as Zaire.
"They were a big part [of the gameplan, ]" McElwain said. You tell your young men that every down they play could be their last, every down they play, they will never get that play back. The confidence issue, however, could come the following Saturday against Tennessee. His start was shaky, but there is still reason to have confidence in him.
Freshman running back Malik Davis will see an increased role in the immediate future out of necessity to get the running game going.
A similar scenario unfolded for Speight in the second quarter against Florida.