The Michigan Wolverines earned their first victory of the 2017 season this afternoon as they crushed the short-handed Florida Gators by the final score of 33-17. If you didn't happen to see the game, the final score does not indicate how much the Wolverines' defense dominated the Florida Gators from the very first snap.

In fact, if it wasn't for Wilton Speight throwing two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns by the Florida defense, Michigan could have won this game by 20 points or more. In fairness to Speight, one of the two defensive touchdowns by the Gators was a tipped ball that had nothing to do with the pass.

Wolverines' defense: total domination

When two Top 25 teams meet in Week 1 of the season, you expect a hard-hitting battle. The hard hits came, but they were all laid out by the Wolverines. Michigan trailed at the half 17-13, however, the second half was a different story.

The Wolverines pitched a second half shutout, outscoring the Gators 20-0. Michigan was very balanced on offense, gaining over 200 yards on the ground and 200 by air, but the real story was the Maize and Blue defense. Florida could only muster up 11 total yards on the ground and 154 overall. Sure, one game doesn’t make a season, but the Michigan defense looked awfully good this afternoon against the Gators.

Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight finished the game 11 for 25, passing for 181 yards and a touchdown.

On the ground, Ty Isaac led all rushers with 114 yards while Chris Evans added 78.

Florida entered today's game against the Wolverines with 10 players not suiting up due to suspensions -- including its two top offensive playmakers. While that didn't help the Gators' cause, they were totally dominated from start to finish this afternoon from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

Michigan improves to 4-0 lifetime versus Florida

The Wolverines don't play the Gators much but when they do their success rate is impeccable. Today's big win over No. 17 Florida moved Michigan’s record to a perfect 4-0 lifetime against the Gators. The win today by Michigan gave the Gators their first opening day loss since 1989.

On that day, the Gators lost to the Ole Miss Rebels 24-19. The Gators came into this game with a 12-6 record against Big Ten teams.

The Wolverines will enjoy this win for a day or two, but head coach Jim Harbaugh will have his team focused and ready for next weekend's home opener against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

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