After months of anticipation for Florida-Michigan and some recent banter between head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim McElwain, the game is less than three days away. But as the season-opener gets closer, Florida continues to see more players get suspended, with it being announced Wednesday that two more are set to miss the season opener. Immediately after confirming the suspensions, McElwain named his starting quarterback, too. The game, however, will still continue from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Harbaugh released his roster Wednesday after a few days of playful resistance, while McElwain is keeping Harbaugh and the college football world in the dark on Florida’s starting quarterback. SEC Country writers Zach Abolverdi and Jordan McPherson discuss all of this and more in our latest Zaxby’s Sound Off.
- McElwain announced Wednesday that running back Jordan Scarlett and wide receiver Rick Wells are the latest Gators to be suspended for the season opener. Sources have confirmed that Scarlett and Wells’ suspensions are related to the seven previous suspensions as a result of misusing of school funds. UF Police Department spokesman Major Brad Barber also confirmed that there is an “active and ongoing investigation” into credit card fraud among UF players but couldn’t elaborate. This brings the grand total (so far) to 10 players out for marquee matchup against Michigan, including Scarlett and leading receiver Antonio Callaway. Nine are in relation to the misuse of funds. A 10th, freshman wide receiver James Robinson, was suspended Monday after being cited for marijuana possession last week. (1:30)
- In the midst of the suspension news, McElwain also announced that redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will be the starter against Michigan. He cited Franks’ “full body of work” dating back to the spring as the reason for starting him and that there was still “a little bit” missing from redshirt junior Luke Del Rio (coming off injury) and graduate transfer Malik Zaire (enrolled in summer). McElwain did add, however, that Franks being named the starter does not guarantee that it’ll be his for the rest of the season, alluding to an unspecified plan for how he is going to use his quarterbacks. As for the specifics on that plan, everyone is going to have to wait until Saturday. (5:00).
- Even without the suspesions, the Gators were anticipating a lot of pandemonium in their season-opener against Michigan. Now, instead of Florida having its top-two playmakers to rely on in Callaway and Scarlett, Florida will have to rely on a deep-yet unproven supporting cast of skill position players and a young defense in its biggest season opener in more than 30 years. Zach and Jordan explain how they feel Florida will respond (9:10)