Gators, Wolverines to kick off 2017

The Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators will open the 2017 season in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the schools announced on Thursday.

The game, which will be held in prime-time on Sept. 2, will mark the third meeting between the Wolverines and the Gators and the first in the regular season. Michigan beat Florida 41-35 in the 2008 Capital One Bowl and 38-30 in the 2003 Outback Bowl.

The Gators have not played a nonconference game outside the state of Florida since going to Syracuse in 1991.

"You don't get these opportunities very often," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in an official statement. "Our schedule has been pretty consistent through the years. We were presented this opportunity and just thought it was something that our fans would embrace, our program would embrace. It would give us great national visibility. Obviously, a very difficult ballgame against a storied program -- that excites us."

Michigan opened the 2012 season in the Cowboys Classic against Alabama, losing 41-14.

"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the South and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible."

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