Peach Bowl: Florida 41, Michigan 15

Tag: Florida Gators


30Dec 2018
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Peach Bowl: Florida 41, Michigan 15

 

If they don’t care, why should I? This was my attitude going into the game, and it was even more so throughout the game. Four NFL-bound players sat out the game (LB Devin Bush, Jr., RT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, DE Rashan Gary, RB Karan Higdon), and both Gary and Higdon should have been there for their teammates, their coaches, and their school. Bush and Bushell-Beatty were more questionable because of supposedly disqualifying injuries, but I sincerely doubt all four of those guys would have missed the game if they were playing in the College Football Playoff. I get it: they have to do what’s best for them. I also get this: I don’t like it. I can’t get excited about a game in which four starters, including two potential 1st-rounders and the first 1,000-yard running back in seven years, sit at home instead of trying to get their teammates and coaches to 11 wins.

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3Sep 2017
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Michigan 33, Florida 17

(image via MGoBlue)

The elephant in the room. Wilton Speight doesn’t look any better than he did in the spring. He was 11/25 for 181 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He threw more touchdowns to Florida (2) than he did to his own guys. I don’t believe this is a Jim Harbaugh thing. Harbaugh has shown elsewhere that he’s capable of coaching the quarterback position. Speight is the lone guy in Harbaugh’s history who has regressed. I hope Florida was just really good defensively – despite having 10 players suspended and a starting safety out with a torn Achilles – but I have no faith in that being the case. Speight consistently overthrows balls, a frustrating thing when guys are wide open, and a dangerous thing when guys are in traffic. I’ve seen people insisting that the first pick-six was on Kekoa Crawford, whose hands it bounced off of, but that throw was high and a tough catch. The second pick-six in the general vicinity of Grant Perry was wildly overthrown.

The hippo in the room. John O’Korn looked about the same as he did last year, too. I don’t understand yanking Speight in order to have O’Korn hand off the ball three times before punting, either. You don’t need a backup QB to hand off the ball. Speight is better with the ball handling, anyway, so that first O’Korn series was a waste, and the draw play on third down was awkward.

The armadillo in the room. I sure hope Brandon Peters gets some playing time this year.

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1Sep 2017
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Preview: Michigan vs. Florida

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RUSH OFFENSE vs. FLORIDA RUSH DEFENSE

Michigan finished #33 overall with 213 rushing yards/game in 2016, but leading rusher De’Veon Smith graduated. The depth chart is probably a little thinner this season, with Chris Evans, Karan Higdon, and Ty Isaac likely to share crunch-time carries. They all put up excellent yards per carry last season, with Evans leading the way. Michigan’s offensive line was #64 in Adjusted Line Yards, and they’ll be starting four guys at positions they weren’t starting at last season. Ben Bredeson returns at left guard, Mason Cole moves from center to left tackle, and there are brand new starters at center, right guard, and right tackle. It’s a concerning unit. Florida was #37 in rushing defense, giving up a little over 144 yards/game, and that’s consistent with their #36 Adjusted Line Yards ranking. Florida’s top tackler, safety Marcell Harris, is out due to injury, and the #2 guy (Jarrad Davis) was a 1st round draft pick. The top available, returning tackler is sophomore middle linebacker David Reese II (49 tackles), a one-time Michigan commit. The Gators have some talent on the starting defensive line in tackle Taven Bryan and end CeCe Jefferson, but the #2 guys at both DT spots are freshmen, and the #2 DE is suspended.
Advantage: Michigan

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2Jan 2016
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Michigan 41, Florida 7

Who saw that coming? Okay, maybe 8% of you saw that coming. But even a good chunk of that 8% probably didn’t think that Michigan would beat the Gators by 34 points. I don’t think most of us even believed that Michigan could score 41 points against Florida’s defense, especially given that special teams and Michigan’s defense didn’t factor into any scores or even any extremely short fields. The two turnovers Michigan forced were an interception by Channing Stribling on a fake field goal and then an interception by Jarrod Wilson in the endzone for a touchback. Michigan moved the ball methodically and in chunks, didn’t turn over the ball, and only punted once. That’s an impressive showing.

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1Jan 2016
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Citrus Bowl Preview: Special Teams, Intangibles, and Predictions

Antonio Callaway

I previously previewed:

SPECIAL TEAMS
Michigan kicker offer Kenny Allen has the Wolverines at #40 in touchback percentage (47%). He is generally pretty good at his job. He is also pretty good at placekicking, where he is #34 nationally on field goals (16/20, 80%) and tied for #1 on extra points (41/41, 100%). He might need to revisit his punting skills, though, because starting punter Blake O’Neill is rumored to be out with a knee injury. O’Neill was #63 in punting average, but he was excellent at pinning opponents deep. Allen has punted just once in his career, a 51-yarder in 2013. Considering Florida’s defense, he should get several opportunities to prove his ability to do a third job. Michigan is #3 in kickoff return average at 28.4 yards/return. Jabrill Peppers is a capable returner, but he will probably miss the game due to injury. And anyway, the majority of kickoff returns have been handled by Jourdan Lewis (25.2 yards/return), while the lone return TD was by Jehu Chesson (46 yards/return on 3 attempts). Whether it’s Lewis, Chesson, or someone the coaching staff deems even better, the Wolverines are pretty solid. (Aside: Did you know that 63 teams – or about half of FBS teams – do not have a kickoff return of 60+ yards?) Meanwhile, Peppers is the only player to have handled even a single punt this season and averaged 11.4 yards/return, which was #21 nationally. I imagine that we might see Lewis back there, although Amara Darboh has experience at just being a sure-handed punt returner with little big-play ability.

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