Orange Bowl Preview: Wrap-up, Notes, Predictions

Orange Bowl Preview: Wrap-up, Notes, Predictions

December 30, 2016

I hope you’ve enjoyed the football previews this week. I don’t follow a lot of other Michigan blogs, but I think you’ve probably found more content here this week than at any other independently run Michigan site. Here’s a wrap-up of this week’s posts, as well as some additional thoughts:


  • Today, December 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Miami, FL
  • Televised on ESPN
  • Jim Harbaugh (2-1 in bowl games) vs. Jimbo Fisher (4-2 in bowl games)


  • Florida State players recruited by Michigan: OT Abdul Bello, LB Josh Brown, DE Brian Burns, OT Landon Dickerson, QB Deondre Francois, WR George Campbell, QB Malik Henry, LB Dontavious Jackson, OT Roderick Johnson, CB Marcus Lewis, DT Derrick Nnadi, RB Jacques Patrick, RB Amir Rasul, DE Janarius Robinson, LB Josh Sweat, WR Auden Tate, DB Levonta Taylor, TE Naseir Upshur, DE Jalen Wilkderson, OT Jauan Williams
  • WR George Campbell III was committed to Michigan at one point and was a high school teammate of Michigan center Mason Cole
  • Offensive lineman Andrew Boselli is the son of former NFL left tackle Tony Boselli

Hit the jump for more on the Michigan vs. Florida State matchup, along with a bonus picture of Michigan fan/model Elle Johnson.


  • Michigan lost by a score of 51-31 on September 28, 1991
  • Florida State’s stars were QB Charlie Ward and CB Terrell Buckley. Ward went on to a career in the NBA, and Buckley became a solid nickel corner in the NFL.
  • Elvis Grbac was 19/32 for 212 yards, 4 TDs, and 3 INTs
  • Steve Morrison and Dwayne Ware notched interceptions
  • Desmond Howard had 4 catches for 69 yards and 2 TDs, along with 3 punt returns for 60 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 60 yards


  • Jim Harbaugh was the QB at Michigan and went 9/16 for 122 yards
  • Ivan Hicks (2) and Erik “Soup” Campbell (1) notched interceptions
  • Michigan won by a score of 20-18 on September 27, 1986


Michigan beat Alabama by a score of 35-34 in Tom Brady’s signature performance as a Wolverine in 2000. Here’s a link to PART 1 and PART 2, but the best stuff is here:


  • Dalvin Cook runs for 110 yards and 2 TDs
  • Maurice Hurst, Jr. makes 1.5 sacks
  • Jake Butt catches the winning touchdown
  • Michigan 24, Florida State 20


  1. Comments: 191
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Excellent work on all the Orange Bowl previews, it is very difficult to predict bowl games because of the layoff and who knows which teams will decide to show up to play. This should be a fun game to watch with the speed of FSU vs the smashmouth ball control approach by Michigan.

  2. Comments: 523
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Your coverage of this game and the two teams has been outstanding!

    I don’t always understand some of the more subtle elements of the game, but the stuff I read here helps me get more and more out of watching the games.

    I honestly don’t know who will win this game. I think the old cliche likely applies — the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins. Michigan can’t turn the ball over three times in this game like they did against OSU. Solid play — if not spectacular — wins this for Michigan. Anything less and I fear the combination of FSU’s athleticism and the home-field advantage tips this to FSU.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Dec 30, 2016 at 12:26 PM

      I want to see a conservative ground-oriented approach from Michigan too. They’ll have to take some shots of course, but I hope it’s after the ground game (including end arounds of course) is established.

      Would be awesome t to send Peppers and all these seniors off with a great game.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2016 at 6:43 PM

      Thanks, DonAZ. I’m glad this site helps you understand the game a little more.

  3. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    I hated that 2000 game from start to finish. I always thought that Pflugner saw all those guys lined up to his left, got it in his head and unconsciously pushed it away from the rush.

    Just a theory.

  4. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Nice work on the preview series. I enjoyed reading all of it, and appreciate the extended preview for a big bowl game. “more content here this week than at any other independently run Michigan site” is right. Well done.

    That 91 FSU game was the first time I could remember seeing Michigan getting their butts kicked so thoroughly.

    I think it’ll be a little closer and lower scoring this time – more like 17-14 good guys.

    I like that Don Brown has some experience keeping FSU in check. The 2014 BC team held Winston/Cook to 20 points and in 2015 they held Golson/Coook to just 7 (the other TD was on defense.) I’d like to think M can put up more points but I hate the matchups and am down on our offense in general. Still, I trust Harbaugh and Fisch with a month of prep time to put together a game plan good enough to manufacture something. Hoping to see OL improvement more than anything else.

    Would love to see a repeat of the Citrus Bowl, but my hopes aren’t high for FSU mailing it in. They – at least Jimbo Fisher – seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about the attention Harbaugh has gotten.

    Should be a great game. Go Blue!

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2016 at 6:42 PM

      Thanks. I’m glad the posts are appreciated.

      I would love to see Don Brown and the defense put on a performance like he did at Boston College. We have better athletes than BC, so maybe he has the key to shutting down FSU.

  5. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Sidenote: anyone else surprised by the lack of ‘rumbling’ and insider buzz in the lead up to this bowl? Maybe I just haven’t read it but usually this time of year you hear stuff about young guys stepping up or plans to do feature somebody in the bowl game, etc. This year it seems quiet.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2016 at 6:40 PM

      I agree that it seems quieter than normal.

    • Comments: 1863
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      Dec 30, 2016 at 7:52 PM

      I think a lot of fans are bummed about missing the playoffs. Despite how far we’ve come under JH in just his second seasons, I think too many believed we were actually a top 2-3 team

      FWIW, I’ve thought all year we were 4-7 team, mostly because of the OL, lack of a great RB, new QB, and so-so WRs. Just too many missing pieces

  6. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    I remember watching the first half of that 2000 Orange Bowl at a bar in New Orleans. I don’t remember the second half.

  7. Comments: 117
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    Dec 30, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Thunder, Great job! Thank you for this!

    How confident are you in saying that UM will win?

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2016 at 6:39 PM

      I’m not extremely confident, to be honest. Florida State’s defensive line could wreak havoc on our offensive line and Speight, and we saw how he performed under pressure against Iowa and Ohio State. I don’t think Michigan will get blown out or anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised with a loss.

  8. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Dec 30, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    Thanks for all the work this week Thunder — great job, and MUCH appreciated!

    Go Blue

  9. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Yeah! This site is the Rok! Lurk a lot on others but this only 1 ever signed on 2……..

    OK! tonight I’m schizofrenic. My undergrad from FSU my grad from Michigan. My head Wants a good game both teams OT 4 the win! Yeah my heart tho Go Blue!

    Didnt make it back in time to San Diego so watchin at a lounge in El Centro…….. makin do………..

    Thanx………..e’ery day

  10. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Dec 30, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    5 minz 2 go

    there wont b an oer tyme…………..
    d fence shut em down Team need 6


  11. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Dec 30, 2016 at 11:40 PM


    Will takes 8 4 sp8………

    Dfence shut m down minit 2 go……….
    60 sekundz uv misery…….


  12. Comments: 48
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    That was a hard game to watch. Didn’t seem to be able to make adjustments in the first half, but did much better in the second. Losing Peppers hurt not having someone to stay on Cook. Bunting played well for someone who hasn’t gotten a ton of reps as the go to guy. Wild ending, but congrats to FSU for coming with a plan and making it work.

  13. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    I waz no win no lose……. got what i wanted great game 1 point. no qwit either team. will take it. great college bowl game. What college bowl football should be. last minute 2 good teams going at it……….

    Bring on 2017 til then – GO HUSKYS!!!!!! fuk OSU, BAMA & CLEmzun. GO HUSKYS!


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