Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will try to improve to 2-2 in bowl games as the Wolverines coach. Florida’s Dan Mullen will look to win his first bowl game as the Gators’ head coach.
Michigan-Florida: Peach Bowl time, TV channel
Michigan and Florida will play at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 29. The game is on ESPN.
Michigan-Florida: Peach Bowl prediction, preview
Well, hello again.
For the second time in four seasons — and fourth time in 17 seasons — the Wolverines and Gators will battle in a bowl game.
On Jan. 1, 2016, Michigan routed Florida 41-7 in the Gator Bowl to complete a 10-win season in Harbaugh’s debut season as coach.
This year, the Wolverines must come in without any lingering disappointment after losing 62-39 to Ohio State on Nov. 24. That game secured the division title for the rival Buckeyes and knocked out Michigan from the College Football Playoff picture. Michigan will also be playing Florida without stars DE Rashan Gary, LB Devin Bush and leading RB Karan Higdon.
Even without those big-time players, Michigan will have a talented roster hoping to complete the program’s first 11-win season since 2011. On offense, Shea Patterson’s first season in charge led to 2,300 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions. And even with Higdon not playing, the Wolverines should have a strong rushing attack led by Chris Evans (403 rushing yards this season).
And then there’s the defense. Michigan ranks first in the nation in total defense, allowing only 262.5 points per game. Chase Winovich and his 14.5 tackles for loss will be tough to stop.
To counter, while Florida won’t be bringing in a high-scoring attack, the Gators do have balance. Quarterback Feleipe Franks completes only 58.5 percent of his passes, but he’s thrown only six interceptions in the tough SEC. That’s helped Florida go plus-10 in turnover margin (tied for 10th in the country).
Like Michigan, Florida has an impressive defensive unit. The Gators have 32 sacks this season and will lean on that side of the ball to make this a close game for all four quarters.
Michigan-Florida: Stats, how they compare
|10-2 (8-1 Big Ten East)||Record (Conference)||9-3 (5-3 SEC East)|
|No. 7||CFP ranking||No. 10|
|36.8||Points per game||34.5|
|427.2||Yards per game||426.7|
|262.5||Yards allowed per game||344.8|
|145.9||Passing yards allowed||175.1|
|116.6||Rushing yards allowed||169.7|
2,364 yards (21 TDs, 5 INTs)
|Passing yards||Feleipe Franks
2,284 yards (23 TDs, 6 INTs)
(will not play in Peach Bowl)
1,178 yards, 10 TDs
|Rushing yards||Lamical Perine
750 yards, 6 TDs
541 yards, 7 TDs
|Receiving yards||Van Jefferson
439 yards, 6 TDs
62 total tackles, 14.5 tfl, 4 sacks
|Defensive leader||Jachai Polite
43 total tackles, 16 tfl, 11 sacks
Michigan-Florida: Score prediction
The Wolverines won’t be at full strength, but Michigan has the slight edge at quarterback. Shea Patterson will be the difference late as the Wolverines win their 11th game of the season.
Michigan 24, Florida 17