Michigan Learns Gator Standards
Big Time games are designed to be played on the big stage none no bigger than the stage in the Capital of College Football Atlanta, Georgia inside Mercedes Benz Stadium. Two storied programs #10 Florida and #7 Michigan squared off for the Peach Bowl title, but only one could have it that was the mighty Gators 41-15.
Bowl games bring about intrigue. They match teams from different conferences, which adds to the stigma, that fuels the conversation about which conference is better. The teams mirrored each other in stats and sponsorship doning the Jordan Brand.
Florida averaged 426.7 yards of total offense, 217.2 passing, and 209.5 rushing
Michigan averaged 427.3 yards of total offense 212.9 passing and 214.3 rushing
They looked the same but were they? 427 yards in the Big 10 vs. 427 yards in the SEC equals a 41-15 smackdown. Amazingly Florida earned exactly 427 total yards and Michigan had 326. The lopsided victory directly reflected the running game the Gators ran through the Wolverines for 257 rushing yards to 77.
Jim Harbaugh has restored the mystic of Michigan leading them to their second New Years Six game, but he just can’t seem to get them over the hump on the big stage. Ohio State whipped them 62-39, and this 41-15 shot to the heart has given them back to back losses totaling 49 points.
Harbaugh was asked for his opinion on the season “it was a very good season. It would have been a great season had we won this game. Didn’t get that done. My feeling about the team is we’re right there to the top, but we have to put it over the top. Especially in big games at the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Florida peaked winning their last four consecutively setting the stage for the Gator Standards.
Coach Mullen talked about peaking. “I told everybody, you know, today we wanted to peak today. That’s what you want to do, peak on the final game of the season. You ask what a successful season is, and it’s you got better every single day. I would call this season a success. I’m proud of all these guys here on stage with me. Bu the whole team and those guys bought into believing what we’re trying to build and to get that Gator Standard back.”
The eye in the sky had no favor on Michigan they had two critical plays overturned after further review.
Michigan started the game with a big kick return, followed by a 21-yard scamper by Shea Patterson, then what appeared to be a 46-yard touchdown run by C. Turner was reversed after further review the runner’s foot was out of bounds. The drive stalled they went for it on fourth and inches, and the Florida defense smacked them in the mouth causing them to stagger through the first half being down by three 13-10.
The second reversal came after Florida went up 27-10 on a beautifully designed and perfectly called reverse option pitch that allowed J Scarlett to walk into the end zone untouched giving Florida a commanding 27-10 advantage.
Michigan retaliated with an 11 play 67-yard drive that saw a pinpoint accurate pass from Shea Patterson just over the defender’s shoulder, but after further review, the spectacular diving touchdown catch made by Tarik Black wasn’t a catch after all. They settled for a Jake Moody field goal making the score 27-13.
Michigan bit off more than they could chew as they staggered through the first half Florida started the rope a dope in the second. It was as if they were saved by the bell after retreated to the corner they came out of the locker room and simply dominated by putting up an early score. The SEC Defense shut it all down delivering 5 sacks with 7 tackles for loss and each time they got in the red zone 5-5 they scored while averaging 6.4 yards per rush any way you slice it, that’s total dominance.