Preview: Michigan at Florida

When: 1:00 PM ET, Friday, January 1, 2016
Where: Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida


1. Florida coach Jim McElwain and Michigan counterpart Jim Harbaugh resurrected dormant programs in their first year on the sidelines and look to cap off encouraging campaigns with a victory when the Gators and Wolverines meet in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1. McElwain led Florida to the SEC Eastern Division title before losing 29-15 to College Football Playoff participant Alabama in the SEC championship game, while Harbaugh had Michigan in contention for the Big Ten East Division crown heading into the final week of the regular season. Defense has been the catalyst for the dramatic turnaround for both teams as the Gators rank eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.4 points per game) while the Wolverines are fourth in total defense (281.3 yards).

2. Florida's offense has sputtered without suspended quarterback Will Grier as the Gators were held to 17 points in their last two games, and couldn't manage an offensive score in the 27-2 setback to Florida State on Nov. 28. Michigan's Jake Rudock suffered a shoulder injury in the 42-13 loss to Ohio State, and it was initially feared that he would miss the bowl game, but the senior quarterback will make his final collegiate start on New Year's Day. Rudock struggled with the command of a new offense after transfering from Iowa before ending the season on a tear by throwing for 1,296 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last four games.

3. The Wolverines and Gators have meet twice previously in the postseason with Michigan emerging 38-30 victors in the 2003 Outback Bowl before downing Florida 41-35 in Lloyd Carr's final game as coach in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. The Gators last met a Big Ten team in 2012 when they beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl and McElwain, who is one of six finalists for the Dodd Trophy - awarded to the top coach in the country - is keen to lead Florida to its third straight win over a Big Ten opponent. "We're here to win a ballgame," McElwain told reporters. "We aren't here just to go on rides."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Michigan -4

ABOUT MICHIGAN (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten): Jake Butt and Jourdan Lewis announced they will return for the senior seasons after the junior tight end caught 48 passes for 620 yards and three touchdowns, while the junior cornerback was ranked third nationally with 19 pass breakups. Safety Jabrill Peppers (two rushing touchdowns, eight receptions), who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award after making an impact as a three-way player, could miss the bowl game after suffering a suspected hand injury. "He's working through something," Harbaugh told reporters. "We'll see."

ABOUT FLORIDA (10-3, 7-1 SEC): Starting quarterback Treon Harris has struggled to move the ball through the air and has failed to throw for 200 yards in each of his last three games. Vernon Hargreaves III, who is the Gators' first unanimous All-America pick since 2009, will likely play his last game as the junior cornerback is considered a surefire first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Defensive end Alex McCalister has been sidelined with a foot injury since Nov. 15 and will likely miss the game while wide receiver Brandon Powell is questionable because of a foot problem.

PREDICTION: Michigan 21, Florida 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Michigan 9-3 L1 30.6 17.2 5-2 4-1 2-0 0-0 6-2
Florida 10-3 L2 24.5 16.5 6-1 4-2 9-2 0-0 7-2

Last Meeting

Michigan Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
1/1/08 MICH 41 FLA 35 524 151 373 399 230 169

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
MICH C. Henne 64.1 373 3 2
FLA T. Tebow 51.5 154 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
MICH M. Hart 32 129 4.0 2
FLA P. Harvin 13 165 12.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
MICH A. Arrington 9 153 17.0 2
FLA P. Harvin 9 77 8.6 1
TDs Player TD
MICH A. Arrington 2
FLA A. Caldwell 2
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
MICH J. Rudock 64.0 2739 17 9
FLA T. Harris 51.9 1530 9 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
MICH D. Smith 155 644 4.2 6
FLA K. Taylor 248 985 4.0 13
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
MICH A. Darboh 56 703 12.6 5
FLA A. Callaway 30 603 20.1 4
TDs Player TD
MICH J. Chesson 11
FLA K. Taylor 13

Quickchart Matchup

Michigan Off vs  Florida Def
387 yards
295.4 yards
4.1 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
5.8 yards/attempt
Florida Off vs  Michigan Def
339.7 yards
281.3 yards
3.5 yards/rush
3.6 yards/rush
7.2 yards/attempt
5.3 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Michigan Overall Florida
9-3-0 W/L 10-3-0
6-6-0 ATS 8-5-0
7-5-0 O/U 5-8-0
30.6 Pts For 24.5
17.2 Pts Against 16.5
Michigan A/H Florida
4-1 W/L 6-1
2-3-0 ATS 3-4-0
3-2-0 O/U 3-4-0
30.0 Pts For 27.0
21.4 Pts Against 17.4
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