Wolverines Looks to Save Season Against Gators
The fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will see the 10th-ranked Florida Gators and the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. They will be battling in the 2018 edition of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
The Wolverines harbored serious College Football Playoff hopes heading into their final regular season game against sixth-ranked Ohio State. They suffered a devastating shellacking in a 62-39 loss to the Buckeyes. Michigan looks to overcome the ass-kicking by getting to 11 wins in a season for just the 10th time in program history. The Dan Mullen era at “The Swamp” began with a bang. The Gators raced out to a 6-1 start. They then dropped back-to-back contests against No. 5 Georgia (36-17) and Missouri (38-17). The Gators won three straight games to close out the regular season. Florida looks put an exclamation point on a solid season by knocking off the Wolverines for the first time in program history.
Michigan looks to avoid a bad case of Florida fatigue as they get set to face the Gators for the third time since 2016. The Wolverines routed Florida 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus Bowl. They took the Gators down 33-17 in the 2017 season opener in Arlington, TX. The Wolverines improved to 4-0 all time in the series. They hope a historic loss to their bitter rivals doesn’t carry over into the Peach Bowl. Michigan has dropped four of their last five bowl games.
Mullen has restored Florida’s swagger this year. He orchestrated victories over No. 11 Louisiana State and 18th-ranked Mississippi State to put the program in position to win 10 games in his first season at the helm. This is a feat which eluded Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. Mullen has resuscitated a moribund offense that was 109th in yards per game (335.9) last season. Florida has generated over 500 yards in three consecutive games heading into the Peach Bowl. They hope the month off allows them to keep firing on all cylinders. Michigan tops the nation in total defense at 262.5 yards per game.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Wolverines were 10-2 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten during the regular season. Linebacker Devin Bush was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year after recording a team-high 80 tackles. That including 9.5 for a loss and throw in five sacks. Bush is likely to forego his senior season in order to turn pro. Defensive end Rashan Gary was selected to Big Ten All-Defensive First Team by the coaches. He missed three games with a shoulder injury and will sit out the Peach Bowl. The projected first-round pick will be preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft. Shea Patterson was a huge upgrade at the quarterback position. The Ole Miss transfer threw for 2,364 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He will announce whether he will turn pro or come back for another year following the Peach Bowl.
The Gators were 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the SEC during the regular season. Defensive end Jachai Polite was named a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press. He rang up a tally of 16 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles. Van Jefferson played with Patterson at Ole Miss before transferring to Florida. He leads the Gators in receptions with 31, receiving yards with 439, and touchdowns with 6. Lamical Perine had 750 yards and 6 TD’s and Jordan Scarlett had 717 yards and 4 scores. They form an explosive one-two punch in the backfield. Feleipe Franks made big strides in his sophomore season. He threw for 2,284 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added another 276 yards and six scores on the ground.
PREDICTION: Florida 27, Michigan 17
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Trends
- Trend Over is 5-0 in Wolverines last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 bowl games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (4) 4|0
- Over is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 neutral site games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 4|0
- Under is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4
- Trend Over is 5-1 in Gators last 6 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-0 in Gators last 4 neutral site games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 4|0
- Under is 7-2 in Gators last 9 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 77.80% (9) 0|4
- Under is 5-2 in Gators last 7 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 71.40% (7) 5|0
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