8-4 (6-2), 2nd Big Ten
9-3 (5-3), 3rd Southeastern - East
January 1, 1:00 pm, ABC
For Michigan, their year started out just horrible. First they were embarrassed by Appalachian State in their opener and then Oregon came into the Big House and put a huge number on them. Those two teams had one thing in common, both ran the spread offense. When Michigan faces Florida in the Capital One Bowl, they will be facing another team that runs the spread, but unfortunately for the Wolverines, they are the masters of the spread. This will be Lloyd Carr's last game as the Michigan coach. Carr resigned after the Ohio State game and will be replaced by Rich Rodriquez.
Florida is led by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Tebow became the first player in college football history to run for 20 touchdowns and pass for 20 touchdowns in one season. In total, Tebow threw for 3132 yards and 29 touchdowns and ran for 838 yards and 22 touchdowns. He isn't the only one that will hurt you on offense. Percy Harvin is an explosive player that ran for almost 600 yards on the ground and led the team in receiving with 781 yards. Both of those players are a big reason why Florida is the 14th ranked offense and is 4thin total points, scoring over 43 points per game. Defensively, the Gators are 10th against the run, and they will be tested going up against Michael Hart of Michigan. Their passing defense has been less than stellar. That could be a way that Michigan moves the ball, through the air.
Michigan has been plagued with injuries on offense. Chad Henne and Michael Hart have missed games, but at least at quarterback, Ryan Mallet has proved that he can fill in nicely. Mallet might be playing in his last game as a Wolverine, much speculation surrounds him because if the Rodriquez brings in the spread offense, Mallet might be a prime candidate to transfer. Hart is the Michigan offense, in 9 games he has run for 1232 and 12 touchdowns. Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington are two big and fast receivers who have combined for 1800 yards and 17 touchdowns. They could be key going up against the weaker Florida secondary. On defense, the Wolverines rank 7th against the pass and only give up 20 points per game. But they will be in for a big test stopping the spread of the Gators.
The Wolverine have lost 4 straight bowl games, the last team they beat? Florida in the 2003 Outback Bowl. Carr has moved his stuff out of his office and is hoping that a miracle can happen to go out a winner against the Gators. But unfortunately for him, they are going to need a huge miracle. The Gator might have 3 losses, but they could be the best 3 loss team in the country. Like in the game against Ohio State, Michigan will come out playing with a lot of emotion, but after the first quarter, it will fade. That is when Florida will take over and send Michigan to their fifth straight bowl loss. Tebow will throw for two and run for another two in a comfortable Gator victory. Florida 38 Michigan 13
Picking Michigan to Win
Picking Florida to Win
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