Michigan 41 – Florida 7
Michigan put on an absolute show in Orlando and blew out the Gators in front of their “home crowd”. But what stood out the most? I broke down my five biggest takeaways from the Citrus Bowl win:
1. Attitude overhaul
Jim Harbaugh’s attitude has clearly taken over this football team. In recent years under the Hoke regime, this team was ‘soft’. Now, this team is hard hitting and refusing to be pushed around- they do not quit. Some of the Florida players compared the Michigan defensive line to Alabama’s. Confidence is a real thing
2. This competition thing is legit
When the coaching staff says every position is up for grabs each week, they mean it. That seems to be the only clear explanation on the offensive line improving so much since the Ohio State game. With a few highly recruited guys chomping at the bit for playing time, the starters showed they cherish being on the field. The Wolverines finished with 225 yards rushing on the day, 168 more than they had against Ohio State. The Gators were only allowing 120 yards per game.
3. Jake Rudock leaves Michigan as a legitimate NFL option
Rudock came to Michigan after losing his job at Iowa. He chose Michigan because he wanted to work with one of the game’s best quarterback guru’s. He’s leaving with knowledge and ability to potentially find himself on a NFL roster. In Rudock’s finale for Michigan, he passed for 278 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers- he also put himself on the radar for NFL GM’s looking for backup quarterback help.
4. Jehu Chesson wearing #1 next season?
If anyone has earned the #1 jersey, it’s Chesson. I will go on record and say that he is way more deserving than Devin Funchess ever was. Team MVP, lightning speed and just burned up arguably the best set of corners in the country. Chesson finished with five catches, 118 yards and a touchdown.
5. No Durkin, No problem
Interim Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison proved he still has it. Holding Florida to 273 yards on the day, the Michigan defense stood strong for four quarters. The Gators only scoring play came on a trick play during the first quarter that resulted in quarterback Treon Harris catching a touchdown pass from a wide receiver. The secondary also added two interceptions, bringing their season total to 10.
Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sport/CampusInsiders
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- Team 137’s Bowl Game Preview: Orange Bowl vs Florida State - Dec 30, 2016