The 2018 Florida Gators will close their stellar season in Atlanta, Georgia for the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. The Florida Gators will take on a familiar opponent in the Michigan Wolverines. This is the third time in four that the Florida Gators have played against the Michigan Wolverines. All three of their games have taken place in neutral sites like the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and now the Peach Bowl. A win for the Gators would be a step in the right direction for Florida as this is Dan Mullen’s first season as the Gators head coach. Michigan and Florida have played each other four times and the Wolverines are 4-0 against the Gators. Here is the Florida Gators vs. Michigan Wolverines Peach Bowl preview.
The Michigan Wolverines will look to finish strong after a great 2018 season. Michigan will be without a few of their star players like Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, and Karan Higdon. All three will sit out the Peach Bowl to focus on their preparation for the NFL Draft. Luckily, Michigan will still have their quarterback as Shea Patterson will start for Michigan. Patterson has completed 188 out of 289 passes for 2,364 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and five interceptions. With Higdon out, Michigan will likely lean on Chris Evans in the running game. The junior running back 74 carries for 403 yards and four rushing touchdowns. The leading receiver for the Michigan Wolverines is Donovan Peoples-Jones. The sophomore has 39 receptions for 541 yards and seven touchdowns. Another receiver to watch is Nico Collins. He has 33 catches for 552 yards and six touchdowns.
The Michigan defense will be led by one of the best defensive coordinators in college football, Don Brown. Going into this game, Michigan is considered to be one of the top defenses in the country. They average 17.6 points allowed per game also only allow 262.5 total yards per game. Gary and Bush being out hurts but there’s plenty of talent on Michigan’s defense. One of their top defensive players this season has been Chase Winovich. The fifth-year senior has been terrific with 63 tackles on the season. He also leads Michigan in tackles for loss with 14.5 and also four sacks on the year. Miami native, Josh Uche, leads Michigan in sacks with seven. He also has 14 tackles and eight tackles for loss.
The Florida Gators have been one of the most improved teams in college football and would make even more noise with a win for Michigan. Mullen will be leading the Gators offense with his quarterback Feleipe Franks. The redshirt-sophomore has also improved this season thanks to Mullen and quarterback coach Brian Johnson. Franks has completed 175 out of 299 passes for 2,284 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. Florida will also lean on their rushing attack led by the two juniors. Lamical Perine is the leading rusher for Florida with 128 carries for 750 yards and six touchdowns. Jordan Scarlett has 122 carries for 717 yards and four touchdowns. Franks also has 96 carries for 276 yards and six rushing scores. The leading receiver for Florida is junior wideout Van Jefferson. He has 31 receptions for 439 yards and six touchdowns.
On defense, the Gators will most likely be very aggressive with their defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham. The Florida defense will play all of their draft eligible players including Chauncey Gardner, who’s already declared for the draft. The top defensive player for Florida this season has been Jachai Polite. The junior defensive end has 43 tackles with 11 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles. Sophomore cornerback C.J. Henderson is one of the top corners in the country. He has 30 tackles with two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and two interceptions. The leading tackler for the Florida Gators is Vosean Joseph. The junior linebacker has 87 tackles of the year with four sacks and nine tackles for loss.
5 Players to Watch: Michigan Wolverines
5 Players to Watch: Florida Gators
- Franks throws for over 220 yards and score two total touchdowns.
- Peoples-Jones leads both teams in receiving.
- Reese has 10+ tackles.
- Michigan’s defense forces two turnovers in the ballgame.
- Florida beats Michigan 27-23.