Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators have ended their 2018 season with an exclamation point. The #10 Florida Gators blew out the #7 Michigan Wolverines 41-15 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Florida beat the Wolverines with great defense and a rushing attack that Michigan’s defense didn’t have an answer for. Florida’s quarterback Feleipe Franks didn’t try to do too much but protected the ball and took what the defense gave him. This is the first time the Florida Gators have beaten the Michigan Wolverines in program history. Junior nickel Chauncey Gardner-Johnson ended his Florida career with one of his bets games as a Gator. Mullen is the first Gators head coach with ten wins and a bowl win in his first season.
The #7 Michigan Wolverines really took one in the chin as the Florida Gators clobbered the Wolverines. Ole Miss transfer and junior quarterback Shea Patterson didn’t have the game he was hoping for. Patterson completed 19 out of 30 passes for 206 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Without Karan Higdon, Michigan struggled mightily in the run game. Christian Turner led the Wolverines in rushing with seven carries for 29 yards. Freshman running back Chris Evans also couldn’t get anything going with seven carries for twenty yards. Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones were really the only Michigan offensive players that played well. Collins has five receptions for 80 yards. Peoples-Jones had six catches for 40 yards and a touchdown.
The Michigan defense had one of their worst games they’ve had all season. They couldn’t stop Florida’s rushing attack as they Gators had over 220 yards on the ground. Michigan also failed to force a turnover against the Florida Gators. Sophomore linebacker John Ross led the Wolverines in tackles with eleven. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the Peach Bowl. Khaleke Hudson had seven tackles with a tackle for loss and a blocked punt which resulted in a safety. Senior Chase Winovich ends his college football career with a loss. He had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
The Florida Gators goes from 4-7 in 2017 to 10-3 and a Peach Bowl win in 2018. Florida was played one of their most complete games this season. Redshirt-sophomore Feleipe Franks completed 13 out of 23 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown. He also had 14 carries for 74 yards and a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Junior running back Lamical Perine led Florida in rushing with six carries for 76 yards and game-clinching 53-yard rushing touchdown. Perine also had four catches for 22 yards and a receiving touchdown. Redshirt-junior Jordan Scarlett also played well with nine carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. Ole Miss transfer wide receiver Van Jefferson led Florida in receiving with four receptions for 64 yards.
On defense, the Florida Gators completed dominated the Michigan Wolverines in all assets. They held a Michigan offense that averages over 35 points per game to only 15 points. Sophomore cornerback C.J. Henderson led Florida in tackles with eight. He also had two tackles for loss and a sack. Junior Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had a career game as he had five tackle with two interceptions and one pick-six. Defensive tackles Adam Shuler and Kyree Campbell both had sacks against the Wolverines. Freshman defensive back Amari Burney also recorded his first sack in the collegiate career. Dan Mullen is leading the Gators in the right direction and has put the college football world on notice.