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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015/16: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

The second game of the day features another game between two storied programs and conferences. The Big Ten against the SEC, the Michigan Wol


The second game of the day features another game between two storied programs and conferences. The Big Ten against the SEC, the Michigan Wolverines against the Florida Gators and this should be quite the match-up. The Wolverines have been disappointing for a few years, leading to a coaching change at the beginning of this season. The Wolverines brought in ex-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalise this program and it seems to have worked. After going 5-7 last year and missing out on a Bowl game, the Wolverines have gone 9-3 and will be fired up for this game having lost to Ohio State in the regular season closer. Offensively, the Wolverines are still trying to figure a few things out but they are by no means bad. They rank 72nd in total yards per game (387 YPG), 54th in passing yards per game (234.3 PYG), 93rd in rushing yards per game (152.7 RYG) and 57th in points per game (30.6 PPG). Defensively though, they have very little left to figure out. They allow just 281 YPG (4th), 158.8 PYG (3rd), 122.6 RYG (18th) and 17.2 PPG (11th). Though he has stated he will return to Michigan for his senior year, Jake Butt is Michigan’s top prospect. The 2015 All-Big Ten First Team (coaches and media) star is one of the best receiving tight ends in the FBS. He uses his size (6’6”, 248lbs) to his advantage as a receiver – he has 48 caches for 620 yards and 3 touchdowns this year – and he is a decent blocker in Michigan’s pro-style system. He is certainly one to watch for the future. The Wolverines top seniors are QB Jake Rudock, LB James Ross, C Graham Glasgow, LB Desmond Morgan, FB Slone Houma, LB Joe Bolden, CB Wayne Lyons, FB Joe Kerridge, FS Jarrod Wilson and LB Royce Jenkins-Stone. Florida bounced back from 2 disappointing season to get their first double digit-win season since 2012. Their 10 wins also got them into the SEC Championship for the first time since 2009. They’ll be looking to get back to 11 wins – like they did in 2012 – by winning in second consecutive Bowl game. To do so, they’ll be hoping their stellar defense can shut down the Wolverines offense and that their lackluster offense can produce something special. Offensively, they rank 109th in total yards (339 YPG), 76th in passing (211.1 PYG), 114th in rushing (127.6 RYG) and 97th in scoring (24.5 PPG). Defensively they rank 6th in total yards (295 YPG), 11th in passing (174.8 PYG), 17th in rushing (120.6 RYG) and 8th in scoring (16.5 PPG). One of standouts on this team is junior CB Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves is the best pure CB in this draft. Where Jalen Ramsey is more versatile, Hargreaves is a far better cornerback. Hargreaves has personnel departments all over the country in awe in the way he combines speed, physicality, quickness, balance and route recognition to be a complete shutdown corner. He excels in press coverage but is also very impressive when he is left to read the quarterback. Furthermore, he is more than willing to blitz and tackle ball carriers with his quietly impressive open-field tackling. Along with Hargreaves III, DE Jonathan Bullard, RB Kevin Taylor, LB Antonio Morrison, TE Jake McGee, CB Brian Poole, WR Latroy Pittman Jr., OT Mason Hatler, OG Trip Thurman and – if he declares – WR Demarcus Robinson are looking to wow scouts in their final game for the Gators. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other Bowl games, the complete Bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.  

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015/16: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

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