For the first time since 2013, the No. 14 Michigan football team will be playing football on New Year’s Day.

The Wolverines announced Sunday that they will play Florida in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla., marking Michigan’s 44th bowl game all-time.

The Wolverines (6-2 Big Ten, 9-3 overall) and Gators last played in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2008, when the game was called the Capital One Bowl. Michigan won that contest, which was Lloyd Carr’s final game coaching the Wolverines,  41-35.

The 19th-ranked Gators are coming off a loss in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama and boast a 10-3 record.

Michigan, meanwhile, is coming off a loss of its own to Ohio State. Fifth-year senior quarterback Jake Rudock left that game after being sacked by the Buckeyes’ Joey Bosa, and his status is unclear against the Gators.

Florida was undefeated until mid-October, when quarterback Will Grier tested positive for a banned substance. The Gators dropped their next game to LSU, 35-28, but did not lose again until the final week of the regular season, when Florida State beat them 27-2. 

On paper, the Gators’ offense looks like a favorable matchup for Michigan, which is 7-5 all-time against SEC teams in during bowl season.



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