Florida 20

Michigan 21

Before every football game this season, two of the Daily football writers take the weekend’s matchup to the Playstation 2.

For this week’s matchup, coach Joe Smith led the Gators and J. Brady McCollough took the helm of the Wolverines.

Play of the game – With the Wolverines ahead 15-13 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Michigan P No. 39 punted deep into Florida territory. Florida CB No. 1 caught the punt at the 16-yard line, juked Michigan FS No. 26 out of his jock and went untouched to give Florida a shortlived 20-15 lead.

Most unrealistic play of the game – The Wolverines struck on their first drive of the game. After a QB No. 16 fumble set Michigan up with a 3rd-and-24, the Wolverines went for it all, as QB No. 16 threw a fly pattern deep to WR No. 80, who caught a 37-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone to give Michigan a 6-0 lead. K No. 34 missed the PAT.

Player of the game – Michigan WR No. 19 – The senior left it all out on the Raymond James Stadium field, moving the chains consistently when the Wolverines needed it.

Michigan key stats

Passing: QB No. 16 – 13-of-27, 276 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: RB No. 23 – 14 carries, 67 yards; FB No. 35 – 2 carries, 1 TD

Receiving: WR No. 19 – 6 receptions, 99 yards; WR No. 9 – 3 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD; WR No. 80 – 1 reception, 37 yards, 1 TD

Defense: CB No. 30 – 2 interceptions; CB No. 31 – 1 sack, 1 interception

Florida key stats

Passing: QB No. 8 – 9-of-19, 235 yards, 1 TD, 5 INT

Rushing: RB No. 5 – 2 carries, 2 yards

Receiving: WR No. 2 – 4 receptions, 128 yards; WR No. 11 – 2 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD

Defense: SS No. 9 – 2 interceptions, 64 yards, 1 TD

Press conference quotes:

Michigan head coach J. Brady McCollough: This was Michigan football at its best. We pounded RB No. 23 time and time again, and because of that, the play-action pass opened up like the Red Sea. I’m so proud of our team. Ten wins is a great season. It really is. Isn’t it?!

I couldn’t have asked anything more from WR No. 19. He played his fourth-best game since he’s been at Michigan, but more importantly, he kept drives alive when they couldn’t die. I don’t know how he would have done without the out pattern. Our coaches called a great game from the booth. If you can find me a better wide receiver in the country than WR No. 19, I’ll take the fullback screen play out of my playbook for an entire year.

This brought Coach Smith’s record against me to 1-3 on the season. The one win was the Utah game, and I was the Utes. There’s nothing better than sending a senior out with a loss. He’ll remember this one for the rest of his life.

I’d like to thank the Outback Bowl for being so great to us this past week. Central Florida has been good to us, and we can’t wait to be back next season.

Florida coach Joe Smith: Heisman what? I don’t know what all the hype is about this QB No. 8. He flaked out again, and every time we were near the red zone, he found another winged helmet to throw to. Gotta love prime time players. Imagine what he’d do if I gave him more freedom in a so-called “Fun ‘N’ Gun” offensive scheme? Jeez.

The key to the game was that we couldn’t get any pressure on Michigan QB No. 16. I swear, we made him look like Joe Montana on several occasions. Even an elderly woman can complete a pass with eight minutes to throw.

Losing another game to McCollough in the final minutes? Painful. Not being able to put the nail in the coffin? Frustrating. Watching him jump around like a chimpanzee and hearing him say “Look at J. Brady make a play!” incessantly? Unbearable.

A five-loss season in Florida? Nothing like making a good first impression.

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