Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE BOWL NEWS: Florida meets Michigan in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

By MIKE BONTS
COLLEGE BOWL NEWS

ORLANDO, Fla. – The 14th-ranked University of Michigan football team will be heading to Florida over the holiday season, squaring off against the 19th-ranked Florida Gators in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. This will be the Wolverines fifth appearance in the Citrus Bowl.

The game pitting the Wolverines (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) against the Gators (10-3, 7-1 SEC) will kick-off at 1 p.m. EST from Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. The New Year’s Day bowl match-up will be televised nationally by ABC.

U-M will be seeking a double-digit win total for the 27th time in the 136-year history of the program. After dropping the season opener at Utah, the Wolverines rattled off five straight victories, including three consecutive shutouts over No. 22 BYU, Maryland and Northwestern. Michigan rebounded from a last-second loss to No. 7 Michigan State with four consecutive victories in Big Ten play before a season-ending setback to No. 8 Ohio State. The Wolverines have been ranked in the top 25 of the national polls for the past 11 weeks and lists 14th in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Gators, led by first-year head coach Jim McElwain, won the SEC Eastern Division Championship and played No. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game yesterday falling 29-15 to the Crimson Tide. Listed No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Gators only setbacks on the year came against No. 6 LSU, No. 13 Florida State and the playoff-bound Crimson Tide. UF is led by RB Kelvin Taylor, WR Antonio Callaway and WR Brandon Powell on offense and All-American candidate DB Vernon Hargreaves III on defense. The Wolverines have earned victories against the Gators in both previous bowl game match-up: 2003 Outback Bowl and 2008 Capital One Citrus Bowl.

The Wolverines have compiled a 3-1 record in their previous four appearances in the Citrus Bowl. Michigan defeated Arkansas (45-31) in the 1999 game, Auburn (31-28) in the 2001 game and lost to Tennessee (45-17) in the 2002 game. The program’s last appearance in the Citrus Bowl came in the 2008 game, a 41-35 victory over the Florida Gators in Lloyd Carr’s final game as head coach.

Following is some background on Michigan’s bowl game history:
·         U-M will be making its 44th all-time bowl appearance, tied for 11th highest total all-time among FBS schools.
·         Thirty-six (36) of the Wolverines 44 all-time bowl appearances have come in January.
·         Michigan has played in 11 different bowl games during its history, winning 20, which is the 16th highest total among FBS schools.
·         This will be the 33rd time that Michigan faces a Southeastern Conference school (23-8-1 record all-time).
·         U-M has faced off against a SEC opponent during bowl season 12 times, claiming a 7-5 mark, with all but the 1984 Sugar Bowl game being played in the state of Florida: Citrus (3-1), Gator (1-2), Hall of Fame/Outback (2-2) and Orange (1-0).
·         This will be the 15th time that the Wolverines have played a bowl game in the state of Florida (8-6 record).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *