Jacksonville Sports Day

ORANGE BOWL: Florida State, Michigan Meet Dec. 30

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – No. 6 Michigan and No. 11 Florida State, two of college football’s most storied programs, are set to meet in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl in an Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten showdown on December 30, 2016, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) started the year with nine straight victories and have been ranked in the top 10 of the national polls throughout the season. Offensively, the Wolverines are led by quarterback Wilton Speight (Semifinalist for Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award) and rank in the top 16 nationally in scoring offense (12th), red zone offense (15th), and fourth down conversions (10th).

On the defensive side of the football, Michigan boasts one of the top units in the country. Led by do-it-all safety Jabril Peppers, the Wolverine defense ranks in the top two in five defensive categories: total defense (2nd), pass defense (1st), tackles for loss (1st), sacks (2nd), scoring defense (2nd).

The No. 11 Florida State Seminoles (9-3, 5-3 ACC) finished the regular season strong, winning six of its final seven games. Production comes on both sides of the ball for the Seminoles as they rank 24th and 29th in total offense and defense, respectively. ACC Rookie of the Year quarterback Deondre Francois and All-ACC running back Dalvin Cook will lead the way for the Seminoles as they have all season.

Francois ranks highly in the nation for yards (26th), pass efficiency (38th) and pass yards per completion (22nd), while Cook averages 135 yards per game (7th) and 6.08 yards per carry (35th) to power the Seminole ground game.

Demarcus Walker will anchor the defensive side of the ball, tied for the nation lead in sacks with 15 and averaging 1.5 tackles for loss per game (18th). He will look for help from sophomore Tarvarus McFadden, who currently is tied for the nation lead in interceptions with eight.

Michigan is making its third appearance in the Orange Bowl, first since an overtime win over Alabama in 2000 (1-1 all-time). Florida State goes bowling in South Florida for the first time since 2013, and its 10 appearances rank third-most in Orange Bowl history (4-5 all-time).

The teams have met only two times previously, both regular season meetings, in 1986 (Michigan won 20-18 behind quarterback Jim Harbaugh) and 1991 (Florida State won 51-31).

The 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl will be played on December 30 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Capital One Orange Bowl is one of the New Year’s Six college bowl games. In years when it doesn’t host a semifinal, it features the ACC champion (unless it qualifies for the playoff, in which case the next highest-ranked non-playoff team will be the host) against the highest-ranked available non-champion from among the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame.

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