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We break down every phase of tomorrow’s Michigan/Florida matchup, and reveal which team has the edge in every area.
The big news here surrounds Michigan senior running back Karan Higdon, who has chosen to sit out after rushing for 1,178 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
A pair of juniors in Chris Evans and Tru Wilson will likely be his top replacements, but neither has been spectacular — the former rushed for 403 yards and four scores, while the latter compiled 355 yards and a touchdown in 2018.
Keep an eye on freshman Christian Turner as well. He only carried 13 times for 63 yards this season, but head coach Jim Harbaugh stated this week he will definitely see action against the Gators.
Statistically, Florida’s rush defense is not very good. It ranks 72nd nationally, allowing 169.6 yards per game.
It allowed five of its 12 opponents run for at least 180 yards, including three who eclipsed the 220-yard mark.
There are stars in the front seven, however, most notably in redshirt junior defensive end Jabari Zuniga and junior linebacker Jachai Polite. The former racked up 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, while the latter compiled 16 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 11 sacks.
Junior linebacker Vosean Joseph was also a tackling machine, leading the club with 87 stops.
Despite the poor rush defense numbers, it’s hard to imagine the Michigan running backs running wild on the Gator front seven.
If Higdon were playing, it would be a different story, but Evans, Wilson and Turner have yet to prove they’re capable of putting up big numbers against a defense as talented as Florida’s.