Michigan will face the Florida Gators in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on December 29.
Florida is coached by Dan Mullen who is in his first season as the head coach of the Gators. He joined a media teleconference Monday morning to discuss playing the Wolverines.
“We are really excited to be a part of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl,” Mullen said.
While Mullen doesn’t have much experience going head-to-head with Jim Harbaugh, he is well aware of what to expect against Michigan.
“You watch they are a sways an intense physical football team,” Mullen said. “They aren’t afraid to think outside of the box.
“Offensively, the base around power one run. They are very creative. Give you a lot of different looks.”
For Mullen, beating Michigan and getting a marquee victory to end the season would be big for the Florida program.
“It’s always huge,” Mullen said. “You’re talking about one of the best programs in college football. They were one game from being in the college football playoff….It should be great competition.”
Mullen was asked if he would like to be playing UCF in a matchup of Florida teams and he said he would be happy to face anyone in this bowl game.
“I’m just thrilled for the opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl,” Mullen said.
Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson declared for the NFL Draft early last week, but Mullen said he would play in the bowl game. Mullen said he believes everyone plans on playing in the bowl game.
Mullen played against Michigan’s junior quarterback Shea Patterson when he coached at Mississippi State and Patterson was at Ole Miss.
“I haven’t got to watch him at Michigan yet” Mullen said. “I got to watch him a lot at Mississippi State. When he was at Ole Miss, he was a guy who create on his own. He can execute within the offense — what make him a dangerous player…ability to improvise”
Mullen said Patterson’s ability to improvise and work outside the offense is what makes him so hard to defend.
While Mullen worked as Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator while at Florida, Mullen didn’t say whether he would ask Meyer for intel on the Wolverines. Mullen said he would look closely at the Michigan – Ohio State game, but said the game might not be as useful because it was a rivalry game filled with emotions.
Florida’s offense will have its hands full going up against Michigan’s defense.
“Don Brown is a great defensive coordinator,” Mullen said. “They are very, very aggressive. They do a great job stopping the run. They have great athletes in the secondary that can match up with your receivers.”