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Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh met the media with Florida coach Dan Mullen Friday, a day before the Peach Bowl.
The Wolverines will be without two of their captains in senior running back Karan Higdon and junior linebacker Devin Bush, in addition to junior end Rashan Gary and fifth-year senior offensive tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty.
“Chase Winovich and Grant Perry [will be captains Saturday] along with Ben Bredeson and Tyree Kinnel,” Harbaugh said.
Without saying it directly, he indicated that he might not agree with the decisions to sit out the game, but said again it was each man’s decision.
“We respect it. It’s someone’s right … we respect that it’s their decision to make,” he said. “We don’t push anybody in the back to go play football.
“I will say even further, I think I’ve grown in terms of even respecting people when I don’t agree with what their decision is. It’s just a respect that it’s their decision to make, and it’s the decision that they’ve made, and after that we’re ready to play football.”
They’re in it to win it regardless, Harbaugh said of Saturday’s noon showdown.
“We’ve had a good week of preparation, and we have flipped the switch. We’re in game mode and playing a great team in Florida. We’ve had a chance to watch them, and they are really, really good so we’re excited for the competition and the challenge.
“Schematically, they really get a lot taught. Both offensively and defensively, special teams-wise, multiple fronts and coverages, sophisticated blitz patterns. Really, a smart team. They have a very smart football team. They’re really good, really athletic, long and fast. Put together a really fast team, really stands out.”
• Harbaugh didn’t bite when asked if NFL teams had approached him or his reps. There had been reports that the New York Jets would pursue him.
“I really don’t have any representatives. No agent or anything,” he said.
• Harbaugh said freshman Jake Moody would continue to handle the kicking duties for the Wolverines, but wouldn’t say who would enter the game if starting quarterback Shea Patterson went down.
“The backup quarterback in the game will be the two we’ve always said with the backup quarterbacks, Brandon Peters and Joe Milton,” he said.
• Florida coach Dan Mullen said he sees a well-coached team when he watches Michigan film.
“When you look at a program, when those guys play with that intensity every single snap, that’s coaching,” he said. “That’s guys that believe in what the program represents and what the program stands for. That’s the one thing that stands out to me. If there was a perfect offense or perfect defense, everybody would just run the same thing and it would be kind of boring. It’s the guys buying in and believing what you do.
“And I’ve watched, and the thing that I think — the biggest challenge they give you is they are very sound; they are very disciplined. They have a great scheme in what they do. But beyond that, the intensity and how hard they play and what they believe in what they’re doing is evident on film when you watch Michigan.”