Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan vs. Florida game in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (noon, ESPN/950).
Angelique S. Chengelis: This is a tough one to call. Has Michigan really rebounded from the Ohio State debacle? Can the Wolverines overcome losing several starters – defensive end Rashan Gary, linebacker Devin Bush, running back Karan Higdon and right tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty? If you want to get an idea how the 2019 team will look, this is an audition of sorts. Michigan is 4-0 against Florida, including last year’s season-opener, but this is a different Florida team in large part because of new coach Dan Mullen. The Gators want to get to 10 wins and Michigan wants to get to 11. This will be close. Michigan, 24-21
Matt Charboneau: The Wolverines enter the Peach Bowl missing a few of their best players, including LB Devin Bush and DL Rashan Gary, but the defense still has tons of talent and will be motivated to prove the Ohio State game truly was the exception. On the other side of the ball, the offense shouldn’t see too much of a dropoff even without RB Karan Higdon as QB Shea Patterson should make enough plays to get Michigan its first bowl win since the 2015 season. Michigan, 27-17
John Niyo: Florida is looking for a 10-win season and a bit of revenge, perhaps. Michigan’s looking for playmakers to replace the guys who’ve headed to the pros early. That’s always a tough thing to overcome for a team, especially one that ended its season the way Michigan’s did. Florida, 27-24
Bob Wojnowski: Florida has athletes, speed and motivation, and first-year coach Dan Mullen has helped elevate QB Feleipe Franks. This is not the same Florida team pounded by Michigan in recent years. But this isn’t the same Michigan team that rolled into Ohio State with starry playoff eyes. Three key players are sitting, and it’s up to Jim Harbaugh to make sure there’s no Buckeye hangover. It’s also a chance to start opening up the offense with Shea Patterson. Michigan, 27-23