No. 19 Florida Gators football returns to the Citrus Bowl for the first time since 2007 when it takes on the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines in the 2016 edition of the game on Friday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
Here’s a look ahead at the game: what to know and how to watch Florida-Michigan.
Event: 2016 Citrus Bowl
Location: Citrus Bowl – Orlando Florida [Capacity: 70,000]
Weather: 83 degrees, mostly cloudy, winds WSW at 10 mph
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
TV: ABC (Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Dr. Jerry Punch)
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
Tale of the tape
|No. 19 Florida Gators||No. 14 Michigan Wolverines|
|Head Coach: Jim McElwain||Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh|
|Record: 10-3||Record: 9-3|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
Spread: Florida +4 | O/U: 40
With the defenses in the game seemingly equally matched, the onus turns to the offense and whether one believes Florida has a plan in place that is capable of not only scoring points but doing so against a team that’s had weeks to prepare for the game. Ultimately, I don’t see four points being enough to take the Gators. Though a defensive-oriented showdown really could go either way – and Florida does have a propensity for creating turnovers – the safest pick here is Michigan.
Regarding the total, expecting at least four touchdowns to be scored in the contest is a lot. Considering Florida also doesn’t have a reliable field goal kicker, sticking with the under – even with the total at 40 – is the way to go.
ATS picks: 10-2-1 | O/U picks: 8-5
Injuries and absences
» Questionable (2): Offensive lineman Martez Ivey (knee), wide receiver Brandon Powell (foot)
» Out (5): Defensive end Alex McCalister (foot, dismissal), running back Jordan Scarlett (suspension), OL Mason Halter (suspension), linebacker Anthony Harrell (suspension), LB Alex Anzalone (shoulder)
This injury report only accounts for players that have seen significant action in 2015.
The team captains, which change weekly, are solely responsible for choosing the uniforms ahead of each game.
» Michigan is 0-2 all-time against Florida with victories in the 2002 Outback Bowl and 2008 Capital One Bowl.
» The Gators are 21-20 all-time in bowl games, 2-2 in such games played in Orlando and 2-3 in games played inside the Citrus Bowl.
» UF is making its 26th appearance in a January bowl, 13th on a game played on New Year’s Day.
» Florida’s 10-win season is the ninth in school history; the Gators can also become the eighth to win 11 games in a single campaign with a victory over the Wolverines.
» UF is undefeated this season when holding an opponent under 21 points (9-0) and/or under 100 yards rushing (5-0).
» Florida is 1-3 against ranked opponents in 2015.
» Florida swept the SEC East and played in the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2009. It was UF’s 11th division win since 1992.
» McElwain is the first coach in Florida history to win 10 total games or seven SEC games in his first season with the program; he’s accomplished both feats.
» Florida returned to the top 10 of the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2013 preseason and was placed in the College Football Playoff Rankings for the first time since its inception in 2014.
» The Gators’ defense has been a hallmark of the program; it is 203-11 since 1990 when an opponent scores 21 points or fewer in a contest.
» Florida’s turnover margin of +10 is first in the SEC and 11th nationally.
» The Gators own the nation’s longest streak of returning either a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, doing so in 11 straight seasons, including 2015.
» Florida is one of only four teams nationally to play three or more consecutive games away from home in 2015 (Arkansas, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe).
» UF has the second-most wins in the nation since 1990 (249, Ohio State – 257).