Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan V. Florida State

This Friday, Jim Harbaugh’s no. 6 ranked Michigan Wolverines will face off against Jimbo Fisher’s no. 11 ranked Florida State Seminoles in Miami, FL.

The Wolverines currently sit as a touchdown favorite over the Seminoles, which some are considering higher than it should be considering the statistic margin amongst the two teams being narrow.

The key matchup creating all of the buzz for this game is FSU’s star tailback, Dalvin Cook, against Michigan’s stellar defensive front. Cook has ran for 1,620 yards and has reached the end zone 18 times for the Seminoles offense. Don Brown’s Wolverine defense is 13th against the run, and lead the nation against the pass.

Jimbo Fisher’s offense featuring the nation’s arguably top back, and emerging freshman QB, Deondre Francois, is quite possibly the best unit that the Michigan defense has lined up against in 2016.

Red zone play will be a huge factor in this game with Florida State as the nation’s top red zone offensive unit against Michigan as the nation’s 2nd best red zone defense. Look for the Wolverines to thrive on their defensive line, and linebacking core featuring heisman finalist, Jabrill Peppers, in order to stop the Seminole rushing attack.

The Michigan offense isn’t considered to be explosive, but very conservative, and quite efficient. DeVeon Smith is the leading ground gainer for the maize and blue; with 810 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016.

The strength of the Michigan offense lies within the receiving core without a doubt featuring Amara Darboh, and Jehu Chesson; not to mention senior All American tight end, Jake Butt. The three seniors have caught 126 passes for 1,813 yards, and 13 touchdowns combined.

Wilton Speight will be asked to play his very best football this Friday in order to keep up with a very face paced Florida State defensive unit. Through just 11 games, Speight threw for 2,375 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 6 INT’s.

Tune into the Capital One Orange Bowl this Friday night, 8:00pm ET on ESPN. This is expected to be one of the better matchups of the 2016-17 bowl season, and definitely one you won’t want to miss.

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