Michigan lost its last two games of the year, putting a damper on its season
[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Florida 41, Michigan 15 Comment Count

Ethan Sears December 29th, 2018 at 3:34 PM

ATLANTA — Just over a month ago, Michigan rolled into Columbus, the season still bright with limitless potential. On Saturday, two games later, the Wolverines left Mercedes-Benz Stadium having lost every bit of it.

 

The Peach Bowl, even after a loss at Ohio State, was a chance to end the season on a high note. Michigan could have come out of it with an 11th win for only the third time since 1986, having given Jim Harbaugh his first New Year’s Six bowl win in his tenure with the Wolverines. Instead, after a 41-15 loss to Florida, Michigan has all the same questions with no answers.

 

[After THE JUMP: gamer]

 

Things started to fall apart for the Wolverines in the third quarter. Looking for Nico Collins on a deep ball, Shea Patterson failed to see Gators’ safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Not only did Gardner-Johnson pick off Patterson — he returned it to Michigan’s 44-yard line.

 

In the postgame, Gardner-Johnson was asked about the Wolverines. The answer, just one sentence, cuts deep for Michigan.

 

"I don't know how they prepared," he said, "but I don't think they prepared too well."

 

In Florida's locker room, a team that had prepared hard  wanting to win this game to put a cap on its season  emerged.

 

"We had a week and a little minute to study them," Gator defensive lineman Cece Jefferson said. "I just feel like everybody bought in and watched film good. ... We just knew what was coming sometimes."

 

After the interception, Michigan forced the Gators into fourth-and-1, but quickly fell apart from there. Sophomore Kadarius Toney took a jet sweep for 30 yards and Lamical Perine punched it in from five yards out, extending Florida’s lead to 10 with 8:06 to go in the third.

 

The Wolverines followed that with a three-and-out, giving Jordan Scarlett an opening to provide the dagger for the Gators. The running back broke off a 30-yard carry, going through tackle after tackle to get Florida inside the five-yard line. Then, he took a speed option into the end zone, bringing the lead to 17.

 

Michigan cut it to 14 with a field goal, and seemed to have momentum after an ill-fated double-pass forced the Gators into third-and-20. But on the very next play, Perine ran straight past the Wolverines' defense for a 53-yard score, ending any hope of a comeback.

 

Patterson’s numbers — 22-for-36 for 236 yards — weren’t bad, but the throws he missed, including two interceptions, will dominate memory of his performance. As for the run game, replacing Karan Higdon proved tough, as five rushers led by Christian Turner and Chris Evans averaged all of 2.27 yards per carry between them.

 

"We were moving the ball at times and close to getting into a rhythm, but we didn't get the run game going effectively enough," Jim Harbaugh said. "Or the passing game, the protection, and the rhythm in that area to make it -- we got outplayed, really, on that side of the ball." 

 

Without Rashan Gary or Aubrey Solomon — and with Chase Winovich playing hurt — it was apparent that Michigan’s defensive line was missing something. It sacked Feleipe Franks just three times, failing to play up to a standard that has been set higher than that.  As a whole, the Wolverines’ defense — vaunted all year — coughed up big play after big play, giving up 427 total yards.

 

"They were just a better team," Chase Winovich said. "At the end of the day, they seemed like they had us. I think this is an observation, but for the most part, they had us figured out. They knew what we were in and how to manipulate it."

Comments

JFra

December 30th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

I personally don’t take issue with players sitting out ball games, for them, it makes all the sense in the world and I do not hold it against them at all. They worked their entire lives for a shot at the NFL.

For me, as a fan, it makes me indifferent to the game and the team. That’s worse than anger, cause it means I don’t care. 

I didn’t even know the game was on yesterday until an hour before kickoff. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. 

core42

December 29th, 2018 at 4:00 PM ^

How much money have you sent Jake Butt as appreciation for playing when he could have sat out & cost himself literally millions by dropping several rounds in the draft?

Until you start compensating players that lose actual money for playing in a meaningless game for your enjoyment then you can STFU about players that decide to sit out 

BornInA2

December 29th, 2018 at 4:27 PM ^

Please send a note to all the players who bothered to practice for and play in this game that it was meaningless.

Either these games are 'meaningless' and shouldn't be played at all, or they are meaningful and all the players on the team should be expected to show up for them, or pay back their scholarships if they don't.

"Thanks for the free classes, housing, and food, and I quit" doesn't work for me.

GotBlueOnMyMind

December 29th, 2018 at 5:28 PM ^

Thank you. And some of us entitled millennials are paying 1K+ a month in student loans so that we could attend a great school like Michigan. The idea that getting free college tuition is something to scoff at is insulting to those of us who cannot buy a house or truly save money due to the burden of student debt. 

I fully understand why they sit out, and I would have too if I had that opportunity. But to claim it isn’t a selfish decision is as absurd as claiming that a full scholarship with living expenses to a school like Michigan is not an incredible wage for an 18-22 year old.

harmon40

December 29th, 2018 at 6:48 PM ^

Just a thought - Devin Bush suffered an ugly injury vs OSU, and Rashan Gary struggled with a shoulder injury the entire season.

Although both could have played vs Florida, it could be argued that their risk of injury was greater than normal and could have cemented their respective decisions to sit out. 

For my part I do not think bowl games are meaningless. That said, I can’t argue with Bush and Gary playing it safe. Many (most?) of us would make the same decision, especially with so much money at stake

schreibee

December 30th, 2018 at 11:05 AM ^

Or maybe it's because he moved to the Bay Area? Not being able to afford a mortgage here doesn't impugn your major.

In fact, if not being able to afford a house even in A2 means you "picked a shitty major," you must think any major using your brain or creativity rather than teaching how to repackage shitty mortgages is a total waste of time? 

DetroitBlue

December 30th, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

except he didn’t say ‘i can’t afford a mortgage because i moved to sf’. what he said was ‘i can’t afford a mortgage because of my student loans’ which is different and makes him come off as a whiny child who can’t stand that football players have it better than him, while disregarding the fact that those guys bring in millions and millions of dollars for the school while he didn’t/doesn’t. 

L'Carpetron Do…

December 30th, 2018 at 2:55 PM ^

This is bullshit. Thousands of people in our generation went to college and took out loans to go to expensive schools like Michigan because we were told it would pay off in the future. Michigan was better and would give us an edge in the job market. We were told to go to the best college we could go to and the loans wouldn't be a big deal because they would be well worth the high paying jobs we'd get once we graduated. That has not been the case. I guess our generation's biggest mistake was listening to every parent, teacher, administrator, politician and future employer who told us an education, even with loans of student debt, was the ticket to a successful future.

College tuition is too high and the loans are wreaking havoc on our generation. These are not complaints, they're facts. Our generation was given a raw deal.

Get off this old man bullshit. It's flat out wrong. 

Mp1228

December 30th, 2018 at 12:31 PM ^

The one thing people seem to never mention in the whole “scholarships are their pay” discussion: they are being paid with a scholarship, something that let’s be honest, at least 60-70% of the players with a shot at the NFL don’t really care about. 

Most of these guys plan on playing in the league, and look at the education as something to fall back on. An education is very valuable to most people, but let’s be real, they’re all in a completely different situation than any of us, and in most cases an education simply isn’t as valuable in their eyes as it is in yours. 

This isn’t the perfect analogy but I think it illustrates my point of how people can value things differently: let’s say at 16 years old someone on your street came to u and said “mow the lawn at every house, every week the next 4 years, but instead of paying u, I’ll teach u how to run your own landscaping business”. Is that knowledge something that’s valuable? Most would say “yeah, but I don’t plan on ever running a landscaping business, I just want the money for my services”

Value lies in the eye of the beholder, and let’s be real, they simply don’t value an education as much as a regular person, because most of them are about to be millionaires. 

Seth

December 29th, 2018 at 5:29 PM ^

$150k to sign and another $100k or so while they're playing is about what a 4-star will get under the table at Georgia right now. It seems reasonable, if you're already paying them more than that in tuition and room and board and a stipend, to just pay them market rate in return for a contract to play every game they can. Holdouts will still occur but I think not breaching an actual contract would be a strong incentive to not skip the bowl games for most. It's common practice in the SEC to use cash to get a guy to play when he's hurt, and I imagine they've paid guys to play in bowls. 

DHughes5218

December 29th, 2018 at 7:20 PM ^

I imagine Michigan is paying it. Do you honestly believe that Aubrey Solomon turned down $250k from Georgia so he could play for nothing at Michigan? Same with Dax Hill. Is he turning down six figures from Alabama for the honor to play for Michigan? 

Michigan would be fortunate to have a top 25 recruiting class if everyone except Michigan is handing out huge paydays for commits. I love the University but my family wasn’t rich and there’s no way I would have went to Michigan for nothing if I’m being offended $250k from a better program. I know this is a fan board but you’re lying to yourself if you think Michigan is recruiting this well if they are one of the few clean programs.

I think the problem is we are only throwing out money to a dozen or so recruits (maybe less) while OSU, Alabama, Georgia, etc are paying nearly every recruit. I would believe those claims.

Go Blue 80

December 29th, 2018 at 7:46 PM ^

They get a free ride to a very expensive school, over $40 k a year for in state kids and over $70 k a year for out of state.  Most people leave college with tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars debt with interest over 6%.  They get compensated plenty, especially since half of the 80 player roster never plays.  

ST3

December 29th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

“The Team, The Team, The Team,” has been replaced by, “The me, the me, the me.” 

I started reading a book during the third quarter. If this selfish, “me first” attitude continues, don’t be surprised when the fans who make those millions possible for the lucky few stop giving a fuck and the gravy train stops running for all the rest of the scholarship athletes.

FGB

December 29th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

No you're right. They are meaningless and shouldn't be played at all. As evidenced by the apathy of the coaching staff, a large chunk of players, probably TV ratings too.   Can't blame the players that rich greedy old white men force the games to happen anyway. 

 

rice4114

December 29th, 2018 at 6:26 PM ^

Its time to hold the fans responsible. 350 posts about how this doesnt matter. Fuck thr majotity of this fan base. The players are following the lead of all these bsndwagon fans. Get the fuck off the train and stay off. If #7 in a NYE6 game means nothing to you stay off this board. Take off your jersey and put on your patriots jersey or whatever. 

FrozeMangoes

December 29th, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

"Thanks for the free classes, housing, and food, and I quit" doesn't work for me

Yes, UM did it all out of the kindness of their heart.  It was a completely one way relationship where the university got nothing in return.  If a normal student on scholarship leaves school before graduating do you think they should pay back the scholarship?

Bush has done more more to win games for UM than JH has the past 3 years but I don't see people saying he should pay back his salary. 

taut

December 29th, 2018 at 5:41 PM ^

Well, with the aggregate performance over the last four seasons and particularly the last two games, it seems Harbaugh's coaching, game time management, offensive scheme and play input, and defensive adjustments (yes, I know, D Brown, but the buck stops with Jim) haven't been worth the $30 million he's been compensated. Underperforming/overpaid, take your choice, but I'm not impressed.

Michigan is still clearly not in the top tier of performance despite being in the top tier of compensation.

Kevin13

December 29th, 2018 at 10:00 PM ^

At the very lease I wouldn’t take the players to the bowl game and let them enjoy all the festivities with it. You quit now and don’t want to be part of the team. Ok fine head home and get yourself prepared for the draft. The rest of the team is going to work hard and actually finish the season 

MaizeMN

December 29th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

So sick of this argument. These players are compensated, with an education and scholarship that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. It mat not be the lottery that the school, NCAA, etc make, but no one forces them to sign on and no one asks for their money back if they get hurt, don't pan out, or decide to quit, transfer, break the law or flunk out. Every one of these student-athletes knows what they are getting and every one of them takes the deal.