|Erick Lehman/Maize and Blue Nation|
It was not the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl that many expected.
The Michigan Wolverines rolled through the Florida Gators winning 41-7. The Wolverines only allowed the one score to the Gators on a trick play near the end of the first quarter, shutting the Gators out for just over three quarters.
The Wolverine defense played stout and true to form, holding the Gators offense in check the entire game.
The Wolverines held Florida to only 155 passing yards, and forced two interceptions. Channing Stribling and Jarrod Wilson were the two Wolverines with the interceptions.
Michigan struggled to contain Treon Harris, the Gators mobile quarterback, but overall was able to keep the Florida rushing attack to a minimum compared to previous games. Florida as a team had 27 carries for 118-yards, a 4.4 yard per carry average.
Drake Johnson opened up the scoring with just under six minutes remaining in the first quarter with a four-yard touchdown run to give the Wolverines the early lead. Just a few minutes later the Gators answered back with the trick play score.
Johnson finished the game with 58 rushing yards on six carries and also had a rushing touchdown. Johnson also caught two passed for 10-yards and a touchdown.
The Wolverines continued to the scoring in the second quarter when Jake Rudock found Jehu Chesson wide open after All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves tried to jump the route and was beaten by Chesson.
Chesson finished with 118-yards on five receptions and the touchdown, as he continued his strong breakout season. True freshman Grant Perry caught five balls for 51-yards and a touchdown as well.
Rudock threw two more touchdown passes in the game, one to Perry, and the swing pass to Johnson. Rudock finished the game completing 20 of 31 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. With the performance in the Citrus Bowl, Rudock went over 3,000 passing yards in his only season as a Wolverine. He finished with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
DeVeon Smith looked as if he was back to 100% health as he carried the ball 25 times for 109-yards. Sione Houma, who came into this season with no carries in his previous three years as a Wolverine ran in his fifth rushing touchdown of the season in the third quarter. Houma finished with nine carries for 32-yards and a touchdown.
The Wolverines were without defensive back/return man Jabrill Peppers but the Wolverines only needed to return one punt and one kick in the game. The Wolverines were also without Aussie punter Blake O'Neill, and there were some worries about the field position game. However place kicker Kenny Allen took over the punting duties and only needed to punt the ball one time, he did so for a 57-yard boot.
The Wolverines finish the season with a record of 10-3 in the first season of the Harbaugh Era. It is the first time since the 2011-12 season the Wolverines were able to win at least 10-games, and only the second time since the 2006-07 season. The Wolverines finally picked up the signature win that they have been lacking for years, and with that to start 2016, things are definitely trending upward.