You might see 41-7 on the bottom line and mistake it for a fluffy, easy win. This was not the case. The first half was very close, and without several halftime adjustments, in their home state of Florida, we were going to get screwed.
Atrocious reffing had a snarf extremely worried early on. On the game’s first drive, Florida marched too easily into Wolverine territory for the field goal try. Thankfully, they wasted the points on an unsuccessful fake! We sniffed it out and stuffed it instantly.
However, the whole first half, for the third football game I’ve watched in a row (Lions, Broncos), no one could bring their defender down. It’s like their energy doesn’t relax until halftime. Too jacked up? Because the improvement in tackling in all 3 games was stifling.
Michigan’s offense looked like a well-oiled machine. Jim Harbaugh’s troops marched right down for the score. Even though Jake Rudock only spent one season as a Wolverine, he will always be remembered for being a G. He led the team all Bowl (and season) long, eclipsing 3,000 yards in a season for only the 2nd time in our history (John Navarre).
Unfortunately, the Gators kept the ball moving and tied it at 7. A mobile QB with some spread options startled us early on, and it looked bad when the referees kept halting our progress.
After surrendering the ball back, Florida again drove down to our territory. Thank God, their young QB forced a throw to the end zone and we intercepted it! HUGE break.
The offense found a wide-open wide receiver for a 35-yard score to go back up a touchdown. In the closing minutes of the 1st half, we again drove for first & goal. The coaches forced too many passes despite the run game rolling, preventing the big lead. After more strange coaching required a Hail Mary defense, Michigan took a 17-7 lead into halftime.
I believe the Lions, Broncos, and Wolverines channeled their halftime energy and came out like 2nd-half gangbusters. Even on special teams, the sloppiness stopped and gave way to sounder, less-electric form tackles. Michigan received the 2nd half kick and scored again, also looking improved and rejuvenated after a break.
The Gators QB became public enemy #1. We destroyed him after halftime, never allowing a single score. It was like clockwork in the 2nd half: long, slow drives on O and 3 & outs on D.
The key to victory in every single sport is discipline – practice it in your life, too. Put down the internet (not now, obviously 🙂 ), put down the “NEWS” (which is disguising itself; it’s just advertising a lot of the time), drop the celly, etc. Treat every single moment as it is: ALL THERE IS.
Michigan never let up, every single play until the end of the game. We showed the world who’s ready for 2016.
It was a remarkable turnaround from a frustrating 2014. It looks like once he gets his own recruits in, there’ll be no stopping coach Harbaugh.
Congratulations, Blue, on a fine campaign.
(Some highlights: the comeback vs. Indiana at the last second, then the win in OT with an end zone denial; the goalline stand in Minnesota; and pitching three consecutive shutouts – what a great ride.)