Yesterday was a great day to be a Michigan Wolverine! And thanks to my sister, Kelly, I, along with Kelly and my son, Brennan, were in attendance at the Capital One Bowl game in Orlando as we watched the Maize and Blue take on the Florida Gators. The Michigan team played great football for sixty minutes and sent retiring Coach Lloyd Carr out with a resounding victory in his final game as the Wolverines coach.
Not only was this a great game because of Michigan's win, but it was a flat-out exciting game. There were a number of big plays, outstanding catches, costly penalties and turnovers, and a great matchup between the defending national champion and a Michigan team that showed what they could do when healthy and at full-strength. With a senior class that was 0-3 in bowl games coming into yesterday's matchup, the Wolverines played an inspired and intense game.
It is great to see Coach Carr go out with a big victory. After disappointing losses to Appalachian State and Oregon and a fourth consecutive loss to rival Ohio State, many assumed that the Heisman trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow would waltz over the Wolverines without a second thought. But a ferocious U of M defense, led by Shawn Crable, neutered the potent Florida offense (except for wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was very impressive) and held Tebow to an average day.
Michigan's offense was simply spectacular. Chad Henne, who had over 370 yards passing, cut through the UF defense all day long by throwing key competions to receivers Adrian Arrington, Mario Manningham and Greg Matthews. Mark Hart was solid on the ground, although his two goal-line fumbles were shocking.
I hope that this game (and not the App. State debacle) defines the senior class of Hart, Henne and Long. They came out in a game that few thought they could win and dominated a very good Florida team. Were it not for Michigan's four turnovers (three of which happened inside the five yard line), this game could have been a two or three touchdown victory. So congrats to Lloyd, Chad, Mike, Jake, Shawn and to all Michigan fans everywhere on a huge win!
Here's a short video of Michigan fans in our section celebrating during the closing minute. Enjoy.
If the video player doesn't show up, you can view it here.