clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida Matchups to Watch

How will the month off affect both teams on Friday afternoon?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Rudock vs. Florida's Passing Offense

The last time we saw Rudock, he took a big hit against Ohio State and was knocked out of the football game with a shoulder injury. By all accounts he is healthy now, but will face a difficult task going up against Florida's secondary on Friday afternoon.

Rudock broke out in a big way down the stretch and helped win the Wolverines games with his arm. He may have to do more of the same against the Gators, but he will do so with cornerback Vernon Hargreaves shadowing Michigan in the passing game, most likely on Jehu Chesson.

When the Wolverines were humming on offense this year, Rudock was spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved. It will have to be more of the same in this game.

Michigan's Run Defense vs. Kelvin Taylor

The Florida running back has already declared for the 2016 NFL Draft and will be a stiff test for a run defense that struggled towards the end of the regular season.

Florida does not boast an explosive offense by any means, but Taylor's a very talented rusher and we saw Michigan struggle down the stretch against some of the better running backs they saw this year.

The defensive line has to be able to stay fresh and the linebackers will have to be much, much better than the last game Michigan played. The Gators do not have much to be scared off offensively, but Taylor is certainly someone to watch for.

Jim Harbaugh vs. Jim McElwain

We can break it down and talk X's and O's in longform mode (and there are much better people than I to do that), but I'm interesting in seeing how these two first-year head coaches have their teams ready to play in this game.

Both Michigan and Florida had better-than-expected debut years with new leadership. The Gators went out and won the SEC East and won ten games, while Michigan jumped back on the map in what was expected to be a transitional year.

On paper, it is hard to dispute that the Wolverines have the advantage with their coaching staff, but these teams mirror each other in a lot of ways.

Also, Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will have a little extra hop in his step Friday, as he worked at Michigan under Brady Hoke in 2014.

What matchup will you be keeping an eye on in Friday's Citrus Bowl? Sound off in the comments below!