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Handing out Game Balls for Michigan vs. Georgia

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The season ended for the Wolverines in Miami, but a few players deserve recognition for their efforts in defeat.

Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Michigan Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines fell to the Georgia Bulldogs 34-11 in the College Football Playoff/Orange Bowl. Georgia was able to dictate both lines of scrimmage, their team speed was overwhelming, and Michigan sustained too many self-inflicted wounds.

Michigan could never establish their running attack, finishing with only 89 rushing yards and quarterback Cade McNamara struggled completing 12-of-20 for 131 yards and two interceptions, while under constant duress.

Georgia was able to negate the dynamic Michigan pass rushing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, and capitalized on several miscues to consistently move the ball. For the first time all season, the Wolverines were not the superior physical team.

Although it was a bleak performance, these few are worthy of recognition.

Let’s hand out some game balls.

Jake Moody

The Lou Groza Award-winning kicker finished 1-for-1, knocking in a field goal from 36 yards away. While Moody never attempted an extra point in this game, he remains perfect on point-afters for his career.

Moody capped off an historic season by continuing to be what he has been all season: money.

Erick All

Tight end Erick All was Michigan’s most reliable pass catcher in the Orange Bowl. All hauled in four passes for 63 yards, including two timely third-down conversions.

All is one of Michigan’s most improved players on the season finishing with 34 catches for 374 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight of the season came for All against Penn State with his 47-yard game-winning touchdown reception to keep Michigan’s Big Ten title hopes alive.

While it remains to be seen, All is eligible to return next season.

JJ McCarthy

The true freshman quarterback was far from stellar finishing 7-of-17 for 131 yards and one touchdown late in the game. But McCarthy provided a glimmer of hope for the future with his versatile style and competitive fire.

McCarthy has steadily improved all season and will challenge McNamara for the starting job next season. Regardless if he wins it or not, the future of the position is bright in Ann Arbor as a rising tide raises all ships.

Also, McCarthy doesn’t turn 19 until Jan. 20.