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In front of a record crowd for the new Orlando Citrus Bowl, Michigan Wolverines overpowered Florida Gators 41-7 on New Year’s Day. 63,113 attended the game which was slightly more than the 62,510 that saw Orlando City Soccer draw their opening MLS game with New York City last March. In soccer terms, this was a 6-1 rout and many Gators fans were seen leaving the stadium midway through the third quarter when the score was 5-1 … oh sorry, 31-7.
The game was supposed to be an evenly matched tussle between two of the top defenses from the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference. In reality, the contest was done by half time.
Jake Rudock (pictured above) threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns and Michigan’s defense dominated throughout in the No. 14 Wolverines’ victory over No. 19 Florida.
“I would say this was the best game we’ve played all year,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen our offense play better. Our defense was magnificent. … The three and outs, the stops, the play on third down, everybody playing great team defense. It was really good.”
The Gators’ only score of the game tied the game, 7-7. Florida scored when receiver Antonio Callaway went with an underhand pass to Harris for a two-yard touchdown. After that, it was all one way traffic as Michigan (10-3) had three touchdown drives of at least 70 yards and finished with 503 yards of offense against a Florida defense that entered the game ranked sixth nationally.
“It was a case of getting your rump kicked in. That’s’ what it was,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “They really took it to us on both sides of the ball.”
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com