Gators Try to End, Start Year on High Note

By on December 30, 2015. Posted in , , , , , .

Despite dropping their final two games of 2015, the Florida Gators look to close out the season and start 2016 right when they take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.  The two squads will meet in Orlando on New Years’ Day with kick-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m.  Coverage of the game will air nationally on ABC and the Baltimore Gator Club will host a watch party for the contest at the Greene Turtle at McHenry Row.  So come on down and celebrate the Gators and the New Year with a special party at the Greene Turtle!

The Greene Turtle – McHenry Row

1606 Whetstone Way

Baltimore, Md. 21230

Florida (10-3, 7-1 SEC) took an early lead on Alabama in the SEC Championship game on an 85-yd. punt return by Antonio Callaway, but the Gators could not keep pace with the Tide, falling 29-15.  The UF defense kept the Orange and Blue in the game but eventual Heisman Trophy winning running back Derrick Henry took over in the second half, gaining 189 yards and scoring one touchdown leading Bama to the victory.  Linebacker Antonio Morrison led the Gator D with 11 tackles including one for a loss.

The Gators surprised almost everyone this year under first-year head coach Jim McElwain, winning their first six games before falling in a close one to LSU on the road.  UF bounced back to win its next four contests, including a 27-3 drubbing of Georgia to wrap up its first SEC East crown since 2009.  The Gators’ defense has been an anchor for the team ranking sixth nationally in total defense.

Michigan (9-3, 6-2 BIG Ten) could not hang with archrival Ohio State back on Nov. 28, falling to the Buckeyes 42-13 at home in Ann Arbor.  Despite the loss, the Wolverines also put together an impressive season in their first year under alumni Jim Harbaugh.  After losing the season opener at Utah, Big Blue won nine of its next ten before the blowout defeat to OSU.

The Michigan offense has been committed to the run game this year, but senior transfer Jake Rudock has thrown for almost 3,000 yards and 17 scores.  Junior De’veon Smith is the team’s leading rusher with 644 yards and six touchdowns.

The Gators are 2-3 in five all-time games played at the Citrus Bowl, dropping their last game there, a 41-35 loss to Michigan in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.  The teams have squared off just one other time with the Wolverines claiming the victory in Tampa.