ORLANDO — The Michigan Wolverines were full of surprises and wasted little time pulling out all the stops in their 41-35 Capitol One Bowl victory over #12 Florida. The unveiling of the spread offense in Lloyd Carr’s final game as the Wolverines head coach afforded Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, and Mike Hart to demonstrate that they are very good in their own right. But, the showstopper in this game and perhaps all of college football goes by the name of Percy Harvin, who once again dazzled the masses with his speed and ability to take over a football game.
Harvin had 13 rushes for 165 yards and a score. His 12.7 yard average, 165 yards, and long run of 66 yards were easily game highs. He tied Arrington as the game high receiver with nine receptions for 77 yards and another touchdown.
That’s 22 touches, 242 yards and two scores.
It’s a shame that Harvin didn’t line up at cornerback, defensive end, or linebacker. Perhaps his speed and athleticism would have made life just as miserable for the Maize and Blue offense.
He wasn’t perfect. Harvin couldn’t hang on to a ball thrown by quarterback Tim Tebow in the endzone. But, he was dominant. Harvin accounted for an average 11 yards every single time that he touched the football.
And he just wrapped up the final game of his sophomore season. True sophomore season. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about important stuff.
Very important stuff.
“We don’t thrive on individual awards,” Harvin said. “We didn’t come out with the win, so I’m not satisfied.”
A disappointed Harvin didn’t want to talk about his stellar individual performance. He used the platform to inform the media and Gators fans that he is taking over a major leadership role in Florida football.
“I’m going to get hungry and get to the off-season and work harder and get everybody else to play on a certain level and hope to get back to the championship,” Harvin said in the post game interview. “We know that we’ve got a lot of players coming back, but at the same time if you don’t have the chemistry, it doesn’t matter who you have coming back.
Like I said, we’ve just got to put it all together next year.”
Next year begins tomorrow. The Gators will have to look over the film and find some answers. Head coach Urban Meyer said that he wasn’t impressive with the coaching. He didn’t name names, but indicated that there were a couple of coaches who, shall we say, might need a wake-up call. He will watch the tape and determine what is going on. After a lackluster team performance in this one, motivation shouldn’t be a problem. If we’re to take Harvin’s words to heart, he’ll make certain the chemistry is where it once was and perhaps take ownership of any unresolved issues.
“We didn’t have a very good off-season this year,” Harvin said. “We had a lot of individual people going and doing their own thing and we didn’t have that the year before when we won the national championship. I’m going to put that back on my shoulders to get everybody back on the same page and hopefully we’ll get back to it.”
“It’s part of being young. Everybody has to grow up. Everybody wants to do their own thing and wants to do their thing that way, but it’s proven that the ‘I’ word don’t work. We’ll get back to what the coaches know what’s best for us and hopefully we’ll get back to the top.”
Harvin spent awful lot of time talking about championships for a player who wears the colors of a team that just lost a game they had no business losing. Harvin does that because he gets it. What it takes to win is not at all lost on him. Can he convey that message to his teammates?
“I see a lot of people look up to me and follow me, so I’m going to lead and hope to get everybody to the same level and the same page and hopefully get back to the championship next year.”