Florida, Michigan both looking at past opponents to help this week

Although Florida and Michigan have played each other three times since 2016 they aren’t traditional opponents. The Gators and Wolverines squared off in the 2017 season opener but Michigan can’t draw much from that game because Florida has an entirely new staff.

Obviously the coaching staff has been pouring over film since the Peach Bowl was officially announced but there’s no better teacher than experience. We asked players and coaches from both teams if there was an opponent they faced this season that they think. The SEC and B1G are very different conference but the coaches and players we spoke with all were able to tie in past opponents to the team they will face this Saturday.

Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown
“Indiana, kind of a cross between Indiana — there’s some similarities with Ohio State in the run game because there’s some power elements, even out of the one-back set. They’ll play some multiple tight end looks, which very similar to Nebraska. So there’s some crossover. We see 10 or 11 spread offenses a year. Now, there’s spread offense with a toughness element. There’s spread offense with finesse elements. They have a toughness element out of their spread. So when you combine that with the ability to throw the football around, they do a good job with the screen game and getting the ball out for the quarterback. So there’s some definite crossover for us.”

Of Note: Indiana and Ohio State rushed for 190 and 171 yards respectively. That was the second and third most rushing yards the Wolverines surrendered all season.

Michigan passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton on Florida’s defense
“Scheme-wise, they’re probably most similar to Penn State. As far as the personnel that they have, they just have a tremendous amount of talent as we’ve mentioned several times here. They’re similar to the team down south. And that’s south of Michigan.”

Florida running back Jordan Scarlett on Michigan’s defense
“I feel like Missouri had a really big and good d-line, like they do. (Michigan) has a couple guys they can move around and they’re real active. 15 is real active and I know number 3 isn’t playing but he’s an active guy too. They have a lot of big, stout guys that can move and that’s how Missouri was. As far as South Carolina the rest of Michigan’s guys are like their DBs and their linebackers are kind of like their linebacker. I don’t know. Their defense is kind hard to put your hand on because you’ve got some guys that can move fast, some guys that are just effort guys out there and making plays.”

Florida quarter Feleipe Franks on Michigan’s defense
“I think, scheme wise, South Carolina is a good one to kind of compare them to. I think each team is kind of different. We played Missouri and they weren’t as big of guys but they were very active and speedy and stuff like that. I think Michigan does a sound job of playing not having to use their talent but using the scheme. They have really talented players but I think they remind me more, scheme wise, of Missouri.”

Todd Grantham on Michigan’s offense
“They’re a little unique in that they’re a multiple tight end team. When you look at their team, they’ve got some talented tight ends. They’ve got three guys that they use a lot and they kind of roll those guys. That will be a little different than the majority of the teams we’ve played this year. We’ve seen the things they’ve done from the standpoint of LSU and some other things. So that’s really the challenge. It’s more of multiple tight ends and things like that that maybe we’ve seen but not maybe as many reps as you’ll see in this game.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC