Lamical Perine had a 5-yard scoring catch and 53-yard touchdown run, helping No. 10 Florida cap its comeback season with a 41-15 rout of No. 8 Michigan in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.
After finishing 4-7 in 2017, the Gators enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in Dan Mullen’s debut season as coach. Florida (10-3) closed the season with four straight wins. Michigan (10-3), meanwhile, closed a promising season with two consecutive lopsided losses.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson led Florida’s defense with two interceptions, including one he returned 30 yards for a touchdown with less than five minutes remaining. Gardner-Johnson’s first interception early in the second half, when Florida led only 13-10, set the tone for the Gators.
Michigan faced the unenviable task of playing without four top starters, including top rusher Karan Higdon and leading tackler Devin Bush, all of whom skipped the game to focus on the NFL draft.
After giving up 567 yards in a crushing 62-39 loss to Ohio State to close the regular season, Michigan’s defense again couldn’t play up to its No. 1 ranking.
Florida compiled 427 total yards, including 257 on the ground. Perine led the Gators with 76 yards rushing. Jordan Scarlett ran for 59 yards, including a 1-yard scoring run.
Florida held Michigan to 326 yards, including only 77 yards rushing. The Wolverines had two apparent touchdowns negated following video reviews by officials.
“We got outplayed, really, on that side of the ball,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Florida did a nice job defensively.”
Belk Bowl: Bryce Perkins threw three touchdown passes to Olamide Zaccheaus, leading Virginia to a 28-0 win over South Carolina in Charlotte. Perkins completed 22 of 31 passes for 208 yards and ran for 81 yards as the Cavaliers (8-5) won their first bowl game since 2005, ending the ACC’s longest bowl drought. The Gamecocks (7-6) were shut out for the first time since an 18-0 loss to Georgia in 2006.
Arizona Bowl: Reagan Roberson dove into the end zone on an 11-yard catch-and-run in overtime, lifting Nevada over Arkansas State 16-13 in Tucson. The Wolf Pack (8-5) took a 10-7 lead on Devonte Lee’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter, but Arkansas State (8-5) tied it on Blake Grupe’s 32-yard field goal on the final play of the period.
Briefly: Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean announced on Instagram that he will be skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He had 30 tackles, two interceptions and nine pass breakups as a junior. … Memphis has hired Adam Fuller as its defensive coordinator after he spent this season in the same position at Marshall.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Florida-routs-Michigan-in-Peach-Bowl-13498104.php.