By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The Michigan wolverines will head to a New Year’s Day bowl game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Monday at noon.
Coach Jim Harbaugh has his team primed and ready for the showdown with coach Will Muschamp and his Gamecocks. Both teams are 8-4 and looking to get that signature win that will give them the edge for next season.
Redshirt freshman Quarterback Brandon Peters is ready to lead the Wolverines into battle. He has taken all the first team reps so far during bowl prep.
Mason Cole was asked about Peters so far during bowl prep and he said “Just a lot of confidence. The kid’s got a little swagger to him. He runs around like he owns the place, and that’s what you want.”
Cole who will play in the Senior Bowl shortly after the Outback Bowl anxiously awaits suiting up for the Maize and Blue a final time. He will be playing on Sunday’s soon but wanted to finish out his playing career with his teammates.
The Michigan Wolverines look to impose their will over the Gamecocks Monday with Peters back at the helm. Peters is ready for the bowl game but must silence the Shea Patterson distractions looming for next season. Peters told reporters in Tampa “I’m not going to let someone come into my house and take something from me. It’s kind of that mindset.”
The offense which has been up and down all season must finally put it all together to beat South Carolina. The Wolverines are a great rushing team but they will need to be more balanced if they have any hope of winning.
Peters during his five games he played in this season completed 37 passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns. Peters playing in the games gave the team a sense of accomplishment and they seemed to want to play harder and faster when he was under center.
The best part of the Michigan offense was the rushing attack with Karan Higdon leading the way. Higdon ran for 929 yards on 147 attempts. He also scored 11 rushing touchdowns. Higdon was also a receiving threat catching seven passes for 120 yards.
Chris Evans would not be denied as he rushed for 661 yards on 126 attempts. He also scored six touchdowns. Evans also caught 14 passes for 146 yards and scored a receiving touchdown.
The Wolverines were not a major threat through the air until late in the season when the tight ends started to develop.
The real threat from this team was their elite defense. The Michigan defense was ranked in the top of 10 in the country until the last couple games.
The main reason for this was graduate student defensive lineman Maurice Hurst. Hurst will also be playing on Sunday’s next year and will be a force in the NFL.
Hurst followed his heart and decided to play in the bowl game and finish out his playing career with his brothers. Hurst was runner up for defensive player of the year in the Big Ten.
The defense is led by linebacker Devin Bush who had 94 total tackles and five sacks. Bush also had an interception and eight pass breakups. The other leader is linebacker Mike McCray. McCray is also going to the Senior Bowl. He was the captain of the defense with 75 total tackles, five sacks, and a forced fumble.
Chase Winovich has been a huge surprise for the defense adding 74 total tackles including 17 tackles for loss. He also had eight sacks and two forced fumbles. Winovich also has a huge decision to make about his future but that can wait until after the game. The other huge surprise was Khaleke Hudson who rocketed himself into being a household name this season. Hudson had 72 total tackles including 16 tackles for loss. He also had seven sacks and two interceptions. Hudson was huge this season and will need to continue his reign of terror to beat the Gamecocks.
This will be the game of the season for the Michigan Wolverines. Will they put everything together and find a way to win? Nothing is for sure but it will be entertaining. Send the Michigan Journal your thoughts and score predictions on Facebook or Twitter. The person with the correct score will be put into the paper.
Phillip’s Score: Michigan 42- South Carolina 17