Orange Bowl prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between FSU and Michigan.
I love Dalvin Cook. I love Jabrill Peppers more. Not only will Peppers and the rest of the Michigan defense give FSU fits all day long, but the Heisman Trophy finalist is going to get his hands on the ball offensively and bring it into the end zone. I’m not predicting a lot of points in this one, and that will play right into the Wolverines’ hands as they knock off the Seminoles in their home state.
I have a feeling this is going to be a back-and-forth game the entire way. I can see Dalvin Cook finding his way into the end zone for what will be his final game as a Seminole, but I still think Michigan will step up on defense like it has all year long and stifle the rest of FSU’s offense. Michigan will also have a tough time moving the ball, but the Wolverines will find a groove closer to halftime and end up taking a close one. Michigan wins by seven.
Expect a very motivated Seminoles squad, unlike the one we saw last year in the bowl loss to Houston. Despite suffering three losses, Jimbo Fisher’s team played its best football down the stretch. A very strong Wolverines defense awaits, though, so Dalvin Cook, Deondre Francois and the FSU offense will face quite a challenge. Meanwhile, the Wolverines will need to fight through the hangover effect of dropping two late-season games and being out of the College Football Playoff. Because Jim Harbaugh is the head coach, though, do not expect to watch an unmotivated or unfocused Wolverines squad. FSU will put up a valiant effort behind Cook and Francois, but a Jabrill Peppers punt return for a score is the difference in this one.
Outside of the College Football Playoff, this is the most interesting matchup of Bowl Season. Both Florida State and Michigan will enter next season as early favorites to win it all, and this game could prove to be the launching point for a run to the Playoff.
Michigan’s vaunted defense facing off against electric running back Dalvin Cook is also a treat. The Wolverines rank No. 13 in rushing defense, allowing just 116.75 yards per game on the ground, and No. 2 in total defense. Cook will still get his, eclipsing the 100-yard mark, because, quite frankly, he’s unstoppable and will want to put a stamp on his final game in garnet and gold. That being said the Wolverines take care of business in what will be a thrilling game. Harbaugh out-coaches Fisher and makes the necessary second-half adjustments to bring home the W.
This could be an interesting game, as the Wolverines defense will be hungry to stop FSU running back Dalvin Cook and are probably extremely angry after the way the season ended against Ohio State. Don’t forget: this Michigan defense is absolutely nasty.
I’m taking Michigan in a low-scoring affair.