WINTER GARDEN, Fla. -- Soaking in Florida’s sunshine for the first time on Sunday, Michigan completed its first bowl practice as the Wolverines get ready to face the Gators on New Years Days in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
And while the current weather is perfect for a vacation -- the focus of U-M remains the same -- says senior linebacker Joe Bolden, who pointed out Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s amped-up practice schedule during U-M’s bowl week.
“All the guys talk about how Coach Harbaugh really maximizes his schedule and gets everything out of his schedule,” Bolden said after U-M’s practice. “I think this is another opportunity, almost camp-like with the meetings and everything we got going on. He really gets guys focused. And when it comes down to it, we’re down here to win a football game – it’s not a vacation.”
Is this week’s bowl preparation any different than past bowl games Bolden has played in?
“I would say more intense, yeah,” Bolden replied. “(Harbaugh) schedules everything to maximize to get everything out of what we get in. He’s very focused and I think the team is very focused on why we are down here. It’s just a different focus when it comes down to it.”
Since the start bowl practice, Bolden says Michigan’s defense has been focused on becoming a better tackling unit as a group.
“As linebackers we tackle everyday,” Bolden said. “We find that and identified that we need to improve on, so we’re working on that everyday on getting that done. From a positional standpoint, it’s really been a focus. You see it throughout college football where tackling goes away when you get bowl games where you are off a couple weeks, cause you don’t want to injury each other during practice.”
Adding: “But it’s something we have been working and that we have to improve on.”
Michigan (9-3) plays Florida (10-3) this Friday at 1 p.m.