"If Michigan scores 28 they win."

Former assistant coordinator Mark Ouimet talks to yours truly about the Outback Bowl.

When Michigan is on defense

The key to the game is Michigan's defense -- especially our safeties and corners. Florida will spread it out and pass it around, mix in some runs. But Rex Grossman had thrown 18 interceptions, so Marlin Jackson, Jeremy LeSueur and Marcus Curry will have to play some good man coverage, and get some breakups and picks.

Ernest Graham is a good back, running for 965 yards. Victor Hobson is moving back to where he was recruited, inside linebacker. He'll be a key as well. He has to come up with some big plays. Pierre Woods should fill Hobson's spot at outside linebacker.

Florida is 39% on 3rd down, which is okay but not great. They are not real good at possessing the ball, they still pass more than they run, although not as much as with Spurrier.

The second quarter is their best -- they scored 148 points in the 2nd quarter. They are a first half team.

Florida scores 25 points a game, where Michigan holds their opponents to 19.6. So if Michigan hold to their average, they'll be okay.

Florida averages 404 yards a game, 271 passing, and Michigan gives up 334. So Michigan has to keep them under 400 yards.

Florida only gave up 19 sacks ... Michigan gave up 21, but got 38 sacks themselves. Michigan has to get to Rex Grossman.

Grossman didn't have a great year. He and Navarre were actually about the same for the year. Grosman completed 57% of its passes, Navarre 55%. Their touchdowns were just about the same. Grossman did have 17 interceptions, to Navarre's seven. Grossman got off to a slow start with the coaching change.

When Michigan is on offense

Florida's defense is inconsistent. In four games they gave up more than 30 points, and they gave up 317 yards a game. Their best position is their defensive backs.

Michigan should control the ball. If Michigan can move the ball, possess it ... and then score some touchdowns.

Michigan's offensive line has to push Florida's defensive line around ... Michigan should be able to to pound the ball.

Michigan has scored 41 touchdowns, 21 running and 20 passing. That's balance, and that balance is important. BJ Askew has to run it and catch it. And Ronald Bellamy and Bennie Joppru have to finish their careers with big games.

Michigan averages 377 yards a game, and 26.9 points. That should be enough to win.

Third down is key. Michigan had good success there with 47%. And Michigan is 64% on 4th down.


Florida's special teams are not very good. They only average 17 yards on kickoff returns. In field goals they are 8 of 14. Their punter nets only 30 yards a punt.

This game will define Michigan's season, especially after last year. Ten wins is the measure of a good team.

Bottom Lines

Our best quarters are one and two, just like Florida's. So we have two first half teams going against each other. Getting off to a fast start is the key.

Michigan has to stretch their defense. They will stretch our defense I'll tell you that.

But whoever runs the ball best wins.

If Michigan scores 28 they win. Whoever scores 28 points wins; both teams won't score that many.

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