Rapid Reaction: Florida mauls Michigan to earn signature Peach Bowl win, cap 10-win season
The 2018 Florida Gators capped an impressive comeback season with a dominant 41-15 win against Michigan in the Peach Bowl on Saturday.
Quarterback Feleipe Franks did plenty of damage with his legs and made key throws at the right time to lead the Gators (10-3) to their first 10-win season since 2015 and their first major bowl victory since the 2010 Sugar Bowl. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson sealed the victory with his second 2-interception bowl game, capped by his second pick-6.
Franks gave the Gators their first touchdown with his legs. He rushed for 30 yards on a 2nd-and-3 to give Florida a first down at the Michigan 38. He added 15 more yards on a keeper to set up a 3rd-and-4 at the Michigan 20. Next play Franks took a designed quarterback draw the final 20 yards and dived in the end zone to make the score 13-10 at halftime.
The second half was more Franks and all Gators.
Gardner-Johnson intercepted a pass from Shea Patterson and returned it 53 yards to give the Gators a first down at the Michigan 44. Facing a 4th-and-1, Florida went for it and Kadarius Toney gained 30 yards to give Florida a 1st-and-goal at the 5. Two plays later Franks connected with Lamical Perine on an inside screen to make the score 20-10.
The Gators’ offense continued churning on their next drive as Jordan Scarlett got the carry from 1 yard out to extend the lead to 27-10. Franks hit Josh Hammond with a 30-yard pass to move the ball into Michigan territory and Scarlett set up the touchdown with a 30-yard run that gave Florida a first-and-goal at the Michigan 3.
After yielding a field goal to make it 27-13, Florida’s running game struck again when Perine added a 53-yard touchdown run on a 3rd-and-20 to effectively put the game out of reach.
Gardner-Johnson sealed it with his second interception, returning it 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 41-15. He also had 2 interceptions in the Outback Bowl victory over Iowa in the 2016 season.
Franks finished with 173 yards passing and 74 yards rushing. He threw for one score and ran for another.