Michigan ‘needs to get sharper’ for Florida State
Miami — Leave it to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to go to extreme measures in preparing his team for the temperature change.
The Wolverines arrived in South Florida Sunday to begin practicing for their matchup against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Harbaugh turned up the thermostat for team workouts in Ann Arbor so the players would be better acclimated for the warmer temperatures.
"It was pretty hot (Tuesday)," Michigan nose tackle Ryan Glasgow said. "I remember it was halfway through the walkthrough and I was just drenched. It had to have been like 85 degrees in Glick. It was terrible. Anything to acclimate us to Miami I guess."
Glick Field House, next to Schembechler Hall, is Michigan’s indoor practice facility.
Temperatures are expected to be in the low 80s for most of the Wolverines' stay in Florida. Players said they benefited from the few practices in warmer temperatures. They will experience the south Florida heat for the first time during Monday's practice at Barry University.
"It's pretty warm in there," defensive lineman Matt Godin said of the Wolverines' indoor practice facility. "But it's good to practice in the heat."
The Wolverines say they are more than welcome to the climate change. They left behind the 34-degree temperatures on campus for much more comfortable weather.
"I think we can tell sometimes when it's hotter than usual," tight end Khalid Hill said. "It was extremely hot. I'm ready to get some hot (weather). I'm tired of being in the cold."
Added receiver Jourdan Lewis, "I think it was like 20 degrees or something (in Ann Arbor). So this feels good."
Still, the Wolverines don't expect weather to factor into the game's outcome. With the game being played at night, the temperatures should resemble what they have played in most of the season.
"It's at night, too, so it might cool down to like 80, 70," cornerback Channing Stribling said. "It's still going to be warm, though. It's not what we have here in Michigan. Good temperature."
Harbaugh said everyone supposed to be on the road trip was on the flight. He said there are a couple injured players, but refused to reveal the names.
"Good flight, happy to be here," Harbaugh said. "Been to Florida many times, love Florida. It's great to be here."
Both teams will conduct four practices in south Florida. After a few workouts in Michigan, Harbaugh said the goal is fine-tuning things before Friday’s 8 p.m. kickoff.
"Preparation has been good," Harbaugh said. "Feel good about where it's at. We're not there yet, we're going to need good work down here. Practices have been sharp, they need to get sharper. We've got to get as dialed in as we possibly can, focus has to be great and then we have to go out and play the best game we possibly can."
This will mark just the third meeting between the Wolverines and Seminoles, with the last coming in 1991. Both teams enter the game with different emotions. Michigan was in the playoff picture before being left out of the top four spots. The committee chose Alabama, Washington, Clemson and Ohio State, which beat Michigan on the final weekend of the regular season.
After starting 3-2, Florida State is trying to salvage its season by winning seven of its final eight games.