Michigan installs most of game plan before breaking for Christmas
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Michigan left for New Orleans seven days before last season's Sugar Bowl, and Brady Hoke says he is happy with how that prep played out.
The results speak for themselves.
But Hoke also wanted a little something extra this year, and elected to give the 19th-ranked Wolverines (8-4) three bonus days in Florida to prepare for their matchup against No. 11 South Carolina (10-2) in the Outback Bowl.
Consider it a success.
While South Carolina has yet to arrive in Tampa, Michigan already has practiced twice here and implemented most of its game plan.
“As much as anything, the whole game plan is in on both sides of the ball," Hoke said after Monday's workout. "Having that finished, getting the repetitions and look at a couple things you stilt may want to put in. But nothing radical."
Hoke said the Wolverines were in full pads for its practices Sunday and Monday at the Philadelphia Phillies' spring training facility in Clearwater.
It then took Christmas Eve night off, as the team headed for a beach party, and won't practice at all Tuesday for the Christmas holiday. It will host a party for the more than 300 players, coaches, friends and family members in the traveling group.
Consider that the calm before the storm.
Michigan will resume practice Wednesday, the first of six consecutive days of workouts leading up to the bowl.
"We’ll be physical," Hoke said. "Today, we were wearing full pads and on the 26th. After that, we’ll go mostly shoulder pads and helmets. It’s mostly the speed that you want to practice with, the timing on a lot of different venues.”
South Carolina arrives in Tampa on Wednesday, and Michigan will move its camp from Clearwater to Tampa later that day as the bowl-organized events begin.
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