A proper send-off

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ORLANDO, Fla. --- Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was doused with water on the sideline, surrounded by dancing players and then carried onto the field.

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Michigan receiver Adrian Arrington makes a one-handed catch over Florida's Markihe Anderson. Arrington had nine catches for 153 yards.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Michigan receiver Adrian Arrington makes a one-handed catch over Florida's Markihe Anderson. Arrington had nine catches for 153 yards.

He went out a winner.

Chad Henne threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, Mike Hart ran for 129 yards and two scores and the Wolverines upset No. 9 Florida 41-35 Tuesday in the Capital One Bowl to win their first bowl game since 2003.

This one was special.

Michigan's senior class won its first bowl game in four tries, and Carr ended his coaching career on a high note.

"It's extremely meaningful on a personal level," Carr said. "But the reason it's meaningful is because I can be in that locker room with the guys that did it. Our coaches put together a great game plan, our players executed. Of course, we were big so-called underdogs.

"To come up with that kind of effort and to find a way to win means that we have some memories that we're all going to be able to celebrate for years to come."

Henne, Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham torched Florida's secondary. Arrington caught nine passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and Manningham added five catches for 78 yards and a score.

The Gators (9-4) kept it close thanks to four turnovers and plenty of big plays by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and speedster Percy Harvin.

Playing with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand and facing constant blitzes, Tebow was 17-of-33 for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 57 yards and a score.

Harvin ran 13 times for 165 yards and a touchdown, and caught nine passes for 77 yards and a score.

It wasn't enough.

Florida failed to convert a fourth-down play at its 25-yard line, and K.C. Lopata's 41-yard field goal put Michigan (9-4) ahead 41-35 with 2:21 remaining.

The Gators got another shot, but Tebow threw four consecutive incompletions to end any chance of a comeback.

"You definitely don't want to end the season on a losing note, so it definitely does take a little bit of the positive out of (the season)," Tebow said.

The Wolverines dumped a bucket of ice water on Carr in the closing seconds, then players started jumping up and down and dancing around their retiring coach.

They also carried him to midfield for the postgame handshake and interviews. His players dropped him off and headed straight to the Michigan section for a raucous celebration.

"We couldn't ask for anything else," Hart said. "We were all happy for him. Any time we get a victory, we're always happy. But we knew it was his last game, the seniors' last game, and when we leave on top like that, it's awesome."

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patriciathomas 01/02/08 - 05:16 am
Michigan was up for this

Michigan was up for this game. They played through their mistakes and beat a good Florida team.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 01/02/08 - 08:53 am
This was the best bowl game

This was the best bowl game to watch so far.

anotherthought 01/02/08 - 02:06 pm
Thank goodness Michigan beat

Thank goodness Michigan beat Florida. Maybe Tebow will realize he is not God's gift to football like everyone thinks he is.

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