Pep Hamilton Reminisces on Tarik Black's Performance Against Florida in 2017, Wants More of the Same in Peach Bowl

(Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

Pep Hamilton Reminisces on Tarik Black's Performance Against Florida in 2017, Wants More of the Same in Peach Bowl

Football

Pep Hamilton Reminisces on Tarik Black's Performance Against Florida in 2017, Wants More of the Same in Peach Bowl

In the first college football game of his career, Tarik Black got behind the Florida defense and quarterback Wilton Speight aired out the ball to him in the end zone.

The result – Michigan’s first touchdown of the season for a 10-3 lead over Florida in the 2017 season opener.

As Michigan gears up for its Peach Bowl matchup against the Gators on Dec. 29, quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton still remembers Black’s first game from well over a year ago.

And Hamilton wants more of the same this time around.

“Think about the game that Tarik had against these guys last year,” Hamilton said. “You know, he made some big plays and it was his first college football game. I want to say he had a 50-yard touchdown reception. He caught a big fade ball, go ball down the sideline early in that game. We know what type of playmaker he is.”

Since that game in September 2017, Black hasn’t seen the field much. He’s been limited to seven games in two seasons due to foot injuries.

Recovering from his second foot surgery, the second-year wide receiver lined up on a third-and-3 during Michigan’s first drive of the game in a 21-7 win over Michigan State. He was not targeted and did not return.

“We knew he was cleared by the doctors,” Harbaugh said during his bye-week news conference. “He practiced, limited, during the week and was cleared to play in the game.

“So, we wanted to get him back out there.”

His appearance in the rivalry game was Black’s first time out since fracturing his left foot in a win over Air Force on Sept. 16, 2017. He missed the remainder of that season and received a medical redshirt.

Ready to return this year, Black fractured his foot again just before the 2018 season opener against Notre Dame.

Now, Black is officially back and healthy for Michigan’s upcoming bowl game. He has two receptions for 20 yards this season, but Hamilton sees his redshirt freshman wideout as a force to be reckoned with in the one-on-one battles.

“When he’s healthy and ready to go, he’s a guy that can win one-on-one matchups as well as the guys we already have that have been playing throughout the season, (Donovan Peoples-Jones) and Nico (Collins),” Hamilton said.

If Black gets open, Hamilton said quarterback Shea Patterson will find a way to complete the pass to him.

Black’s teammate, sophomore receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, has carried the Wolverines in his absence. Peoples-Jones has snagged 39 receptions for 541 yards and seven touchdowns.

Peoples-Jones expects quickness and physicality from Florida’s secondary.

“Whole defensive is athletic,” Peoples-Jones said of the Gators. “Like coach Pep (Hamilton) said, they’re an SEC team. They’ll be physical. Also, just like Zach (Gentry) said, we’ll have to just carry out our plan, carry out our scheme and just stick to that and play our football.”

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