Michigan's Daxton Hill's Status for CFP vs. Georgia Uncertain, per HC Jim Harbaugh

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 04: Michigan Wolverines defensive back Daxton Hill (30) runs in motion during the Big Ten Championship Game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan Wolverines on December 04, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill is questionable for the Wolverines' Orange Bowl semifinal against Georgia on Friday.

"He's working through something right now," head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Thursday. "We'll know more today whether he'll be able to play."

Harbaugh added that Hill didn't travel with the team to Miami.

The shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic looms large in bowl season. Multiple games have been canceled, and a team in the College Football Playoff will be forced to forfeit if it doesn't have the requisite number of players available.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said his team experienced some COVID-19-related issues recently but should be near full capacity by Friday's kickoff.

The reason behind Hill's absence is unclear.

He's second on the team in tackles with 65. He has also intercepted two passes and registered seven breakups in 13 games.

The 6'0" defender has helped Michigan hold opponents to 194.7 yards per game through the air. The Wolverines are also 11th in opponent passer rating (112.4).

Georgia hasn't displayed an electric aerial attack in 2021, in large part because the Bulldogs have smothered opposing teams with their dominant defense.

However, Stetson Bennett went 29-of-48 for 340 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss to Alabama in the SEC title game. Time and again, the senior quarterback has silenced his skeptics.

Michigan stars Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo might be the best pass-rushing duo in the country. They figure to make life difficult for Bennett off the edge in the Orange Bowl. Getting consistent pressure on the quarterback would be one way to compensate for Hill's absence, assuming he isn't cleared in time for Friday.