"I'm as proud of this team as any I've coached", said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.
"I knew I wasn't going to be myself", Peppers said on why he decided not to play.
Michigan's attempt at a winning drive failed, as a fourth-and-10 pass by Wilton Speight was intercepted (although there will be debate about whether Florida State was offside or not), and the No. 11 Seminoles held on to beat the No. 6 Wolverines 33-32 in Miami, a result that means both teams finish with 10-3 records.
MI played without injured star linebacker Jabrill Peppers, who was out with a hamstring injury, and lost tight end Jake Butt to a knee injury early in the second quarter.
Wilton Speight was 21-for-38 passing for 163 yards for MI, which got a 14-yard interception return from Mike McCray for a touchdown. Francois, meanwhile, threw for 222 yards but completed only 9 of 27 passes as he was relentlessly pressured by Taco Charlton and Michigan's defensive line.
"The offense in the first half, it was tough sledding", Harbaugh said.
Marshall missed an unbelievable finish.
The game proved to be a classic Orange Bowl, even if it was ugly. Last year Peppers missed the Citrus Bowl because of a hand injury.
In an earlier start on Friday, TCU took on Georgia in the 58th Liberty Bowl.
The Seminoles picked up four sacks in the game, and pass the 50 sack mark for the season with 51. In 2015, MI allowed 4.46 yards per play.
The teams traded field goals to close the first half - a half dominated by the Seminoles. But without improved accuracy by Francois, it's hard to see Florida State avoiding a few slip-ups.
Butt has been a four-year contributor at MI, collected 138 receptions for 1,646 yards and 11 touchdowns. Francois limited his turnovers this season, throwing only seven interceptions, but five of those picks came in his final seven games. It's the first time Tennessee has won three consecutive bowls since 1994-1996 when Peyton Manning was its quarterback. He's the Seminoles' career leader with 4,464 yards rushing and 46 rushing touchdowns, and has 935 yards receiving. The Cornhuskers lost four of their final six after rising as high as No. 7 in the rankings.
Stanford junior running back Christian McCaffrey made big news when he chose to sit out the Sun Bowl in order to begin preparing for the draft.
Once again, Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines have reason to gripe after a loss in the final seconds to one of college football's fellow elites. "There's no such thing as meaningless bowl games". The Wolverines' defense - which outside of those few enormous plays played pretty well - forced a punt, and Speight led another drive, this one capped by a sensational 30-yard scoring dash by Chris Evans. Murray also refused to shy away from his punt-returning duties, remaining in the role without issue for the rest of the game.
Becker, recruited by FSU as a cornerback before switching to safety this year out of necessity, has taken advantage of his early playing time to hone his craft. Speight passed for 163 yards in the loss.