The Alabama Crimson Tide came into the 2019 Citrus Bowl as a 7.5 point favorite over the Michigan Wolverines. Both of these teams had national championship aspirations coming into this season and both were looking to make a statement about their programs.
Alabama looked like world beaters in the opening minute. On their first possession, Mac Jones completed an 85-yard passing play to Jerry Jeudy. The Crimson Tide threw a knock out punch in the first minute of the game, Michigan took the hit but got back up. The Wolverines dominated the rest of the first quarter and part of the 2nd period. Quinn Nordin kicked three field goals in the first half, including a 57-yarder to give Michigan the lead at halftime, 16-10. The Wolverines outplayed The Crimson Tide for the first 30 minutes. Their team speed was equal to Alabama’s and they ran the ball effectively with Zach Charbonnet.
Whatever Nick Saban said to his team at half-time worked 100%. 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter Jones hit Devonta Smith with a 42-yard touchdown pass. Matt Forristall and Najee Harris scored touchdowns in the 4th quarter to seal the victory for Alabama, 35-16.
Jerry Jeudy was named the Citrus Bowl MVP. He had 6 catches for 204 yards and 1 touchdown.
Nick Saban has won 11 games or more for 9 straight years.
Jim Harbaugh said he really appreciated his senior class and hopes they come back to visit and stay a part of the Michigan program. Both coaches have a reputation of being snarky with the media. I did not find that to be the case they were both respectful and honest with me and the entire media.
I watched this game live from the field and the press box. Michigan is not that far off from being an elite program. If Harbaugh can land a playmaker at quarterback, his team should continue to win 10 or more games.