No.13 Alabama will take on No.14 Michigan.
January 1st at 1:00 PM, in The Citrus Bowl.
I will be covering this game live in Orlando for Nuts and Bolts Sports.
Both of these teams are coming off disappointing loses to their rivals. Auburn defeated The Crimson Tide, 48-45 and Ohio State dominated The Wolverines, 56-27. These two teams wanted to be playing in the Final Four Playoffs, so their could be a let down on both sides of the ball.
Michigan is led by Shane Patterson. He put up some good numbers, but he didn’t take the step forward or elevate his game to the next level this season. Patterson completed only 57% of his passes, had 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The Wolverines had 4 running backs carry the ball over 40 times and they have 5 wide receivers who caught more than 24 receptions. Zach Charbonnet and Donovan Peoples-Jones are two players with NFL Talent but neither had a break season. Charbonnet rushed for over 600 yards and Peoples-Jones only had 33 receptions.
Defensively, Michigan wants to wear opponents down and force the opposition into 3rd and long situations. Kwity Payne and Josh Uche had 15 combined sacks.
Alabama’s offense will not be the same without their “all-world” quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Mac Jones has stepped in and done a tremendous job. He has completed 68% of is passes, threw for 11 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. The Crimson Tide could have the best wide receivers in the country. They have 5 players who have caught at least 7 touchdown passes. Devonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have combined for 174 catches, 3,052 yards and 29 touchdowns. Najee Harris rushed for over 1000 yards and had 11 rushing TD’s. Brian Robinson Jr. has filled in nicely as a backup. He averages 4.6 yards per carry and had 5 touchdowns.
Defensively, Alabama is not as dominant as they used to be, they let up 46 and 48 points to LSU and Auburn. This unit isn’t Nick Saban’s best defense, but they still have a ton of play-makers and NFL players.
The last time Saban lost 3 games in a season was in 2010. Alabama went 10-3 that year.
Motivated or not, The Crimson Tide is way too talented to lose this game. Look for their wide receivers to put up huge numbers and Mac Jones to throw for over 300 yards.
Roll Tide wins 41-28