From the opening plays of the game, it seemed as if Alabama and Michigan were on its way towards looking like the Capitol One Bowl of 2010 when wide receiver Jerry Jeudy took a pass 85 yards to the house. Instead, the Wolverines seemed to settle down and play within themselves for the rest of the half and looked to exploit some of the Crimson Tide’s weaknesses.
Especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ strategy was clear, run the football against a weaker Alabama rush defense, and attack the new defensive backs playing today.
Even after a month of preparation Alabama’s defense has continued to struggle against Michigan’s rush attack from backs Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins who ran for a combined 120 yards in the first half.
Alabama’s defense gave up over 280 yards in the first half but was able to clamp down for the most part when Michigan’s offense found its way into Alabama territory and held them to field goals as opposed to touchdowns.
Offensively Steve Sarkisian and quarterback Mac Jones kept searching to find that impactful which started the game for Alabama. Things didn’t start to pick up for the offense again until the end of the third quarter where Jones, Jeudy and Najee Harris led the team on an eight-play 75-yard drive which ended in a nine-yard Harris touchdown.
Alabama’s top performers on offense:
Mac Jones 8/13, 145 yards, 1 touchdown
Jerry Jeudy 4 catches, 132 yards, 1 touchdown
Najee Harris 9 carries, 59 yards, 1 touchdown
Michigan was able to drive down and drill a 57-yard field goal to take the lead 16-14 over Alabama at the half.
*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*
Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77