CFP Game Preview: Michigan Wolverines vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

CFP Playoff 1

The Michigan Wolverines continued their undefeated season, taking care of business against the Iowa Hawkeyes to win the Big Ten Championship with a 26-0 win also their third straight Conference Championship. Alabama is coming in after knocking off the previous number-one team in the country, Georgia, in the SEC Championship with a 27-24 win.

Michigan Wolverines 13-0 vs. Alabama Crimson Tide 12-1

Date: Monday, January 1
Time:
  5:00 p.m. EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Line: Wolverines -1.5 / O/U: 45.5

2023 Team Stats

Michigan:

2023 Record — 13-0 (10-0 in Big Ten)
2023 Offense (Big Ten Rank) 
Total Yards: 380.5 (5)
Passing Yards: 218.8 (4)
Rushing Yards: 161.8 (6)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 239.7 (2)
Passing Yards Allowed: 152.6 (2)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 87.1 (2)
2023 Points Scored: 36.7 (2)
2023 Points Allowed: 9.5 (1)
2023 CFP Ranking: 1

Alabama:

2023 Record — 12-1 (9-0 in SEC)
2023 Offense (Big Ten Rank) 
Total Yards: 401.2 (8)
Passing Yards: 228.5 (9)
Rushing Yards: 172.7 (6)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 313.3 (3)
Passing Yards Allowed: 188.8 (3)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 124.5 (5)
2023 Points Scored: 35.1 (3)
2023 Points Allowed: 18.4 (2)
2023 CFP Ranking: 4

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Alabama leads 3-2-0
Current streak: Alabama has won two straight
Last Michigan win: 2000 (35-34)
Last Alabama win: 2020 (35-16)

2023 Player Stats

Michigan Wolverines

Passing: J.J. McCarthy- 213-287, 2630 yards, 19-4 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Blake Corum – 218 ATT, 1028 YDS, 24 TD
Receiving: Roman Wilson – 41 REC, 662 YDS, 11 TD
Tackles: Junior Colson – 79 (35-44)
Sacks: Jaylen Harrell – 6.5
Interceptions: Mike Sainristil – 5

Alabama

Passing: Jalen Milroe – 171-261, 2718 YDS, 23-6 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Jase McClellan – 166 ATT, 803 YDS, 6 TD
Receiving: Jermaine Burton – 35 REC, 777 YDS, 8 TD
Tackles: Caleb Downs – 99 (64-35)
Sacks: Dallas Turner – 9
Interceptions: Terrion Arnold – 5

Michigan Players To Watch:

Offense: Running Back – Blake Corum – Senior

Corum returned to Michigan to win a Big Ten title and a National Championship. Step one is complete; now comes the National Championship, and the first task won’t be easy with a good Alabama team and defense. Corum needs to exploit the weakness, which is barely a weakness, which is the Crimson Tide’s run defense, which ranked fifth in the SEC, allowing 124.5 yards a game. While Corum didn’t have as productive of a season as last year, he averaged 4.7 yards a carry and 79.1 yards a game this season. The Wolverines need him to revert to last year’s Corum as they will look to win this one.

Defense: Linebacker – Junior Colson – Junior

Colson is the backbone of this Michigan defense that ranked first in the nation in pts allowed per game and second in the country in yards allowed per game. They will need to keep the Alabama offense in check as this won’t be like last year’s matchup against TCU, which was an offensive shootout; expect some tough, hard-nosed football with Colson leading the charge.

Bottom Line: Wolverines look to go over the hump

Michigan has made the College Football Playoff the last two years and hasn’t made it out of the first round to advance to the National Championship. This year, they have another tough task with Alabama ahead of them, who has been in six of the ten College Football Playoffs, and in the nine completed, they have won three Championships and been to the championship game five times. Michigan will need its defense to step up big and be the defense it has all season to shut down the Alabama offense if they want to advance to the Championship game and win their first title since 1997.

CJ

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