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Alabama vs Michigan Preview



When- Monday January 1st, 5 PM ET, ESPN


Where- Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA



*FBS ranking in parenthesis



Alabama (SEC)

Record- (12-1)

Strength of Schedule- (1)

Rating- 86.32 (5)

Points Scored Per Game- 35.1 (17)

Rush Yards Per Game- 172.7 (46)

Sacks Allowed Per Game- 3.31 (115)

Pass Yards Per Game- 228.5 (59)

Points Allowed Per Game- 18.4 (16)

Rush Yards Allowed Per Game- 124.5 (29)

Sacks Per Game- 2.92 (12)

Pass Yards Allowed Per Game- 188.8 (24)

Penalty Yards Per Game- 49.23 (55)

Net Yards Per Punt- 41.93 (13)

Turnover Margin- .62 (19)



Michigan (Big 10)

Record- (13-0)

Strength of Schedule- (19)

Rating- 88.82 (2)

Points Scored Per Game- 36.7 (14)

Rush Yards Per Game- 161.8 (60)

Sacks Allowed Per Game- 1.38 (29)

Pass Yards Per Game- 218.8 (71)

Points Allowed Per Game- 9.5 (1)

Rush Yards Allowed Per Game- 87.1 (5)

Sacks Per Game- 2.46 (36)

Pass Yards Allowed Per Game- 152.6 (2)

Penalty Yards Per Game- 26.31 (2)

Net Yards Per Punt- 41.48 (19)

Turnover Margin- 1.31 (2)



Why Alabama will win- It’s Nick Saban and Alabama in the College Football Playoff.  Under Saban, the Crimson Tide carry a 9-4 record in the College Football Playoff with titles in 2015-16, 2017-18, and 2020-21.  The SEC holds a 4-1 record against the Big 10 in the Playoff while the Big is just 3-7 all time with only one champion being Ohio State in 2014-15.  



Why Michigan will win- Motivation.  The Wolverines have a little extra incentive having dropped 2 consecutive College Football Playoff Semifinal matchups to Georgia in 2021-22 and TCU last year.  In addition to that, Michigan continues to use the “Us Against the World” mantra following 2 separate 3 game suspensions over the course of the season for HC Jim Harbaugh over alleged sign stealing.

 


Key to the Game- Michigan’s pass rush vs Alabama’s O-line.  The one glaring weakness for Alabama has been protecting the QB.  The O-line has surrendered 3.31 sacks per game which ranks 125th in FBS.  Michigan’s pass rush has generated 32 sacks on the year ranking 36 in the nation and have recorded at least 3 sacks in 7 out of 13 games.



Projected Outcome- Michigan by 2.5 points

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