Alabama Football: Intriguing stories from Crimson Tide Citrus Bowl victory

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama football topped Michigan in a battle of the bluebloods. Amidst the clamor of several stories after the game, one deserves more attention.

While Alabama football fans celebrate an 11-win season, Michigan fans resort to attacking Nick Saban. What has churned up the Wolverines’ faithful is the Crimson Tide’s last touchdown. Using an apparently new offensive formation, Nick Saban allowed his team to score from the two-yard line with 26 seconds left in the game.

Ignoring the noise from the Michigan fanbase is tempting. Nick Saban needs no one to defend him. Crimson Tide fans enjoyed the final score for one BIG reason. Jim Harbaugh is at best a boorish individual. More than a few Crimson Tide fans view the Michigan coach as classless. Harbaugh once accused Saban of cheating. Nick Saban responded, “I don’t really care what he thinks or tweets.”

In case a Michigan fan stumbles across this post, I respect the great tradition of the Michigan football program. I also tip my hat to Nick Saban for not taking a knee – against Jim Harbaugh – ever.

Other Citrus Bowl stories are far more worthy of attention. The one most loved by the media is will Tua Tagovailoa go to the NFL or return to the Crimson Tide. It is an important story, as are the considerations of several more Alabama football juniors faced with a similar decision. Conjecture abounds. With zero inside information, decisions sooner rather than later are expected.

The story not getting enough play in the post-game is the Alabama football defense pitching a second-half shutout. At halftime, Michigan was near pace to rack up 600 yards of offense. The Wolverines averaged 6.4 yards-per-play in the first half. Nick Saban and Pete Golding made halftime adjustments. Saban said after the game, relying more on his nickel defense was one change. The result was Michigan averaged 3.1 yards-per-play in the second half.

Michigan’s second-half offensive output dipped to 109 yards. Admittedly, Shane Patterson being off-target on some downfield throws was one reason. But Patterson’s missed throws were not the main reason the Tide defense had more success. The Wolverines rushed for a 5-yard, per-carry average in the first half. In the second half, Michigan managed only 1.7 yards-per-carry.

Much-maligned Defensive Coordinator, Pete Golding made some timely blitz calls. The Crimson Tide finished with three sacks, six tackles-for-a-loss, five pass break-ups and two interceptions.

Offensively, Mac Jones, Jerry Jeudy and Najee Harris were tremendous. Jones finished with a QB rating of 213.5. Jeudy caught six passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Najee Harris rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Next. Top 10 Crimson Tide Moments. dark

Another 11-win season is noteworthy. For nine straight seasons, the Crimson Tide has won 11 or more games.