Following a disappointing Rose Bowl loss in overtime we'll be forced to look at what went wrong and where the Alabama Football team cost themselves a chance to play for a National Championship. The Alabama Football team had plenty of chances to go and win this game yet, they always seemed to find a way to hurt themselves. Overall, it's a disappointing performance, the team had plenty of momentum coming off of a miracle win against the Auburn Tigers and an SEC Championship win over Georgia that was seemingly lost with the month off.
Issue One: Lost the battle in the trenches
The Alabama Football team was no match for Michigan's stunts defensively as the Wolverines put consistent pressure on Jalen Milroe. The Wolverines sacked Milroe six times consistently keeping the Alabama offense behind the sticks and in 2nd and 3rd and long spots. The Wolverines threw plenty of exotic blitz schemes at the Bama offensive line which the Alabama Football team struggled with all night. The team never really got its passing attack going as Jalen Milroe only passed for 116 yards on 23 attempts.
Defensively Alabama wasn't able to generate nearly as much pressure as the Wolverines to affect JJ McCarthy. The lone Alabama sack came from Dallas Turner and it served as the team's only tackle for a loss. Entering the game it was clear Michigan would try and drown Alabama out with it's rushing attack and for the most part it got whatever it wanted. The Wolverines averaged 4.1 yards per carry behind their talented running back Blake Corum with the offense totaling 130 yards rushing.
Issue Two: Botched snaps
Whether you want to place the blame on Jalen Milroe or Seth McLaughlin the Quarterback Center exchange has been an issue all season. On the biggest stage, the issue of low fumbled snaps popped up again costing the Alabama Football team points in a game they desperately needed every point they could. On the early Jase McClellan touchdown run the ball was snapped low yet it didn't cost the team points.
In the first drive of the second half the Alabama Football team was moving the ball well crossing midfield for the first time in what seemed like hours. On first down from the Michigan 47-yard line there was a low snap that cost the team thirteen yards. The ensuing play on second and 23 the same thing happened leading to 3rd and 29 costing the team both an opportunity to score and field position.
On the final snap of the season the snap was at Milroe's shoelaces causing him to abandon what appeared to be an open pass to Roydell Williams and attempt to rush in for the score.
Issue three: Not finishing drives
The Alabama Football team twice had two drives where they seemed like they were going to score touchdowns but they settled for field goals. The first came at the end of the first half where Alabama Football was set up on the Michigan 32-yard line with first and ten. The Offense found themselves in third and three from the 25 and Jalen Milroe ended up taking a sack that ended the drive sending Alabama into the half down three points.
The next drive came in the fourth quarter after Michigan squandered a scoring opportunity with a missed field goal following a Jalen Milroe fumble. Big runs by Jam Miller and Jase McClellan set the Alabama offense up on the Michigan 30 up four points with just seven minutes to play. The team then took a substitution penalty, gained four yards, and took a sack resulting in a field goal while only taking the clock below the five-minute mark.
Alabama Football: Biggest plays were on special teams
With a team as talented as Alabama football you're in trouble if the biggest plays of your game are made on special teams, especially without Kick return touchdowns. James Burnip was the team MVP with a punt that was muffed leading to a Jase McClellan touchdown and another that forced Michigan to take the game into overtime despite having all three of its timeouts. Will Reichard added to his Alabama legacy nailing two 50+ yard field goals keeping the Alabama Football team in this game. Overall, an offense littered with five-star talent and a defense with four possible first-round picks the unit that nearly won the game for the Alabama Football team was their special teams units.