No. 9 Alabama and No. 17 Michigan ring in the new year with one of the first college football games of the 2020s.
The Crimson Tide finished the season with a disappointing 10-2 record, including a 1-2 record against ranked teams. That has been the backdrop for Nick Saban’s squad as it prepares to end the season on a high note. To that end, backup-turned-starter Mac Jones (81 of 116 passing, 1,176 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions) will need to be careful against a Michigan defense that has forced 20 turnovers this season, including nine interceptions.
Michigan, looking for its fourth 10-win season under Jim Harbaugh in five years, enters this game having won four of its last five games and boasting wins over ranked opponents in Iowa and Notre Dame. But the Wolverines’ regular season ended in disaster in a disastrous beating by rival Ohio State: a team with similar offensive firepower to Alabama’s. Quarterback Shea Patterson, who completed 14 of 29 passes for 165 yards and two interceptions the last time he played Alabama in 2017, will need to take better care of the ball if Michigan wants to score a shocking win to end the season.
Follow along as Sporting News provides live updates, highlights and score changes for Alabama vs. Michigan:
Alabama vs. Michigan score
Alabama vs. Michigan scoring plays
13:47 — Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 85-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy (7-0 Alabama)
Alabama vs. Michigan live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
First quarter: Alabama 7, Michigan 0
1:33 p.m.: And now Michigan gets deep into Alabama’s 18 with a flea-flicker! Wolverines breaking out some trick plays early.
1:32 p.m.: Charbonnet gets another couple of nice gains of 9 and 12 yards, getting Michigan out to the 48. Alabama giving up some big runs early.
1:29 p.m.: Jobe is injured on the next play. He hops up off the ground after trainers look at him and walks off on his own power. Would be a big loss for Alabama, considering he’s replacing starter Trevon Diggs.
1:28 p.m.: Michigan’s Zach Charbonnet gets a nice 12-yard gain to start the drive. Biggest play from scrimmage for Michigan so far.
1:23 p.m.: Tide can’t get the first-down conversion; Michigan’s Lavert Hill gets in the way of Jones’ pass to Henry Ruggs III and forces the punt. Michigan will take over at its 15.
1:21 p.m.: Jones hits DeVonta Smith for 15 yards on the slant. Tide having some early success through the air.
1:20 p.m.: Patterson had receiver Ronnie Bell on an easy first-down route, but overthrew him a bit. Bell drops it and Michigan punts it right back to Alabama, which takes over at its 31-yard line.
1:19 p.m.: Hassan Haskins gets Michigan its first first down of the game with a 4-yard run up the gut.
1:17 p.m.: Jackson takes the kickoff again, this time taking it out to Michigan’s 20-yard line.
1:12 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. One play is all it takes for Alabama to get on the board. Jones hits Jerry Jeudy in stride for an 85-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Alabama.
1:10 p.m.: Michigan goes three-and-out on the first series, but it’s apparent Michigan will attack cornerback Josh Jobe all day. Patterson had his man a couple times but couldn’t connect.
1:08 p.m.: Giles Jackson fields the kickoff a yard deep in his end zone and returns it 51 yards out to midfield. Great starting field position for the Wolverines.
1:06 p.m.: Alabama wins the toss and defers to the second half. Michigan will receive to start the Citrus Bowl.