EditorsNote: Corrects to “six” seasons in graf 3; adds reference to injured Tua Tagovailoa in graf 4; other minor edits
Mac Jones threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and No. 13 Alabama pulled away to a 35-16 win over No. 14 Michigan in the Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday.
Najee Harris rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns for the Crimson Tide (11-2). Jerry Jeudy caught six passes for 204 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown reception in the early going.
Alabama’s defense shut out the Wolverines in the second half. The Crimson Tide were making their first non-College Football Playoff postseason appearance in six seasons.
With Jones starting in place of injured star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama racked up 480 total yards and did not commit a turnover.
Senior Shea Patterson passed for 233 yards and a touchdown for Michigan (9-4), which has lost four straight postseason appearances under coach Jim Harbaugh. Zach Charbonnet gained 84 yards to lead the rushing attack.
The Crimson Tide took a 21-16 lead early in the third quarter when Jones hooked up with DeVonta Smith on a 42-yard scoring pass just 1:30 into the second half.
Alabama extended its lead with 10:01 remaining in the game on Jones’ 20-yard scoring toss to Miller Forristall. Harris added a 2-yard touchdown run in the final minute.
Michigan led 16-14 at halftime.
The Crimson Tide took a deep shot on their first play from scrimmage and grabbed the lead. Jeudy lined up in the slot and beat his defender downfield on a post pattern. Jones hit him in a stride on the 85-yard play.
The Wolverines tied the score on their third possession. Patterson’s 7-yard pass to tight end Nick Eubanks finished off an 85-yard drive. A 34-yard pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones set up the touchdown.
A pair of Quinn Nordin field goals from 36 and 42 yards gave Michigan a 13-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Alabama regained the lead when Harris tumbled into the end zone on a 9-yard run, finishing off a 75-yard drive.
Nordin blasted a 57-yard field goal, tying the school record for the longest in its storied history, on the final play of the half. But that would prove to be Michigan’s final points of the game.
—Field Level Media