2020 Citrus Bowl Preview & Prediction

Nick Popio | January 1st, 2020

Alabama and Michigan will meet up for the fifth time in series history as they collide in a mouth-watering Citrus Bowl matchup. The last time these two met the Tide clobbered the Wolverines 41-14 in 2012. The last bowl meeting was the 2000 Orange Bowl in Tom Brady‘s farewell game at Michigan. The maize and blue outlasted the Tide by one due to a missed extra point.

Nick Saban’s machine-like program comes in as only seven-point favorites. Nobody is giving Michigan a chance and nor should they after getting owned once again by the Buckeyes. On the other hand, Bama was only eight points away from being in the college football playoff again. They will have to prove that they want to be there and not feel sorry for themselves about not being included in the playoff.

Jim Harbaugh is beyond desperate for a signature win and this would be it. His defense will have to compete like they never have before if they want to pull this one-off. In their three losses, they surrendered 40 points per game. Alabama’s offense alone averages 48 a contest. Even with backup Mac Jones at the helm, the Tide shouldn’t miss a step with all the artillery that surrounds him.

Game Changers To Watch On Alabama

RBNajee Harris WR’sJerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III OLAlex Leatherwood and Jedrick Willis Jr. DLRaekwon Davis LBAnfernee Jennings DBXavier McKinney

Game Changers To Watch On Michigan

QBShea Patterson WRRonnie Bell LB’sKhaleke Hudson and Josh Uche CBLavert Hill

Head To Head Stats

ALABAMASTAT/LEADERMICHIGAN
10-2 (6-2 SEC)Record (Conference)9-3 (6-3 Big Ten)
48.3Points per game33
18.8Points allowed19.5
513.3Yards per game402.1
343.5Passing ypg252.3
169.8Rushing ypg149.8
318.5Yards allowed per game292.8
183.4Passing yards allowed173.8
135.1Rushing yards allowed119.1
Mac Jones *
1176 yards (11 TD, 3 INT)
Passing yardsShea Patterson
2828 yards (22 TD, 6 INT)
Najee Harris
1,088 yards (5.9 per att.), 11 TD’s
Rushing yardsZach Charbonnet
642 yards (4.7 per att.), 11 TD’s
DeVonta Smith
1,200 yards, 13 TD
Receiving yardsRonnie Bell
705 yards, 1 TD
Anfernee Jennings
73 tackles, 12 tfl, 7.5 sacks, 8 QBH
Defensive leadersJordan Glasgow
79 tackles, 6 tfl, 5 sacks

Prediction

The Crimson Tide are not used to being in a position like this outside of the playoff. Michigan hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2016 Citrus Bowl over Florida. Plain and simple though if Alabama shows up they should come out on top with ease. If the Wolverines want to change the direction under Jim Harbaugh to becoming elite, then they must find a way to win this game. In the end, though, Alabama is just far too much for the Wolverines to handle.

Alabama 44 Michigan 29

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images