U-M fades in second half to fall in Citrus
Written by Matt Pargoff   

 

After giving up a long touchdown to start the Citrus Bowl against Alabama, the Wolverines found their footing, putting up a strong fight for the remainder of the half. That would end up being the final challenge that the Maize and Blue would offer though, surrendering 21 unanswered points after the break to fall 35-16.

Michigan’s scored points on its final four possessions of the first half, but settled for field goals on three possessions, two of which reached deep into Alabama territory. Carrying just a two-point edge into the second half, U-M quickly saw its advantage disappear as the Crimson Tide marched 75 yards in four plays to score.

The Wolverines’ rushing attack that managed 135 yards in the first half, gained just 27 the rest of the game.

The turning point though seemed to come with a signal sack early in the fourth quarter. Still trailing by just one score, and starting inside their own five, the Maize and Blue put together their first solid possession of the half, working their way to the Alabama 30.

Feeling pressured, quarterback Shea Patterson tried to spin out of trouble, but only made things worse, giving up more ground and losing the football. The Wolverines recovered, but lost 13 yards on the play, effectively stalling the drive. Alabama marched 91 yards on their possession that followed, opening the first two-score advantage of the game.

Patterson struggled with accuracy on long balls throughout the game, finishing 17-of-37 for 233 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Giles Jackson, Ronnie Bell and Nico Collins each pulled in four receptions, while Zach Charbonnet led the rushing attack with 13 carried for 84 yards.

With the loss, Michigan finishes the season at 9-4, falling in the bowl game for the fourth straight year.


 
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