Michigan beats Alabama in OT for trip to CFP National Championship Game – Press Enterprise

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PASADENA —No. 1 Michigan football relied on a stifling defense throughout the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game, and it has head coach Jim Harbaugh one step closer to a national title after a 27-20 overtime win on Monday night.

Trailing 27-20, No. 4 Alabama (12-2) crept to the 3-yard line in overtime and Jalen Milroe took off on a run up the middle on a quarterback keeper, but the Wolverines (14-0) halted him to secure the win.

Michigan running back Blake Corum bounced off of Alabama defenders as he stomped his way into the end zone for Michigan’s 17-yard overtime touchdown.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy completed 17 of 27 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and Corum rushed for 83 yards and one touchdown. Servite graduate Mason Graham had a big tackle for a loss on second down on Alabama’s final possession in overtime and was named Defensive Player of the Game.

Alabama running back Jase McClellan collected 87 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and quarterback Jalen Milroe was 16 of 23 for 116 yards.

There was drama from the first play of the game when Michigan’s McCarthy threw what was initially ruled an interception, but Caleb Downs’ pick was reviewed and ruled an incomplete pass. McCarthy threw a second straight incomplete pass and the Wolverines were forced to punt.

The Wolverines defense found itself on the field for two straight possessions after Alabama recovered a fumbled punt. The Tide scored on the ensuing drive on Jase McLellan’s 34-yard touchdown run.

Michigan put together a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated in a touchdown with 4:23 left in the first quarter. Semaj Morgan ran for 6 yards and a first down to set the Wolverines up at the 8-yard line, and on the next play, McCarthy made a 5-yard pass to his left to Blake Corum, who bolted another 5 yards to tie the game at 7-7.

Jalen Milroe was sacked twice to open the second quarter — first by Michael Barrett and then by Junior Colson. The Wolverines’ defense sacked Milroe six times in the game.

Michigan used a double-pass play that threaded together Corum, McCarthy and Roman Wilson to get a first down and scored two plays later when McCarthy threw a 38-yard touchdown to Tyler Morris.

A bad snap kept Michigan from converting its extra-point attempt, but the Wolverines had a 13-7 advantage.

Alabama struggled to get any form of passing game going as it faced unrelenting pressure from the Michigan defense. Will Reichard got some points on the board for the Tide when he hit a 50-yard field goal with seven seconds until halftime.

Neither team reached the end zone in scoreless third quarter and Alabama’s offensive woes continued. A bad snap caused a loss of 7 yards on the Tide’s first possession of the frame, then Milroe fumbled and recovered the ball for another loss of 6 yards.

The fourth quarter got off to a much better start for Alabama with a 3-yard touchdown run by McLellan and a 17-13 advantage just 30 seconds into the quarter.



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