Update: No. 1 Michigan will face No. 2 Washington in the College Football National Championship Game. The Huskies defeated No. 3 Texas 37-31 in the Sugar Bowl.
In one of the most dramatic games in Rose Bowl history, the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines defeated the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide 27-20 in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Monday night in Pasadena. Tied 20-20 in overtime, Blake Corum punched in the go-ahead touchdown to put UM on top. Facing 4th and goal with everything on the line on the ensuring Crimson Tide drive, the defense stuffed Jalen Milroe to survive.
With the victory, Michigan has advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game next Monday, where they will face the winner of No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Michigan got off to a shaky start to the game as JJ McCarthy threw an interception on the first play of the game, only for it to be overturned because the Alabama defender had stepped out of bounds prior. The early nerves continued after a Crimson Tide three-and-out as Semaj Morgan muffed a punt, setting Bama up in plus territory. A few plays later, Jase McClellan broke off of a 34-yard touchdown run to give the Tide the early lead.
However, the Wolverines immediately punched back as a 10-play, 75-yard drive ended with McCarthy hitting Blake Corum on a Texas route to tie the game. The combatants would punts well into the second quarter before McCarthy hit Tyler Morris on a 38-yard touchdown pass to give UM its first lead of the evening. A botched snap on the PAT left the game 13-7. The Tide managed to put a field goal on the board to pull within three right before the half.
After a sloppy third quarter where it experienced a few botched snaps on the offensive line, the Alabama offense got back into gear and opened the fourth with a McClellan touchdown to go up 17-13. Momentum briefly shifted back to Michigan’s side after recovering a Milroe fumble, but the ensuing Wolverines drive ended with a missed field goal. Bama would respond with a field goal drive of its own to go up by a touchdown.
Michigan would finally get back into gear immediately afterwards as a big Roman Wilson reception got the team to the Alabama 5. A few plays later, McCarthy hit a wide open Wilson for a score and the ensuing PAT tied the game at 20. The Wolverines would force a Tide punt and with the ball deep in their own territory, they opted to kneel out the clock to send the game into OT.
Losing the toss, UM got the ball first and that’s where Corum cemented himself as both a Michigan and Rose Bowl legend with the score. It was the third game in the 10-year history of the College Football Playoff to go to overtime.