Everything that went wrong on Alabama’s disastrous final play of College Football Playoff
The third time was not the charm for Alabama.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban explained Monday night what went wrong on the final disastrous play of Alabama’s 27-20 loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
First, Alabama had the right play, but Michigan called timeout. Then, Alabama had the wrong play and the Crimson Tide called timeout.
The third play blew up in their face when a low snap and missed block led to an uninspiring finish to a classic College Football Playoff showdown.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe scooped up the snap but was swarmed down for a one-yard gain on the fourth-and-goal play from the Michigan three-yard line.
“The fact that it didnt work made it a really bad call,” Saban told reporters after the game. “We called timeout because we had a bad look. We had a good look on the first one and they must have known it.
“Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees just felt like the best thing we can do was have a quarterback run, which was our two-point play and the ball was on the three-yard line, which is just like a two-point play, but we didnt get it blocked so it didnt work. We didnt execute it very well and it didnt work. They pressured and we thought they would pressure. We felt like we could gap them, block them and make it work, but it didnt.”
Michigan stuffs Jalen Milroe on final play of Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2023. Getty ImagesAnd that is what decided the game between the two college football behemoths.
As noted on the broadcast, Michigan had seven defenders against six Alabama blockers even after linebacker Junior Colson followed running back Roydell Williams Sr., who was in motion pre-snap, into the flat.
Michigan defensive lineman Derrick Moore beat his blocker to the inside and helped blow up the play.
According to that blocking by @AlabamaFTBL , Milroe was supposed to start middle and cut left. (Watch Guard pull and lead and not trap) They got what they wanted with the @UMichFootball DE as he ran up field and they didnt have to block him. #CFBPlayoff#littlethingspic.twitter.com/tgaaWHcwg7
— Kevin Kelley (@coachkelley1) January 2, 2024“All it came down to was fall back to your level of training, and we just failed on that play,” Milroe said, per CBS Sports. “That’s all it was. At the end of the day, I just trusted the guys up front for believing in me on the last play to have the ball and unfortunately we just missed and we just didn’t get in the end zone.
“With anything, it takes preparation, whether it’s pass protection, whether it’s the running game, the passing game. The quarterback and the center have to have a great relationship and that’s something that we tried to build throughout the whole season.”
Alabama scored 13 straight points after trailing 13-7 and held a lead entering the final minutes of the game until Michigan scored on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to force overtime.
Jalen Milroe and Tyler Booker walk off the field after a loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal. APMichigan needed only two Blake Corum runs in overtime to take the lead before Alabama failed to match.
No. 1 Michigan will face No. 2 Washington in the national championship game next Monday night.
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