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A closer look at Wednesday’s Citrus Bowl matchup between Michigan and Alabama

Advantage: Alabama
Jerry Jeudy opted not to sit out this game, as did several other players, and that swings the edge Alabama’s way. Michigan has Shea Patterson at QB, but Mac Jones has proven he can hold his own for Alabama under center.

Advantage: Tie
Anfernee Jennings and Alabama didn’t play bad against Auburn (354 yards allowed) but it couldn’t get stops when it needed it most. Same with LSU. Michigan has 36 sacks with 72 tackles for a loss, led by Josh Uche and Jordan Glasgow.

Advantage: Alabama
Alabama’s Ty Perine averages 44.7 yards per punt while Will Hart of Michigan averages 45.1. Joseph Bulovas has missed three field goals in 11 tries while Michigan is 13 of 19. Jaylen Waddle’s kick return abilities pushes the Crimson Tide over the top here.

Advantage: Alabama
It’s hard to give any team the edge over Alabama with Nick Saban standing on the sideline. He’s a great motivator and X’s and O’s guy. Watch the documentary ’Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching’ and you will have a greater appreciation for him.

Advantage: Michigan
Alabama’s in an unfamiliar place – not playing in the College Football Playoff. Michigan would love to knock out the Crimson Tide, which would look outstanding on the Wolverines’ resume and be a perfect motivator for next season.

Alabama 35, Michigan 21
Don’t waste a failure. That’s what has been preached by Nick Saban to the Crimson Tide this season and last. Coming off a loss to Auburn has to not sit well with this group. Alabama should be up for this game emotionally even though there is no title at stake – a strong finish and a foundation for the future is, however.