1. Alabama’s young secondary looked sharp. It had a few busted coverages—Denard Robinson’s 71-yard bomb that set up Michigan’s first score late in the second quarter, and another when Dee Milliner slipped and allowed Devin Gardner to score the Wolverine’s second touchdown—but other than that, they did well in run support and helped contain Robinson. This unit was a hot storyline heading into the game due to their lack of experience, but with the way they performed against a top 10 team, they sure halted some of those questions.
2. Robinson’s stat line is certainly worth a note. The supposed-to-be-but-not-so-slippery Michigan quarterback went 11 of 26 for 200 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions and only rushed for 27 yards on 10 carries. He didn’t even make his first run until late in the first half and Michigan, similar to LSU in the national title game, had trouble making it across the 50-yard line early in the game.
3. Alabama was pretty balanced on offense, rushing for 232 yards (Michigan only ran for 69) and passing for 199. A.J. McCarron went 11 of 21 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Head coach Nick Saban was happy with his quarterback’s performance, but did say they have a lot to work on in the passing game.
“I just think we need to clean it up, clean up the protection,” Saban said. “We had too much leakage in the pocket. Work on the timing with receivers. Because I do think we have some pretty good receivers. And if we’re going to be the kind of team we’re capable of, we’re going to have to be able to create balance on offense because AJ’s really too good of a quarterback for us not to utilize his talents in throwing the football.”
4. Alabama’s running backs were all over the place—running, blocking, special teams. Four different guys—Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Dee Hart and Jalston Fowler—had carries, with Yeldon leading the way with 111 yards.
5. Injury report, per Saban: safety Robert Lester has a shoulder stinger, linebacker Reggie Ragland hurt his ankle, nose guard Jesse Williams has a minor concussion and linebacker Trey DePriest sprained his ankle.
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