On Alabama Crimson Tide’s opening play of the game, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy found open space and caught a Citrus Bowl record 85-yard touchdown pass from Mac Jones. That play sparked his most valuable game performance as the Crimson Tide (11-2) defeated the Michigan Wolverines (9-4) 35-16 in the 2020 Virbo Citrus Bowl.
That play put Jeudy over the 1,000-yard mark for the season and his touchdown was his 10th of the season. He also added a big 58-yard catch in the fourth quarter which led to a 20-yard Jones to Miller Forristall touchdown connection to help seal Alabama’s 11th victory of the season.
Jones finished the game 16 of 25 for 327 yards and three touchdown passes in the game.
After Jeudy’s opening touchdown, Michigan responded with their own touchdown midway through the first quarter. They used running back Zach Charbonnet on three consecutive running plays to gain 33 yards and used a bit of trickery to get the ball in the red zone.
Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh called a flea flicker that led to quarterback Shea Patterson (17 of 37 for 233 yards passing) getting some additional time to find wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 34-yard passing play. Two plays later, Patterson would find Nick Eubanks for a seven-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.
After Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin kicked two field goals on Michigan’s next two possessions, Alabama took the lead after an eight-play, 75-yard drive leading to a Najee Harris (140 yards rushing on 24 carries) nine-yard touchdown run to make the game 14-13.
Michigan ended the half with Nordin kicking a career-high and Virbo Citrus Bowl record 57-yard field goal to put the Wolverines up 16-14 at the half. Those would be the last points that Michigan would score in the game.
The Crimson Tide took the second half kickoff down the field in four short plays and Jones found Alabama’s season long leading receiver DeVonta Smith for a 42-yard touchdown catch to put them up 21-16.
Michigan would punt the ball on their next five possessions and Patterson threw two interceptions after that on their seven second half possessions. Harris would add his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard touchdown run to close the scoring.