Shea Patterson

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Alabama score 21 unanswered for runaway Citrus Bowl victory over Michigan

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The first matchup between Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban went the way of the Crimson Tide. After trailing by two at halftime, No. 13 Alabama (11-2) shut down No. 14 Michigan (9-4) in the second half of a 35-16 victory in the Citrus Bowl.

Mac Jones passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovialoa was on the field with Alabama’s captains for the coin flip but will now address his immediate future with a decision on coming back to taking a shot at the NFL looms while injured.  Alabama’s running game was led by a brilliant effort by Najee Harris, who picked up two touchdowns and 136 yards against the Wolverines. Star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy also presented some highlights among his six catches for 204 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown on Alabama’s first offensive play from scrimmage in the first quarter.

Michigan’s Shea Patterson certainly had his struggles, completing 17 of 37 passes for 233 yards and a pair of interceptions (the second coming on the final play of the game, however). Patterson’s first interception came on the first play after Michigan took over around midfield midway through the fourth quarter, with Alabama leading 28-16. Alabama finished off the drive with a soul-crushing touchdown in the final minute of the game.

This is the 9th consecutive season Alabama has recorded 11 wins in a season. This was obviously not where Alabama wanted to end the season, but the Crimson Tide remain as strong a threat for the playoff as ever going into the new season. Saban improved his postseason bowl season record to 15-10, including a 12-5 mark with Alabama. Harbaugh has fallen to just 1-4 in bowl games since his arrival in Ann Arbor, which will surely not help to turn back any narratives heading into next season.

Michigan and Alabama will each begin the 2020 season against an opponent from the Pac-12. Michigan will play a true road game when they head to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies on Sept. 5. On the same day, Alabama will take on USC in Arlington, TX.

Michigan holds two-point advantage on Alabama in Citrus Bowl after 57-yard field goal

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A 57-yard field goal by Quinn Nordin as time expired in the first half has lifted Michigan to a 16-14 lead on Alabama in the Citrus Bowl.

After forcing Michigan to a three-and-out on the first series of the game, Alabama struck quickly for a lead. Mac Jones completed a deep pass to Jerry Jeudy, who was able to coast to the goal line after his defender fell to the ground. It was quite an ominous start for the Wolverines after the first 90 seconds of play, but the Wolverines got things working well from that point on. After exchanging punts, Michigan evened the score with a seven-play, 85-yard drive. Shea Patterson ended the drive with a seven-yard pass to Nick Eubanks for a touchdown.

Alabama limiting the damage done by Michigan on the scoreboard despite giving up yardage was key. On Alabama’s final possession of the half, the Crimson Tide took a lead with an aerial display by running back Najee Harris. Haris lept over a Michigan defender and stretched the ball into the endzone for Alabama’s second lead of the game.

It looks like we have a pretty good game going into the second half. Will Michigan be able to pull the upset of the Crimson Tide, who were just over a touchdown favorite in the game?

 

J.K. Dobbins makes Heisman statement as No. 1 Ohio State blasts No. 13 Michigan (again)

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Another year, another victory for No. 1 Ohio State (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) against No. 13 Michigan (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten) in the Jim Harbaugh era. The Ryan Day era picks up right where the Urban Meyer regime left off in this series. The Buckeyes roared past the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoon with a 56-27 beat down of their rivals from north of the state border. Behind a strong running performance by J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State extended its winning streak over Michigan to eight straight, sending yet another senior class off without a loss to Michigan.

Dobbins rushed for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns. This was the second time Dobbins eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the ground, and he moved up the school’s all-time rushing list earlier in the game, moving past Ezekiel Elliott and moving in behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. In the process, Dobbins may have made his own case to head to New York to lay claim to his own Heisman Trophy.

In a showdown of former SEC quarterback who transferred to the Big Ten, Justin Fields certainly had a better performance compared to Michigan’s Shea Patterson. Fields didn’t have an excellent day with completion percentage, but the passes he did connect on were huge. Fields still ended the game with 302 passing yards and four touchdowns with one touchdown pass to four different Buckeyes (K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Chris Olave, and Garrett Wilson). Patterson had a rough day throwing the football but also had a 300-yard day (305 yards) but with just one touchdown pass. Patterson was also dropped for a loss of 20 yards in the game and had a crucial red-zone fumble in the first half.

The 56 points given up by Michigan was the most points allowed to an opponent in Michigan Stadium in regulation in program history. Illinois scored 65 points in 2010 for the most points scored by a visitor in Michigan Stadium, but 20 of those points were scored in overtime of a thrilling 67-65 victory by the Wolverines.

For Ohio State, the ultimate goal falls above simply beating Michigan. The top-ranked Buckeyes appear to be locked into position for a run to the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State now will prepare for its third consecutive Big Ten Championship Game. But first, the Buckeyes will sit back and watch to find out just who they will be playing. Ohio State will meet the winner of today’s Minnesota-Wisconsin game, which will crown a division champion in the Big Ten West to determine Ohio State’s next opponent. The Buckeyes will essentially lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win next week, but even a loss may not eliminate an Ohio State team that will end the regular season with good quality wins against a top 10 Penn State and a top 15 Michigan to go along with an earlier win this season against Wisconsin and Cincinnati.

The loss for Michigan will knock the Wolverines out of the running for a possible spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup, so a landing spot in the Citrus Bowl may be in the cards for Jim Harbaugh his program. Harbaugh is now 0-5 against Ohio State. The Wolverines will visit Ohio State next season.

J.K. Dobbins climbs Ohio State all-time rushing list as Buckeyes lead Michigan at halftime

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Ohio State already has a spot in next week’s Big Ten championship game locked up, but there is still nothing the Buckeyes would love more than to continue their dominance over their rivals from Michigan (and keep their College Football path as clear as possible). After one half of play, Ohio State is 30 minutes away from extending their winning streak over the Wolverines to eight in a row. Ohio State leads Michigan 28-16 at halftime.

Michigan opened the game with a touchdown drive, pinning Ohio State in its largest deficit of the season (6-0), but a missed extra point by Quinn Nordin allowed Ohio State to take the lead on the ensuing possession. Ohio State has since held the upper hand in the game.

J.K. Dobbins moved up the Ohio State all-time rushing list in the first quarter by slipping past Ezekiel Elliott (3,961 yards) for second all-time in Buckeyes history. Dobbins reached halftime with 4,005 career yards. Only two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin has more all-time rushing yards in Ohio State history than Dobbins, and it will remain that way with Dobbins still 1,500 yards behind Griffin’s 5,589 career yards.

Since Michigan had trouble slowing Dobbins down, perhaps that is why they felt the need to try untying and removing his show at the end of a play (which was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Big Ten officials)…

Dobbins would end up finishing that drive with a short touchdown run to give Ohio State a 21-13 lead on the Wolverines. Ohio State capitalized on a pair of Michigan miscues later in the second quarter. After recovering a Shea Patterson fumble in the red zone, the Buckeyes were forced to punt the ball back to the Wolverines. But an offside penalty on the special teams by Michigan gave the Buckeyes a free first down. Justin Fields immediately went deep t Garrett Wilson for a gain of 47 yards to the Michigan five-yard line, and Dobbins picked up his second touchdown of the game on the next play for a 28-13 lead.

Michigan has certainly found ways to move the football on Ohio State and they have done a terrific job of taking Chase Young out of the game (zero tackles) on the Ohio State defensive line, but mistakes (missed PAT, fumble in red zone, bad penalties, dropped touchdown in the end zone late in the first half by Donovan Peoples-Jones) are just continuing to haunt them. We’ll see if it really comes back to bite them in the second half.

No. 15 Michigan pounds Michigan State into submission, 44-10

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Shea Patterson threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns as No. 15 Michigan (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) blew out in-state rival Michigan State (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten), 44-10. The Wolverines outscored the Spartans 44-3 after the first quarter to easily keep their momentum going at the end of the season. It is the first home win for Jim Harbaugh against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Will Harbaugh be able to complete the rial sweep at home in two weeks?

The way Michigan has been playing lately, it is a wonder how Michigan lost two games this season. While Michigan did complete well in a loss to Penn State a month ago, the game against Wisconsin is one Michigan would probably most like to get a do-over in. Instead, a blowout win over Michigan State keeps the program moving toward a possible spot in a New Years Six bowl game. On the other end of the spectrum, Michigan State’s season is continuing to spiral in the wrong direction, and a 34-point loss to its top rival won’t help matters in East Lansing for head coach Mark Dantonio.

Michigan out-gained the Spartans 467-220 despite nearly splitting the time of possession right down the middle (Michigan State had the football for 3:05). Neither team gave up much on the ground, so it was the play of the quarterbacks that would be a major difference. Advantage, Michigan. Patterson had one of his best performances in a Michigan uniform, while Brian Lewerke was intercepted twice and completed 17 of 30 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Patterson was without an interception. The player of the game for the Wolverines may have been receiver Ronnie Bell, who caught nine passes for 150 yards (although with none for a touchdown).

Bell has more than made up for his one glaring drop this season against Penn State. Coincidentally, Michigan has turned things on since that Penn State game. Since trailing Penn State 21-0 four games ago, Michigan has outscored its opponents 148-38.

Michigan will play on the road next week against Indiana. The Hoosiers lost in a tight battle at Penn State on Saturday as Michigan was playing Michigan State. Michigan’s regular-season finale at home against Ohio State is coming up on the horizon, but the Hoosiers always find ways to keep things interesting against the Wolverines too.

The Spartans will need to win their final two games in order to become bowl eligible. Michigan State will travel to Rutgers next week looking to keep the bowl hopes alive. Michigan State ends the regular season at home against Maryland. If nothing else, the schedule is about as favorable as it can get for Michigan State with bowl hopes on the line.