Alabama scores one last unnecessary touchdown vs. Michigan in Citrus Bowl

Sporting News

Nick Saban and Alabama ran up the score a little on Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday, rushing for a late touchdown with the game already in hand instead of kneeling to run out the clock.

Michigan had no timeouts left when the Crimson Tide converted a third-and-3 in the red zone with 2:25 on the clock. But rather than kneel a few times, Alabama gave the ball to running back Najee Harris on three straight plays. He scored a 2-yard touchdown on third-and-goal with 26 seconds left. The kicker? Alabama lined up in victory formation, so it looked as if the Tide would simply kneel on the ball to end the game.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

MORE: 2019-20 bowl schedule

Michigan, not one to take that final affront lying down, then played to the final second on its ensuing drive. After a quick completion, Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson spiked the ball with one second left and threw a Hail Mary as time expired. His pass was intercepted by Josh Jobe in the end zone.

Saban and Michigan coach Jim Harbuagh, who have a tenuous relationship, shared a brief handshake at midfield after the final whistle.

In the years since Harbaugh took over the Wolverines in 2015, he and Saban have clashed a number of times. Harbaugh held satellite camps in Alabama early in his tenure — prompting Saban to call them the "wild, wild West" — enticed former Crimson Tide quarterbacks coach Josh Gattis to Ann Arbor before the season and has been known to take shots at the SEC.

Did that have anything to do with Alabama's final touchdown? Maybe, maybe not. But it's potentially another example of bad blood between the head coaches of two of college football's most iconic programs.

What to read next