It was tight for a while, but No. 9 Alabama pulled away in the end for a 35-16 victory over No. 17 Michigan.
The Crimson Tide (11-2) got off to a strong start when quarterback Mac Jones connected with an 85-yard touchdown to receiver Jerry Jeudy. Michigan (9-4) supplied the next three scores, including a 9-yard touchdown connection between Shea Patterson and Nick Eubanks, to take a 13-7 lead.
Alabama got back on top with a 9-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris, its drive extended by a controversial roughing the passer call on Michigan's Aiden Hutchinson. Michigan finished the half with a Michigan bowl-record 57-yard field goal to take its last lead of the game at halftime, 16-14.
Alabama completely dominated the second half, forcing four straight punts and then two straight interceptions on defense.
Offensively, Alabama scored on a 42-yard touchdown connection between Jones and DeVonta Smith, a 20-yard touchdown connection between Jones and tight end Miller Forristall and a 2-yard touchdown by Harris. Jones finished the game completing 16 of 25 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns, Jeudy finished with six catches for 204 yards and a score and Harris finished with 24 carries for 136 yards and two scores.
For Michigan, Patterson completed 17 of 37 passes for 233 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Running backs Zach Chrabonnet (13 carries, 84 yards) and Hassan Haskins (18 carries, 61 yards) combined for 145 of Michigan's 162 rushing yards.
Check out Sporting News' live updates, highlights and score changes for Alabama vs. Michigan:
Alabama vs. Michigan score
Alabama vs. Michigan scoring plays
13:47 — Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 85-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy (7-0 Alabama)
7:06 — Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson 7-yard touchdown pass to Nick Eubanks (7-7)
0:09 — Michigan kicker Christian Turner 36-yard field goal (10-7 Michigan)
7:16 — Michigan kicker Christian Turner 42-yard field goal (13-7 Michigan)
3:32 — Alabama running back Najee Harris 9-yard touchdown run (14-13 Alabama)
0:00 — Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin 57-yard field goal (16-14 Michigan)
13:30 — Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 42-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith (21-16 Alabama)
10:01 — Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 20-yard touchdown to Miller Forristall (28-16 Alabama)
0:26 — Alabama running back Najee Harris 2-yard touchdown (35-16 Alabama)
Alabama vs. Michigan live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Final: Alabama 35, Michigan 16
4:40 p.m.: Final stats from the Citrus Bowl:
4:33 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, ALABAMA. Patterson's throw to the end zone is snagged by Jobe, who was targeted all day. That will do it for the Citrus Bowl.
Final play of the game: Patterson throws one up in the end-zone and gets picked off by Josh Jobe! pic.twitter.com/KAq2dQ3dJ3— Boo Boo Shoester (@FTBeard11) January 1, 2020
4:32 p.m.: Michigan gets the ball back and tries to spike it. Fans booing on both sides, but Michigan will get one last look at an end zone.
4:29 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. Crimson Tide tack a little extra on at the end. Facing third-and-goal from the 2, Alabama lines up in victory formation and hands it off to Harris for the touchdown. That makes it 35-16 Alabama.
Najee Harris finishes the drive with a TD! pic.twitter.com/adH8wwlvZv— Boo Boo Shoester (@FTBeard11) January 1, 2020
4:27 p.m.: Harris is getting nothing but 5-yard gains out there now. Alabama's offensive front is dominating right now.
4:23 p.m.: Harris is now over 100 yards with two physically impressive runs where he simply refused to go down. He gets gains of 19 and 16 yards down to Michigan's 23.
4:22 p.m.: Harris gets 6 yards on first down, and Michigan is starting to use its timeouts with under 4 minutes remaining.
4:20 p.m.: Jones hits Forristall for a critical third-down conversion to keep the offense on the field.
4:16 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, ALABAMA. On Michigan's first play of the drive, Patterson throws to a wide-open ... Shyheim Carter. Seems to be some miscommunication between him and Eubanks. Regardless, Alabama takes over at its 25 with 6:13 remaining.
4:12 p.m.: Alabama goes three-and-out and will give the ball back with 6:27 left. Michigan's not out of it yet, taking over at its 47-yard line.
4:06 p.m.: Alabama allows one first down but gets off the field three plays later. Michigan will punt from its 48, giving Alabama the ball at its 16.
4:03 p.m.: Curious decision for Alabama to try a sky kick on the ensuing kickoff. Probably trying to get the Michigan returner to lose it in the sun, but the Wolverines will have the ball at their 34.
3:58 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. On the very next play, Jones hits Forristall for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Crimson Tide some breathing room. Jones went 3 for 4 passing for 92 yards on that drive. That makes it 28-16 Alabama.
Mac Jones throws his third touchdown of day with this 20-yard strike to TE Miller Forristall. pic.twitter.com/oZCxaBrIkG— Alabama Crimson Tide | AL.com (@aldotcomTide) January 1, 2020
3:58 p.m.: On the very next play, Jones hits Jeudy on the slant for a 58-yard gain all the way down to Michigan's 20-yard line.
3:57 p.m.: Jones hits Jeudy on a critical third-and-11 on an out route for a 14-yard gain. Alabama keeps it moving.
3:52 p.m.: The Alabama sack keeps Michigan out of field goal position, and the Crimson Tide will take over at their 9-yard line after the punt.
3:50 p.m.: On the very next play, after linebacker Shane Lee sacks Patterson and causes him to fumble. A Michigan lineman jumps on it to make it second-and-23.
3:49 p.m.: Michigan has the first down at Alabama's 30.
Third quarter: Alabama 21, Michigan 16
3:43 p.m.: Michigan gets the first down with two nice throws from Patterson, who had all day to pass. Michigan is driving inside Alabama's 40 to start the fourth quarter.
3:42 p.m.: Michigan has consecutive false starts to make it second-and-20.
3:40 p.m.: Two plays later Michigan has a first down past its 40-yard line.
3:38 p.m.: Patterson hits Haskins out of the backfield, and he gets a ton of yardage out to the 30-yard line. Great play call by Michigan.
3:36 p.m.: Alabama goes backward from there, facing third-and-20. The Crimson Tide get 11 of it back with a pass to Miller Forristall, but the Crimson Tide has to punt again. And now Mike Bernier pins Michigan inside its 5-yard line for the second time today.
3:33 p.m.: Brian Robinson gets an 18-yard run out to Michigan's 45.
3:30 p.m.: Ruggs is walking to the locker room. His day is probably over.
3:30 p.m.: Waddle returns the 46-yard punt for 12 yards to Alabama's 35. Michigan hasn't been afraid to punt to him, though he did make two pursuers miss.
3:28 p.m.: Michigan gets a first down but can't get anything after that. Patterson had Bell, but threw it a little high and had the ball glance off his hands. The Wolverines will punt on fourth-and-8 from their 31.
3:24 p.m.: Michigan takes over at its 18, and gets a nice 6-yard gain from Charbonnet to start the drive. According to the ABC telecast, Ruggs is "unlikely to return" to the game.
3:22 p.m.: Ruggs is being helped off the field. He's walking very gingerly to the sideline.
3:21 p.m.: Alabama goes three-and-out on its drive, as Jones can't connect with Ruggs down the sideline. Ruggs drops the pass, and he's down on the field. He went down clutching his left leg and is being looked at by trainers.
3:15 p.m.: Michigan takes it all the way to its 49, but Patterson is sacked for an 8-yard loss on third down by McKinney off a corner blitz. Ale Kaho tips the punt for his third block/tip of the season on the next play, and Michigan's punt only goes for 19 yards. Alabama will take over at its 39.
3:11 p.m.: Jackson with another nice return gives Michigan the ball at the 36.
3:06 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. The Crimson Tide retake the lead with a 42-yard touchdown connection between Jones and Smith. Alabama took four plays and 1:30 off the clock for that touchdown. Great start to the half for Alabama to make it 21-16 Alabama.
3:05 p.m.: Michigan dials up the pressure on second-and-13 and collapses on Jones, who zips it to Ruggs for a 25-yard gain to the Alabama 47.
3:04 p.m.: Alabama gets the ball to start the half, and will take over at its 25.
Halftime: Michigan 16, Alabama 14
2:44 p.m.: First-half stats:
2:42 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, MICHIGAN. The Wolverines bring out their long-range specialist Quinn Nordin, who hammers it for the go-ahead field goal. Massive score that makes it 16-14 Michigan at halftime.
Quinn Nordin of @UMichFootball with the 57-yard field goal ... the longest in bowl history! The previous record was 52 yards by Taylor Mehlhaff of Wisconsin (2007). #VrboCitrusBowl pic.twitter.com/ifPefwHtax— Vrbo Citrus Bowl (@CitrusBowl) January 1, 2020
2:39 p.m.: Anfernee Jennings sacks Patterson two plays later for a loss of 4 at the 39. That will make it a 57-yard field goal from this distance.
2:37 p.m.: Michigan goes for it on fourth-and-2 at Alabama's 37. Haskins is held up at the 35, and it's called a first down on the field. Michigan has 30 seconds left in the half.
2:34 p.m.: Patterson rolls right looking to run, backs up at the last second and hits Nico Collins for an 18-yard drive. Good start for Michigan.
2:33 p.m.: Michigan gets the ball back at its 25 with roughly three-and-a-half minutes to play. Plenty of time for a go-ahead scoring drive.
2:29 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. Two plays later, Harris takes it off left tackle for a leaping, 9-yard touchdown run. That makes it 14-13 Alabama.
Najee Harris leaps into the endzone to regain the lead for Bama (-7)— Barstool Bets (@barstoolbets) January 1, 2020
2:23 p.m.: Michigan forces Jones to throw it away on third-and-10, but Aidan Hutchinsnon is called for roughing the passer on the play. That nets Alabama another set of downs at the 13, and the Michigan contingent is letting their displeasure be known.
2:20 p.m.: Two plays later, Jones had Jeudy fairly open, but underthrows him. Lucky for Alabama, Michigan's Hill committed blatant pass interference and nets Alabama 15 yards. Crimson Tide are driving at Michigan's 26.
2:19 p.m.: Jones hits Jeudy on the underneath route with Michigan defenders bearing down. Jeudy takes it to Michigan's 45-yard line.
2:15 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, MICHIGAN. Turner hits his second field goal of the day from 42 yards out. That makes it 13-7 Michigan.
2:13 p.m.: Patterson connects with Bell for a first down, but he's called for illegal touching. So the defense bends-doesn't-break again.
2:11 p.m.: Michigan is called for holding on the next play, but Michigan gets it all back with an inside slant to Bell. Michigan at Alabama's 28.
2:10 p.m.: Patterson takes it again for another third down-converting run. Michigan now at Alabama's 40.
2:08 p.m.: Patterson scrambles right on third-and-5 and gets another first down for Michigan. Wolverines keep it moving at their own 46.
2:06 p.m.: Charbonnet gets a first down on two runs. Michigan driving at its 33.
2:01 p.m.: Alabama nets zero yards on the next three plays. The ensuing punt goes 52 yards for a touchback, and Michigan will take over at its 20.
1:59 p.m.: First play of second quarter on second-and-10, Najee Harris breaks a 25-yard run to the Alabama 48. Much needed for the Tide.
First quarter: Michigan 10, Alabama 7
1:54 p.m.: Waddle takes the ensuing kickoff, breaks a couple of tackles and gets the ball out to the 23-yard line.
1:52 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, MICHIGAN. Alabama bends but doesn't break, forcing fourth down at the 17 after Patterson missed Eubanks in the end zone with Xavier McKinney in coverage. It's 10-7 Michigan
1:48 p.m.: Christian Barmore finally gets some pressure on Patterson on the next play. He forces what's called a fumble on the field, but it appears Patterson's arm was moving forward. That'll move the Wolverines up 3 yards and make it second-and-10.
1:47 p.m.: And now Michigan is at Alabama's 20. Jackson lines up at running back and takes the wheel route untouched. Bama has no answer early.
1:46 p.m.: Michigan driving out at the 40 with another 11-yard gain by Charbonnet.
1:44 p.m.: Haskins gets an 7-yard gain on first down. Alabama has no push up front defensively. Next play Charbonnet takes it off right tackle and gets it to the 19.
1:42 p.m.: Michigan forces another punt after Jaylen Waddle drops a first-down catch. Jones throws it a little behind him a little. Alabama's punt goes 51 yards, however, and is downed at the 1-yard line.
1:40 p.m.: Alabama right back at it with a nice 21-yard connection between Jones and Jeudy. Tide driving near midfield now.
1:37 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, MICHIGAN. One play later, Patterson connects with tight end Nick Eubanks for a walk-in score. That ties the game at 7-7.
1:36 p.m.: Now Haskins gets a nice run, 11 yards to the 7-yard line. First-and-goal coming up for Michigan.
1:33 p.m.: And now Michigan gets to Alabama's 18 with a direct-snap flea-flicker to Donovan Peoples-Jones! Wolverines breaking out some trick plays early.
1:32 p.m.: Charbonnet gets another couple of nice gains of 9 and 12 yards, getting Michigan out to the 48. Alabama giving up some big runs early.
1:29 p.m.: Jobe is injured on the next play. He hops up off the ground after trainers look at him and walks off on his own power. Would be a big loss for Alabama, considering he's replacing starter Trevon Diggs.
1:28 p.m.: Michigan's Zach Charbonnet gets a nice 12-yard gain to start the drive. Biggest play from scrimmage for Michigan so far.
1:23 p.m.: Tide can't get the first-down conversion; Michigan's Lavert Hill gets in the way of Jones' pass to Henry Ruggs III and forces the punt. Michigan will take over at its 15.
1:21 p.m.: Jones hits DeVonta Smith for 15 yards on the slant. Tide having some early success through the air.
1:20 p.m.: Patterson had receiver Ronnie Bell on an easy first-down route, but overthrew him a bit. Bell drops it and Michigan punts it right back to Alabama, which takes over at its 31-yard line.
1:19 p.m.: Hassan Haskins gets Michigan its first first down of the game with a 4-yard run up the gut.
1:17 p.m.: Jackson takes the kickoff again, this time taking it out to Michigan's 20-yard line.
1:12 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. One play is all it takes for Alabama to get on the board. Jones hits Jerry Jeudy in stride for an 85-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Alabama.
1:10 p.m.: Michigan goes three-and-out on the first series, but it's apparent Michigan will attack cornerback Josh Jobe all day. Patterson had his man a couple times but couldn't connect.
1:08 p.m.: Giles Jackson fields the kickoff a yard deep in his end zone and returns it 51 yards out to midfield. Great starting field position for the Wolverines.
1:06 p.m.: Alabama wins the toss and defers to the second half. Michigan will receive to start the Citrus Bowl.