Final Score: No. 14 Michigan 16, No. 13 Alabama 35

Brief Recap: For one half of action, it looked like the Wolverines were going to be able to hang with Alabama all game long. Though a number of first-half drives sputtered out in Crimson Tide territory, Jim Harbaugh’s squad kicked three field goals for a 16-14 lead at the break. Considering Alabama gashed Michigan for an 85-yard touchdown on their first offensive snap, the Wolverines showed great resolve in battling back. Unfortunately, the second half turned into all Alabama on both sides of the ball. Michigan was forced to punt on its first four drives after halftime as Alabama scored 14 unanswered points to take a commanding lead. In the end, the late 12-point deficit was too much for the Wolverines to overcome in the last six and a half minutes of game time.

Key Moment: With Alabama clinging to a 21-16 lead just after the start of the fourth quarter, the Wolverines were forced to punt the ball away. It was a perfect punt with great execution, pinning the Crimson Tide at their own nine-yard line. Michigan even forced Alabama into a quick third-and-11 play. Unfortunately, Crimson Tide QB Mac Jones completed three straight passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, including a big gainer to star WR Jerry Jeudy. That pushed the lead to 12 and eliminated hopes of a comeback.

Key Stat: 47% completion percentage for starting QB Shea Patterson. Patterson and the offense only gained 233 yards through the air against the Crimson Tide. However, that mark was not necessarily indicative of a tough Alabama defense. On more than one occasion, the Wolverines had receivers running free of their defenders with Patterson unable to find them with the ball. It goes down as one of three games for Patterson this season completing less than 50% of his passes with Michigan losing all three.

Key Player: True freshman running back Zach Charbonnet kept the team in the game and balanced offensively with 84 yards rushing on 13 carries. Unfortunately, he had just three carries for 11 yards after the break. It’s one thing for the offense to try and maintain balance with multiple runners and a passing attack, but going away from Charbonnet in the second half is definitely an interesting decision for the Wolverines.

What it Means: Michigan misses out on another 10-win season under Harbaugh with plenty of questions heading into 2020. The team should remain competitive with another strong recruiting class coming in, but the team will lose a number of key contributors. With Ohio State still the dominant B1G East team and Penn State a young team getting better, where does that leave the Wolverines in the divisional pecking order?