Michigan football: Blake Corum compares Bama to Big Ten defenses

Alabama's defense is loaded, but Michigan football has squared off against some elite defenses in its own right.
Michigan running back Blake Corum runs against Iowa during the second half of U-M's 26-0 win over
Michigan running back Blake Corum runs against Iowa during the second half of U-M's 26-0 win over / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

There are plenty of games within the game when it comes to Michigan football and Alabama. But one of the most important is going to be the Wolverines running game.

Led by Blake Corum, Michigan football hasn't run the ball as well as it did in 2021 and 2022. The ground game wasn't nearly as productive for the Wolverines, which is why they didn't win the Joe Moore Award for a third straight year.

Corum set the Michigan football touchdown record, but the Wolverines averaged just 4.3 yards per attempt this season. Alabama has allowed 3.7 yards per carry, but Auburn rushed for more than 200 yards in its loss to Alabama, so it's possible to run against the Tide.

Michigan has to run well to win

While Michigan has struggled at times it has run the ball well when needed. Iowa was able to hold U-M under 100 yards rushing, but in the two biggest games of the season against Penn State and Ohio State, Michigan went over 160 yards in each.

Corum also has plus 20-yard touchdown runs in both games. Leading up to the Rose Bowl next week, Corum talked about Alabama and compared the Tide to some other teams the Wolverines have faced already this season.

“We’ve played some great defenses,” Corum said. “I feel like the last three out of four games. probably played top-five defenses: Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa. Alabama is up there. They’re a team that is coached really well, a team full of athletes, they just fly around, trying to race each other to the ball. They’re disciplined. Their D-ends are really good, corners are really good. They’re right there up there with the Penn States, Ohio States and Iowas — great defenses that we faced this year, especially the last four weeks. They’re right there, hand in hand. Great players that love the game of football. That’s what I see in the film.”

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It's going to be a huge test. Corum wasn't able to play in the College Football Playoff last season, but if the Wolverines are going to win in Pasadena, it's going to need a stellar effort from Blake The Great.