Three X-Factors for Michigan football vs. Alabama

Looking ahead to the Rose Bowl, here are three X-factors for Michigan football against the Crimson Tide.

2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan
2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

3. Blake Corum

As Michigan football discusses how they want to approach going up against the Crimson Tide defense, expect senior running back Blake Corum to be the focal point of the offensive gameplan.

Alabama brings a very very good front 7. I look for the Wolverines to utilize Corum's short gain ability to generate some rushing yards early, before looking to JJ McCarthy to possibly take some shots down the fields

The Tide defense will make it extremely tough for the Wolverines to bust out on any super explosive runs, but, 4 and 5-yard bursts from Corum will definitely help Michigan football, as they look to get the job done in the Rose Bowl

2. Alex Oriji

Alex Oriji is going to provide more off the field in prep for this game than he is going to provide on the field.

It's no secret that Alabama Quarterback Jalen Milroe brings a different look than the Wolverine football team has seen at that position from any opponent. They will look to Alex to do his best to replicate Milroe's playing style, something that shouldn't be a problem for him.

Milroe is a very big and athletic QB, he can throw the ball down the field, as well, as run on big gains, something that Michigan football fans have seen Oriji do in limited minutes as well.

1. JJ McCarthy

I mean, obviously right?

JJ McCarthy is honestly looking to bounce back from a game in which his stats looked a lot better than his performance actually was. Michigan football needs the JJ McCarthy that was in the Heisman Trophy talks (before they ran the ball 32 straight times in Happy Valley) in mid-season to show up if they have any chance to win this game.

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JJ was exceptional in the Fiesta Bowl, except for 2 snaps, that ended in Pick 6's. A lot of people forget that he lead the Wolverines to a near miracle comeback and fell just short. JJ McCarthy has to be smart on every snap and not allow small mistakes to become big mistakes