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Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
ABOUT MICHIGAN (2011: 11-2, 6-2 Big Ten): The Wolverines’ offense runs through quarterback Denard Robinson, who is one of the most entertaining players in the nation. Robinson ranks sixth in Michigan history with 40 touchdown passes and fifth with 35 touchdown runs. Michigan has replaced two starters on the offensive line and three on the defensive line, though, so the Wolverines will be inexperienced in the trenches.
ABOUT ALABAMA (2011: 12-1, 7-1 SEC): Gone is star running back Trent Richardson, but the offensive line that paved the way for him is back, led by Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones. Junior Eddie Lacy takes over the starting job running behind that line after playing in 24 games as a backup to Richardson and Mark Ingram over the past two seasons.
1. In 67 games under Saban, Alabama has held opponents to less than 300 total yards 40 times. The Crimson Tide have allowed 10 points or less 33 times during Saban’s tenure.
2. Michigan is 24-9-1 against current SEC teams, but the Wolverines haven’t faced an SEC opponent in the regular season since 2006.
3. The Wolverines, who are 109-20-3 all-time in season openers, have never opened a season with a neutral-site game. Alabama has won 10 straight season openers dating to a 20-17 loss to UCLA to start the 2001 campaign.
PREDICTION: Alabama 27, Michigan 13