3 takeaways as Michigan football breaks Alabama's heart in the Rose Bowl

Michigan football and Alabama played a classic in the Rose Bowl. Here are three takeaways.

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Harry How/GettyImages
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J.J. McCarthy out-dueled Jalen Milroe

The team with the best quarterback play was always going to win this game. As much as it was about the trenches -- that fight proved fairly even -- the quarterbacks were going to be the deciding factor and they were.

Twice, Alabama settled for field goals in scoring range, including when they led 17-13 in the fourth quarter. They were 20 yards away and if they find the end zone, Michigan is done. Instead, Milroe took a sixth sack and watched as J.J. McCarthy drove 75 yards, a drive that included a fourth-down pickup, to tie the game.

McCarthy got some help but he also threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns, as well as rushing for 35 yards, including a first-down run on that final drive. It wasn't perfect. I wouldn't even say McCarthy had his "A" game on Monday night. But when he needed it, McCarthy delivered and that's why the Wolverines are still playing and Alabama isn't.

A lot of college football analysts who said McCarthy had struggled since news of the Connor Stalions scandal broke, owe the Michigan QB an apology. He made them all look like idiots.