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Jesse Minter comments on Alabama’s offense ahead of the Rose Bowl

The Crimson Tide offense offers plenty of challenges for the Wolverines.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

On Thursday ahead of Michigan’s Rose Bowl matchup with Alabama, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter took some time to speak with the media about preparing for Alabama’s offense. The Crimson Tide are currently the No. 17 scoring offense in the country at 35.1 points per game, and have a case to be the best offense Michigan has seen all year.

The numbers and pedigree aren’t without merit, as the Tide are led by dual-threat quarterback Jalen Milroe. Minter had plenty of high praise for Milroe and commented on what his talent and skillset bring to this game.

“He really runs like a 225-pound tailback in the open field,” said Minter.

It’s Milroe’s running ability that gets the most attention, and for good reason, as the quarterback ran for 468 yards and 12 touchdowns. The fact he checks in at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds also adds to the challenge, and Minter sees it.

“You have to tackle him as if he’s Derrick Henry running the football,” Minter said.

“They make you play 11-on-11 with how they use him,” he added, implying when Alabama drops back to pass, you still have to account for Milroe making plays on the ground.

Despite being heavily featured as a runner, though, Milroe possesses the ability to hurt the Wolverines through the air. After struggling somewhat (and even being benched) early in the year, Milroe has turned it on down the stretch, throwing for 12 touchdowns and two interceptions the last six games.

Minter commented on the nature of today’s dual-threat quarterbacks, discussing their ability to throw the ball and run, while also staying dangerous by escaping pressure. Milroe certainly fits into that category and does most of his aerial damage throwing the ball deep down the field to targets like Jermaine Burton and Isaiah Bond.

Speaking of Bond, he represents just one problem Michigan could face in coverage. Bond has been a steady contributor all year, but made a splash with a big 31-yard touchdown against Auburn in Week 13. He’s also coming off five receptions and 79 yards against Georgia.

“They run routes with (Bond) that allow him to hit top end speed,” said Minter. He also pointed to Bond’s speed, ability to get yards after the catch, and his, “really strong chemistry” with Milroe.

In addition to Alabama’s skill positions, Minter complimented Alabama’s offensive line, describing the unit as “big” and “powerful.” The unit has struggled somewhat in pass protection this year, but dominated in the SEC Championship against Georgia.

It will be a challenge for Michigan to face such a strong group, but Minter has faith in his defensive front.

“I trust all of our guys up front,” said Minter. He also noted he appreciates the challenge of his defense facing another strong offense.