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Nick Saban on what makes Michigan a ‘challenging’ opponent

Saban evaluates Michigan’s offense and defense.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan and Alabama are set to clash on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl. Just a day before the tilt Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked about Michigan’s offense as well as their defense.

Saban talked about what makes each unit tick and what makes them successful. Saban acknowledged Michigan will present a good challenge on both sides of the ball.

Here’s what Saban had to say about the Wolverines on Sunday morning.

Saban on Michigan’s offense

They do a great job offensively in being able to create balance in the offense with runs and passes and play action passes. Really good quarterback, really good runners, really good receivers, lots of good tight ends, do a lot of personnel groups.

I think it’s a part of their offense, part of the misdirection that they do to do some of the things that they do that are complementary to the plays that they run.

I think discipline and eye control on defense is really, really important when you play anyone who has that kind of diversification in their offense, which I think is really good, and it’s been very effective for them.

We’re going to have to do a really good job to try to prepare our players for it. But you never know what’s coming up next, so you’ve got to be focused on every play.

Saban on Michigan’s defense

I think they’re a very talented defensive team. They’ve got really good guys up front. Their linebackers are very athletic. The secondary is very disciplined in terms of how they play and how they execute and what they do.

They’ve got some pretty interesting ways that they pressure the quarterback, whether it’s single back or plugs, kind of the way they present trying to pressure the quarterback, which I think can be challenging to the offensive line.

I think they play really, really well together as a group in terms of how they execute. They have lots of experience. They don’t make a lot of mental errors, and they don’t give you a lot.

You’ve got to take what they give, and I think that’s really important in the decision making for the guys when you try to attack a defense like this.