Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) made 16 passes for 116 yards against Michigan (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

The College Football Playoff (CFP) Semifinal game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide became an overtime thriller, the second in Rose Bowl Game history.  The Michigan Wolverines offense went first and scored in two plays. On a fourth-and-goal, quarterback Jalen Milroe took off on a rush towards the endzone. The Wolverine defense thwarted his scramble, punching their ticket to the CFP National Championship. Michigan defeated Alabama 27-20.

“I’m appreciative of my coaching staff for believing in me to have the ball in my hands in that last play,” Milroe said. “I trusted the guys up front who believed in me on the last play to have the ball.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban noted that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees believed that a scramble would be their best option, it was one of their “two-point plays.”

“The ball was on the 3-yard line, which is just like a two-point play, but we didn’t get it blocked so it didn’t work,” Saban said. “They pressured and we thought they would pressure, but we thought we could gap them.”

Michigan edge rusher Derrick Moor (8) celebrates after sacking Milroe (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

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Jalen Milore endured six sacks and 10 tackles for loss to get the Crimson Tide a late lead.  He found success on the ground, making a 17-yard scramble five plays before halftime and an 18-yard run to start the fourth phase. He ultimately rushed for 63 net yards, 23 yards more than his average this season.

Regardless of the outcome of the Rose Bowl Game, Milroe noted how proud he was of the team’s effort.

Alabama cheerleaders perform a stunt (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

“[We] could have easily lingered and past mistakes, could have easily went in the tank when things weren’t good, but the biggest thing was we continued to improve,” Milroe said. “Continue to have singular focus in our approach when it came to preparation and when it came to attacking the tasks at hand.”

The redshirt sophomore spent last season as a backup signal caller to the current Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young. He played in seven games, making 31 throws for 297 yards and five touchdowns while making three interceptions.

Milroe made 23 touchdown passes this season (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

This season, Milroe had 2834 passing yards and 23 touchdowns along with 531 rushing yards for 12 touchdown runs.

“I think this season has been a learning experience for sure,” he said. ” Just to have my first year as a starter, to have such an uplifting background around me as far as my family, teammates, coaching staff.”

Michigan cheerleader rallies the crowd (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Milroe recently graduated cum laude with a degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. He maintained a 3.5 GPA while finishing his degree in three years. His efforts put him on the SEC Academic Honor Roll twice. Milroe has also been named on the President’s List and Dean’s List at Alabama.

“Everyone is pushed to be successful and everyone is like-minded in regards to being the best version of themselves every single time they come into the facility,” Milroe said. “That goes into football, that goes in academics.”

Alabama running back Jase McClellan (2) made 14 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Milroe started playing sports at four years old, he dabbled in basketball and baseball along with football. His father trained him up to play at the quarterback position.

“As I got older, it was just more like this is something I could see myself doing, something that I could provide for my own family one day,” Milroe said. “That is something that I’m passionate about, and I’ve got to applaud my dad for that.”

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) had 19 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown against Alabama (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

A native of Katy, Texas, Milroe was ranked 13th in his home state and 81st nationally in high school. He noted how Katy helped him get to Alabama.

“It’s a hard place to play in because you have a lot of good competition, you have a lot of guys that are inspired to play at the next level,” Milroe said. “With my family, when we moved to Katy, it was the best thing for me. I’m definitely appreciative of it, and I’ve got to thank the city of Katy because it got me to where I’m at right now.”

Michigan will battle the Washington Huskies in the National Championship (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Alabama finished with a 12-2 overall record. Saban praised his team for their commitment to improve during the season.

“This is one of the most amazing seasons in Alabama football history in terms of where this team came from, what they were able to accomplish and what they were able to do, winning the SEC Championship,” Saban said.  “Really, really proud of this group.”