After being upset by Ohio State last year in the playoff semifinal, Alabama was determined to take care of unfinished business against Michigan State on Thursday, December 31, reported nytimes.com.
Alabama earned a place in its fourth national title game since 2009 by blowing out Michigan State 38-0 on Thursday night in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The Crimson Tide will now face Clemson in the College Football Championship Sunday, January 11, stated si.com.
“Last year, we were just happy to take part in this game,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban stated, indicating the semifinal round. “The focus for this game was completely different than any game we’ve had. The team learned a lot from what happened to them.”
Alabama quarterback, Jake Coker played one of the most important games of his career, hooking up with wide receiver Calvin Ridley for two touchdowns, and going 25-for-30 for his career-best 286 yards. To beat Alabama, Michigan State stacked their defense to stop Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry from putting on a performance, but Alabama relied on their passing game to get it done for them, and they did just that, wrote washingtontimes.com.
Some Spartans boldly raised four fingers, mostly to declare that they would not quit the fourth quarter. However, it was too late; the Crimson Tide celebration was already full-throated through the crowd of 82,812, according to nytimes.com.
“First time in a while we’ve had this happen to us,” Spartans Coach Mark Dantonio explained, enumerating: “Any way you cut it, if we were sitting here and lost by 5 points, people might be saying nice things about you. But we wouldn’t feel any better.”
Michigan State embodied its role as the underdog, and came in expecting to put up a fight with the Tide and it suppressing defense and hammering Heisman winner. Before the game, the Spartans offensive line watched a video of the 1971 Ali-Frazier fight to assemble for what it expected to be a 15-round heavyweight bout. Instead it was just a TKO, explained huffingtonpost.com.