Simply put, they play strong defense to take a little pressure off their offense that will end up scoring more points than the other team.
“We didn’t know if (Michigan State) would come with something different today”.
Things didn’t turn out well for Michigan State, however, as Alabama cruised to a 38-0 victory, ending the Spartans four-game bowl winning streak.
The win sends the Tide to the College Football Playoff national xhampionship game where they will play top-seeded Clemson on January 11. At the same time, I think it’s my responsibility to teach these guys the preparation that needs to happen to be successful in these bowl games.
The Tide took it but not the way it had done for so much of this season – at least offensively.
Jones added a high-stepping 57-yard punt return touchdown for the Tide, which hardly had to use Heisman Trophy victor Derrick Henry. Coker completed 25 of 30 attempts for 286 yards and two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl. That game featured the most successful active college football coach, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and Michigan State’s coach Mark Dantonio – who once served as an assistant coach to Saban at Michigan State. Freshman Calvin Ridley was brilliant, streaking by defenders on deep throws and outfighting them on jump balls.
He’s only had two other 100-yard receiving games, against Arkansas and Florida, but was able to meet the goal he set before the season began: have more than 1,000 receiving yards.
MSU’s previous season low was against MI in Week 7 when it ran 33 times for 58 yards.
Views: That’s a bit of a harsh assessment considering what the Spartans did just to get to the College Football Playoff. Michigan State could not get anything going on the ground against the Tide’s fierce front and the best drive of the first half, a furious eight-play drive in the final 90 seconds that reached the Alabama 12-yard line, ended in a Cyrus Jones interception – just Conner Cook’s second red zone interception of the season.
Top-ranked Clemson (14-0) also was impressive, beating No. 4 Oklahoma 37-17 in the first semifinal Thursday in the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. The defence did the rest, shutting down Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma’s prolific offence even after losing star defensive end Shaq Lawson to a knee injury early in the game. It was the Spartan’s fourth bowl win in as many seasons, which came after losses in their previous seven bowl games.
“It was going to be hard to run the ball, so we knew Jake was going to have to throw it and do a good job of it”, Saban said. “It was just a matter of when”.
Clemson was down a point at halftime to the University of Oklahoma, but scored three second-half touchdowns while keeping the Sooners from scoring, and won 31-17.
“For some reason, we were the underdog in the playoffs”, receiver Charone Peake said.
“No”, Drake said. “We were focusing on our game”. Can’t blame Coker for looking at Ridley first.
Watson certainly lived up to the hype of being a Heisman finalist, accounting for 332 yards and earning the offensive MVP award. Running behind defensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed, Henry punched it in for his SEC-record 24th touchdown, and with 5:36 left in the first half it was 7-0 Tide.
“Deshaun Watson is the best player in the country”.
“When you do the common things in an uncommon way, you command the attention of the world”, Swinney said. “This guy is special in every regard”.
With a powerful offensive line and a sturdy defense, they also ruined the first trip to Pasadena in 25 years for the Hawkeyes (12-2), who followed up their 12-0 regular season with two postseason losses. “It’s like a reward, because if you stop the run, you get to pass rush”. Running back Wayne Gallman ran for 150 yards and two scores. Saban has won three national titles in the last six years at Alabama, to go along with a BCS title at LSU.