Alabama Crimson Tide Shuts Out Michigan State Spartans, 38-0

The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to a victory after shutting out the Michigan State Spartans 38-0. This is only the fourth shutout in the school's bowl history. 

Domination By Alabama's Defense

The Alabama defense proved why it is ranked at the top of almost every category. Alabama sacked Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook a total of four times, with Jonathan Allen credited with two of them. The Tide had more points than Michigan State had rushing yards, as Alabama's defense held the Spartans to only 29 yards on the ground.

The Tide forced Cook into throwing two interceptions after he only had five during the regular season. One of those came at a crucial time as Michigan State was driving down the field right before halftime. With the ball on the Alabama 12 yard line, Cook was eyeballing the receiver and defensive back Cyrus Jones would make the interception and take away the momentum the Spartans were gaining right before the half.

Connor Cook very rarely had a clean shot when throwing the ball. While he was sacked just four times, the Tide delivered big blows throughout the entirety of the game.

Michigan State Offense Falls Short While Alabama's Flourishes

While Michigan State's rushing offense was virtually nonexistent, the passing game put some pressure onto the Bama defense. The very first play of the game drew a pass interference call against Alabama, giving the Spartans a free first down. Connor Cook threw for 210 yards but was only 19-of-39 on pass attempts. 

Alabama quarterback Jake Coker had one of his best games of the season. He went 25-of-30 on pass attempts resulting in 286 yards. Calvin Ridley had a breakout game, with eight receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Ridley's biggest reception came in the second quarter when he made a 50-yard catch on the Michigan State one yard line. The drive ended with a touchdown by Derrick Henry but the catch by Ridley is what turned the momentum towards Alabama. 

Ridley wasn't finished as he hauled in six-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the second half, and then when the game was out of reach he caught another 50-yard pass, this time for a touchdown.

A Quiet Night For Heisman Winner Derrick Henry 

After a dominating season, Henry had a relatively quiet night with only 20 carries and 75 yards. Henry did have two touchdowns, extending his streak to 19 consecutive games with at least one touchdown. He also passed the milestone of 2,000 rushing yards in a single season. 

The Tide has been using Henry as a workhorse, relying on him to win games all season. However, this game showed they are more than just a team that runs the ball. With the next game coming on January 11, Henry will be extremely well rested to face Clemson

What's Next: College Football Playoff National  Championship Game

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be on January 11, 2016. Clemson and Alabama are the two teams left and will battle it out to become the next champion. Clemson had a convincing win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl with the final score being 37-17. Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson will look to lead his team to it's first national championship since 1981. 

 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America
 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America

Alabama will be looking to add it's fourth national title while under Nick Saban. Jake Coker and Derrick Henry will lead the offense while Reggie Ragland and company will anchor the defense against the very athletic Clemson quarterback. 

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium

When: January 11, 2016

Time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: ESPN

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