3 Michigan State Spartans 0-0-0-0 — 0
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 0-10-21-7 — 38
Alabama is headed to the national title game to face Clemson. The Crimson Tide dominated the Spartans as the Michigan State offense was suffocated by Alabama’s defense.
Fans saw a more polished passing offense from Alabama than they have displayed all season. After a slow start by both offenses, the Alabama offense opened things up in the second half with 28 points.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry had a relatively quiet night by his standards with 75 rushing yards but did score two touchdowns.
Here is how Alabama won the Cotton Bowl:
Alabama Did Not Give the Ball to Derrick Henry on the First Offensive Series
It has not been uncommon for Alabama to give Derrick Henry the ball 40 or more times a game. It was a surprise when the Crimson Tide opened up the game by not giving Henry a single carry.
A Long Pass to Calvin Ridley Set Up a Touchdown for the Crimson Tide
It was a low scoring first half, but Jake Coker connected with Calvin Ridley on a 50-yard pass in the second quarter. It set up a short touchdown run by Derrick Henry and Alabama took a 7-0 lead.
Ridley Came Up With an Amazing Touchdown Reception
The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass but after review it was changed to a touchdown. It was an impressive grab by Ridley and gave Alabama a 17-0 lead midway through the third quarter. It would be the start of the route the Crimson Tide put on the Spartans in the second half.