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Alabama Shuts Out Michigan State in Cotton Bowl

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

No. 2 Alabama was in championship form in the Cotton Bowl, shutting out No. 3 Michigan State, 38-0, and punching its ticket into the national title game. Quarterback Jake Coker completed 25-of-30 passes for a career-high 286 yards, including two long touchdowns to freshman receiver Calvin Ridley. With the Spartans bent on stopping the Alabama running game, Heisman winner Derrick Henry rushed for just 75 yards but found the end zone twice.

But Alabama’s dominant defense was the story of the night. The Crimson Tide limited Michigan State to just 239 total yards and held the Spartan running game to just 1.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Connor Cook was harassed all night and held to just 19-of-39 for 210 yards and two interceptions. Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones notched one of those picks and later returned a punt for a score, making him the first player in 20 years to have an interception and a punt return touchdown in a bowl game.

The Crimson Tide will face off with No. 1 Clemson in the national championship game in Glendale, AZ on Jan. 11.

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