Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Alabama Dons Full Pads

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Macatee/CBAA

The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide got down to business for its College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic with a two-hour practice in full pads on the AT&T Stadium turf in Arlington.

The Crimson Tide (12-1, 8-1 SEC) held a spirited workout in preparation for its New Year’s Eve matchup with the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten).

“Practice has been going well,” said C Ryan Kelly. “This is a team with a honed vision of what we want when we started this a long time ago when we dreamed of getting here. So, now that we are here, we can’t be lackadaisical about how we go about our approach. We’re treating this like a regular week.”

Part of Alabama’s vision in recent history has been success playing away from home, especially in domed stadiums. The Tide is 19-7-1 (.704) in domed stadiums, including a 10-2 mark since 2009 and 11-4 during Coach Nick Saban’s tenure.

“Our team plays pretty well on the road and I’m sure Michigan State travels well,” said Kelly. “We’re in pretty good shape getting to practice all week indoors. But, it shouldn’t really have an effect on how we play, whether it’s outside or inside. This is where we started our journey this season. We played really well here in the first game so we want to keep that going in this game.”

After practice, the team headed back to its headquarters hotel for a restful afternoon before enjoying a private team outing. Alabama is back on the practice field at AT&T Stadium on Monday morning. Prior to the Tide’s third practice in North Texas, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart along with LB Denzel Devall, DB Eddie Jackson, LB Reggie Ragland, DL Jarran Reed and DL A’Shawn Robinson take their turn addressing the media.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic celebrates its 80th anniversary on New Year’s Eve while hosting its first College Football Playoff Semifinal. Airtime on ESPN is set for 7 p.m. CST, with kickoff slated for 7:10 p.m.

This marks the second year for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to be a part of ESPN’s bowl lineup. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will provide the call from the booth with Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi reporting from the sideline.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner for the fourth consecutive year. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Danny Kanell in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons on the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This is Sham's 19th consecutive year as the Classic's play-by-play voice and his 23rd overall.

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