Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Bowl Game Notes

This is the seventh Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic to be played at AT&T Stadium.

Derrick Henry is the ninth player to win the Heisman Trophy and compete in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in the same season. The other Heisman winners were Doak Walker (SMU, 1948 Heisman, 1949 CBC), Roger Staubach (Navy, 1963, 1964), Earl Campbell (Texas, 1977, 1978), Doug Flutie (Boston College, 1984, 1985), Bob Jackson (Auburn, 1985, 1986), Tim Brown (Notre Dame, 1987, 1988), Ricky Williams (Texas, 1998, 1999) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M, 2012, 2013) HENRY FINISHED THE GAME WITH 75 YARDS ON 20 CARRIES AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS RUSHING.

First Quarter Game Notes
The last time the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic had a scoreless first quarter was on January 2, 2010 with Ole Miss and Oklahoma State the participants. The final score of the game was Ole Miss 21, Oklahoma State 7.

The scoreless first quarter is the third in the 2015-2016 post-season. The others were San Jose State/Georgia State (Cure Bowl) and Wisconsin/USC (Holiday Bowl).

Alabama won the coin toss and deferred to the second-half. The Crimson Tide has won the coin toss in eight of their 14 games this season (7-0 record when winning the coin toss).

Michigan State (drive started at 15:00 in first quarter) earned a first down on their first play due to a penalty. The next three plays were rushes for six total yards before punting.

Alabama (drive started at 12:41) failed to score on its first drive as the Crimson Tide produced only four scoring drives on their opening series in 14 games. Alabama passed four times (three completions) on their first drive with one rush for a total of 19 yards (12 passing, seven rushing).

Michigan State's (drive started at 10:25 in first quarter) second series started with another first-down success with 14-yard completion. The Spartans next three plays resulted in no yards (two passes and a rush). Michigan State is now 0-2 on third-down plays.

Alabama (drive started at 8:15 in first quarter) netted one first down and one total yard (five plays) on its second drive. Bama is now 0-2 on third down plays.

Michigan State (drive started at 5:58 in first quarter). The 30-yard pass completion was the 27th this season for the Spartans that was 30 or more yards. Michigan State's third drive was 6 plays, 20 yards. The Spartans are now 1-for-4 on third-down plays.

On first down plays, Michigan State has gained 19 yards on five first down plays (17 passing, two rushing). Alabama has 21 yards on six first down plays (six passing, 15 rushing).

Second Quarter Game Notes
The team scoring first has won the last four Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classics. Overall, the team scoring first has won 44 of the past 79 CBC.

This is the lowest scoring first-half of the bowl season with two 10-7 previously in the 2015-2016 post-season.

Alabama's third drive (started with 2:31 left in the first quarter) resulted in a 14-play, 55-yard possession with one successful third-down play. Bama, who had four first downs on the drive, is now 1-for-5 on third down plays. The drive ended at the Michigan State 42-yard line.

Michigan State's fourth drive started with 10:48 left in the second quarter. The Spartans had three first downs, two by penalty. The drive was a 7-play, 33-yard possession. The Spartans reached the Baba 47- yard line. Michigan State is now 2-for-6 on third-down plays. The Spartans average field position to start a drive is their own 21 with one three-and-out.

Alabama's fourth drive (started with 8:14 left in the second quarter) resulted in a 6-play, 80-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 50-yard first down pass completion from Jake Coker to Calvin Ridley. Derrick Henry scored on a 1-yard run with 5:36 left in the second quarter. The drive lasted 2:38 with third first downs and one successful third-down play. Bama's average field position to start a drive is their own 18. Prior to the drive, Alabama had run 24 plays for 75 yards in three drives. Henry's TD set the SEC single- season record of 24 rushing touchdowns. Henry has now scored in 19 consecutive games – the longest in SEC history.

Michigan State's fifth drive started at 5:36 left in the second quarter. With the kickoff out-of-bounds, Michigan State will have its best starting position at the 35. The previous four drives started at its own 25, 5, 32 and 20. The drive resulted in the Spartans second 3-and-out of the game. Michigan State is now 2-for-7 on third down plays. For their first five drives, Michigan State has compiled 61 yards (-1 rushing, 62 passing) for 23 plays.

Alabama's fifth drive started at 4:04 left in the second quarter. Highlighted by a 41-yard pass from Jake Coker to O. J. Howard, Alabama used a 47-yard field goal by Adam Griffith to take a 10-0 lead with 1:25 left in the first-half. The scoring drive was 7 plays, 43 yards in 2:39 with two first downs. Bama's last two drives have netted 123 yards (13 plays). The 47-yard field goal is the longest to day in CFP history (4-plus games

Michigan State's sixth drive started at 1:25 left in the first half. Starting at their own 25, the Spartans drove to the Alabama 12 before Connor Cook was intercepted by Cyrus Jones at the UA1 and returned to the UA22. The drive was the best of the half for the Spartans – 8 plays, 63 yards, four first downs. THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME IN MICHIGAN STATE'S LAST SIX BOWL GAMES THAT THEY HAVE BEEN SHUTOUT IN THE FIRST HALF.

Alabama's sixth drive (started with five seconds in the half) resulted in one play for five yards.


Third Quarter Game Notes
After deferring to the second half, Alabama received the kickoff and started its seventh drive of the game with 15:00 minutes left in the quarter from its own 25. Bama drives 75 yards in nine plays to score in 4:24 to take a 17-0 lead. Jake Coker was 5-for-5 on the drive for 47 yards heighted by a 6-yard scoring toss to Calvin Ridley with 10:36 left in the third quarter. The drive included three first downs and 1-for-1 on third-down conversions. NOT COUNTING THE LAST DRIVE OF THE FIRST-HALF, Alabama has scored on its last three "real"; drives. That is 22 plays for 198 yards.

Michigan State's seventh drive of the evening and first of the second half started at 10:36 on its own 25. The drive ended in the Spartans' third 3-and-out of the game -3 plays, 5 yards (four yards rushing).

Alabama's second drive of the second half and eighth of the game, Bama starts at their own 26 with 8:34 left in the third quarter. An illegal block "hurt"; Bama on the drive as Derrick Henry had his best two rushes of the night of 14 and 11 yards. The 3:57 drive featured seven plays, 15 yards, two first downs and the penalty that cancelled a 13-yard rush by Henry. The Heisman Trophy winner now has 18 carries for 65 yards (3.6 yards per carry).

Michigan State's eighth drive of the evening started at 4:37 left in the third quarter at their own 15. The Spartans average field position to start a drive is their own 23. The drive started with a penalty (false start). The drive ended with an intentional grounding call on Connor Cook. After the penalty, Jake Hartbarger's 54-yard punt was returned 57 yards by Cyrus Jones for a score. With Adam Griffin's extra point, Bama leads 24-0 with 3:24 left in the third quarter. It is the first punt return for a touchdown in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic since 2012 when Joe Adams scored on a 51-yard return at the start of the second quarter for Arkansas against Kansas State. The drive for MSU was three plays, -12 yards. Cyrus Jones is the only FBS player in the past 20 seasons to record a punt return TD and an interception in a bowl game.

Michigan State's ninth drive of the game started at 3:19 at their own 22. The drive resulted in the fourth 3-and-out for the Spartans.

Alabama's ninth drive of the night started with 2:29 left in the quarter at mid-field. The drive lasted one play as Jake Coker hit Calvin Ridley on a 50-yard scoring play with 2:20 left in the third quarter to give

Bama a 31-0 lead. It was the second scoring play for Coker to Ridley in the quarter game. Coker also has a season-high for passing yards with 280 (24-of-29).

With Michigan State starting the last drive of the third quarter, tonight's Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic marks the first time since 2005 that one team has been held scoreless through three quarters. Texas A&M failed to score in the first third periods as Tennessee led 38-0 at the end of three quarters. The Aggies won the fourth quarter 7-0 as Earvin Taylor scored a 5-yard pass from Reggie McNeal.

Through three quarters, Alabama has 344 total yards and Michigan State has 142 (4 yards rushing).

Fourth Quarter Game Notes
Michigan State's 10th drive of the night started 2:20 left in the third quarter at the Spartan 25. After three first downs and reaching the Alabama 34, Michigan State could not continue drive and failed on a fourthdown conversion try. The 10-play, 47-yard drive consumed 4:01 on the clock.

Alabama's 10th drive starts with 13:19 left in the fourth quarter at its 28. The drive resulted in Bama's first 3-and-out of the evening.
Michigan State's 11th drive (fifth of the second half and first drive to start in the fourth quarter) starts with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter at the Spartan 14. The 3-play, 9-yard drive was the sixth 3-and-out for Michigan State in the game.

Alabama's 11th drive start at 9:30 left in the fourth quarter at Bama's 31. Alabama scored in three plays as the 69-yard drive ended with an 11-yard TD run by Derrick Henry, who now has 75 yards in 20 carries with two scores. He has a SEC record 25 TDs rushing this season. During the drive, Kenyan Drake had a 58-yard run. Alabama has three plays of 50 yards or longer in the game. Each came on first down.

Michigan State starts drive No. 12 at 7:52 left in the game at their own 25. For the second-time in the game, the Spartans mustered an extended drive that ended at the UA 24. The 7-play, 51-yard drive ended with another failed fourth-down conversion try.

Bama drive No. 12 started with 4:29 left in the game at the Alabama 24 with Cooper Bateman at QB. The drive was a 5-play, 19-yard effort.

Michigan State drive No. 13 started with 1:16 left in the game at the Spartan 20. The 5-play, 24-yard drive ended with an interception by Dillion Lee of a Connor Cook pass.

Alabama had a team loss of 1-yard on the final player of the game.

Michigan State had a season-low of 239 total yards (210 passing, 29 rushing) on offense while yielding 440, the second-most yielded this season by the Spartan defense.

The last time Michigan State was shutout was in 2000 against Michigan (14-0) at Ann Arbor.

The last time a school was shutout in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic was in 1963 when LSU blanked Texas 13-0. This is the fourth shutout victory in CBC history. The 1959 CBC game was a 0-0 tie between TCU and Air Force.

Alabama posted a 49-7 win over Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

This is the first shutout in a bowl game since 2012 when Alabama shutout LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship Game...140 post-season games ago.

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