Sunday, December 27th, 2015

MSU Has Eye on Tide

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Macatee/CBAA

Even as he prepares for the biggest game of his career, Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio had the Dallas-area storm victims on his mind Sunday.

At least 11 people died, many others were injured and hundreds of homes were damaged when tornadoes tore through nearby cities Saturday evening. It was the first thought Dantonio shared Sunday after completing the team’s second practice for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the people that are affected by the tornadoes,” Dantonio said. “It’s a tragedy. It puts things into perspective.”

The Spartans were finishing their Saturday practice and then riding in buses back to the team hotel and were not in the twisters’ vicinity when the tornadoes hit well east of AT&T Stadium.

Michigan State (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten), third in the CFP rankings, is getting ready to play No. 2 Alabama (12-1, 8-1 SEC) on Thursday, Dec. 31. The Spartans returned to AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon and worked in full pads for 2½ hours. Dantonio structured it like a typical mid-week practice during the regular season when games are played on Saturday.

“We work on situations, goal line a little bit, different situations and all the things you have to work on,” Dantonio said. “And you continue to work on base things.”

“We’re preparing for a game but basically you’re looking at 13 games and trying to say, ‘OK, this is what [Alabama has] done for 13 games. This is a lot of stuff to try and get ready for.’ Then things multiply when you have a various amount of defenses. You’re teaching technique and everything but you’re also teaching concepts as well.”

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.

Toll Free: 888-792-BOWL (2695)
One AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011

Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2018. Cotton Bowl Classic. All rights reserved. Design and development by Blythe Spirit Design and Development.