Dec. 22, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team practiced early Tuesday morning, wearing shells for its 90-minute session inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. The coaches and players will now take a three-day break to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, using today to travel home.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone out there a happy holiday,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “We have a lot of fans, people who support the program, and folks out there celebrating the holidays with people that they have relationships with – whether it’s family or friends. These times with family and friends are certainly something that we should be very, very thankful for, and we should be sure to count our blessings.”
Tuesday marked the final practice in Tuscaloosa as the team will use Tuesday afternoon to travel home to family. Following the three-day layoff, the Crimson Tide will head to Arlington, Texas, to begin practice preparations for Michigan State, the Tide’s opponent in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The Crimson Tide and Spartans will square off to determine who will make it to the national championship game in Arizona, with kickoff for final four contest set for 7:10 p.m. CT inside AT&T Stadium, home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The game will air live on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox on the call.
Alabama and Michigan State will meet for the second time in the history of the two storied programs, with the first and only matchup coming in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. In that game on New Year’s Day, UA ran away with a 49-7 victory over the Spartans, collecting 546 yards of total offense and stopping the MSU rushing attack for negative yards.
The Spartans are 12-1 overall and claimed the Big Ten Conference championship with a last-second win over then-No. 4 Iowa in the conference’s championship game. Michigan State’s victory over previously unbeaten Iowa propelled the Spartans into the top four of the rankings and the College Football Playoff Semifinal. MSU won its first eight games of the year before falling at Nebraska, 39-38. The Spartans bounced back with three straight wins to close out the regular season, highlighted by a last-second 17-14 win over Ohio State.
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