ORLANDO, Fla. | The University of Alabama found what it been looking for all season long on Saturday — which was bad, bad news for Michigan State.
The Crimson Tide finally put together the 60-minute performance it had been seeking all season and the result was a 49-7 crushing of Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl on Saturday. Alabama dominated both lines of scrimmage from the outset, scored touchdowns on its first five possessions and finished with its most one-sided bowl win since a 61-6 drubbing of Syracuse nearly 60 years ago.
“We were outcoached, we were outplayed and that’s just the way it is,” said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio.
“Sometimes there’s an avalanche that comes upon you.”
Among many school records set by the Crimson Tide, perhaps the most impressive was the fact it held Michigan State — a team who was described by UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart as “stubbornly committed to the run” — to a minus-42 yards on the ground. In the process, UA knocked two Michigan State quarterbacks out of the game.
“I would say our quarterbacks got hit 15 or 20 times today, easily,” Dantonio said. “If that’s happen, it takes effect on you after a while.”
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama’s junior linebacker and the game’s Most Valuable Player, led the way with five stops, all in the Michigan State backfield.
“Dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides was the real key,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “We wanted to define this team as winners and I think with this season, we did that.