By firstname.lastname@example.org (Kelly Ward)
DALLAS — Michigan State isn’t flashy. It doesn’t do neat little tricks and run a hurry-up like other teams. It’s fundamentally sound in all phases of the game and dares you to beat it.
Alabama will try that dare.
“I think that Michigan State is a team that obviously is hard to beat,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “And I think they do the things that you need to do to be hard to beat. They don’t turn the ball over. They have great balance on offense, players do a great job of executing, and they’re very well-coached. You go to the other side, their system on defense is very sound and solid and the players have a great understanding of it and do a great job of executing it.”
On the other side of it, No. 3 Michigan State has to contend with the second-ranked Crimson Tide.
“When you look at Alabama, first of all, they have very, very good players,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “Secondly, they’re extremely well-coached. They play very disciplined. Due to some of the people I’ve worked for, I understand technique, et cetera.”
Alabama leads the FBS in defensive efficiency, according to ESPN. It boasts the best run defense in the country, averaging 74 yards allowed per game.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide is led by Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry who has 23 rushing touchdowns and an SEC-record 1,986 yards rushing.
The passing attack averages 214 yards a game with Jake Coker completing nearly 66 percent of his 338 attempts.
“Great opportunity to be here today, but it will be a great challenge,” Dantonio said. “We’ll need to be at our best, play at our best because our best is going to be needed here.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports