By (Kelly Ward)

DALLAS — The two teams meeting in the Cotton Bowl on Thursday haven’t played in three weeks. Both Alabama and Michigan State won their respective conference championship games and endured more than three weeks between that game and the semifinal.

The way teams respond and play in bowl games has a lot to do with mindset, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday.

“Teams that have responded to the challenge of what they want to do and what they want to accomplish seem to do a little better in terms of their preparation, their practice,” he said. “And some of the other teams, you’re always a little frustrated with in terms of how they’re going about the preparation and maybe respecting the moment of the challenge that they have.”

Alabama has lost its last two bowl games. Both bowls were the Sugar Bowl, and last year’s 42-35 loss to Ohio State in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinal left a bad taste in the team’s mouth.

“I’ve been pleased so far with the way this team has sort of gone about it,” Saban said. “So, hopefully — we’re playing against a good team. And as a coach, you always hope that they — you can get the team to play to the best of their capabilities. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to win, but certainly that’s what our goal is with our players.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports