ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The latest developments from the College Football Playoff national semifinal game between Alabama and Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl (all times local):
Alabama is going to play for its fourth national championship in the past seven seasons, after winning the Cotton Bowl 38-0 over Michigan State in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
The No. 2 Crimson Tide will play No. 1 Clemson in Arizona on Jan. 11.
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No team has won more AP national championships than Alabama’s nine. The Crimson Tide were national champs in 2009, 2011 and 2012, after having not won a title since 1992 before that.
After losing to Ohio State in a CFP semifinal last season, the Crimson Tide were all business in their second trip this season to AT&T Stadium. They started this season with a 35-17 win against Wisconsin, another Big Ten team, on Sept. 5.
Michigan State is close to being shut out for the first time in 196 games.
The Spartans just passed on a field goal chance with 4:29 left in the game, and Connor Cook threw an in completion on fourth down from the Crimson Tide 25. Michigan State has been in the red zone only once, and that ended with an interception near the goal line.
Cook is going to finish 34-5 as Michigan State’s starting quarter.
The last time Michigan State didn’t score in a game was in a 14-0 loss at Michigan in October 2000.
SCORE UPDATE: Alabama 38, Michigan St. 0
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry has his second touchdown in the College Football Playoff semifinal game, and his SEC-record 25th of the season.
Henry had an 11-yard scoring run with 7:52 left in the game, using a stiff-arm to push away 250-pound defensive end Shilique Calhoun in the backfield.
With Alabama fans already chanting “S-E-C!, S-E-C!”, they got even more excited when “Sweet Home Alabama” was played in the stadium.
Calvin Ridley has broken Alabama’s freshman receiving record that had been held by Amari Cooper.
Ridley was up to 1,031 yards for the season early in the fourth quarter, when he already had eight catches for 138 yards and Alabama was ahead 31-0. Ridley had two touchdown catches in the third quarter.
Cooper, the fourth overall pick in last year’s NFL draft, had 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman for the Tide.
Jake Coker has thrown for a career-best 286 yards. He is 25-for-30 passing.
Without a huge comeback in the fourth quarter by Michigan State, Alabama coach Nick Saban is going to improve to 9-0 against his former assistant coaches — and the Crimson Tide will be playing for their fourth national championship in seven seasons.
The only previous time Saban faced Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio was in the Capital One Bowl at the end of the 2010 season. The Crimson Tide beat Michigan State 49-7. That was the only season in a four-year span the Crimson Tide weren’t national champs between 2009-12.
The Spartans entered the fourth quarter of last season’s Cotton Bowl down 20 points before pulling out a 42-41 victory over Baylor.
SCORE UPDATE: Alabama 31, Michigan St. 0
Alabama is turning the Cotton Bowl into a rout.
Jake Coker threw a 50-yard TD pass to Calvin Ridley on the first play after a punt with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Coker is 24-of-29 passing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, both to Ridley in the third quarter. Ridley has seven catches for 132 yards.
SCORE UPDATE: Alabama 24, Michigan St. 0
Alabama is getting closer to a spot in the national championship game after Cyrus Jones’ 57-yard punt return for a touchdown with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
The Crimson Tide, the only team to get back to the four-team playoff this year, missed out on the title game last year after losing Ohio State in the a semifinal game at the Sugar Bowl.
The Buckeyes then advanced to the national championship game and beat Oregon in the same stadium Alabama is playing Michigan State.
New Year’s Eve with 82,812 in attendance at the building affectionately known as Jerry World.
While far from the size of the crowd filling Times Square, AT&T Stadium is full for the Cotton Bowl, which this year is a College Football Playoff semifinal for the first time.
The home of owner Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys last season hosted the first CFP national championship game. There were 85,689 in attendance for Ohio State’s victory over Oregon.
Michigan State still has negative yards rushing in the Cotton Bowl.
After going three-and-out on their opening drive of the second half, the Spartans have 15 carries for minus-5 yards.
In the SEC championship game against Florida, Alabama held the Gators to 15 yards on 21 carries.
SCORING UPDATE: Alabama 17, Michigan St. 0
A nice catch in the end zone for Alabama, and a reversal on replay for the touchdown.
Calvin Ridley made a two-handed grab near the side of the end zone, with cornerback Jermaine Edmondson reaching in. Officials initially ruled that Ridley was out of bounds, but changed that after review.
The 6-yard TD pass from Jake Coker ended a nine-play, 75-yard drive in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half.
The second half of the Cotton Bowl is underway, and Alabama or Michigan State is 30 minutes from advancing to play No. 1 Clemson in the national championship game Jan. 11.
Alabama has the ball to start the second half.
At halftime of the Cotton Bowl, Alabama quarterback Jake Coker is 16-of-20 passing for 177 yards and has been sacked only once.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry has 13 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown as the Crimson Tide lead 10-0 at halftime. Henry is the first SEC running back with over 2,000 yards in a season (2,024) as of halftime, and his 24th rushing touchdown broke his tie at 23 with Auburn’s Tre Mason and Florida’s Tim Tebow for the SEC single-season record.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, 34-4 as a starter, is 9 of 18 for 133 yards and an interception just before the break. He has been sacked three times.
Michigan State was driving for a possible score before halftime, but the possession ended when Cyrus Jones intercepted a pass just short of the goal line with 6 seconds left in the first half.
Connor Cook was trying to throw a pass to Aaron Burbridge. Jones reached up and made a two-handed snag for the pick, which came right after pass plays of 26 and 18 yards.
SCORING UPDATE: Alabama 10, Michigan State 0
Alabama’s Adam Griffith has kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:25 left in the first half.
Jake Coker took a hard hit and a flag was down, but there was no penalty.
Alabama gained 14 yards on Coker’s pass to O.J. Howard. After throwing the ball, Coker was hit by defensive lineman Malik McDowell.
After the play, the referee picked up the flag and said there was no roughing the passer since McDowell hit Coker in the chest.
Television replays showed that it was a hard, clean hit.
SCORING UPDATE: Alabama 7, Michigan State 0
Derrick Henry has scored on a 1-yard TD run for the first score in the Cotton Bowl.
It is Henry’s 24th rushing touchdown this season, breaking the SEC record. The Heisman Trophy winner was tied at 23 with Auburn’s Tre Mason and Florida’s Tim Tebow.
The touchdown came with 5:36 left in the first half, two plays after Jake Coker’s 50-yard pass to standout freshman Calvin Ridley to the 1.
Alabama gets to start its latest drive at the 20.
Michigan State punter Jake Hartbarger didn’t get the same kind of bounce on this kick after Michigan State faced fourth-and-15 from the Tide 47. The ball rolled into the end zone.
Could we be headed for a scoreless first half? Neither of these teams has gone into halftime of a game this season without scoring.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is the first SEC running back to go over 2,000 yards rushing in a season. He is the 19th FBS player to break that plateau.
Henry had nine carries for 30 yards through Alabama’s first drive of the second quarter.
That put him at 2,016 yards for the season — only hours before the start of 2016.
There is no score after one quarter at the Cotton Bowl.
It is the third time this season Michigan State has been in a scoreless game after the first quarter. The Spartans won the first two, at Michigan and Ohio State.
Alabama is scoreless after the first quarter for the fourth time. The Tide trailed Ole Miss 3-0 in what became a 43-37 loss, but were scoreless through 15 minutes against LSU and Mississippi State before winning those games by at least 14 points.
Now that was a good bounce for Michigan State.
Jake Hartbarger’s punt looked like it was headed for the end zone, but the ball hit just short of the goal line and bounced backward. It was downed by the Spartans at the 4.
That was ugly, and still a break for Alabama even though the Tide lost 13 yards.
Quarterback Jake Coker was trying to scramble away from trouble while holding the ball up when it slipped out of his hand. The ball fell into the legs of a Michigan State defender on the ground, but then got knocked out of bounds.
Alabama punted after an incompletion on the ensuing third-and-20 play.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry didn’t touch the ball on Alabama’s opening possession.
Freshman receiver Calvin Ridley got the ball the first two plays, on a reverse run and a short pass for a first down before a pass intended for him that got knocked down at the line. There was another reverse and a pass completion that lost a yard before the Crimson Tide punted.
Henry has an SEC-record 1,986 yards this season. His 23 rushing touchdowns tied an SEC record, and are the most in the nation.
Michigan State is starting the Cotton Bowl on offense after Alabama won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half.
Connor Cook is the winningest quarterback in Spartans history with a 34-4 record as the starter. That includes a 42-41 win over Baylor in last season’s Cotton Bowl, when he threw the game-winning TD with 10 second left to complete a three-touchdown comeback in the fourth quarter.
Next for the winner of the Cotton Bowl will be a Jan. 11 matchup against Clemson in the national championship game in Arizona.
Michigan State has never played the Tigers. Alabama hasn’t lost to them in more than a century.
Clemson won the first two games it played against Alabama — in 1904 and 1905. The Crimson Tide has won the last 12 games in the series, the last 34-10 in the 2008 regular-season opener in Atlanta.
Michigan State’s men’s basketball team has some prime seats for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Cotton Bowl — in the row closest to the field near the school’s band.
After the Spartans lost their Big Ten basketball opener at Iowa on Tuesday night, they were told they were flying to Minnesota for a few days in advance of their next game Saturday against the Golden Gophers. But players got a surprise on the plane when they found out they were instead going to Texas to see the Spartans play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.
Alabama’s Nick Saban and Spartans basketball coach Tom Izzo each became assistant coaches at Michigan State in 1983 and then head coaches in East Lansing in 1995. They are longtime friends, as are Izzo and current Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio.
The Cotton Bowl now will end closer to midnight — on the East Coast.
ESPN has exercised its option to push kickoff of the Cotton Bowl back 10 minutes. So kickoff is now set for 7:20 p.m. CT, or 8:20 p.m. ET.
With Alabama and Michigan State on the field warming up for the Cotton Bowl, fans filing into AT&T Stadium are getting to watch the Orange Bowl on the huge video boards that hang over the center of the field.
Fans for both teams are familiar with the $1.2 billion stadium that is home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
Alabama opened this season Sept. 5 with a 35-17 victory here over Wisconsin, another Big Ten team
Michigan State is spending the last day of 2015 where it spent the first. The Spartans beat Baylor 42-41 in the Cotton Bowl last New Year’s Day.
AP College Football website: http://collegefootball.ap.org