For the second year in a row, the Big Ten has a representative in the college football playoff. Last year, Ohio State took the world by storm and pulled off two upset victories to win the national championship. Michigan State faces that pressure as they will take on a very good Alabama team. Alabama is the early 9.5 point favorite and will have Heisman winner Derrick Henry going for them along with Ryan Kelly who just won the award for the nations top center. The most talked about matchup leading up to this game is going to be Henry against the Michigan St. run defense. MSU has the 7th best run defense in the nation, while Henry has rushed for at least 140 yards each game this season. Another thing to look out for in this game is Alabama’s big physical receivers against Michigan State’s banged up secondary that has had a lot of problems this season.Freshman Calvin Ridley is somebody to watch for Alabama as he has made huge strides all year. I wouldn’t count the Spartans out though as they have showed everyone that they can win big games when it matters. I can see the defense stepping up big and making this one a really close game. A healthy Connor Cook who is still nursing his shoulder injury might be the difference in this matchup.
Michigan State vs. Alabama Preview