Both Alabama and Michigan State finished the regular season with 12–1 records. Alabama concluded its season by defeating Florida in the SEC title game. Michigan State ended Iowa’s playoff hopes in the Big 10 conference championship.
The Spartans’ defense will have to find a way to stop Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who finished the regular season with 1,986 yards and 23 touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry. The Alabama defense looks to continue its dominance as it limited opponents to 74 rushing yards per game and just 2.4 yards per carry.
Spartans quarterback Connor Cook expects to be fully healthy for the game against Alabama. He injured his throwing shoulder slightly in a win over Maryland. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns and five interceptions this season.
How to watch
Details for Thursday’s game are below.
Sept. 4: at Western Michigan (W, 37–24)
Sept. 12: vs. Oregon (W, 31–28)
Sept. 19: vs. Air Force (W, 35–21)
Sept. 26: vs. Central Michigan (W, 30–10)
Oct. 3: vs. Purdue (W, 24–21)
Oct. 10: at Rutgers (W, 31–24)
Oct. 17: at Michigan (W, 27–23)
Oct. 24: vs. Indiana (W, 52–26)
Nov. 7: at Nebraska (L, 39–38)
Nov. 14: vs. Maryland (W, 24–7)
Nov. 21: at Ohio State (W, 17–14)
Nov. 28: vs. Penn State (W, 55–16)
Dec. 5: at Iowa (8:17 p.m. ET, Fox)
Sept. 5: vs. Wisconsin (W, 35–17)
Sept. 12: vs. Middle Tennessee (W, 37–10)
Sept. 19: vs. Ole Miss (L, 43–37)
Sept. 26: vs. UL-Monroe (W, 34–0)
Oct. 3: at Georgia (W, 38–10)
Oct. 10: vs. Arkansas (W, 27–14)
Oct. 17: at Texas A&M (W, 41–23)
Oct. 24: vs. Tennessee (W, 19–14)
Nov. 7: vs. LSU (W, 30–16)
Nov. 21: vs. Charleston Southern (W, 56–6)
Nov. 28: at Auburn (W, 29–13)
Dec. 5: vs. Florida (4 p.m. ET, CBS)