ARLINGTON, Texas — All week leading up to Thursday’s Cotton Bowl, Alabama brimmed with confidence and focus. But 38-0? Over the Big Ten champions?
“There was a point, man, I was shocked,” tight end O.J. Howard said of the Crimson Tide’s beatdown of Michigan State. “I was like, man, I can’t believe we’re doing this, but let’s keep pouring it on. Let’s show the world what we really can do.”
The show had to be scary for Alabama’s national championship opponent, Clemson.
Howard was part of a previously tame passing attack that racked up 286 yards. The defense allowed just 29 yards on the ground, and Cyrus Jones added a 57-yard punt return on special teams.
Howard said the game was over in the third quarter, when Calvin Ridley hauled in a 50-yard bomb from Jake Coker to go up, 31-0.
“He was open, man, so I knew he was gonna catch it,” Howard said. “That was incredible.”