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Alabama’s Crimson Tide close in toward another national title

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Does the University of Alabama have any room left in its trophy case?

Yes, from the way the Crimson Tide looked in a 38-0 walloping of Michigan State in the College Football Playoff Semifinals on Thursday night. It brought Alabama coach Nick Saban within a week of his fifth national championship game.

Of course, the Tide would have to beat the unbeaten Clemson Tigers in next week’s title game.

Few schools have won the way the Tide has won, however, with Saban taking up where legendary Bear Bryant left off. Bryant won either five or six national titles, depending upon who is doing the counting.

This time, Alabama didn’t lean on Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Henry had only 75 yards on 20 carries.

But FSU transfer Jacob Coker had one of his best nights, completing 25 of 30 passes for 286 yards and two scores. Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 138 yards and both touchdowns.

The stars of the evening, however, played for the Alabama defense, which treated Michigan State like it was, oh, Mississippi State. The Spartans rushed for only 26 yards on only 29 carries. Connor Cook threw for 210 yards but was intercepted twice.

“I think last year, we participated in the game,” Saban said. “This year, we wanted to make a statement.”

The Tide scored only one touchdown in the first half and needed an interception to hold onto a 10-0 halftime lead. But then Alabama scored 21 points in the third period.

The Alabama-Clemson game will be played Monday night in Phoenix.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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