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College Football Playoff Semifinals Recap
- Updated: January 1, 2016
And then there was two. Four teams went at it in to College Football Playoff Semifinal games New Years Eve for a shot at the National Championship in Arizona. Here are the recaps for both games.
1.Clemson 37-4.Oklahoma 17: Clemson, a team once known for such inexplicable stumbles that a derisive term was coined for them, is headed to the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T with a still-perfect record after a 37-17 smackdown of Oklahoma on Thursday in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl. The Tigers have won 17 straight games, the longest active win streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision and tied for the second-longest in ACC history. Quarterback Deshaun Watson turned in another stellar all-around performance by beating the Sooners with his arm and his legs. Watson threw for 16-31 for 187 yards with one TD and INT each, while rushing for 145 yards with one TD.
3. Michigan State 0-2.Alabama 38: Nick Saban said he saw something in his team going into the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic that he had never seen before. Michigan State claimed it was ready for a 15-round brawl, but the Tide knocked out the Spartans early on Thursday night like a nonconference cupcake. No. 2 Alabama 38, No. 3 Michigan State 0. It was the largest shutout in Cotton Bowl history. “I think last year when we came to this game, we were just happy to take part in the game,” said Saban, who improved to 9-0 against his former assistants, with all nine wins coming by double digits. “I think this year we wanted to sort of take the game and really thought our guys had a vision of what they wanted and everybody paid the price for what they had to do in preparation.” Jake Coker played the game of his career, including connecting with Calvin Ridley for two touchdowns and going 25-for-30 for a career-best 286 yards.
Alabama (13-1) will face No. 1 Clemson (14-0) on Jan. 11 in Arizona looking for its fourth national title in nine seasons under Saban, while Clemson seeks it’s first since 1981.