Alabama head coach Nick Saban dances to Alabama's defensive theme song to the delight of his players after Alabama's Cotton Bowl college football semifinal playoff football win over Michigan State, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Vasha
Tim Williams could see it in their eyes.
After the Alabama front-seven got hit after hit on Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, Williams saw the Spartans offensive line's collective frustration. Billed as one of the nation's top offensive lines, Michigan State had no solution for stopping Alabama's pass rush.
Williams and the rest of Alabama's defense knew they were in the heads of Michigan State players. Cook was so rattled he was caught on the sidelines saying "they're f------ everywhere" about the Tide's swarming defense. Cook looked rattled and rushed throws out rather than take more hits.
"Every time we touched the quarterback or rattled him a little bit, we'd see the linemen clap their hands and shake their heads," Williams said. "They were really down every time we hit Connor.
"They were getting down. We just broke their will. That's what we strive on doing."
Alabama landed blow after blow on Michigan State in a 38-0 Cotton Bowl beatdown. It was the worst loss in more than a decade for the Spartans, with Alabama holding MSU to season lows in total yards, rushing yards and points. The Crimson Tide secured two interceptions and finished with four sacks. Alabama forced Cook, a projected high NFL Draft pick, into his worst game as the MSU starter.
"We made sure every time we hit him, he had to feel us," Williams said.
Alabama frustrated Michigan State all night but it truly took its toll on the Spartans in the third quarter. Cornerback Cyrus Jones delivered the dagger to the Spartans' hopes of winning.