Football Beats Michigan State 49-7 in the 2011 Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. - The No. 15 Alabama football team (10-3) beat No. 7 Michigan State (11-2) 49-7 in the Capital One Bowl Saturday.
"It was a great win for our team," UA head coach Nick Saban said. "We told the team before the game that they'd be defined by how they finished. I was pleased with how the players finished this game today. They really played well and dominated the game."
Alabama's defense was outstanding, shutting out the Spartans until the 5:45 mark in the fourth quarter and holding MSU to -48 rushing yards and just 171 yards overall. Junior linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who was voted the game's MVP, led the way for the Crimson Tide with a pair of sacks, five tackles, including three for a loss as well as forcing an MSU fumble.
Alabama amassed 546 total yards (275 rushing, 271 passing) on the day, the second-best total offense by the Tide in a bowl game, standing just behind the 586-yard output against Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl. The 49-7 victory ranks as the second-largest margin of victory by UA in a bowl game. The largest margin was in that same 61-6 win in the Orange Bowl win over Syracuse.
A total of five players scored UA's seven touchdowns, including a pair of rushing touchdowns by junior running back Mark Ingram. With those two, Ingram set a new school record for career rushing touchdowns with 42, breaking Shaun Alexander's 1996-99 mark of 41. Six of the Tide's seven touchdowns came on the ground, which is another UA bowl record. The previous record of four rushing TDs came last season in the BCS National Championship Game and the 1953 Orange Bowl.
Senior quarterback Greg McElroy threw for 220 yards in just more than one half of work, which was enough to set the school record for passing yards in a season with 2,987 yards, bettering John Parker Wilson's 2007 mark of 2,846 yards. Alabama's 28 points in the first half tied a Tide bowl record, matching the mark set in the 1983 Sun Bowl.
With the win, Alabama goes to 9-3 against AP top 10 teams over the last three seasons.