The Michigan State football program had a great regular season, going 11-1 and winning a share of the Big Ten title. Spartan fans will want to forget the 2011 Capital One Bowl, though. The Spartans went up against a talented Alabama football team and were absolutely annihilated by the Crimson Tide. Alabama won by a score of 49-7, and things were so one-sided that the Crimson Tide started pulling their starters early on in the third quarter.
This was a rout from start to finish. Mark Ingram scored from a yard out in the first quarter to cap off a 13-play drive that got this game started for Alabama. Ingram added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter, as did Trent Richardson and Julio Jones (he scored on a reverse from 35 yards out).
In the third quarter, after a quick three and out by the Spartans, Alabama went 79 yards in only four plays and scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Marquis Maze. After this drive Alabama took out many of its starters, including quarterback Greg McLeroy, but that didn't stop the Crimson Tide from scoring more points. Eddie Lacy scored near the end of the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run, and in the fourth he had a 62-yard touchdown scamper. Alabama led 49-0 after Lacy's second score, as MSU couldn't even stop the Crimson Tide's backups.
Michigan State finally got on the board with a touchdown pass in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter. Keith Nichol threw a 49-yard pass to Bennie Fowler for a score to at least give MSU some points. The final score ended up being 49-7, though, and the Capital One Bowl was over before it really even had a chance to begin for the Spartans.
This loss drops MSU to 11-2 on the season. Although this ugly loss to Alabama will be tough to swallow for many Spartan fans, it is important to remember that they had a very good regular season and won their first Big Ten title in 20 years. Obviously the talent isn't there to compete with the Alabamas of the world just yet, but this season was a big building block for the future under Mark Dantonio, no matter what happened today in Orlando.