By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — 8:47 p.m.
Michigan State was driving for a possible score before halftime, but the possession ended when Cyrus Jones intercepted a pass just short of the goal line with 6 seconds left in the first half.
Connor Cook was trying to throw a pass to Aaron Burbridge. Jones reached up and made a two-handed snag for the pick, which came right after pass plays of 26 and 18 yards.
SCORING UPDATE: Alabama 10, Michigan State 0
Alabama’s Adam Griffith has kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:25 left in the first half.
Jake Coker took a hard hit and a flag was down, but there was no penalty.
Alabama gained 14 yards on Coker’s pass to O.J. Howard. After throwing the ball, Coker was hit by defensive lineman Malik McDowell.
After the play, the referee picked up the flag and said there was no roughing the passer since McDowell hit Coker in the chest.
Television replays showed that it was a hard, clean hit.
SCORING UPDATE: Alabama 7, Michigan State 0
Derrick Henry has scored on a 1-yard TD run for the first score in the Cotton Bowl.
It is Henry’s 24th rushing touchdown this season, breaking the SEC record. The Heisman Trophy winner was tied at 23 with Auburn’s Tre Mason and Florida’s Tim Tebow.
The touchdown came with 5:36 left in the first half, two plays after Jake Coker’s 50-yard pass to standout freshman Calvin Ridley to the 1.
Alabama gets to start its latest drive at the 20.
Michigan State punter Jake Hartbarger didn’t get the same kind of bounce on this kick after Michigan State faced fourth-and-15 from the Tide 47. The ball rolled into the end zone.
Could we be headed for a scoreless first half? Neither of these teams has gone into halftime of a game this season without scoring.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is the first SEC running back to go over 2,000 yards rushing in a season. He is the 19th FBS player to break that plateau.
Henry had nine carries for 30 yards through Alabama’s first drive of the second quarter.
That put him at 2,016 yards for the season — only hours before the start of 2016.
There is no score after one quarter at the Cotton Bowl.
It is the third time this season Michigan State has been in a scoreless game after the first quarter. The Spartans won the first two, at Michigan and Ohio State.
Alabama is scoreless after the first quarter for the fourth time. The Tide trailed Ole Miss 3-0 in what became a 43-37 loss, but were scoreless through 15 minutes against LSU and Mississippi State before winning those games by at least 14 points.
Now that was a good bounce for Michigan State.
Jake Hartbarger’s punt looked like it was headed for the end zone, but the ball hit just short of the goal line and bounced backward. It was downed by the Spartans at the 4.
That was ugly, and still a break for Alabama even though the Tide lost 13 yards.
Quarterback Jake Coker was trying to scramble away from trouble while holding the ball up when it slipped out of his hand. The ball fell into the legs of a Michigan State defender on the ground, but then got knocked out of bounds.
Alabama punted after an incompletion on the ensuing third-and-20 play.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry didn’t touch the ball on Alabama’s opening possession.
Freshman receiver Calvin Ridley got the ball the first two plays, on a reverse run and a short pass for a first down before a pass intended for him that got knocked down at the line. There was another reverse and a pass completion that lost a yard before the Crimson Tide punted.
Henry has an SEC-record 1,986 yards this season. His 23 rushing touchdowns tied an SEC record, and are the most in the nation.
Michigan State is starting the Cotton Bowl on offense after Alabama won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half.