At the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, Alabama has struck first, converting a couple of third-and-short situations against the Michigan State defense. Running back Mark Ingram shoved his way into the end zone, and the Crimson Tide lead, 7-0.
The Spartans mounted an impressive goal-line stand at the end of the game's opening drive. Alabama earned a first down at Michigan State's three-yard line, but it took the Tide three tries to find a way into the end zone.
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy was perfect on his opening drive, completing all four pass attempts for 48 yards. Michigan State has been tough against the run, however, as Alabama rushed nine times with four different backs and managed only 26 yards.
With about six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Michigan State takes possession for the first time.