Top Performers: Bama's Cooper, L'ville's Holliman, Michigan State's Shelton
Few expected Saturday’s 99-point Iron Bowl shootout -- the highest in the rivalry’s history -- but many anticipated Alabama receiver Amari Cooper’s number would be called at some point. Cooper topped 200 receiving yards for the third time this season, tying his school record of 224 yards set against Tennessee on Oct. 25, as the top-ranked Tide managed a 55-44 win against No. 15 Auburn. After being held to just 60 yards in the first half, Cooper exploded in the second half, catching seven balls for 164 yards and two scores. Alabama heads to the Atlanta to take on No. 17 Missouri in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday.
With less than a minute remaining in Saturday’s game, Louisville safety Gerod Holliman picked off a Patrick Towles pass and returned it 65 yards to the Kentucky 2-yard line, tripped up just short of the end zone. The gift-wrapped return set up a Brandon Radcliff scamper to seal the hard fought 44-40 win against the Wildcats. Holliman’s interception tied the NCAA single-season record at 14.
Michigan State's R.J. Shelton fielded the opening squib kick and sprinted 90 yards through flailing defenders for a touchdown, silencing Beaver Stadium in the process. Michigan State would prove too powerful for Penn State, which didn’t score its first touchdown until the third quarter. In the end, Shelton and the No. 10 Spartans ran away with the 34-10 victory. With Ohio State and Wisconsin set to duel in the Big Ten championship game, Michigan State now awaits a bowl game invitation.