For all of the preseason and pregame hype, the first every Cowboy Classic in Dallas ended up as nothing more than another top-10 mismatch for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The eighth-ranked Michigan Wolverines had little to fight with against the 'Bama machine, and as the final seconds mercifully ticked off the first-half game clock, the 31-7 Alabama lead was the result of five simple plays.
Football has always been a game of inches, one where the entire complexion of a contest can be turned on a dime. As Alabama meticulously pounded Michigan into first-half submission, this was the case once again. Sure, it was a dominant performance all around, but the story of this game was execution. Simply, Alabama did and Michigan did not.
Size, experience, talent and overall depth obviously all sided with the Crimson Tide as well. Still, well-executed plays can often overcome these kinds of advantages that Alabama held over the Wolverines. Here is a look at the five plays that sealed Michigan's fate in the first half.