DALLAS (AP) Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook says his shoulder is feeling great after a late-season injury.

The third-ranked Spartans plays No. 2 Alabama on Thursday night in the Cotton Bowl semifinal of the College Football Playoff.

Cook missed the Ohio State game because of a sore right shoulder, and the pain still lingered through the regular-season finale against Penn State and the Big Ten title game.

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Having some down time and nearly a month between games was a huge benefit for the star senior.

''The time off, being home, rehabbing it was great,'' Cook said. ''That was crucial.''

Cook has thrown for 2,921 yards and 24 touchdowns this season.