2015: Alabama vs Wisconsin
2015: No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide 35, No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers 17
For the second time, the series now known as the AdvoCare Classic launched a national championship run for the Alabama Crimson Tide. The third-ranked Tide defeated the No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers, 35-17, in AT&T Stadium en route to the 2015 national title.
The game was also the coming out party for Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns in the breakout performance of his Heisman Trophy season.
A brand new quarterback didn’t seem to be an issue for the Alabama football machine, as senior Jake Coker led the offense that gained traction as the night wore on. Showing no ill-effects from a bitterly disappointing College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Ohio State to abruptly end their 2014 season, the Crimson Tide downed a Big Ten opponent for the second time in four years at AT&T Stadium. The Tide dominated Michigan 41-14 in the 2012 game. That season also ended with an Alabama national championship, a good omen for Crimson Tide fans.
Henry finally got the chance to be the Tide’s top runner, following NFLers TJ Yeldon, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson, and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Henry’s 13 carries included a 37-yard TD run on Alabama’s second drive, and later scores of 56 and 2 yards in the third quarter.
The Badgers were held to 40 yards rushing, their lowest total since 19 against Michigan State on Oct. 27, 2012, and had only 268 total yards in former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst’s first game as head coach. They had averaged 264 yards per game on the ground over the previous five seasons.