Tag Archives: Mississippi State

Bama by the numbers

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) evades a tackle by Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) evades a tackle by Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The Alabama football team’s offensive numbers dipped, but rankings went up due to what everyone else did. Saturday’s game at Mississippi State was one to forget for the offense.

The numbers should be padded Saturday against Chattanooga. Here’s a look at where Alabama stacks up in the SEC and nationally.

Rushing offense: 207.5 ypg (4th SEC, 28th nationally).

Pass offense: 238.2 ypg (8th, 60th)

Total offense: 445.7 ypg (8th, 42nd)

Scoring offense: 38.8 ppg (4th, 17th)

First downs: 241 (6th, 29th)

Third down conversion: 48.7 percent (3rd, 22nd)

Rush defense: 91.1 ypg (1st, T-3rd)

Pass defense: 181.7 ypg (2nd, 9th)

Total defense: 272.8 ypg (1st, 5th)

Scoring defense: 10.2 ppg (1st, 1st)

Turnover margin: Plus-4 (3rd, T-38th)

Kickoff returns: 25.6 ave. (2nd, 10th)

Punt returns: 13.4 ave. (1st, 18th)

Also, check out the postgame video interview of LB C.J. Mosley after the win over Mississippi State.

MSU fallout

The top-ranked Alabama football team overcame a big hurdle in Mississippi State on Saturday night to remain in the driver’s seat to the national title.

Was it a letdown or is there something to the Bulldogs always playing the Crimson Tide tough?

Check out my game story in the Sunday editions of the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily.

Here’s the notebook, leading with a defensive stand by the defense in the first half that helped turn the game around.

Coach Nick Saban was questioned about taking the penalty instead of forcing the field goal on the goal line mentioned in the notebook. He had a good reason.

Saban feels the offense has the advantage on a fourth-and-1 on the goal line as the Tide would go for it every time.

A third-and-6 with a compacted field is more difficult on the offense. It all worked out with a missed field goal by the Bulldogs.

Check out the above video of OG Anthony Steen after the game.

MSU postgame

Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson (34) is team tackled by Alabama linebackers C.J. Mosley (32) and Denzel Devall (30) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson (34) is team tackled by Alabama linebackers C.J. Mosley (32) and Denzel Devall (30) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The top-ranked Alabama football team knocked of Mississippi State 20-7 in a physical game Saturday.

The only setback was tight end Brian Vogler sprained his ankle late in the game and was on crutches afterward. We’ll monitor his progress this week.

Here are a ton of notes to tide you over until Sunday’s editions of the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily hit your doorstep or stories are posted on the website.

Check out the below video of coach Nick Saban and his full postgame press conference. And QB AJ McCarron is at the bottom of the post.

SERIES: Alabama leads the series with Mississippi State, 76-18-3, and has won six straight in the series and 11 of the last 13 games. Alabama has outscored MSU 175-41 (29.2-6.8 ppg) in the last six meetings. The Crimson Tide also boasts a 16-4 (.800) record against the Bulldogs in Starkville and a 28-7-2 (.784) in the state of Mississippi.

10-WIN SEASONS: Alabama reached the 10-win milestone for the sixth consecutive season in 2013, boasting a 10-0 record. In 118 seasons, the Tide has won 10 or more games 33 times, one back of Oklahoma (34) for the most 10-win seasons in college football. Alabama has produced eight 10-win seasons since the 2002 season (2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013). Tide head coach Nick Saban is the 11th coach in school history to lead his team to a 10-win season and is the fifth coach in school history to have more than one 10-win season.

SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: As successful as Alabama has been at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the Saban era, the Crimson Tide has been nearly as effective away from home. Alabama has an 18-game winning streak away from Bryant-Denny Stadium, which is the longest active streak in the FBS. The 18-game streak includes both true road games and neutral-site games and dates back to a 24-21 loss at LSU on Nov. 6, 2010.

10 POINTS OR FEWER: Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or fewer 48 times since the start of the 2007 season. Alabama has held 8-of-10 opponents to 10 points or less in 2013 after limiting seven of its opponents to 10 points or less in 2012, four of which were shutouts. The Tide was successful in holding opponents in the 0-10 point range in nine games in 2011 and eight times in 2010. Alabama limited opponents to that range seven times in both 2008 and 2009, and in 2007 posted two games in which it held opponents to 0-10 points. Alabama has shut out the opposition 12 times during the Saban era.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

MOSLEY CONTINUES TO CLIMB CAREER TACKLES LIST: C.J. Mosley, who entered tonight’s game with 282 career tackles, moved up to No. 7 on Alabama’s career list after collecting eight tackles against the Bulldogs. Mosley, with 290 tackles, is now 13 tackles shy of Marcus Spencer at No. 6 with 303 career tackles (1997-2000). Wayne Davis (327 from 1983-86) is the all-time record holder. 

HARD TO RUN THE BALL: In the last five years, the Crimson Tide defense has held its opponents below 100 yards rushing in 42 of 63 games (66.7 percent). Alabama held 11 teams below 100 yards rushing in 2009, 10 in 2011, 11 in 2012 and five so far in 2013. The Bulldogs finished the game with 53 yards on the ground.

DEFENSE IN SHUTDOWN MODE: In the past eight games, or 32 quarters of play, the Alabama defense has surrendered just five touchdowns (1 at Kentucky, 1 vs. Tennessee, 2 vs. LSU and 1 at Mississippi State). In those eight games, the Tide is allowing 6.3 points per contest.

FIRST HALF SHUTOUT: For the 10th time in its last 14 games, Alabama has held its opponent scoreless in the first half. In addition to today’s game, the Crimson Tide shut out Tennessee (Oct. 26, 2013), Arkansas (Oct. 19, 2013), Kentucky (Oct. 12, 2013), Georgia State (Oct. 5, 2013), Ole Miss (Sept. 28, 2013), Colorado State (Sept. 21, 2013), Notre Dame (Jan. 7, 2013), Auburn (Nov. 24, 2012) and Western Carolina (Nov. 17, 2012) during the first two quarters of play.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

McCARRON SETS ANOTHER ALABAMA RECORD: AJ McCarron set another Alabama record, this time surpassing John Parker Wilson (8,099 yards from 2005-08) for the most yards of total offense in a career. Entering tonight’s game at Mississippi State, McCarron needed 153 yards, which he reached in the third quarter on a 21-yard pass to O.J. Howard. McCarron finished the game with 199 yards (187 passing; 12 rushing) bringing his career total to 8,146. 

YELDON SURPASSES 2,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS; 1,000 YARDS ON THE SEASON: With his 50-yard rush in the second quarter, T.J. Yeldon became the 18th player in program history to rush for 2,000 yards or more in a career. He finished the game with a career-high 160 yards, bringing his career total to 2,130. Yeldon’s 160-yard performance also put him over 1,000 yards for the season, making him the 14th individual in Alabama history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the 18th time an Alabama back has done so.

VOGLER NOTCHES FIRST CAREER TD: Tight end Brian Vogler scored the first touchdown of his career with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter helping to give the Crimson Tide a 10-0 lead at halftime. He is the 10th different player to record a touchdown reception for Alabama this season. 

SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: With Cade Foster’s 33-yard field goal in the first quarter, Alabama has scored in 166 consecutive games – the longest streak in program history.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES

MANDELL BOOTS CAREER-LONG 63 YARDER: Punter Cody Mandell, a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, punted a career-long 63 yarder in the first quarter tonight against Mississippi State, surpassing his previous high of 61 last achieved in the season opener against Virginia Tech. This season, he has three punts of better than 60 yards and 12 that have traveled more than 50 yards in 31 attempts. He has placed 13 inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Mississippi State game day

Univ. of Alabama majorettes perform during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Univ. of Alabama majorettes perform during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

It’s game day for the top-ranked Alabama football team. The Crimson Tide makes it way to Mississippi State for an SEC road game at 6:45 p.m. tonight.

Check out my preview story in Saturday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily. Here’s my nuts and bolts preview. And here’s a link to all the SEC previews in our Game Day edition.

My pick for the game? Alabama 35, Mississippi State 6. If the Tide wins and Georgia beats Auburn today, Alabama wins the SEC West and a spot in the conference title game.

Make sure to follow me at Twitter.com/cokirkpatrick and Facebook for the latest info. Facebook is good for the Olympic sports news.

Here are some final thought on the Bulldogs from coach Nick Saban.

“The team spirit shows on special teams in terms of the way they do things,” he said. This is a very good team that we’re going to have to do a very good job of getting ready to play and play well.

“It’s always important to play on the road,” Saban said. “Every place we play is a difficult place to play. Starkville is no different.”

“This is always a difficult place to play,” Saban said. “The last two times we were over there it was 7-0 at halftime in 2011, and 17-3 in 2009 going into the fourth quarter. So we’ve had some tough games. They have a good football team.”

“It’s a difficult preparation in terms of all the things that they do, the players that they have, how they utilize their players, they’re really well coached and this is something that makes it even more important for the players to do a great job in preparation, understanding their job, understanding their tendencies of what they need to do and how we need to play those plays,” Saban said. “Any time a team can run quarterback runs, it’s an added dimension to an offense because there’s always an extra blocker. They certainly have guys who an do that, have done that very effectively for them, and they’re efficient and effective in the passing game. I think it’s going to be really important for us to try and control the tempo of the game on offense, which any time you play on the road that’s the best way to do it. We’re in for a good challenge and the players have done a good job so far getting ready.”

More cowbell

Cowbells at Mississippi State.

Cowbells at Mississippi State.

Apparently, there are a lot of cowbells that go off at Mississippi State. I get to experienced that for the first time when the Alabama football team travels to Starkville on Saturday.

I’ve heard cowbells from the fans at minor league and collegiate league baseball games. Crowds were lucky to get to 2,000. We’ll see about a full football stadium.

Sophomore linebacker Denzel Devall has never experienced it yet, so he was surprised about being asked about cow bells this week. Veterans who have been to Starkville have opinions that vary.

“Oh yeah, you got no choice but to notice them,” WR Christion Jones said.

“Cowbells, that’s about all I remember, is the ringing,” OT Austin Shepherd said. “It’s what their fans do, it’s their fan base. I’m sure people get tired of Rammer Jammer. It’s nothing. I just tune it out when I’m on the field. I don’t care what anyone says, does, anything of that nature.”

“We are going to hear a lot of bells,” QB AJ McCarron said. “The locker room is small and on top of theirs. And they play a lot of music the whole time.”

“They don’t really affect us,” LB C.J. Mosley said. “It’s something they do. We have our little shakers and they have their cow bells.”

Oh, boy. This is going to be a treat. Check out my main story in the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily on the special teams issues for the Tide, and here’s the notebook looking at Alabama’s latest recruit.

When in Starkville, do as the Bulldogs.

When in Starkville, do as the Bulldogs.

Wednesday night Saban update

Alabama head coach Nick Saban runs onto the field before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban runs onto the field before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama football coach Nick Saban updated the media Wednesday night about the team headed into Saturday’s road game with Mississippi State.

He showed up to the podium with hot chocolate, and kept it brief. It was a cold night at practice, but not as bad as Tuesday night when the Tide went inside because it was too cold.

“We had two pretty good days of work,” Saban said. “It was good to get outside today. We’ll play a game along the way in this weather. The players have to get use to it.”

Cornerback Bradley Sylve (ankle) is still not 100 percent. He aggravated his injury last week in practice. “He’s getting better,” Saban said. “We didn’t think it was going to be a serious thing.”

Catching up with the Tide

Checkout the above video interview with Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio. He goes over the LSU game.

The below video is of LB Denzel Devall. He talks LSU and looks at Mississippi State.

Check out my main story in Wednesday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily about how the Crimson Tide doesn’t plan to have a letdown this week at Mississippi State after the big LSU win.

Here’s my notebook, leading off with Cyrus Jones and the competition at cornerback opposite Deion Belue.

If you missed my main story in the Tuesday editions, check it out here. It’s a look at the development of the secondary.

Mississippi State scouting report

Mississippi State's De'Runnya Wilson (81) celebrates his touchdown against Texas A&M during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mississippi State’s De’Runnya Wilson (81) celebrates his touchdown against Texas A&M during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

KICKOFF: 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Scott Field

TV: ESPN

RECORDS: No. 1 Alabama 9-0, 5-0; Mississippi State 4-5, 1-4

SERIES: Alabama leads 75-18-3

LAST MEETING: In 2012, Alabama won 38-7

LATEST LINE: Alabama by 24 1/2

COACH: Dan Mullen, fifth season at MSU (33-27) and fifth overall (33-27)

OFFENSE: The Bulldogs have a solid offense between the 20-yard lines, but don’t score much with the 10th ranked scoring offense in the SEC (29.8 ppg). The rushing offense (209.7 ypg) ranks fourth, the passing offense (249.6 ypg) ranks seventh and total offense (459.2 ypg) seventh. … Dak Prescott has been the starting QB recently. He has completed 128 of 219 for 1,542 yards and seven TDs. Prescott took over for Tyler Russell, who suffered a sprained ankle earlier in the season. … Prescott leads the team in rushing with 722 yards and 10 TDs, followed by LaDarius Perkins with 433 yards and two TDs. … Jameon Lewis is the top receiver with 39 catches for 505 yards and four TDs.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) rushes for a first down as Texas A&M's De'Vante Harris (1) and Howard Matthews (31) pursue during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 51-41. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) rushes for a first down as Texas A&M’s De’Vante Harris (1) and Howard Matthews (31) pursue during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 51-41. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

DEFENSE: The defense is in the middle of the pack of the SEC. The rush defense (141.7 ypg) ranks fifth in the conference, the pass defense (231.2 ypg) is ninth, total defense (459.2 ypg) seventh and scoring defense (27.2 ppg). … LB Bernardrick McKinney is the team’s top tackler with 50, followed by LB Deontae Skinner with 50. … The team has 13 sacks with McKinney and DE Preston Smith the leaders at 2.5 each. DT Chris Jones has seven QB hurries. … FS Nickoe Whitley has four INTs and CB Jamerson Love has three to account for seven of the team’s eight INTs.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Baker Swedenberg and Devon Bell have split the punting and average 41.4 yards. … Bell is 5-for-11 on field goals with a long of 40. … Lewis averages 23.5 yards on kickoff returns and 2.4 on punt returns. The team has blocked two kicks.

NOTABLE: Alabama has won the last five meetings and 10 of the last 12. … The Tide has outscored the Bulldogs 155-34 in the last five games. … Alabama is 15-4 in Starkville. … The Bulldogs need two more wins to become bowl eligible and keep their three-year postseason streak going. They have winnable games to close the season at Arkansas and at home against Ole Miss. … The Bulldogs are 1-4 against the No. 1 ranked team in the country. … They have a 14-game losing streak against ranked teams.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) jumps up to throw a touchdown pass to De'Runnya Wilson during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) jumps up to throw a touchdown pass to De’Runnya Wilson during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Monday update with Nick Saban

Alabama head coach Nick Saban runs off the field after the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 38-17. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban runs off the field after the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 38-17. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama football coach Nick Saban met with the media Monday to give the rundown on the Crimson Tide as the team prepares for Saturday’s SEC West game at Mississippi State.

“After reviewing the last game, there was probably one thing that sort of stood out to all of us is that it showed how important paying attention to deatil is in any game,” Saban said. “When we paid attention to detail, we did pretty well. When they paid attention to detail, they did pretty well. When we didn’t do things correctly, we got exposed. And their coach would probably say the same thing about what they did.”

Seven players were recognized by the coaching staff for their performances following Saturday night’s win over LSU. OT Austin Shepherd and RB T.J. Yeldon were named players of the week on offense. LB Trey DePriest, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and LB C.J. Mosley represented the defense, while PK Cade Foster and S Jarrick Williams were on the special teams list.

Shepherd had the top grade on the offensive line at 90 percent. He did not get called for any penalties, and did not allow a sack or a pressure.

Yeldon ran for 133 yards on 25 carries and scored twice. He also added one catch for 13 yards. Yeldon leads the Crimson Tide in rushing with 862 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Alabama’s offense totaled 372 yards and had a time of possession of 33:51 in the victory. The Tide is now third in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA in scoring offense with an average of 40.9 points per game.

DePriest was second on the team with six tackles and was credited with 1.5 TFL, 1.0 sack as well as a fumble recovery. Clinton-Dix finished the day with five stops.

Foster converted on his only field goal attempt of 41 yards for the first points of the game. He was perfect on all seven extra point tries and three of his six kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

For Mosley and Williams, check out my previous blog on Mosley winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.

Check out the above video of QB AJ McCarron talking about the state of the team after the LSU and headed into the Mississippi State game. The below video is of WR Kevin Norwood starting off about his big catches against LSU.

Check out my main story in Monday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily that looks at the halftime adjustments the Tide made against LSU and how they changed the game.

Here’s my notebook, leading with how the fake punt came about and changed the game.

Then here’s a story on the dark side of postgame fans.

Mosley named SEC Defensive Player of the Week

LSU running back Terrence Magee (14) is hit by Alabama defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

LSU running back Terrence Magee (14) is hit by Alabama defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill).

Alabama senior linebacker C.J. Mosley was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, the conference announced.

He helped lead the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a 38-17 victory over LSU on Saturday.

Mosley had a game-leading 12 tackles with seven of them solo. He also had 1.5 tackles for a loss of yardage and two pass breakups.

Alabama’s defense held LSU to 284 total yards in the game and 52 in the second half.

Mosley was also the punter’s personal protector. On one play, he called a fake punt and handed the ball off to Jarrick WIlliams, who ran for a key first down.

“I trust C.J. to do anything,” coach Nick Saban said. “You know he’s going to do anything you ask him the right way.”

Check out my main story in Monday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily that looks at the halftime adjustments the Tide made against LSU and how they changed the game.

Here’s my notebook, leading with how the fake punt came about and changed the game.

Alabama comes in as No. 4 seed in SEC Tournament, has three possible opponents

imageAlabama is one of four programs that lays claim to the first double-bye in SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament history, locking up one of the top four seeds in the tournament with its thrilling win over Georgia and a little help from Tennessee in their home win on Missouri on Saturday.

But with the extra day off comes a little more uncertainty, as Alabama’s list of potential opponents increases from two to three. The winner of Mississippi State’s opening round game with Auburn will move on to play No. 5 seed Tennessee. The winner of that game will advance to take on the Crimson Tide.

Alabama is 1-1 against Tennessee this season, winning at home 68-65 on Jan. 12 but lost to the Volunteers in Knoxville just 14 days later, 54-53.

The Tide also split the season series with Auburn, winning at home 61-43 on Feb. 26 to avenge a 49-37 loss at Auburn Arena on Feb. 6. Alabama swept the season series with the Bulldogs, winning 75-43 in Starkville in its third conference game of the year before winning in Coleman Coliseum 64-56 on Feb. 20.

Hard to compare two meetings between Alabama, Mississippi State

Alabama and Mississippi State will renew its rivalry this evening in Coleman Coliseum in a match-up that will differ greatly from the last one.

These two played to a 56-52 Bulldog win in Starkville on Jan. 14. Here’s how that result means little today:

  • Three of the five Alabama starters from that game won’t repeat the feat.
  • Tony Mitchell (8 points) won’t play the rest of the year, Trevor Lacey (8 points) is doubtful with a sprained ankle and JaMychal Green (14) would have to come off the bench after serving a four-game suspension.
  • Bulldog starter Rodney Hood (1 point) is also doubtful with a deep bone bruise, according to reports from Starkville.
  • Alabama freshman Rodney Cooper didn’t play that day. He’s coming off a 17-point game at Arkansas.
  • Another State starter, Renardo Sidney (8 points) will play today, but missed last Saturday’s loss at Auburn with back spasms.
  • Neither 7-footer Carl Engstrom, nor Moussa Gueye played a single minute in the last game.
  • Andrew Steele (7 points) was playing just his fourth game of the year in Starkville. He’s averaged 12 points in the last three games.

We’ll see if any of this matters at 5 p.m. Alabama is a 6-point favorite if you’re asking Las Vegas sports books.

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Vide of Saban's post-Mississippi State news conference

Here’s what Nick Saban had to say in another brief news conference after Alabama beat Mississippi State 24-7 on Saturday. Lots of TV cameras, nobody asking questions makes for short chats.

 

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How Alabama beat Mississippi State

And now, a look at my game story from Saturday’s affair:

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The defensive struggle continued Saturday night.

Snapping out of a late-season slumber, Alabama found enough offense to escape Starkville with slim title hopes intact.

A 24-7 win over Mississippi State was hardly a masterpiece, but one wasn’t necessary with the Crimson Tide defense on the field.

The Bulldogs mustered just 131 yards — 12 on the ground thanks to five sacks — as the guests responded swiftly to the 9-6 overtime loss to LSU a week earlier. It was still a bit of an adventure for the No. 4 team in the nation.

Tide kickers missed their first two field-goal attempts after a stagnant start for the offense that lacked rhythm in the first half. There was an interception and long kickoff return, but Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy helped the team break out of the funk to some degree after halftime.

“We didn’t play a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination,” coach Nick Saban said. “We had too many mistakes. We played extremely well defensively and made enough plays on offense, but we should have finished a few more drives and scored some more points early in the game.”

Click here to read the rest.

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A look back at last few Alabama-Mississippi State games

As you prepare for another beautiful game day, let’s take a look back at the last few meetings between Alabama and Mississippi State. First, here’s my game day video from last year.

Then take a look at the highlights from the last visit to Starkville from 2009.

Finally, here’s a classic Nick Saban freakout from the 2007 Alabama loss in Starkville.

Almost time to head west. More to come from the scene.

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