Preview: Alabama vs Mississippi State

Alabama Football Update: Mississippi State has gaudy offensive numbers, but 4-5 record

By Dave Friedman

It has been a record setting season for Mississippi State’s offense, but gaudy numbers have not translated to wins. The Bulldogs (4-5, 1-4) host top ranked Alabama on Saturday having lost two straight road games. The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0) are ranked number one after dusting LSU 38-17 last weekend. Alabama has allowed 43 total points since a shootout win over Texas A&M on September 14.

In College Station, Texas on Saturday the Bulldogs put up 41 points and 556 yards of offense but fell short as Texas A&M led 51-27 early in the fourth quarter and held on for a 51-41 victory. MSU is averaging 459.2 yards of total offense, more than 35 yards ahead of the school’s all time record, but that still ranks just seventh in the SEC, and their 29.8 points a game is 10th best in the league. Meanwhile, in four league loses, Dan Mullen’s team has allowed 42 points a contest.

Alabama has beaten Mississippi State five straight times and in 10 of their last 12 match-ups. Last year the Tide beat the Dogs 38-7. If the Bulldogs think outscoring Alabama is a method for success, consider that since 2009 the Crimson Tide have allowed 80 touchdowns. The next best mark in the NCAA is LSU. The Tigers have given up 120 TD’s. However, Alabama is equally sound on offense where they rank sixth in the country scoring a touchdown on 49-percent of their drives. Mullen knows how dangerous the Crimson Tide are.

“Any time you get the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the country, that’s huge,” said Mullen. “It’s unique. You don’t always get this (opportunity). They’re a team that leads the nation in just about everything. I don’t know if they have any weak spots. We’re going to have out hands full. We’re going to enjoy that opportunity and go out there and play with great effort for 60 minutes and see what we can do.”

With all five of the Bulldogs loses coming against nationally ranked competition, Alabama coach Nick Saban has the utmost respect for Mississippi State.

“This is a real challenge for our team,” said Saban. “Mississippi State, I think, has probably the best 4-5 team in the country. They’ve lost five games to top 20 teams and have played extremely well all year long.”

Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott is questionable for the game with an elbow injury. He got banged up during the fourth quarter in Saturday’s loss against Texas A&M and did not return. Prescott leads SEC QB’s with 12 touchdowns scored. Tyler Russell will get the nod if Prescott is unable to go. Russell started against Alabama each of the last two years and manufactured just one scoring drive.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin holds Prescott in high regard.

“He’s just getting better — a big, strong, physical guy, made the throws when he had to,” said Sumlin.” He’s a very, very talented player with his best days ahead of him and that’s scary.”

While the Tide are 25 point favorites, they remember getting shocked by Texas A&M last season the week after beating LSU. Saban is fully focused on the Bulldogs.

“You cannot take things for granted,” Saban said. “There can’t be any kind of relief syndrome. This is certainly not the time to think that we just got over this big game so we ought to be entitled to have a little rest time this week. With every game you win, the next challenge becomes more important and a bigger game. This certainly will be no different playing on the road against a very good team this week.”


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  1. 1
    The Conduit

    “Since 2009 the Crimson Tide have allowed 80 touchdowns. The next best mark in the NCAA is LSU. The Tigers have given up 120 TD’s”

    That’s absolutely amazing. Really.

    I like Mississippi State and, for what it’s worth, I like Dan Mullen, too. I can’t believe they’ve managed to keep him there so long, but it’s also benefitted the university by establishing a solid football idendity.

    I said before MSU has a ton of weapons. But the problem with the matchup is Alabama simply has more weapons than MSU. MSU, like TAMU, has lost to every ranked opponent they’ve faced. Alabama has been improving every game this season and mitigating mistakes, highlighted by last weekend’s victory over LSU. If the same Alabama team takes the field, we’ll be in for a real show and Alabama remains undefeated. Roll Tide.

  2. 2
    Hal Bennett

    The Tide are coming in down here at Gulf Shores, just as the Tide are going to come in at Strarkville, and Mississippi State are going to have a tough time dealing with it, er, them.

  3. 3

    Did somebody pay Georgia to throw this damn game? I haven’t seen the Barnturd’s do anything that Foley High couldn’t stop and yet the damn JawJaw defense looks like a bunch of geriatric drunks. Can’t wait to see those skinny assed fairy’s try that 5 play shit against Bama. Can anybody say Meat Wagon! Bwaa Haww Haww! RTR!

    • 4
      # 1 al. fan

      I don;t know yet Crimsonite, but I just witnessed a penalty against Georgia that I have never seen in football to this date!! Auburn was in point formation with 3 blockers in front of the punter, when the ball is snapped the Georgia player blocker tries to work his way over the 3 blockers in front of him but is stopped!! then the zebras throw the flag for whatever reason I didn’t understand. the commentator say its a new rule enforced to protect the blocker or punter. I still don’t understand!! if they don’t want any blockers trying to block the punt why allow anybody back there to block said punt in the first place? RTR

  4. 5

    I wasn’t paying attention, but I think he left his feet to hurdle a blocker. That’s a penalty this year. How about that dumbass penalty on Richt. Georgia recovered that fumble and the damn refs let em struggle until Awbie got it back. I don’t blame his for calling them stupid sob’s. Haha. Jesus, that’s the worst fucking football game Bama has played since Louisiana-Monroe, and still won comfortably. Defense was great. Offense sucked worse than a $2 whore. If I were Awbie I’d forfeit that game to JawJaw. They got their asses handed to them. It was over and done with when that hail mary was overthrown. I’d be ashamed to claim a win that I didn’t really win. RTR!

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