Recapping No. 13 MSU’s 38-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
It did not start well for MSU (7-1, 3-1 SEC), which fell behind 21-0 less than 17 minutes into the game. There was no coming back against the nation’s best defense, and the Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0) continued its march toward a second consecutive BCS title.
Alabama scored on its first three possessions. MSU had a strong opening possession that resulted in a blocked field goal, and after that it was tough sledding. State had 105 total yards at halftime and finished with 256. It was held to 47 yards rushing, with LaDarius Perkins – the SEC’s leading rusher entering the weekend – being held to 38 on 15 carries.
QB Tyler Russell was 15 of 30 for 169 yards, no TDs and an interception, just his second of the year. That came in the third quarter after MSU drove 97 yards to Alabama’s 1. On third down, Russell was picked off by Robert Lester in the end zone.
Chris Smith had a game-high 73 yards on three catches for MSU.
MSU went three-and-out on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter and trailed 24-0 at the break. The defense held strong for a couple of quarters before Alabama made it 31-0 early in the fourth. The Crimson Tide gained 414 total yards, with 235 of it coming through the air. QB A.J. McCarron was 16 of 23 for 208 yards and two touchdowns. The rushing attack was led by freshman T.J. Yeldon, who had 84 yards and a score on 10 carries. Eddie Lacy was held to 26 yards on 10 carries.
State avoided its first shutout since the 2008 Egg Bowl with a late touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Robert Johnson. It was the second straight game Johnson caught a TD.
This was MSU’s worst loss to Alabama in nine years, and it’s lost five in a row in this series. The Crimson Tide has simply been dominant, with its closest game this fall a 33-14 win over Ole Miss.
Ala – T.J. Yeldon 11 run (Jeremy Shelley kick), 10:28 (9 plays, 59 yards, 4:32)
Ala – Kenny Bell 57 pass from A.J. McCarron (Shelly kick), 3:27 (6 plays, 80 yards, 3:13)
Ala – Michael Williams 9 pass from McCarron (Shelley kick), 13:33 (8 plays, 73 yards, 2:33)
Ala – Shelley 34 field goal, :52 (6 plays, 36 yards, 1:13)
Ala – Lacy 27 pass from Blake Sims (Shelley kick), 13:06 (3 plays, 28 yards, 1:43)
Ala – Kenyan Drake 3 run (Shelley kick), 8:14 (8 plays, 43 yards, 4:41)
MSU – Robert Johnson 2 pass from Dak Prescott (Devon Bell kick), 4:39 (9 plays, 63 yards, 3:35)