Mississippi State played well enough to win for the second week in a row but were again pitted against a highly-ranked opponent. All six of the Bulldogs losses have come against teams currently ranked in the top 18.
MSU forced four turnovers and held Alabama to its lowest point total of the season.
Special teams were once again a killer.
The Bulldogs also surrendered a score just before halftime in the sixth game this season. Five of those have come with 31-seconds or less remaining including Saturday night’s touchdown with 20 seconds left to put Alabama ahead 10-0.
Keys to Victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from our GameDay preview)
1. Stay hot on offense
State outgained Texas A&M with 556 yards and 41 points the previous week but could not keep the momentum going against the Crimson Tide’s lauded defense.
The Bulldogs were without the services of quarterback Dak Prescott and were limited to 197 total yards (only 53 rushing) and a turnover.
2. Don’t be intimidated
MSU’s defense came out and proved to be every bit as physical as Alabama’s offense, forcing two fumbles, seven tackles for loss and a sack.
The Bulldogs didn’t appear rattled by playing the No. 1 team at any point in the game.
3. Sound special teams
Special teams were a disaster for the second straight week. Evan Sobiesk’s missed field goal in the second quarter could have tied the game at 3-3.
Jameon Lewis muffed a punt for a 15-yard loss and his choice not to field another pinned the team at the 2-yard line.
CB Taveze Calhoun intercepted AJ McCarron twice. McCarron had only tossed three interceptions all year entering Saturday’s outing.
Calhoun has battled injury this season and still has a bright future ahead as only a sophomore.
State held its own against the nation’s No. 1-ranked team and made the mighty Tide look vulnerable.
If Mississippi State can recreate the same type of effort in its final two contests then the Bulldogs might have a chance to break even and go bowling for a fourth straight season.