REWIND: Alabama 20, Miss. State 7

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com MSU's Taveze Calhoun returns one of his two interceptions against Alabama.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
MSU’s Taveze Calhoun returns one of his two interceptions against Alabama.

Thumbs Up

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.

Thumbs Down

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.

MVP

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Logan Lowery

  • pdreb

    Alabama played the most lethargic game I have seen them play since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007. Four turnovers that State used to score zero points. I’m sure Saban had a few nice words to say in the locker room after that debacle.

    If the Tide shows up at Auburn with that dull, lethargic attitude, Auburn pounds them 40-0.

    State showed a little life but with Dak standing out of uniform on the sideline and Tyler holding a bad shoulder, their chances were zero with Mullen having to use freshman Damian Williams, who will never be SEC caliber, to run the offense. Mullen’s failure to recruit a decent QB cae back and bit him in the posterior. Also, that slow defensive line can stop those runs right at them but when Yeldon went outside, he picked up those 160 yards. One final item. That State defensive secondary has more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese.