How many ways can a beat writer compose the same story? For those who cover Alabama football, that is the question that has to be faced each and every week. The “victims” change, but the story remains the same. How many ways can "domination" be described?
Courtesy of yet another quality outing from quarterback AJ McCarron, and a stalwart and suffocating defense, Alabama improved to 8-0 on the season thanks to a 38-7 victory over the formerly undefeated, Mississippi State Bulldogs. It really is true, same story…different opponent.
While the nation continues to wait with bated breath for Alabama's first “test” of the season, the Crimson Tide continue to destroy the opposition on a weekly basis. ‘Bama has yet to face anything that has even resembled a “close” game, and given the aforementioned score from Saturday night, the pattern did not change.
In typical Alabama fashion, this contest was essentially over after the first quarter of play. Courtesy of a T.J. Yeldon 11-yard touchdown run on the initial drive of the game, and a Kenny Bell 57-yard touchdown reception in the latter stages of the quarter, Alabama led 14-0 before Mississippi State had a chance to breathe.
The game, while actually boring and monotonous at times, proved to be a compliment to the best team in the nation. In true Tide fashion, the contest was a grinder, which included limited offensive thrills and superb defense at the right moments…the essential elements that have made Alabama the “top-ranked Tide” for nine consecutive weeks.
As for individual superlatives, the aforementioned AJ McCarron completed 16-of-23 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns against a solid MSU defense.
In respect to the rushing attack,
running back T.J. Yeldon's 11-yard touchdown highlighted an 84 yard effort against the Bulldogs.
For the second consecutive game Tide safety Robert Lester turned away the opposition with a critical interception in the endzone. Last week Lester stopped a potential Tennessee scoring drive, and last night, the ‘Bama senior did the same to MSU. In what was shaping up to be Alabama's worst defensive series of the season, Lester picked-off quarterback Tyler Russell to put an end to a 97-yard drive.
Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins, who entered the game as the SEC’s leading rusher, was held to a mere 38 yards on 15 carries. The Tide defense held the Bulldogs to 256 yards of total offense.
The “yet to be tested” Tide will now take the show to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers in what promises, once again, to be “arguably” the biggest contest of the regular season in respect to national implications. With Mississippi State in the rear-view mirror, the eyes of the nation will now turn to the rematch of the BCS national title game.