Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: UA enters raucous Starkville

Alabama - 2013

Record: 9-0
Conference Record: 6-0 (SEC Western Division)
Last Game: Alabama 38 LSU 17

Mississippi State - 2013

Record: 4-5
Conference Record: 1-4 (SEC Western Division)
Last Game: Texas A&M 51 Mississippi State 41

History lesson

Series: Alabama leads series 75-18-3 (First meeting in 1896)
Most Recent Meeting: Alabama 38 Mississippi State 7 (2012)

Setting the scene

Alabama vs. Mississippi State
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, Mississippi
Betting Line: Alabama -25 (as of 11/12)
Beat writer of the week

Matthew Stevens - Mississippi State beat writer for The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Miss.

Twitter: @matthewcstevens

Follow Matthew via Twitter to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Mississippi State Bulldogs as they prepare for Alabama.

Mississippi State on the wire

*Helmet tap to Alabama beat writer Andrew Gribble for article accessibility*

>>Alabama presents different problem for Mississippi State

>>Mississippi State battered going into Bama

>> Scouting report: Mississippi State vs. No. 1 Alabama

>>(Dan) Mullen Monday press conference leading into Mississippi State’s game vs Alabama

The weekly quotable

Nick Saban would highly disagree...
The Crimson Elephant verdict

Mississippi State is a "scrappy" football team. Unlike the MSU squads from years gone by, the current edition of the Bulldogs seemingly have a "never quit" attitude. Granted, demeanor and emotion can only go so far, but Mississippi State, unlike other SEC teams, simply won't "roll over" for Alabama.

Quarterback Dak Prescott, who recently lost his mother to cancer, is nothing short of a "warrior," both mentally and physically. While Prescott is currently listed as "questionable" for the contest against Alabama due to an elbow injury, the "final verdict" in respect to game action will not be delivered until later this week. If Prescott is unable to participate, Tyler Russell will get the nod at quarterback. While Prescott, by most accounts, is the more viable option for the Bulldogs, Russell is a savvy veteran with ample experience.

The desire of an emotional and physical football team, coupled with rowdy "cowbell loving" fans, should keep MSU in the game for at least a quarter. Starkville has always been a "trap game" for essentially every "Goliath" for the better part of three decades.
Alabama is a far superior football team, but that is certainly not breaking news. The question come Saturday night will be how Alabama responds after an emotional victory over LSU. One needs to look no further than 2012 to see what can transpire one week after an emotional victory over the Tigers.

In respect to the present, Mississippi State has nothing to lose, while Alabama, well...the entire season is on the line.

Although not seen or even formally recognized most of the time, Nick Saban's best "coaching job" often comes not before the biggest game, but before the biggest trap. Don't think the best active coach in college football won't have his squad ready for the "kitchen sink" come Saturday night.

Alabama 35
Mississippi State 10

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