Alabama defeats Mississippi State, despite sloppy play
STARKVILLE, Miss.—It wasn’t pretty, but the top-ranked Crimson Tide escaped Starkville with a 20-7 win over Mississippi State Saturday night.
Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) played in front of the fourth-largest crowd in Davis Wade Stadium’s history, and the cowbells were out in full force, disrupting the Crimson Tide at times.
“It’s always good to win an SEC game, especially on the road,” coach Nick Saban said. “We typically struggle when we come over here and play.”
The offense gained 383 total yards but turned the ball over four times.
AJ McCarron threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions. Running backs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake each lost a fumble.
“We did some horrible things on offense, things we can get better at it,” senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said.
But the defense held firm, holding the Bulldog offense to 197 yards of total offense and one touchdown, which occurred when Mississippi State recovered its own fumble in the end zone.
Senior kicker Cade Foster was perfect on the night, hitting a 33- and 35-yard field goal.
Senior punter Cody Mandell saw four snaps and made the most of his opportunities. He averaged 55 yards per punt and downed the ball inside the 20 twice.
Still, Alabama was not pleased with its performance against the now 4-6 Bulldogs.
“That’s not the kind of football that we need to play if we want to be able to be the kind of team we’re capable of being,” Saban said.
Alabama will face Chattanooga Saturday in the Crimson Tide’s final home game of the season. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. and will be televised on Pay-Per-View.