No. 12 Alabama seeks 16th consecutive win over Mississippi State, which wants out of SEC basement

Thu, Sep 28, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

No. 12 Alabama seeks 16th consecutive win over Mississippi State, which wants out of SEC basement

No. 12 Alabama (3-1, 1-0 SEC) at Mississippi State (2-2, 0-2), Saturday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: Alabama by 14 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series: Alabama leads 87-17-3.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Other news UCF looks to bounce back in first Big 12 home game vs. Baylor No. 23 Missouri finally leaves state to open SEC slate at Vanderbilt, which has lost 3 straight ACC's passing TD leader King leads Georgia Tech against MAC's Bowling Green

The Crimson Tide can achieve a 2-0 start in Southeastern Conference play with a 16th consecutive series victory over the Bulldogs. MSU looks to halt a two-game slide and climb from last place in the West Division.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama's offense and Mississippi State's defense both look to step up from inconsistency. The Crimson Tide rank last in SEC offense at nearly 364 yards per game, although quarterback Jalen Milroe completed 17 of 21 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and interception in beating Mississippi 24-10 last week. The Bulldogs' defense currently are next to last (400.3 yards) in the SEC. MSU allowed South Carolina four touchdown drives of at least 75 yards, including marches of 98 and 99 yards respectively to open the game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama's offensive line. For all the quarterback talk, the blockers must also improve. Alabama has allowed 16 sacks in four games and had some bad snaps, including one from the 1-yard line against Mississippi. The good news for the Tide is the team didn't give up one in the second half of that game. Left guard Tyler Booker was the SEC offensive lineman of the week.

Mississippi State receiver Tulu Griffin set a school single-game record with 256 yards, including a 65-yard TD, on 11 catches. He has scored rushing and receiving this season and enters with a TD in his past three contests along with ranking fifth in SEC receiving yards with 388.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama has won 15 straight games against Mississippi State and coach Nick Saban is 20-1 with the Tide and LSU. ... The Tide has won 83% of its SEC road games (54-11) under Saban, including nine perfect records. The last, however, was in 2020. ... Alabama has scored on 12 of 13 trips inside the red zone with all seven touchdowns coming on the ground. ... Mississippi State Jo'Quavious Marks ranks second in SEC rushing with 352 yards and is tied for third with four TDs. ... Quarterback Will Rogers needs 63 yards to pass Florida's Chris Leak (11,380) for sixth all-time in SEC total yardage. ... MSU has at least one turnover in 33 of 41 games under coach Zach Arnett.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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