The game after its heartbreaking loss to LSU, the Crimson Tide displayed one of its most spirited performances of the season beating Mississippi State 30-10. The Tide wore more than just its pride on its sleeves as the team came out in new Nike Pro Combat jerseys.
The jerseys, which were part of a promotional event by Nike, featured an American Flag on the sleeve as a tribute to veterans, along with hounds tooth print in the numbers and on the helmets.
“I think the players showed that they have some pride in terms of trying to develop an identity for our team,” head coach Nick Saban said. “I think we did it together as a team.”
After battling what looked to be yet another slow start offensively, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy connected with wide receiver Marquis Maze on a 45-yard touchdown to put the Tide up 13-3. Minutes later, McElroy found running back Mark Ingram on the flats allowing the Heisman winner to sprint 78 yards to the end zone.
“It was pretty much just a screen, take three steps up and you come back,” Ingram said. “[Darius] Hanks and Julio [Jones] threw two great blocks, they really are what sprung the run; it was just a really good executed play.”
After that, the Tide never looked back. Alabama scored on its first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, and what many predicted to be a close game turned quickly into a blow out.
“We were able to come out and have pretty much a successful game the entire game.” Ingram said.
Part the Tide’s success was the number of explosive plays they were able to generate on offense, something that has been lacking in previous games.
“That’s what we want to do,” Saban said. “ We’ve got some guys who can make plays and we want to put the ball in their hand so they have an opportunities to do it.”
The Tide played a solid game on defense as well. Alabama held the Bulldogs to only a field goal for most of the game, and when Mississippi State scored its only touchdown, the game was already very much in Alabama’s control.
Among the defensive standouts for the Tide was sophomore safety Robert Lester, who recorded two interceptions in the game.
“I think it’s just about being able to make a play on the ball,” Lester said. “The quarterback made bad throws, and I was able to capitalize on it and make a play.”
Alabama’s pass rush also came up big in the game, as the Tide was able to get to the quarterback for five sacks.
“We worked that all week,” junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus said. “Damion Square, he showed up today, he made plays. I told him, ‘Square you played hard today, you did your job.’”
With Auburn’s win over Georgia, the Tide was eliminated from Southeastern Conference title contention; however, Lester said that the team is not about to throw in the towel just yet.
“We want to show everybody that we are not giving up because we lost two games,” Lester said. “We are still going to fight to get where we need to be and be the best team that we can be and coming out and playing a great game against Mississippi State, I think we are establishing that.”