The defensively led Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs with a final score of 24 – 0.
Tua Tagovailoa guided the crimson Tide to a 21 – 0 lead deep into the third quarter until he was taken out due to an aggravated knee injury. The offense got started with a 1-yard Damien Harris rush into the end zone early in the first quarter. The scoring continued with another 1-yard rushing touchdown from Junior running back, Josh Jacobs. The third and final touchdown from the Crimson Tide came just over 3 minutes away from half time.
Alabama’s kicking struggles seem to be slowly dwindling as Joseph Bulovas kicked a 49-yard field goal through the middle of the uprights to bring the score to 24 – 0.
The Alabama defense showed up to shut down the Mississippi State offense and show the College Football world why they are still at the top of their game. 6 players had 5 or more tackles as they seemed to penetrate the backfield every other play. Quinnen Williams stole the spotlight on the star-studded defense yet again with 6 tackles, one sack on the all-time SEC QB rush leader Nick Fitzgerald, and 2 TFL.
While tackles and sacks have become the norm for a dominant defense like Alabama’s, one statistic that proves how strong the front line held up is Nick Fitzgerald’s rushing yards. The aforementioned all-time SEC QB rush leader had averaged 93 rush yards per game coming into Saturday’s matchup, through 4 full quarters the Alabama front line continuously pushed Fitzgerald back to total -23 rush yards.
Alabama’s offense put up a respectable 24 points, but the win should be credited to the defense by granting the Tide the second consecutive shutout against a ranked SEC opponent. They were also able to give Tua the ball back one off of a fumble recovery.
Mac Jones finished out the third quarter and helped Alabama cruise to the win in the fourth quarter after Tua had to come out due to knee pain. Tua has been wearing a brace in the past couple of games and it has not seemed to affect his game in anyway. However, since the initial sprain against Arkansas, Tagovailoa has re-aggravated the injury numerous times in different ways.
In the post-game press conference, Coach Saban stated that “Tua could have gone back in if we needed him to” but that there was no point in risking furthering the injury. Coach also told the media that he has no plans on resting Tua in next Saturday’s matchup against The Citadel, given that he is healthy enough to play.
(Photo courtesy of The Crimson White)